My 2020 Reading List

by Katy on January 27, 2021 · 62 comments

I love books. I love fiction, nonfiction, books with pictures, hardbacks, paperbacks, mass market, short stories and even serious literature. I value the weight of a physical paper book in my hands, but truly believe that e-books and audiobooks also fall under the umbrella of “real reading,” and will fight anyone who says otherwise. I may have studied nursing in college, but I snuck in an English minor.

It’s normal for me to have a couple books going at the same time. This used to look like a stack of library books as well as a Libby audiobook that I listen to while driving, thrifting or puttering around the house and garden.

2020 was not a normal year. Not only were my county’s libraries rightly closed for many months, but they opened back up solely for scheduled pick ups that would take so long to come in that I wouldn’t even remember having put the books on hold.

2020 became the year of the audiobook. This served three purposes:

  1. Audiobooks were usually immediately available.

  2. Audiobooks were a contactless transaction.

  3. My brain was a mushpot throughout the 743 days of 2020, and I couldn’t maintain the required focus to read words on a page.

I didn’t want to read anything that added additional stress into my life. I made a decision to read books written by women authors, as I’m done with cliché two-dimensional female characters, and wanted to support the countless ah-fucking-mazing women who put effort into creating full fledged characters. I read less than normal, and certainly in fits and spurts as my aforementioned ability to focus ebbed and flowed without rhyme or reason.

Not every book was a winner, but that’s okay. There was something of value to almost every book on this list. The asterisks are next to the books that I especially recommend.

  1. “Save Me The Plums,” by Ruth Reichl.

  2. “Bad With Money,” by Gabby Dunn.

  3. “The Distant Hours,” by Kate Morton. **

  4. “Maisie Dobbs,” by Jacqueline Winspear.

  5. “Wonderland,” by Jennifer Cody Epstein. **

  6. “Scrappy Little Nobody,” by Anna Kendrick.

  7. “The Lake House,” by Kate Morton. **

  8. “The Forgotten Garden,” by Kate Morton. **

  9. “The Woman in Cabin 10,” by Ruth Ware.

  10. “The Island of Sea Women,” by Lisa See. **

  11. “One More Things: Stories and More Stories,” by B.J. Novak <– Oops, a male author slipped in.

  12. “Unsheltered,” by Barbara Kingsolver.

  13. “Not Becoming my Mother,” by Ruth Reichl.

  14. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” by Lee Israel. **

  15. “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane,” by Lisa See. **

  16. “Where The Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens. **

  17. “A Kim Jong Il Production,” by Paul Fischer. <– Oops, another dude.

  18. “Agatha Raisin and The Wellspring of Death,” By M.C. Beaton.

  19. “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek,” Kim Michelle Richardson. **

  20. “All The Things I Never Told You,” by Celeste Ng. **

  21. “The Downstairs Girl,” by Stacey Lee. **

  22. “The Magician King,” by Lev Grossman. <– I guess this guy is a “guy” as well.

  23. “The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett. **

  24. “Still Me,” By Jojo Meyers.

  25. “The Other Woman,” by Sandie Jones.

  26. “Love and Treasure,” by Ayelet Waldman. **

  27. “Something in The Water,” by Catherine Steadman.

  28. “How About Never, is Never Good For You?” by Bob Mankoff. <– this was my last physical library book.

  29. “The Assistants,” by Camille Perri.

  30. “One Day in December,” by Josie Silver.

  31. “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill,” Abbi Waxman.

  32. “Mrs. Everything,” by Jennifer Weiner. **

  33. “The Lions of Fifth Avenue,” by Fiona Davis. **

  34. “Evvie Drake Starts Over,” by Linda Holmes.

  35. “Beach Town,” by Mary Kay Andrews.

  36. “Island of The Blue Dolphins,” by Scott O’Dell ** <– This man gets a pass, as this book is a classic for a reason!

  37. “Ask Again, Yes,” by Mary Beth Keene.

  38. “Winter Solstice,” by Rosamunde Pilcher.

