The Library Books I Read in 2020

I may have bookshelves, double-stacked rows, and book piles next to my bed and other places, but I still crave the rapport you can fall into at the library. There you are, wrapped in a cocoon of happy browsing, perhaps idly brushing your fingertips along the bindings, when suddenly out of the corner of your eye, perhaps a shelf or two below or above, perhaps one off to your right, a book will say, “Pick me!”

Thank goodness for Libby! That library app kept me sane in this past year of not-going to libraries.

Here’s what it served up for me in 2020. Some are brand new to me and others are beloved re-reads. I tried to keep a list of non-library books as well, but gave that up around February. I know where that list is, at least; it’s next to a book pile.

The full list is below. I particularly loved these (links lead to Amazon, not Libby):

Elinor Lipman, On Turpentine Lane and Good Riddance. Both of these books are delightful with oodles of realistic quirk and characters. I loved them and I felt good reading them.

Ernest Cline, Ready Player One. Enticing Gen X pop culture references and a stunning virtual world juxtaposed against a ten-minutes-into-the-future breakdown of society and humanity. I had such a great time reading this.

Fiona Davis, The Masterpiece. Art, creativity, elegance, strength, and dirty dealings. Revolving around the Grand Central School of Art that exists within New York’s Grand Central Terminal, we’re taken into both the late 1920s and the mid 1970s. What’s not to love?

Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth. Vibrant short stories of family life that span India, Cambridge, Thailand, and Seattle. To say any more would spoil it for sure, so suffice it to say that I wanted to learn more about some of the characters!

Haruki Murakami, 1Q84. Toyko, 1984. “A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s 1984.” I really enjoyed this world that brings together two narratives over a year within a parallel existence.

This is either a slight spoiler or I’m just pointing out a known characteristic, so read this next line with care (or skip): I have found with Murakami’s books that I’ve read so far that he has unfinished endings that jar me.

I make a tiny affiliate commission if you use the Amazon links above.

The List of Library Books Read in 2020

  • Benjamin Franklin
    • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Brittney Cooper
    • Eloquent Rage
  • Candace Fleming
    • The Family Romanov
  • Carrie Fisher
    • The Princess Diarist
  • Celeste Ng
    • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Cixin Liu
    • The Three-Body Problem
  • Dave Eggers
    • The Circle
  • Deborah Moggach
    • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Diana Wynne Jones
    • House of Many Ways
    • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Donna Tartt
    • The Goldfinch
  • Elinor Lipman
    • Good Riddance
    • On Turpentine Lane
  • Elizabeth Strout
    • Olive, Again
  • Eloisa James
    • Paris in Love
  • Emily Henry
    • Beach Read
  • Ernest Cline
    • Armada
    • Ready Player One
    • Ready Player Two
  • Fiona Davis
    • The Masterpiece
  • George Eliot
    • Middlemarch
  • Glenn Dakin
    • Star Trek Cocktails
  • Haruki Murakami
    • 1Q84
    • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
    • Men Without Women
  • J. Courtney Sullivan
    • Saints for All Occasions
  • Jane Smiley
    • Moo
    • Some Luck
  • Janie Chang
    • The Library of Legends
  • Jennifer Chiaverini
    • The Aloha Quilt
    • The Christmas Boutique
    • The Wedding Quilt
  • Jennifer Close
    • Girls in White Dresses
    • The Hopefuls
    • The Smart One
  • Jessica Simpson
    • Open Book
  • Jhumpa Lahiri
    • Interpreter of Maladies
    • The Namesake
    • Unaccustomed Earth
  • Jill Lepore
    • Book of Ages
  • John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson
    • Let It Snow
  • Kerry Greenwood
    • Cocaine Blues
    • Death at Victoria Dock
    • Devil’s Food
    • Flying Too High
    • Forbidden Fruit
    • Murder and Mendelssohn
    • Murder on the Ballarat Train
    • The Castlemaine Murders
    • The Green Mill Murder
    • Trick or Treat
    • Unnatural Habits
    • Urn Burial
  • Kevin Kwan
    • China Rich Girlfriend
    • Crazy Rich Asians
    • Rich People Problems
  • L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery
    • Anne of Avonlea
    • Anne of the Island
    • Anne’s House of Dreams
  • Lauren Francis-Sharma
    • Book of the Little Axe
  • Lauren Graham
    • Someday, Someday, Maybe
    • Talking as Fast as I Can
  • Leah Johnson
    • You Should See Me in a Crown
  • Liane Moriarty
    • Big Little Lies
  • Lily King
    • Euphoria
  • Lindy West
    • Shrill
  • Lois Lowry
    • Anastasia Again!
    • Anastasia Has the Answers
    • Anastasia on Her Own
    • Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst
    • The Giver Quartet Omnibus
  • Lorrie Moore
    • A Gate at the Stairs
  • Lucy Worsley
    • Jane Austen at Home
  • Maeve Binchy
    • A Few of the Girls
    • A Week in Winter
    • Chestnut Street
    • Heart and Soul
    • Nights of Rain and Stars
    • The Builders
    • The Copper Beech
    • The Glass Lake
    • The Return Journey
    • Whitethorn Woods
  • Malcolm Gladwell
    • Talking to Strangers
  • Margarita Montimore
    • Oona Out of Order
  • Margot Lee Shetterly
    • Hidden Figures
  • Marie Benedict
    • The Only Woman in the Room
  • Marie Kondo
    • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Martha Hall Kelly
    • Lilac Girls
  • Mary Balogh
    • Someone to Love
  • Maureen Johnson
    • The Hand on the Wall
    • The Vanishing Stair
    • Truly Devious
  • Maxwell King
    • The Good Neighbor
  • Maya Van Wagenen
    • Popular
  • Mercedes Lackey
    • Beauty and the Werewolf
  • Nancy Young
    • Strum
  • Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Good Omens
  • Nora Ephron
    • I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Pamela Druckerman
    • There Are No Grown-ups
  • Paula Hawkins
    • The Girl on the Train
  • Rachel DeLoache Williams
    • My Friend Anna
  • Ran Walker
    • Bessie, Bop, or Bach
  • Ransom Riggs
    • Hollow City
  • Rhys Bowen
    • Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
    • Masked Ball at Broxley Manor
  • Roald Dahl
    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Rosamunde Pilcher
    • The Day of the Storm
  • Sally Rooney
    • Normal People
  • Sarah M. Broom
    • The Yellow House
  • Shirley Abbott
    • The Future of Love
    • Shirley Jackson
    • The Haunting of Hill House
    • We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    • Mexican Gothic
  • Stassi Schroeder
    • Next Level Basic
  • Susan Mallery
    • Before We Kiss
    • Secrets of the Tulip Sisters
    • Sisters by Choice
    • Three Sisters
  • Terry Pratchett
    • Hogfather
    • The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld
    • The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories
    • Tiffany Aching Complete Collection
    • Witches Abroad
    • Wyrd Sisters
  • Todd McCaffrey
    • Dragonwriter
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
    • A Wizard of Earthsea
    • Tehanu
    • The Farthest Shore
    • The Telling
    • The Tombs of Atuan

