The Books of 2020

Writers & Lovers by Lily King, was one of my favorite books I read in 2020.

So many books, so little time—part 14.

My son started keeping a reading list in third grade, so I did too. This is the 14th year we’ve done this.

2020 was such a weird year for everything, including reading. I’m usually a very avid reader, but once the pandemic hit and everything shut down I really couldn’t concentrate on books for the first few months. I felt like I was reading the same line over and over again. It made me so sad that on top of everything else, losing one of my favorite leisure activities  was heartbreaking—especially when it was one of the few things we were still able to do.  I’m not really sure when I started being able to read again, but when it kicked back in I had more time to read than probably ever before. Thank goodness. Traveling with my favorite authors was the only way I could escape this year.

My favorite books of 2020 were Trust Exercise by Susan Choi, Writers & Lovers by Lily King, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, All Adults Here by Emma Straub, Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout, and The Guest List by Lucy Foley. I’d love to hear what else people loved.

Here’s the 2020 list.

The Female Persuasion Meg Wolitzer
Country Danielle Steel
Trust Exercise Susan Choi
The Liar Nora Roberts
Every Day David Levithan
Beyond Ever After Catherine A. Weissenberg & Jocelyn Montanaro
Ask Again, Yes Mary Beth Keane
Manhattan Beach Jennifer Egan
My Reading Life Pat Conroy
The Whisper Network Chandler Baker
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be
Your Own Person
Shonda Rimes
Saint Anything Sarah Dessen
My Ex-Life Stephen McCauley
Skeletons at the Feast Chris Bohjalian
Such a Fun Age Kiley Reid
The Proposal Jasmine Guillory
Delicate Edible Birds Lauren Groff
First Star I See Tonight Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Homegoing Yaa Gyasi
Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit Jessica Tom
Come Sundown Nora Roberts
Lost and Wanted Nell Freudenberger
Home Front Kristin Hannah
Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens
How Hard Can it Be Alison Pearson
Sophia of Silcon Valley Anna Yen
Three Women Lisa Taddeo
The Broom of the System David Foster Wallace
The Last Black Unicorn Tiffany Haddish
The Dinner List Rebecca Searle
The Perfectionists Sara Shepherd
Stranger in Paradise Eileen Goudge
Writers & Lovers Lily King
Station Eleven Emily St. John Mandel
Up and In Deborah Disney
Yes, And (The One) Kristi Coulter
Second Glance Jodi Picoult
All Adults Here Emma Straub
Secrets of Eden Chris Bojhalian
Sisters First Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
Olive, Again Elizabeth Strout
Small Great Things Jodi Picoult
The Guest List Lucy Foley
Oona Out of Order Margarita Montimore
Under Currents Nora Roberts
The Bride Test Helen Hoang
Big Summer Jennifer Weiner
Celestial Bodies Jokha Alharthi
Stars of Fortune Nora Roberts
The Assistants Camille Perri
Bay of Sighs Nora Roberts
Island of Glass Nora Roberts
Good & Mad Rebecca Traister
Saving Grace Jane Green
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and our Lives Revealed Lori Gottlieb
This is Happiness Niall Williams
House Rules Jodi Picoult
Fame Adjacent Sarah Skilton
The Book With No Pictures BJ Novak
Wildflower Drew Barrymore
Vinegar Girl Anne Tyler
The Floating Feldmans Elyssa Friedland
Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing Allison Winn Scotch
I Almost Forgot About You Terry McMillan
Modern Romance Aziz Ansari
If You Were Here Jen Lancaster
Followers Megan Angelo
The Vanishing Half Britt Bennett
Nothing Like I Imagined Mindy Kaling
The Plus One Sarah Archer
The Complete Persepolis Marjane Satrapi
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett Annie Lyons
The Girl He Used to Know Tracey Garvis Graves
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Abbi Waxman
An Anonymous Girl Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
The Identicals Elin Hilderbrand
American Dirt Jeanine Cummins
How to Walk Away Katherine Center
The Undoing Project Michael Lewis
The Honey Don’t List Christina Lauren
Island Visions Pedal Born Pictures
The Wedding Party Jasmine Guillory
The Editor Steven Rowley
Bridal Boot Camp Meg Cabot
Half-Truths and Semi-Miracles Anne Tyler

The Books of 2018

So many books, so little time—part 12.

My son started keeping a reading list in third grade, so I did too. This is the 12th year we’ve done this.

My favorite books of 2018 were probably Half a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Glitch by Elizabeth Cohen; A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles; Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin; and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (soon to be a series with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, which will be awesome).

Anyway, I’d love to hear about other people’s favorite books this year.