  39. “The Shell Seekers,” by Rosamunde Pilcher. **

  40. “I Want to Be Where The Normal People Are,” by Rachel Bloom.

  41. “The Lieutenant’s Nurse,” by Sara Ackerman.

  42. “Searching For Sylvie Lee,” by Jean Kwok. **

  43. “The Actor’s Life,” by Jenna Fischer. **

  44. “Love Your Life,” by Sophie Kinsella.

  45. “The Scent Keeper,” Erica Bauermeister. **

  46. “Mambo in Chinatown,” by Jean Kwok. **

  47. “Big Summer,” by Jennifer Weiner.

I wish 2020 has ended with a satisfyingly tidy number like 50 or 52, but such was not to be. I am already on book #5 for 2021, having just finished “Before We Were Yours,” by Lisa Wingate, which was amazing! **

I mostly post what I’m reading on Instagram, (which gets more frequent content that the blog.) So if you’re looking for reading inspiration, I invite you to follow me over there.

Did you read any of the books on my list? Do you have books to recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Ava January 27, 2021 at 2:41 pm

The only book I read from your list is Where the Crawdads Sing. I was disappointed after so many people recommended it. I felt like the characters were flat and I was unconvinced that the little girl could be self sufficient at such an early age. Some books I really enjoyed in the last yr : Akin by Emma Donoghue about an 80 something professor who has to take sudden charge of a young relative; What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn about a kid detective who goes missing; and Weathering by Lucy Wood for its excellent writing about nature and weather. You can feel the chill.


Michelle H January 30, 2021 at 10:14 am

Same! My intense dislike for Crawdads has left me feeling like an oddball. I read it a few years ago after all my friends raved about what an amazing book it was, and read it all the way through thinking surely it gets better somehow, but alas, it only got worse.


Katy January 31, 2021 at 1:12 pm

I recognized that the plausibility of someone teaching themselves to be a scientist is pure fiction, but I still enjoyed it.


Marie February 1, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Maybe it’s the difference of living rural, and living among nature, and living in a big city. My husband even enjoyed it.
I dunno know, I loved it, and I’m not uneducated! LOL


Cindy Brick January 27, 2021 at 2:44 pm

You’ve got a real thing for Kate Morton and Rosamund Pilcher, don’t you? Actually, I loved the LAKE HOUSE…but not so much SHELL SEEKERS. And I just wanted to punch Lee Israel for allmmmoost getting away with her scams. Never did feel, throughout the book, that she was that sorry for what she’d done — or that she wouldn’t try it again in a flash, if she thought she could get away with it.
During stressful times like these, we watch a lot of movies, and they seem to fall into three types: total fantasies (like Lord of the Rings), diss-as-tuhs (Day After Tomorrow, San Andreas Fault or zombie-type movies) or based-on-history/this-really-happened movies (1917 and Dunkirk, Churchill’s Secret, etc ). And lots of Westerns. I also enjoy Godzilla-type movies, which Husband thinks are goofy.

I read a LOT. This summer was mostly Western history books, mostly because I was working on a book (Colorado Curiosities, coming out from Arcadia Publishing this summer). I read quite a few books on Custer’s Last Stand, a couple on the Franklin Expedition (one of my hobbies), a little on Bigfoot (another hobby) — and a number of Nathaniel Philbrick’s history books. Went back and revisited my ‘comfort books:’ pretty much anything by Helen Forrester; goofy but charming romance novels by Grace Livingston Hill (“Gracey”); the Cheapskate Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn. (The latter is reassurance that I really do know how to economize and save money — and we WILL get through this.) Also a number of cookbooks.
My latest is “The Fourth Man Factor” by Geiger, which is fascinating. He has collected many stories from climbers, sailors, etc. who experienced the presence of another person during stressful times. In some cases, they believe that ‘Companion’ saved their lives.
I really enjoy your posts — but would love it if you wrote more often.
(I know — nag, nag, nag.)


