2020 Reading List

This is a list of the books, I read in 2020 that I found to be okay to fabulous. However after participating in writing critique groups for the last 25 years or so and book clubs for the past 45 years, I appreciate an author’s effort and recognize that different people have different tastes. Therefore the books I found entirely dull or horrible are simply excluded from the list and there is no ranking system among titles. If you choose to read books off my list you will have to make your own decision about what you like.

You will see I like to read in series and a body of work by a singular author. I often do this to try to have a better understanding of the writer and their form of storytelling to figure out what I can learn from their efforts. As you will see from the assembled lis, I don’t just read “fine literature.” I read children’s books, non-fiction, fantasy, science fiction, novels, memoir self help books, romance and history. I read for escape, enjoyment, sometimes for a world where magic or good people can set the world to rights within a few hundred pages. This feels especially important when the real world around me becomes harsh and people act in ways that are unrecognizable to me.

I share this list because I am so often asked for recommendations. I hope you discover something new that delights you among these many authors and their efforts. If you are seeking to purchase some of these titles may I suggest supporting your local independent bookseller as my family owned my hometown bookstore for years. If you don’t have one nearby,  I’d like to recommend a few favorites of mine: Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH;  Belmont Books in Belmont, MA; The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY; An Unlikely Story in Plainview, MA; Books and Books  in Key West, FL; Oblong Books in Rheinbeck, NY; Still North Books and Bar in Hannover, NH;  Longfellow Books in Portland, ME; Print, A Bookstore in Portland, ME and Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN.  I’ve found the booksellers in each shop knowledgable and they all seem to have good fulfillment when ordering from them on line. 

The 2020 List

Title

Author

  

