The 12 most popular posts of 2020

I love year-end wrap-ups and superlatives, no matter the subject. Today we get to turn that reflective lens to this blog. These are the 12 posts that garnered the most pageviews during the calendar year beginning January 1, in order, most to least.

The internet is a funny place. It’s always interesting to see what ends up on this list, because “popular” doesn’t mean “best.” I’m always surprised to see what makes the list, and what doesn’t, and hope you enjoy seeing what winds up on top. Sometimes the results make me shake my head, but I’m sharing them anyway.

I’ll start with a few posts that have consistently wound up in the top ten these past few years, mostly due to popularity in Google search. They are:

100 stocking stuffers that will actually be appreciated, don’t feel like a waste of money, and won’t be broken/destroyed/forgotten by New Years. This post consistently starts going gangbusters every October (which is just one reason we update it each year.
Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good), because apparently readers are always on the hunt for pageturning mysteries and thrillers.
9 books you should have read in high school that are totally worth reading now, which I suspect means readers’ interest in “classic” literature isn’t going away anytime soon.

The most-read posts of the year on Modern Mrs Darcy

1. 12 feel-good fiction books you can read in an afternoon.

If you were leaning towards the lighter side of your reading tastes this year, you weren’t alone. These are some of my very favorite feel-good books for when you need extra bookish delight in your life.

2. What I learned from living with all-white walls for a whole year.

When we moved into our new-to-us old house, we embarked on an accidental experiment—because when we moved in which every single wall was painted Benjamin Moore Simply White, and we didn’t change a thing. I wrote about what I love, what I don’t, and what I learned.

3. 10 comforting classics to read after you run out of Jane Austen novels.

Austen novels soothe me during stressful times, and also lend themselves well to rereading again and again. When I crave a classic after reading tons of new releases, Austen is my go-to. But there are plenty more absorbing classics with heroines to root for after you’ve run out of Austen’s work.

4. 16 page-turning mysteries that aren’t too dark and gloomy.

For anyone who craves a can’t-put-it-down mystery or thriller but prefers they not be dark and despairing, these favorite mysteries fall squarely within the confines of the genre, yet maintain a hopeful tone throughout.

5. 10 of my favorite books to read over and over again.

Rereading is a great choice if you’re stuck in a reading slump, need a dose of comfort, or—my favorite reason—in the mood to deconstruct a story to figure out how the author put it together.

6. Get hooked on a new mystery series with these ten addicting audiobooks.

These ten mystery series not only feature fabulous voice performances, they provide hours upon hours of listening material. For me, police procedural mysteries work well on audio because they tend to be more HSP-friendly. Even when dealing with grisly crimes, the steady pattern of investigation is reassuring. No thriller-like scares to make me jump in my earbuds, please.

7. 20 unputdownable mysteries and thrillers to keep you glued to the page.

There’s nothing like a well-plotted mystery novel to end a reading slump or to get the pages turning when it feels hard to focus.

8. 7 series to read next after you’ve run out of Louise Penny novels. 

It turns out I’m not the only one in search of a great mystery series to keep me occupied while I’m waiting for the next Inspector Gamache novel to come out. Note: there are 325(!!!) comments on this post, which means my 7 recommendations are just the beginning.

9. 20 short novels you can read in one day.

Many readers are turning to this post right now as they seek books on the shorter side so they can meet their Reading Challenge goal. You can knock one of these slim fiction works off in an afternoon, but you’ll think about these books for weeks, months, even years after you put them down.

10. The Modern Mrs Darcy 2020 gift guide for book lovers.

According to the American Booksellers Association, October is the new December so we rolled our gift guide out early this year. These gifts are sure to delight the book lover in your life, at the holidays or any time of year.

11. 10 nonfiction books that read like novels to enjoy on the beach (or in your backyard) this summer.

We released this post featuring absorbing nonfiction reads as a companion to our fiction-heavy Summer Reading Guide picks. If you love a good nonfiction “novel,” you’ll find more than a hundred recommendations in this post and its comments section.

12. The minimalist Summer Reading Guide.

Every year I release a shortened version of the Summer Reading Guide, featuring five titles that are hugely entertaining, have broad appeal, and cover a variety of topics, themes, genres, and perspectives.

P.S. For more superlatives: check out my favorite books of 2020 and my favorite audiobooks and listening experiences of 2020.

P.P.S. I can barely believe it, but this blog is coming up on its 10th anniversary next month! How should we celebrate? Tell us in comments!


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  1. I’ve abandoned a couple of books recently because they were just too dark for me right now so I am so grateful for the lists of feel-good fiction books and mysteries that aren’t too dark and gloomy. Thank you and happy anniversary!

  2. Lois Williams says:

    The list of most most read posts has sent me back to my TBR to update it with some new entries. My personal year end wrap up would not be complete without letting you all know at WSIRN and Modern Mrs. Darcy that you have made a huge positive impact in my reading life, coming just in time to provide comfort, diversion, new reading (and other) resources during a crazy difficult year. Thank you for what you do!

  3. Sheila DelCharco says:

    Happy anniversary, Anne (and team!) I’m so happy that you do what you do! I hope you keep doing it for many more years! 🙂

  4. Desert Island bookworm says:

    Back in April this year, a blog post on Los Angeles Public Library described bestsellers of 1920, when Americans were apparently looking for comfort reading after living thru “the Great War” and Spanish flu epidemic.
    This week, blog listed their most borrowed books of 2020 (available as e-books until eventually starting physical book pick ups from still closed to public library buildings). Haven’t compared to MMD’s lists, but should be historic sampling of readers interests in this unusual year.

  5. Lynette says:

    On celebrating the blog’s 10th anniversary….perhaps a list of 10 things every month, all year long. These could be from the blog: the 10 most popular book-related posts (perhaps the top post from each year), the 10 most popular non-book-related posts, what you consider to be 10 of the best posts (as opposed to popular). And some could be new: 10 most memorable author interviews/moments from the MMD Book Club, 10 favorite books of the MMD staff, 10 books mentioned most by guests on What Should I Read Next? You get the idea… 🙂

  6. Hello. While searching for book clubs for HSP readers, I found you. I am an HSP author of fiction (mainly). I would love my books to be read by people who “get it”. Can I offer my books here?
    Also, as a quote – do you like mine? “Don’t measure your time in minutes, treasure your time in moments.

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