Roberta January 27, 2021 at 4:13 pm

I really enjoyed Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. As usual, powerful and pertinent. I finished the Ian Rutledge series of mysteries (WWI era London police detective with shell shock) and finally started on the Brother Cadfael series. I like murder mysteries because justice is done in the end, and I can really use closure and justice!


Lindsey January 27, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Did you ever see the Brother Cadfael series starring Derek Jacobi? Excellent. They stopped making them because they were too expensive. One of my wolfhounds was named Cadfael, after the Brother. I made some friends at the vet’s office because when people heard his name they would ask if it came from that series; similar reading and movie tastes easily established a basis for a friendship!


Mary January 28, 2021 at 6:59 pm

I just binge watched the Brother Cadfael series a few months ago. They were wonderful! Next time I get an offer for a free or nearly free Britbox trial, I want to watch them all again.


Catherine from France January 27, 2021 at 9:07 pm

Me too! Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favourite American author. And we really love American literature.You have such greatwriters! For B.Kingsolver I suppose that this is because she is writing about social justice and biodiversity .I loved her first novels as “The Bean Trees” , “Pigs in Heaven”… that were easy to read .”Unsheltered”: I read it in English before it is translated and then I bought it in French but it was better in its original langage. Thanks Katy for your list because sometimes from France it’s difficult to find a list of authors that should be possible to love.


Chessie January 28, 2021 at 3:08 am

Barbara Kingsolver is a favorite of mine, too. If you haven’t read _Prodigal Summer_, you should (especially if you like wildlife) because it’s magic.

+1 for _Unsheltered_ and _Bean Trees_.


Roberta January 28, 2021 at 10:09 am

I watched the first Brother Cadfael episode, and loved it. Because it followed the book so closely I have been waiting to watch the others until I finish the book. My daughter is suffering because she wants me to go on to the next episode!

I loved The Bean Trees, but had difficulty with Pigs in Heaven. I guess I wanted the ending of the Bean Trees to hold, and I wanted an uncomplicated happy ending. I loved Prodigal Summer, and Poisonwood (and I loved when my kids each read Poisonwood in school, but it was a struggle not to say too much to them and influence their reading of it!).

Catherine, I’m so impressed that you read it in the original and again in French!


Julie January 27, 2021 at 4:15 pm

I have read 14 of your list over the years. Rosamunde Pilcher is probably one of my top 3 authors with Winter Solstice and the Shell Seekers being two of my favorite books. I have read these old friends many times. Coming Home is another great one.


Lindsey January 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

I had to interview M.C. Beaton for an article. Her books are only so-so for me but she was an absolute hoot in real life. I was sorry that she died this year because she was an original and a great role model for being who you are and too bad if someone doesn’t like it.

What I recommend for reading: I love Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy on Thomas Cromwell. The Henry the 8th mystery series by C.J. Sansom. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (nonfiction about the unspoken caste system in this country). The New York Times Book of the Dead: 320 Print and 10,000 Digital Obituaries of Extraordinary People
by William McDonald. Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving by comedian Mo Rocca. The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks (ruminations on modern day farming in Britain). This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together by Jon Mooallem (about the woman who kept reporting and sort of kept the town functioning during the 1964 great Alaskan earthquake where the earth did actually open up and swallow people). The Whale & the Cupcake By Julia O’Malley (cookbook memoir genre, about cooking her way around Alaska).


Lindsey January 27, 2021 at 4:19 pm

And, oh yes, I wish you posted more often, too.


Chessie January 28, 2021 at 2:59 am

Good suggestions! Hilary Mantel’s writing is as good as it gets.

_Shepherd’s Life_ and _This is Chance!_ are definitely going on my list. TY.


amber January 27, 2021 at 5:12 pm

My favorite book I read in 2020 was All the Lights We Cannot See. A few others I really enjoyed was Year of Wonders, The Snow Child, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, The Indigo Girl and Salt to the Sea.

I will have to check out some of the books you enjoyed.


