News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Page by Paige: Favorite 2020 books

Did your reading style change in 2020? Maybe you read more eBook biographies or started listening to audiobooks?

My year of reading started out the same with historical fiction favorites including, “The Lions of Fifth Avenue” by Fiona Davis, “Fast Girls” by Elise Hooper, and “The Night Portrait” by Laura Morelli. By summer, I noticed my genre of choice had changed and I was reading a mystery/suspense novel every Friday night! My top Friday night reads include, “The Last Flight” by Julie Clark, “The Girl From Widow Hills” by Megan Miranda, and “The Herd” by Andrea Bartz. I also added a few horror/thriller books to my list and quite enjoyed “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

I attended The Portland Book Festival virtually in November. While I missed the in-person energy of each panel discussion and dashing around to pop-up events at the Portland Art Museum, I was thrilled to attend as many author days as possible and discovered a variety of new favorites. (Bonus: You can visit the recorded conversations.) If I had to pick four favorites: “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, “Afterlife” by Julia Alvarez, “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu and “Memorial” by Bryan Washington.

Two very powerful 2020 books that I will continue to share with everyone are “Caste: The Origins of our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson and “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

A selection of new favorite authors: “Well-Behaved Indian Woman” by Saumya Dave, “Luster” by Raven Leilani, “Crooked Hallelujah” by Kelli Jo Ford, “Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano and “The Mountains Sing” by Nguyen Phan Que Mai.

Are you looking for a “fluffy” romance to read on a quiet afternoon? Check out “Ghosting: A Love Story” by Tash Skilton or “If I Never Met You” by Mhairi McFarlane.

When a favorite author’s new book arrives, do you ever wonder if you’ll like it better? I did! My pile of favorites include, “Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi, “Vesper Flights” by Helen Macdonald, “Normal People” by Sally Yoon, “The Glass Hotel” by Emily St. John Mandel, “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride, “All the Devils Are Here” by Louise Penny and more!

I’m always looking for fiction books about art and literature. I loved “Beach Read” by Emily Henry and “Writers & Lovers” by Lily King. Also, if you’re looking for a new biography to read, explore my two favorites, “Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir” by Natasha Trethewey and “The Fixed Stars” by Molly Wizenberg.

What does your favorite author’s book collection look like? “The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives” by Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager is a treasure of literary legends. I was thrilled to see Amor Towles and Jennifer Egan, past authors from the Deschutes Public Library (DPL) Author! Author! Literary series talking about books.

Are you ready for 2021 reads? Let’s start talking about great books. Please join The Library Book Club and DPL Book Club Central each month online via Zoom! For new 2021 book recommendations, fill out the MyReads form at or email me at [email protected]


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