Books I Befriended in 2020

snow and bench

From my Kindle during Sleepless Nights

Early in 2020 my ex-doctor suddenly took away my sleep meds I had been using since 2012. This left me with two options, well, three if we ask my DH. I could lie in bed, stare at the window and imagine every bad thing on earth, including a new outbreak of atypical pneumonia in China or I could read in bed.

The following are among the 20 + books I read during this long, long, year. I chose 5 Fiction Titles and 2 Nonfiction. I actually read so many virus books I feel like I could go into a lab and create the cure for cancer. But I will begin with the book I am reading now.

If I work my text editing and CSS just right, you can click and read a little bit of each of these books and decide for yourself if you would like to read them. Most of these novels are Literary Works, some authors are new. For all of them, I fell into a deep relationship with one or more characters and I was transported by imagination into the Literary Landscape. The nonfiction titles were smart, scientific, personal and presented in a way that never once made me feel like they were talking over my head or dumbing it down.

I’ll be pulling reviews and blurbs from the Amazon pages because if I reviewed each of them here, you’d see my list in the Spring of 2022.

Enjoy my List

What I am reading, this week…

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

“Captivating and smartly written from the first page, Greenwood’s work is instantly absorbing. Pithy characters saunter, charge or stumble into each scene via raw, gripping narrative. . . . [Greenwood] tells her story as if lifting a cloth thread by thread, revealing heartbreaking landscapes and riveting dialogue in perfect timing. This book won’t pull at heartstrings but instead yank out the entire organ and shake it about before lodging it back in an unfamiliar position.” ?Christina Ledbetter, The Associated Press


Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

“With her signature style, Kristina McMorris once again plucks a devastating heartstring. Readers are transported through time and place to the desperate days of the American Great Depression. A real-life photograph stands as evidence to the heart of this novel: truth revealed, forgiveness found, and a story never to be forgotten.” – Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of Marilla of Green Gables and The Baker’s Daughter

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (My Favorite)

“With prose luminous as a low-country moon, Owens weaves a compelling tale of a forgotten girl in the unforgiving coastal marshes of North Carolina. It is a murder mystery/love story/courtroom drama that readers will love, but the novel delves so much deeper into the bone and sinew of our very nature, asking often unanswerable questions, old and intractable as the marsh itself. A stunning debut!”Christopher Scotton, author of The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

The Wife Upstairs by Freida McFadden

“Absolutely brilliant and spellbinding! Every single character, even minor characters drew me in and contributed to the story in their own way. However, what I loved most about this book, and, without going into detail so I don’t give anything away, is the fact that numerous times as I read, I thought to myself, ‘ I did NOT see that coming!’ I LOVE LOVE LOVE when that happens in a book I’m reading! I was SO darn sure I knew what was going to happen in this book and I was dead WRONG! lolol. And I love that I was wrong. I love the shock and surprises that came with this book. If that is the type of book that appeals to you, then this is most definitely a MUST-READ!” -Stefanie2530, VINE VOICE

In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn (This Haunts Me)

“Suzanne Redfearn’s In an Instant is part ghost story, part love letter to a family in crisis after a devastating accident in the midst of a brutal snowstorm. This cleverly crafted novel chronicles a heartbreaking journey from grief and despair to one of acceptance, forgiveness, and ultimately hope. Through Redfearn’s luminous prose, In an Instant succeeds in building an unforgettable portrait of human frailty and strength in the face of unfathomable loss.” —Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Before She Was Found

The Pain Colony by Shannon Hunt

A secret society of true believers will do whatever it takes to become Pure.

…unaware that they will soon be victims of the most chilling medical discovery in human history.

And this is only the beginning.


The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic “hot” virus. “The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the
appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their “crashes” into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, “The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

China Syndrome by Karl Taro Greenfeld

When the SARS virus broke out in China in January 2003, Karl Taro Greenfeld was the editor of Time Asia in Hong Kong, just a few miles from the epicenter of the outbreak. After vague, initial reports of terrified Chinese boiling vinegar to “purify” the air, Greenfeld and his staff soon found themselves immersed in the story of a lifetime.

Deftly tracking a mysterious viral killer from the bedside of one of the first victims to China’s overwhelmed hospital wards–from cutting-edge labs where researchers struggle to identify the virus to the war rooms at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva–China Syndrome takes readers on a gripping ride that blows through the Chinese government’s effort to cover up the disease . . . and sounds a clarion call warning of a catastrophe to come: a great viral storm potentially more deadly than any respiratory disease since the influenza of 1918.

This Ends My Favorite Books of 2020