Gayle Weiswasser January 27, 2021 at 6:33 pm

I enjoy reading your blog and was especially happy to see this post! I have a book blog if you have any interest in following it – You have some great reads on this list! I’ve read a lot of them, and loved Evvie Drake and Ask Again, Yes the most of your 2020 reads. I’d also recommend Oona Out Of Order, Long Bright River, The Knockout Queen and Normal People.


Catherine from France January 27, 2021 at 9:12 pm

Oh 🙁 your blog is blocked for French people
“Block Reason: Access from your area has been temporarily limited for security reasons.”Sniff sniff .


Chessie January 28, 2021 at 2:54 am

C’est absurde.


Gayle Weiswasser January 29, 2021 at 5:00 am

My book blog is blocked to people from France? That’s really weird – I have no idea why. I’ll look into that!


Emmy January 31, 2021 at 1:45 pm

It’s working in the Netherlands!


MB in MN January 30, 2021 at 8:18 am

Gayle: Glad to learn about your blog. I am enjoying reading past posts and signed up for future ones. Thanks for sharing!


Gayle Weiswasser January 31, 2021 at 9:47 am

Thanks for signing up!


Iris January 27, 2021 at 7:03 pm

I have been using the Washington County libraries’ online reservation system. Every week or two, they let me know when some books are available and I drive over for contactless pickup. I managed to read over 100 books, including the Jacqueline Winspear books, which I enjoyed!


Linda in UK January 28, 2021 at 12:56 am

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
And the sequel: The Wild Silence
Which MUST be read in the correct order. *****

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens *****
All three are brilliant books and both authors are women.


Chessie January 28, 2021 at 2:53 am

I can vouch for _Crawdads_ as well as _Island of Sea Women_. Both are sad but quite good. The Woman in Cabin 10 has been on my list, but I wasn’t familiar with many of the books you listed, so I have bookmarked this list to refer back to.

Thanks for adding to my reading list (ha ha), but really, thank you.


Deborah Jones January 28, 2021 at 7:08 am

Just finished fantastic book called “The One-in-a-million Boy” by Monica Wood. Highly recommend. I am an avid reader and loved, loved this book!!


Kat January 28, 2021 at 7:18 am

I really liked “Everything I Never Told You” I should find more of hers.
I loved “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite. I put it off for a long time even though I’d heard how good it was. Usually, serial killers (or very murderous characters) = no sleep, but it isn’t that kind of suspense. I think I read it in one day.
I’ve been reading a lot of Anne Bishop; I highly recommend the Tir Alainn trilogy.
I’m looking forward to the next book in Charlaine Harris’ Gunny Rose series.
Oh, NK Jemisin is another I plan to read more of very soon.


Teresa Young January 28, 2021 at 7:50 am

Great list, Katy – and I love seeing everyone else’s lists too.

My goal is to read 52 books per year – last year I read 57. Several were cookbooks and chicken raising books.

My favorites were The Winemaker’s Wife and The Book of Lost Names, both by Kristin Harmel, The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger – the best book I read in 2020 was Florence Adler Lives Forever by Rachel Beanland.


Ruby January 28, 2021 at 8:33 am

I love Ruth Reichl! Katy, for you books about midwifery might feel like a busman’s holiday, but I totally enjoyed the nonfiction “Arms Wide Open” by Patricia Herman, about her journey from a lay hippie midwife to following the changes of the years and becoming certified to work in her husband’s obstetrics practice. The novel “The Pull of the Stars” by Emma Donoghue is set in an Irish maternity ward during the Great Influenza and is amazing.

I also really enjoyed “Organizing Her Life” by Laura Saunders (teacher turns professional organizer); “All That Remains: A Renowned Forensic Scientist on Death, Mortality and Solving Crimes” by Sue Black; “Garlic and Sapphires” by Ruth Reichl; “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” by Michelle McNamara (the author’s hunt for the Golden State killer); the memoir “Onions in the Stew” by Betty MacDonald, and the memoir “Leaving Church” by the Rev. Barbara Brown.


