Gifts for Readers

2020 has been a reading year for me–more great books than I could possibly share. But I thought, since it’s gift-giving season, I’d share six of the books that have really stuck with me from my reading this year.

How To Walk Away (Katherine Center) is a gorgeous, hope-filled, uplifting story that follows a woman who’s learning the same lesson I learned when my daughter was diagnosed with #downsyndrome — that life is forever changed, but that’s not a bad thing; having your world upended can make you a better person with a better life.

Every Now And Then (Lesley Kagen) follows two tweens who totally deserve to be called “trouble”! They get themselves wrapped up in a nefarious mystery surrounding the local mental hospital, which eventually puts them in considerable danger–but most of the time, you’re just enjoying being a fly on the wall and laughing at their missteps.

Wildland (Rebecca Hodge) — Facing widowhood and resurgent breast cancer, Kat is hard-pressed to find a reason to fight, until she ends up in a forest fire, responsible for two kids and two dogs and totally cut off from escape. Gorgeous, gripping, and ultimately uplifting.

The Late Bloomers’ Club — Louise Miller spins a story of small-town New England and two sisters–responsible, big-hearted Nora, and free-spirited, big-thinker (but somewhat entitled) Kit, who unexpectedly inherit the financially troubled estate of the town’s “cake lady.” Charming and lovely–and uplifting. (Are you sensing a theme?)

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky (Marisa De Los Santos) introduces Clare, who’s rethinking her wedding at the 11th hour. A chance encounter (or was it?) with an enigmatic elderly woman, Edith, gives her the courage to call it off. When, a few weeks later, Edith dies and leaves her a beach house, Clare goes to investigate and discovers a mystery to unravel.

The Printed Letter Club — Katherine Reay presents a cast of characters who hurt, inspire, push and pull on and learn from each other in the context of a small-town Midwestern bookshop. Simply lovely.