The Best of 2020 Staff Picks
2020 was most likely not your favorite year, but we have to admit it was a great one for books and reading! Whether it was a recently published book or one that has been on your to-read list for awhile, we all enjoyed a chance to escape to another time or place more than ever.
We hope you enjoy some of our favorite books from 2020. Just click the title to place a hold on a copy through the catalog with your Summit County Library Card number.
“The Overstory” by Richard Powers
The novel is about five trees whose unique life experiences with nine Americans bring them together to address the destruction of forests. It illustrates the interconnectedness throughout the many stages of natural life on our Earth. -Mitch
“A Lot Like Christmas” by Connie Willis
These 12 short sci-fi stories are all inventive and written with great humor and seasonal cheer by Willis, a Boulder award-winning author. -Jane
"One to Watch" by Kate Stayman-London
An absolutely adorable romance novel, based loosely off the show The Bachelor. I devoured it in a day and enjoyed every second! -Marissa
"The Tattooist of Auschwitz" and "Cilka’s Journey" by Heather Morris
I have always been drawn to historical fiction for the stories of triumph and hope on a backdrop of actual events. These accompanying stories by Heather Morris are no exception. One thing I really enjoyed is that through Cilka’s Journey the reader gets to find out what happens to a tertiary character from The Tattooist of Auschwitz. It really painted a greater picture of the journey many went through during and following WW2.
"The Guest List" by Lucy Foley
The Guest List is a play-by-play of a wedding gone wrong as told by five people – the bride, the wedding planner, the plus-one, the best man, and the bridesmaid. It twists and turns to an outcome no one saw coming. I couldn’t put it down.
"Jack" by Marilynne Robinson
Just to be upfront-this is not a book for those that like a fast paced read. It took me two months to read it, and I took hundreds of notes. She is such a lyrical writer and many passages were so beautiful that I had to take note of them. This book is very timely-the fact that a black woman and white man who had a relationship of any kind could be imprisoned, seems impossible to think of now. Their love was so genuine and real-they tried so hard not to be together, but fate kept intervening. Is it possible for a writer to win the Pulitzer twice? She won for Gilead, but I loved this one even more. -Rebecca
My favorite book of 2020 was “Untamed". This memoir by best selling author Glennon Doyle discusses how she feels most girls are told to conform and abandon their “wildness” as young girls to conform into societal roles. She uses a lot of metaphors throughout the book to illustrate different situations in life and how not to lose who you really are. Excellent read. I will have my daughter read it because I think it speaks to young women in particular about staying true to yourself, even if it is hard, because “we can do hard things.” -Bingham
"Catch and Kill" by Ronan Farrow
You think you know the story, but you have no idea the depth. This is a non-fiction book that reads like a thriller because the story is so jaw-dropping and outrageous. Spies, double agents, and secret foreign agencies working to bury stories... it feels like fiction, but it’s not.
-Megan's Non-Fiction Pick
"The Lions of Fifth Avenue" by Fiona Davis
A historical mystery with two strong female protagonists, one from 1914 and one from 1993, alternating stories in two time periods linked by books. However, taking center stage is the New York Public Library (did you know there was an apartment in the NYPL?!). This story encompasses history, mystery, women’s rights, and most of all a love for reading and books. -Megan's Fiction Pick
"Of Mutts and Men" by Spencer Quinn
The latest in the Chet and Bernie mystery series did not disappoint as it provided a good story with suspense and humor, told as always by Chet the dog.
"Tao Te Ching" by Lao-tzu
An ancient Chinese spiritual text, this one is really fascinating. It’s translated from Chinese so there are many different versions of it, which makes it even more interesting. Only 81 short verses, Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching imparts balance and perspective and talks about the effortlessness of being in accordance with the Tao, or the Way. It has been so fun for me to read a bunch of different versions of this book. It is like reading wise poetry, and I find the experience to be very meditative! - Kaeli
"Anxious People" by Frederick Bachman
I love all Bachman's books, specifically his whitty and humorous writing style. This wacky story of a bank robbery gone wrong is full of a wonderful cast of characters, each with their secrets and anxieties that they are ready to divulge at any moment. -Sarah