Marie January 28, 2021 at 9:45 am

You’ve read lots of my favorite authors. Kate Morton being on the top of my list.
Our city library reopened in September, then quickly closed again. Sigh! We can order online, but it truly takes weeks, as our library is small, and mainly have to bring them from another library. So I have been using my kindle more than ever, and rereading from my own shelves. As I was weeding out books to donate, I found many to partake again. My favorite re-read so far, is by Tom McNeal, Too be sung underwater!
Where the crawdad sings, I even got my husband to read.
So, been reading Mauve Binchy, Jodi Picoult, and Belva Plain.
Now I wish I had kept track of how many books I’d read in 2020. But I’ve always get lost in a good book!


Cindy January 28, 2021 at 10:15 am

My favourite Kate Morton was The Secret Keeper. I read 75 books this year, far more than usual and the majority were ebooks.


K D January 28, 2021 at 10:49 am

I read

“The Island of Sea Women,” by Lisa See. **

“Where The Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens. **

“The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek,” Kim Michelle Richardson. **

“All The Things I Never Told You,” by Celeste Ng. **

“The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett. **

“Ask Again, Yes,” by Mary Beth Keene.

I would recommend:

The Secret Life of Groceries

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

Stuff Matters

Miss Benson’s Beetle

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Black Widow

Sweet Sorrow

The Midnight Library

The Girl with Seven names

Anxious People

Transcendent Kingdom

How to Stop Time

American Dirt

All the Devils Are Here


Little Fires Everywhere

Everything I never Told You

The Sweeney Sisters

More Than Enough

Life and Other Inconveniences

The Night Watchman

Good Luck with That


Hidden Valley Road


Ava January 28, 2021 at 2:32 pm

KD, Wasn’t the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the BEST? Did you read the companion book The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy?


MEM January 28, 2021 at 6:17 pm

I also enjoyed the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I did not know about the companion book so I will look into it. Thanks! It seems like Rachel Joyce has written quite a few other novels – any that you would recommend?


MEM January 28, 2021 at 12:26 pm

I’m at the age (61) where I prefer reading books in a series. I highly recommend Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache mysteries but you MUST read them in order – there are currently 16 and they get better and better. I also recommend William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace, This Tender Land and all of his Cork O’Connor mysteries. Ann Cleeves’ Shetland and Vera Stanhope series are also excellent. I also enjoy Kate Morton’s books and most of Kristin Hannah’s – The Nightingale, Winter Garden, Home Front and the Great Alone. – her latest, The Four Winds, is supposed to be out February 2. Those are a just few off the top of my head. I read an obscene amount despite working full-time (and all the other things).


MB in MN January 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Books are the best! Since I read 2-3 per week and I don’t keep a record of what I’ve read, it’s difficult to remember them all. A few recent stand-outs: “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson, “The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich, “One Night Two Souls Went Walking” by Ellen Cooney, and “All Adults Here” by Emma Straub.


Shona January 28, 2021 at 2:47 pm

I primarily read non-fiction and my friend turned me onto Robin Wall Kimmerer, who wrote “Braiding Sweetgrass,” which I will read after I finish her beautiful book “Gathering Moss.”

I tried to read The Overstory, by Richard Powers. It’s about the relationship between 9 different characters and trees but I was crying after the first chapter, and then the second, and I had to put it down. There was already too much sorrow in 2020.


Christine January 28, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Thanks Katy and everyone who recommended books on this blog. While I’ve always loved memoirs and true crime (love to see how they nail ’em), I have to say the best memoir I read in 2020 was Hidden Valley Road. Genetics has always fascinated me and this book has plenty of it in addition to seeing how schizophrenia affects the whole family, not just the sick members. I actually know a large family that has been similarly effected and distinctly remember someone from the community pointing the proverbial finger at the mother saying it was her fault for the way she brought them up. Puh-leeeeeze.
On a lighter note, I just finished Alexander McCall Smith’s newest installment from the Number Ladies Detective Agency Series, How To Raise An Elephant. Pure delight. These are cozy mysteries and the characters never fail to bring joy to my heart.
For Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, another book I should mention is Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder; The Woman Behind the Legend by John E. Miller. If you’ve read and liked Prairie Fires, I highly recommend this book.
Right now I’m reading Nickel and Dimed which has so far proven interesting and pertinent with the current economy.