NEW RELEASE! “Brandon Goes to Beijing (BĔIJĪNG北京)” by Eugenia Chu

BRANDON GOES TO BEIJING (BĔIJĪNG北京) by Eugenia Chu

**New Release and FREE ebook on September 3, 2019!**

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京), a brand new chapter book by author Eugenia Chu, launches on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2019! As a special bonus, the Kindle Ebook version will be FREE on Amazon that day, too!!! Please download this adorable book and if you like it, please leave a review to thank the author and her illustrator, Eliza Hsu Chen, for all their hard work!

About the story:

Brandon and his cousins are on a trip to visit their grandparents in Beijing, China. While bonding with family, practicing Chinese, touring historic sites and feasting on local dishes, Brandon thinks he sees a tiny panda. However, every time he gets close, the panda disappears! Is Brandon imagining this small creature, or is it real? Will Brandon find out before he has to fly back home?

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is a multicultural, multi-generational chapter book. This book includes some Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) with Pinyin pronunciation, adding layers for those learning or interested in the Chinese language and culture.

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) follows Eugenia’s debut picture book, Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子)(a story about a boy and his grandma who bond while making Chinese dumplings, called jiǎo zi (餃子).

About the Author:

Eugenia Chu is an attorney, turned stay-at-home mom, turned writer. She lives on a magical beach in Miami with her husband and son, Brandon, who is the inspiration for her stories. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, yoga and drinking too much coffee. She has been a presenter at numerous schools, libraries and book festivals.

Inspiration:

When Brandon was very little, the author couldn’t find children’s storybooks to read to him which touched upon Chinese culture and which included some Chinese (Mandarin) words to teach and/or reinforce his Chinese vocabulary, so she started writing her own. Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is her second “Brandon” story and first children’s chapter book. 

Get more information about Eugenia and her books:

Website: eugeniachu.com

Amazon: amazon.com/author/eugeniachu

Facebook:  facebook.com/eugeniachuauthor/

Instagram:  instagram.com/eugeniachu8245/

Twitter:  twitter.com/chuauthor

Get WORLDS, ANGELS, and more!

Those capitals are for a very good reason–they’re the names of just two of the wonderful microfiction anthologies out from Black Hare Press!

WORLDS takes you into tantalizing new environments and adventures with not only new worlds to explore but the not-always-so-kind creatures along the way. Look for my “Single Colonists Wanted” story!

ANGELS takes a twist into the divine, where you may find a different kind of miracle than you expect… Warning: This is NOT religious fiction.
Look for my “Angel vs Society” story!

If you click this link to get to the Amazon page for Black Hare Press, you’ll also see two other anthologies just about out:

MONSTERS (pre-order) reveals the creatures hiding in the shadows and the creatures boldly out in the open. Are you prepared to be delightfully chilled–or horrified?

While I didn’t submit a story for MONSTERS, I did for BEYOND, so:

BEYOND (pre-order) heads into paranormal activity–or is it simply that we don’t realize what walks alongside us every day? You’ll get avenging apparitions and spirited hauntings, but also some along chillingly familiar lines. When you get it, look for my “Phantom Requiem” story!