Starcat’s Ten Best Books of 2020

It’s a bit belated, but I’m delighted to share my ten favorite books that I read during past year. As always, please note that these aren’t necessarily books that came out in 2020, just ones that I read and enjoyed.

One would think that I’d have read more books than usual during a pandemic, and that’s somewhat true. But I also love to write, coach others who are writing their books, walk in the woods, and lots of other fun stuff that can be done from my cozy homestead. So it wasn’t a LOT more.

Without further ado, here are my favorites:

The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman. I was introduced to the The Magicians TV series through a friend, and I adore it. I’ve watched it through twice now. The books, of course, were even better – although, be prepared, the plot and characters are significantly different from the series. This trilogy, to me, is contemporary fantasy at its best. The twists and turns are wild and captivating. The characters are fascinating. The endings are unexpected yet (mostly) satisfying.

A Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Cameron Gikandi and Bob Doyle. I read this book as part of my ongoing study and practice of prosperity consciousness. It was recommended by my biz coach. I loved how the book itself is a sort of magickal working; the phrase “I am wealth, I am abundance, I am joy” is woven throughout the text. That’s what stuck with me most, but I enjoyed the book as a whole. It’s an inspiring and thoughtful contribution to the Law of Attraction conversation.

Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System by Anodea Judith. This is a book that I’ve been reading and studying very slowly, literally over decades. I decided that 2020 was the year to finally finish it. “Keeping your chakras tuned up” sounds super New-Agey, I realize, but it’s also helpful for living an emotionally healthy life. Judith knows her stuff, and this book is full of timeless wisdom.

The Witchwood Crown and Empire of Grass by Tad Williams. I love this author and his works of epic fantasy. I’m actually unclear whether there will be more books in this new series, but it doesn’t matter. I very much enjoyed reading these two. They’re great for when you’re ready to escape into a long, deep-diving quest full of magick and danger.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I know, I know, this book is super trendy. But there’s a reason for that – it’s well-written and powerful! Read this if you’re looking for some inspiration and perhaps some validation that you’re not the only one who feels like a round peg in a world of square holes.

Existential Kink: Unmask Your Shadow and Embrace Your Power by Carolyn Elliott, PhD. I’m taking a yearlong course with the author right now, which is best described as a witchy grad school experience. The course is Changing. My. Life. in such amazing ways! This weird and wild book is a heady glimpse into working with your shadow to free up vast amounts of energy with which to realize your dreams. I can’t recommend her highly enough.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This is one of those books that followed me around until I read it. I heard about it from several different sources. My Mom actually got it from the library and handed it to me. I devoured it in a weekend. I’m not really a “plant person.” However, this deep, delicious book of essays broke open my heart in new ways. It’s not just about plants; it’s about life. I loved it.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. This was a gorgeous faerytale of a book. It has that lyrical quality that marks my favorite writing style to read. I wasn’t just reading the story, I was immersed in the world that Wecker creates. It was delicious and left me wanting more. Apparently I’ll get my wish; there’s another book with the same characters coming out this year.

DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community by Gabriela Pereira. I don’t usually add writing craft books to my best-of list, but this one is a gem. I love Pereira’s holistic approach to becoming an author. A lot of it resonates with how I teach my own writing clients. Well worth a read.

Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I adore metaphysics – the place where cutting-edge science meets spiritual practices. This dense, hefty book took me a while to read and absorb. I love that some scientists have finally stopped dismissing magick and have started studying it. Dr. Dispenza takes it even further and puts his studies to practical use, teaching us how to implement the findings in our own lives. Take your time with this book and try out the exercises. I’ve integrated many of them into my morning meditation time.

What books have you most enjoyed during the past year or so? Are you reading more these days? Leave a comment and share your recommendations!

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