janiine January 28, 2021 at 5:18 pm

Thanks for all the recommendations! Another voracious reader here – both non fiction and fiction. Have always loved Pilcher, the Masie Dobbs series and so many others. Am re-reading biography of Churchill featuring the time he was in the “wilderness”- the 1930s – before he gained power. Brilliance mixed with eccentricity. Tightwad Gazettes were re-ordered and read, and I have always enjoyed Rhys Bowen and her royal spyness mysteries. They feature a royal heir to the British throne except she is poor and needs to support herself, and is 35th in line! Glad so may of you enjoy Kent Krueger; he is a MN author who wrote several of his books from a local coffee shop.


MEM January 28, 2021 at 6:11 pm

I love reading about the “wilds” of Minnesota and the Native American aspects of his Cork O’Connor novels.


MB in MN January 28, 2021 at 6:49 pm

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting William Kent Krueger at local book events. In addition to being a gifted writer, he is a stellar human being and a staunch supporter of independent bookstores. Wicked funny, too. An all-around gem.


Bee January 28, 2021 at 6:11 pm

Where the Crawdads Sing is one of my all time favorites, and I thought that Before We Were Yours was also a great book. I usually enjoy Celeste Ng’s books. She is a wonderful writer, but I didn’t really enjoy All the Things I Never Told You. Since the book was about suicide, perhaps it just wasn’t the right thing for me to read in the middle of quarantine.
I have only read 3 books this year.
My Life in France – the autobiography of Julia Childs
Anxious People by Fredrick Backman who is one of my favorites.
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
The Vanishing Half was given to me by a friend, and I plan to read it next.

I love books. My book club that meets via Zoom has been one of my great joys over the last year!


MEM January 28, 2021 at 6:19 pm

I forgot to add “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”.


Bethany M January 28, 2021 at 9:32 pm

Impressive list!


Marilyn January 28, 2021 at 11:25 pm

For some reason, I’ve been re-reading books I read years ago, including 2 books by John LeCarre (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People). Then, I felt inspired to read some real-life spy stories by Ben MacIntyre: A Spy Among Friends and Agent ZigZag, both fascinating. Other than spy stories, I enjoyed at least one mystery: The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montgomery. I also liked Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen. Finally, I would recommend Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast. I loved seeing everyone’s reading list. Thank you all.


Dusty January 29, 2021 at 4:09 am

I’m an avid reader as well…I order from library and go wait in line for outside delivery…I just finished American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins….a tough book to read but I highly recommend it


A January 29, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Reading is always great! my favorite books I read this year were:

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik


Sarah January 29, 2021 at 6:24 pm

I read zero books in 2020. This isn’t very shocking to me. It’s either 30 or zero and my cycle is 3-5 years. I started one book (in January) so I’m likely on an “on” year. I don’t have a library (I’ve moved) or an ereader but hopefully I can sort that out soon enough to read enough to stimulate my brain. We have two local “Free Librarys” so they’ve been useful. I will take your **suggestions and go from there. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing. Besos Sarah.


Michelle H January 30, 2021 at 10:27 am

Thanks for the recommendations to put on my list for this year!
My resolution for 2020 was to get back to reading for pleasure and read one book a week. I beat that goal and then decided to do it again this year.

My favorites from last year were:
Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Far Empty by J. Todd Scott (but book 2 “High White Sun” was awful and seemed like it was written by a completely author)
Hyperbole & Other Half Truths by Allie Brosh
Solutions & Other Problems by Allie Brosh
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (this is a series, I’m 3 books in and still loving it. P.I. who is also a grim reaper – great fun)

I’m halfway through The Book of Atlantis Black by Betsy Bonner, which sucked me in and I stayed up way too late reading last night.


Amelia January 31, 2021 at 5:20 pm

THANK YOU! I have been insta-stalking your reading list. As a full time working/full time educating/rearing children/ plate spinner, audiobooks are my escape!


