The year I came home from work in mid-March and stayed put.
Pandemic protocol and common sense meant I did not physically leave our house except on a few rare occasions…and then only if masked and socially-distanced from others.
I never ventured more than 50 miles from our house.
Thanks to books, however, I still managed to travel the world.
I made my way through multiple parts of Quebec (and Paris) with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, including visiting a remote and mysterious monastery.
Daniel DeFoe invited me to London as he described one man’s story of surviving the 1665 bubonic plague.
I’ve been to Budapest and Istanbul.
Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck.
Harlem, the Underground Railroad, and the Jim Crow south.
The Dominican Republic.
I accompanied two young girls as they fled from massacres in Rwanda, traveling through several African nations and on to Chicago; and refugees from war-torn Syria through Turkey, Greece and on to the United Kingdom.
Private investigator Kinsey Millhone let me tag along throughout California and beyond as she solved mysteries N through R.
I traveled cross-country from New York City to the southwest Mexican-American border in search of lost children.
I visited the upstate New York home of some childhood friends.
I am thankful for books; for the authors who write them; for the libraries that lend them; and for the worlds they reveal.
Here’s my 2020 reading list:
N Is For Noose (audiobook), Sue Grafton
A Trick of the Light (audiobook), Louise Penny
The Cross and the Lynching Tree, James H. Cone
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey (audiobook read by the author), Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.
Fleishman Is in Trouble, Taffy Brodesser-Akner
The Tattooist of Auschwitz (audiobook), Heather Morris
The Photographer at Sixteen, George Szirtes
O is for Outlaw (audiobook), Sue Grafton
Southern Horrors, Ida B. Wells
Lost Children Archives, Valeria Luiselli
Small Great Things (audiobook), Jodi Picoult
Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer, Adair Lara
Trixie Belden #1: The Secret of the Mansion (audiobook), Julie Campbell
Clap When You Land (audiobook), Elizabeth Acevedo
The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Beautiful Mystery (audiobook), Louise Penny
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
How the Light Gets In (audiobook), Louise Penny
Untamed, Glennon Doyle
The Long Way Home (audiobook), Louise Penny
A Journal of the Plague Year, Daniel DeFoe
The Nature of the Beast (audiobook), Louise Penny
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, Alice Wong, Editor
A Great Reckoning (audiobook), Louise Penny
Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For, Susan Rice
Glass Houses (audiobook), Louise Penny
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes Next, Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
Kingdom of the Blind (audiobook), Louise Penny
Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus, Jim Wallis
Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster (audiobook), Stephen L. Carter
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Elif Shafak
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, Rachel Held Evans
Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times, Jennifer Worth
A Better Man (audiobook), Louise Penny
Three Daughters of Eve, Elif Shafak
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande
Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi
P is for Peril (audiobook), Sue Grafton
Q is for Quarry (audiobook), Sue Grafton
All the Devils Are Here (audiobook), Louise Penny
The Daughters of Erietown (audiobook), Connie Schultz
God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and its Aftermath, N. T. Wright
R is for Ricochet (audiobook), Sue Grafton
Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Anxiety, Walter Brueggemann
Mary Had a Baby: An Advent Bible Study Based on African American Spirituals, Cheryl Kirk-Duggan and Marilyn E. Thornton
You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters, Kate Murphy
The Beekeeper of Aleppo (audiobook), Christy Lefteri