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng

World Without End

Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth

Ken Follett

The Evening and the Morning

Ken Follett

A Court of Frost and Starlight

Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Sarah J. Maas

The Henna Artist

Alka Joshi

One Day in December

Josie Silver

The Activist

John Grisham

Slaughterhouse-Five

Kurt Vonnegut

Uncommon Type

Tom Hanks

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Heather Morris

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith

All We Ever Wanted

Emily Giffin

A Minute to Midnight

David Baldacci

City of Girls

Elizabeth Gilbert

American Dirt

Jeanine Cummins

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

Balli Kaur Jaswal

The Silent Patient

Alex Michaelides

Olive, Again

Elizabeth Strout

Long Road to Mercy

David Baldacci

The Scent Keeper

Erica Bauermeister

Rough Magic

Lara Prior-Palmer

La Belle Sauvage

Philip Pullman

The Lost Girls of Paris

Pam Jenoff

Dear Edward

Ann Napolitano

The Late Show

Michael Connelly

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

Fredrik Backman

Less

Andrew Sean Greer

Smoke Bitten

Patricia Briggs

Burn Bright

Patricia Briggs

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Patti Callahan

The Winter Bride

Anne Gracie

The Autumn Bride

Anne Gracie

The Proposal

Jasmine Guillory

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn Ward

The Rosie Effect

Graeme Simsion

Two Steps Forward

Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

Cottage by the Sea

Debbie Macomber

Good Prose

Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd

Not Becoming My Mother

Ruth Reichl

Olive Kitteridge

Elizabeth Strout

Moon Called

Patricia Briggs

Kingsbane

Claire Legrand

The Tiger’s Wife

Téa Obreht

Furyborn

Claire Legrand

River Marked

Patricia Briggs

Silver Borne

Patricia Briggs

Echo

Pam Muñoz Ryan

Fair Game

Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound

Patricia Briggs

Hunting Ground

Patricia Briggs

Bone Crossed

Patricia Briggs

Cry Wolf

Patricia Briggs

The Guilty

David Baldacci

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

The Scandal

John Grisham

The Fugitive

John Grisham

The Activist

John Grisham

The Accused

John Grisham

Facing the Sun

Janice Lynn Mather

The Abduction

John Grisham

Separation Anxiety

Laura Zigman

Loki’s Wolves

Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr

40 Love

Madeleine Wickham

A Gentleman in Moscow

Amor Towles

Dark Sacred Night

Michael Connelly

A Better Man

Louise Penny

Witness to a Trial

John Grisham

Partners

John Grisham

Nine Perfect Strangers

Liane Moriarty

Framed in Lace

Monica Ferris

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Storm Cursed

Patricia Briggs

Silence Fallen

Patricia Briggs

To Scotland With Love

Patience Griffin

The Inn at Rose Harbor

Debbie Macomber

Divine Evil

Nora Roberts

Ash Princess

Laura Sebastian

Sting

Sandra Brown

The Evening and the Morning

Ken Follett

The Wish Collector

Mia Sheridan

Laidlaw

William McIlvaney

Death in a Strange Country

Donna Leon

The Big Man Upstairs

JD Kirk

Half Moon Harbor

Donna Kauffman

A Whisper of Sorrows

JD Kirk

Pelican Point

Donna Kauffman

The Last Bloody Straw

JD Kirk

Blood and Treachery

JD Kirk

Killing Code

JD Kirk

Thicker Than Water

JD Kirk

A Litter of Bones

JD Kirk

Peace Like a River

Leif Enger

Jeremiah’s Bell

Denzil Meyrick

PS, I Love You

Cecelia Ahern

Postscript

Cecelia Ahern

Walk the Wire

David Baldacci

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Balli Kaur Jaswal

Peace Talks

Jim Butcher

Silverswift

Natalie Lloyd

American Dirt

Jeanine Cummins

The Country Guesthouse: Sullivan’s Crossing

Robyn Carr

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

Fredrik Backman

Any Day Now

Robyn Carr

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Suzanne Collins

Fire Touched

Patricia Briggs

All the Devils Are Here

Louise Penny

Knife

Jo Nesbo

You Are a Badass

Jen Sincero

Night Broken

Patricia Briggs

Dead Heat

Patricia Briggs

Born a Crime: Stories from an South African Childhood

Trevor Noah

The Girl Who Lived Twice

David Lagercrantz

A Breath on Dying Embers

Denzil Meyrick

The Relentless Tidey

Denzil Meyrick

Well of the Winds

Denzil Meyrick

Astrid & Veronka

Linda Olsson

The Rat Stone Serendade

Denzil Meyrick

Dark Suits and Sad Songs

Denzil Meyrick

Last Witness

Denzil Meyrick

The Witch Elm

Tana French

What’s Better Than This?

Lorraine Salmon

Spring Bride

Anne Gracie

Summer Bride

Anne Gracie

Captivated and Entranced

Nora Roberts

Highland Shifter

Catherine Bybee

Wishing for a Highlander

Jessi Gage

My One and Only

Kristan Higgins

Above the Bay of Angels

Gemma Dawson

One Mississippi

Mark Childress

Roommates Wanted

Lisa Jewell

The Best of Us: Sullivan’s Crossing

Robyn Carr

Virgin River

Robyn Carr

Whispering Rock

Robyn Carr

The Family Gathering

Robyn Carr

Virgin River Christmas

Robyn Carr

Second Chance Pass

Robyn Carr

Temptation Ridge

Robyn Carr

Paradise Valley

Robyn Carr

Forbidden Falls

Robyn Carr

Angel’s Peak

Robyn Carr

Moonlight Road

Robyn Carr

Promise Canyon

Robyn Carr

Tis the Season

Robyn Carr

Harvest Moon

Robyn Carr

Wild Man Creek

Robyn Carr

Hidden Summit

Robyn Carr

Redwood Bend

Robyn Carr

The Wanderer

Robyn Carr

The Newcomer

Robyn Carr

The Hero: Thunder Point

Robyn Carr

Just Over the Mountain

Robyn Carr

Shelter Mountain

Robyn Carr

Down By the River

Robyn Carr

The Chance

Robyn Carr

Bring Me Home For Christmas

Robyn Carr

The Promise

Robyn Carr

The Homecoming Thunder Point

Robyn Carr

One Wish

Robyn Carr

Wildest Dreams

Robyn Carr

Sunrise Point

Robyn Carr

My Kind of Christmas

Robyn Carr

The View from Almeda Island

Robyn Carr

Informed Risk

Robyn Carr

Summer in Sonoma

Robyn Carr

The Wedding Party

Robyn Carr

The Summer that Made Us

Robyn Carr

Chelynne

Robyn Carr

Woman’s Own

Robyn Carr

Mind Tryst

Robyn Carr

Swept Away

Robyn Carr

Four Friends

Robyn Carr

What We Find

Robyn Carr

Life Ever After

Carla Grauls

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

Samantha Silva

Inside Out: A Memoir

Demi Moore

Redhead by the Side of the Road

Anne Tyler

Daisy Jones and the Six

Taylor Jenkins Reid

My Wife Said You May ant to Marry Me

Jason B. Rosenthal

The Yellow House

Sara M. Broom

The Known World

Edward P. Jones

Battle Ground: Dresden Files Book 17

Jim Butcher

One Good Deed

David Baldacci

The Overstory

Richard Powers

The Queens Gambit

Walter Tevis

The Murmur of Bees

Sofia Segovia

The Secret Commonwealth

Phillip Pullman

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World

Ashley Herring Blake

The Shadow in the North

Phillip Pullman

Call Down the Hawk

Maggie Stiefvater

Euphoria

Lily King

Just Kids

Patti Smith

This is a list of the books, I read in 2020 that I found to be okay to fabulous. However after participating in writing critique groups for the last 25 years or so and book clubs for the past 45 years, I appreciate an author’s effort and recognize that different people have different tastes. Therefore the books I found entirely dull or horrible are simply excluded from the list and there is no ranking system among titles. If you choose to read books off my list you will have to make your own decision about what you like.

You will see I like to read in series and a body of work by a singular author. I often do this to try to have a better understanding of the writer and their form of storytelling to figure out what I can learn from their efforts. As you will see from the assembled lis, I don’t just read “fine literature.” I read children’s books, non-fiction, fantasy, science fiction, novels, memoir self help books, romance and history. I read for escape, enjoyment, sometimes for a world where magic or good people can set the world to rights within a few hundred pages. This feels especially important when the real world around me becomes harsh and people act in ways that are unrecognizable to me.

I share this list because I am so often asked for recommendations. I hope you discover something new that delights you among these many authors and their efforts. If you are seeking to purchase some of these titles may I suggest supporting your local independent bookseller as my family owned my hometown bookstore for years. If you don’t have one nearby,  I’d like to recommend a few favorites of mine: Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH;  Belmont Books in Belmont, MA; The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY; An Unlikely Story in Plainview, MA; Books and Books  in Key West, FL; Oblong Books in Rheinbeck, NY; Still North Books and Bar in Hannover, NH;  Longfellow Books in Portland, ME; Print, A Bookstore in Portland, ME and Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN.  I’ve found the booksellers in each shop knowledgable and they all seem to have good fulfillment when ordering from them on line. 

The 2020 List