VanessaKC January 31, 2021 at 5:23 pm

There is a free little library a few doors down from us but it’s mostly jammed with religious books, romance novels or really tiny kid board books. Because church and lusting after the gardener go so well together. Today after visiting my ma, we spotted one in her burb. Score!!! It was exciting for my big kid to get a couple of RL Stine books he hasn’t read. I grabbed a 90’s book that I remember and a novel that isn’t religious or soft core porn, so we’re quite pleased!


Diane C January 31, 2021 at 8:15 pm

This was not a stellar book reading year for me. I’m a library volunteer and I say I devour books the way whales eat krill. I love the randomness of what I find whilst setting up for book sales. Oh, how I miss our sales and the camaraderie of the rest of our book-loving team.

That said, I did manage to read Tara Westover’s “Educated”. I loved it so much I immediately read it again. I love the Maisie Dobbs series and have the latest one on my night stand. I have also enjoyed every Ruth Reichl book I’ve ever read, but it seems I’m two behind, alas. I always hated when a Pilcher book ended and I had to leave her world. I feel the same way about Maeve Binckey’s stories and was always thrilled when someone I knew from an earlier book turned up in a new story.


Katy February 1, 2021 at 11:12 am

“Educated” really stuck with me for a number of reasons. I might give it a reread.


Karen A Cohen February 1, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Hi Katy-

I love your reading list and share your sentiments about audiobooks-really my preferred reading method. I also read a mix of fiction/non-fiction-here are a few I recommend:
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Between the World and Me-Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Great Alone-Kristin Hannah
The Hate You Give-Angie Thomas
How to be An Anti-Racist-Ibram X. Kendi
Bury My Hear at Wounded Knee-Dee Brown
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee-David Treuer
Rez Life-David Treuer
You Never Forget Your First-Alexis Coe
Me and White Supremacy-Layla Saad
A Woman is No Man-Etaf Rum
Becoming-Michelle Obama
American Prison-Shane Bauer
Manhattan Beach-Jennifer Egan
Tailspin-Steve Brill
Blue Moon-Lee Child


Katy February 1, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Thanks. I read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” in 1985. Great book!


Lisa M Oldoski February 1, 2021 at 3:33 pm

I read 87 books in 2020, including all of Rachel Joyce’s books
-The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
-The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey
-The Music Shop
-Miss Benson’s Beetle
For Books of this same sort I also discovered Ruth Hogan and Phaedra Patrick and read them all in 2020 as well


Chari February 1, 2021 at 5:32 pm

I too am an avid reader but since I’ve gotten older I primarily use audiobooks. I love the fact I can listen & do other things with my hands. I am a quilter & I also cook a lot. Any chore I have to do is so much more enjoyable & takes my mind away. I use overdrive with our public library which is free & I do everything online. It’s contactless & open 24 hours per day. I’ve just started keeping a list of things I read in my planner on one of the I don’t know what to do with this page. I just finished We Were The Lucky Ones. I highly recommend it. It is a true story during World War II about a family through the Holocaust. It is well written.


Alexandra February 2, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Love these recommendations!
Must add the series “Cazalet chronicles” by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Note: the most uninspired beginnings ever. I would never have stuck it out if my mother hadn’t raved about the series. Stellar writing!


Debra February 4, 2021 at 11:09 am

Here are a few of the 20 books I read in 2020.

Margorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
Wild Tales by Graham Nash
Me by Elton John
The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson
1776 by David McCullough
Madame Secretary by Madeline Albright
Clementine, The Life Of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell


Debby February 15, 2021 at 7:19 pm

I read a lot of non fiction in 2020 with a few fluffs thrown in. One book that I loved was Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict. I also read another book by this author named The Only Woman in the Room. I think you would like both of them. They are historical fiction with strong women characters. and BTW I LOOOOVVEEED Where the Crawdads Sing. I also have read the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and consider it one of my favorite all time books.


Katy February 16, 2021 at 10:47 am

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ve put “Carnegie’s Maid” on my library/Libby hold list!


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