I read 9 self-help books during the pandemic and now I am a completely perfect person

Two businesspeople high-fiving over a laptop. Image by krakenimages on Unsplash.

Since March 2020, I have read 9 books that could fall into the category of self-help. In one way or another, these books have promised to make me a master of my own existence. I should be in control of my life, with a well-prioritised routine, a clean house and even cleaner sleep hygiene.

So, about a year later, am I now a smiling, well-oiled machine living my best life? Hahahaha! No! Absolutely not! But I did learn at least one useful thing from each of them, so I will present these things here and save you the time of reading everything else surrounding them.

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My year in books: what I read and what I loved in 2020

Stacks of old books. Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash.

Is 2020 done yet? No? Maybe this blog post is just wishful thinking then. But I’m planning to coast to the end of my reading year on a gentle sea of escapist froth, and so don’t think I’m likely to read anything else that would make me change my overall assessment of the year’s reading, so let’s do this.

Here are the books I loved the most, the book I liked the least, and just some general thoughts about how reading kept me going during this garbage year.

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My month in books: September 2020

A dark hallway in a derelict house. Photo by Nathan Wright on Unsplash

This blog post is very late, but I promise I did indeed read some books in September. 10 of them, even. And one of them was a new candidate for favourite book of the year – I’m just gonna cut to the chase, it’s In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado and it’s amazing – so I’m extra sorry to have withheld this valuable post from you.

This was a month of two halves: a lot of heavy capital-L Literature to start, and then a whole bunch of sci-fi (with a rom-com breather in the middle).

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My month in books: July 2020

A photo of three camels. Photo by Bernd Bangert on Unsplash.

I feel more excited to write this blog post than I have in some time, because I really loved a lot of what I read this month, and I want to share it.

There’s a Victorian pastiche with cannibalistic dragons, a chapter that saved 16 hours of my life, and a romance that finally dares to ask the question: “What if Jonathan Franzen was hot?”

I hope at least one of those sounds intriguing. This will also be a long post, because I finished 9 books in July. Let’s go!

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