Books I Read In 2020

2020, what a year! Despite the global pandemic, race riots, & a tumultuous presidential election, some things remained the same. Thankfully, I still sought & gained comfort & joy by reading; whether that was with hardbacks, paperbacks, kindle, or listening to audiobooks. Below is the list of books I read & my top five favorites:

  1. Lost & Wanted, Nell Freudenberger
  2. Britt-Marie Was Here, Fredrik Backman
  3. Everything Changes, Jonathan Tropper
  4. Catch & Kill: Lies, Spies, & a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Ronan Farrow
  5. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  6. If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, & An Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood, Gregg Olson
  7. An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business & How You Can Take It Back, Elizabeth Rosenthal
  8. Come Home To Me, Liz Talley
  9. Know My Name, Chanel Miller
  10. Tell Me Lies, JP Pomare
  11. In An Instant, Suzanne Redfearn
  12. Wall of Silence, Tracy Buchanan
  13. My Dark Vanessa, Kate Elizabeth Russell
  14. Notorious RBG: The Life & Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
  15. Unspeakable Things, Jess Lourey
  16. Three Women, Lisa Toddeo
  17. Stories We Never Told, Sonja Youreg
  18. Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell
  19. Under The Water, Paul Pen
  20. Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
  21. The Other Woman, Sandie Jones
  22. Small Great Things, Jodie Picoult
  23. Chasing The Dead, Tim Weaver
  24. Everything is Horrible & Wonderful, Stephanie Wittels Wachs
  25. An Exit Interview With My Grandmother, Lily Meyersohn
  26. What Christians Believe, C.S. Lewis
  27. Hunger, Roxane Gray
  28. My Ex-Life, Stephen McCauley
  29. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, Fredrik Backman
  30. Sold On A Monday, Kristina McMorris
  31. Beartown, Fredrik Backman
  32. Us Against You, Fredrik Backman
  33. And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer & Longer, Fredrik Backman
  34. The Good Girl, Mary Kubica
  35. The Dark Bones, Loreth Anne White
  36. A House In The Sky, Amanda Lindout & Sara Corbett
  37. Anxious People, Fredrik Backman
  38. The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman
  39. How We Change (And Ten Reasons Why We Don’t), Ross Ellenhorn
  40. Eat A Peach, David Chang
  41. A Single Swallow, Zhang Ling
  42. The Murmur of Bees, Sofia Segovia
  43. How To Slowly Kill Yourself & Others, Kiese Laymon
  44. Resistance, Tori Amos
  45. Emotional First Aid, Guy Wench
  46. Bloodline, Jess Lourey

My favorite five, in no particular order of favorites:

Nonfiction

“It was a consensus about the organization’s comfort level moving forward that bowed to lawyers & threats that hemmed & hawed & parsed & shrugged that sat on multiple credible allegations of sexual misconduct & disregarded a recorded admission of guilt. That language of indifference without ownership upheld so much silence in so many places. It was a consensus about the organization’s comfort level moving forward that protected Harvey Weinstein & men like him that yawned & gaped & enveloped law firms & PR shops & executive suites & industries that swallowed women whole.”

Memoir

“DA: ‘Did you have any intention of kissing the defendant?’ I looked up at Brock, his eyes already on me. I stared back. The thing about victims is that they wake up. Maybe you thought I’d never be able to go through with this. Maybe you thought, she has no memory. But I will never let you forget. DA: ‘Did you have any interest in him at all?’ I wanted to climb onto my stand with a large red paint brush to paint NO across the back wall of the court room in long red strokes, each letter 20 feet tall. I wanted a banner to unfurl from the ceiling releasing crimson balloons. I wanted everyone’s shirts lifted, N’s & O’s painted across hairy stomachs. NO NO NO NO NO doing the wave. I wanted to say, ask me again. Ask me 1 million times and that will always be my answer. No is the beginning & end of the story.”

Fiction

“With the sun on my face & a dog at my side, I have so much capacity for good. There’s nothing else to do but start from here. With the gentle pressure from the leash in my hand, the clink of metal, & click of toenails on brick. Ruby says it will take a while to feel truly changed, that I need to give myself the chance to see more of the world without him behind my eyes. I’m already starting to feel the difference. There’s a clearness, a lightness.”

Fiction

“Bitterness can be corrosive, it can rewrite your memories, as if it were scrubbing a crime scene clean, until in the end you only remember what suits you of its causes.”

Memoir

“I tried to locate what had been good about the day that had just passed. I looked for any moments where my captors had shown their humanity…In the context of the life I once lived, these were small things, ridiculous things, really, but in this place, & under these circumstances, they meant everything. By concentrating on what I was grateful for, I managed to work loose the knots. Each time my captors threw me into that hole, I found another way to climb out. It wasn’t easy. Not ever. Not once. But this way if thinking became my ladder, my doorway. Anywhere, anywhere I reminded myself. I could go anywhere.”

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