2018 Book List
title author first name
author last name
Persuading Austen Brigid Coady
The Mephisto Club Tess Gerritson
The Last Mrs. Parrish Liv Contantine
Girl on a Swing Bella Roccaforte
Fitness Junkie Lucy
Sykes and Jo Piazza
Ready Player One Ernest Cline
The Immortalists Chloe Benjamin
Silver Linings Debbie Macomber
Revenge Wears Prada Lauren Weisberger
Something in Between Melissa de la Cruz
Flirting with Felicity Gerri Russell
Love Muffin and Chai Latte Anya Wylde
Turtles All the Way Down John Green
Uncommon Type Tom Hanks
Coma Girl Stephanie Bond
Class Mom Laurie Gelman
Modern Lovers Emma Straub
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance Ruth Emmie Lang
The Cinderella Murder Mary Higgins Clark
The Rules Do Not Apply Ariel Levy
Mrs. Caitlin Macy
Montana Debbie Macomber
Most Wanted Lisa Scottoline
Infinite Home Kathleen Alcott
Half a Yellow Sun Chimamanda
Ngozi Adichie
The Alice Network Kate Quinn
Still Me JoJo Moyes
The Light We Lost Jill Santopolo
What Remains of Me Alison Gaylin
How to Eat a Cupcake Meg Donohoe
Sometimes I Lie Alice Feeney
Sheltering Rain JoJo Moyes
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Arundhati Roy
My Life in Middlemarch Rebecca Mead
This is Your Life Harriet Chance! Jonathan Evison
Into the Beautiful North Luis Alberto Urrea
Wrecked Elle Casey
Lone Wolf Jodi Picoult
The Coincidence Makers Yoav Blum
Suddenly Barbara Delinsky
The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder Caroline Fraser
Before I Fall Lauren Oliver
Sugar Daddy Lisa Kleypass
Summer Hideaway Susan Wiggs
The Favorite Sister Jessica Knoll
Surprise Me Sophie Kinsella
Summer Secrets Jane Green
The Gatekeepers Jen Lancaster
You Think It, I’ll Say It Curtis Sittenfeld
Matchmaking for Beginners Maddie Dawson
Swim Back to Me Ann Packer
How to Survive Your Sisters Ellie Campbell
A Dangerous Game Heather Graham
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl Mona Awad
The Glitch Elisabeth Cohen
Beach Town Mary Kay Andrews
Behold the Dreamers Imbolo Mbue
Hungry Heart Jennifer Weiner
Party Girls Die in Pearls Plum Sykes
I See London Sarah Mlynowski
Bond Girl Erin Duffy
Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
Baked with love Izzy Bayliss
The Girl I Was Before Izzy Bayliss
Never Change Elizabeth Berg
Not That I Could Tell Jessica Strawser
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed John Ronson
A Gentleman in Moscow Amor Towles
The Little Shop of Happy Ever After Jenny Colgan
Then She Was Gone Lisa Jewell
The Portable Veblen Elizabeth McKenzie
The Woman in the Window A.J. Finn
Dare Me Megan Abbott
Confessions of a Queen Bee Crista McHugh
Almost Sisters Joshilyn Jackson
Young Jane Young Gabrielle Zevin
The Scrapbook of Frankie Post Caroline Preston
Let Me Lie Clare Mackintosh
The Girls Emma Cline
The Intermission Elyssa Friedland
London is the Best City in America Laura Dave
Nine Perfect Strangers Liane Moriarty
Maine J. Courtney Sullivan
Friendship: A Novel Emily Gould
Maybe in Another Life Taylor Jenkins Reid
Fanny Bower Puts Herself Out There Julia Ariss
Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties Camile Pagan
Give Me Your Hand Megan Abbott
The Bookshop of Yesterdays Amy Meyerson
All We Ever Wanted Emily Giffin
Ghosted Rosie Walsh

The Books of 2017

So many books, so little time—part 11.

My son started keeping a reading list in third grade, so I did too. This is the 11th year we’ve done this.

My favorite books of 2017 were probably The Mothers, by Britt Bennett; Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Commonwealth by Ann Patchett; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Anyway, I’d love to hear about other people’s favorite books this year.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Jesse Andrews
Home Again Kristin Hannah
The Bookseller Cynthia Swanson
Leave Me Gayle Forman
Suite 606 J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas
The Mothers Britt Bennett
Big Girl Panties Stephanie Evanovich
The Wangs Vs. the World Jade Chang
The Nest Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The Housewife Assassin’s Deadly Dossier Josie Brown
I Was Here Gayle Forman
Scrappy Little Nobody Anna Kendrick
There Goes the Bride Holly McQueen
Ship of Brides Jojo Moyes
The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead
Swift as Desire Laura Esquivel
Confetti Confidential Holly McQueen
The Weekenders Mary Kay Andrews
When I’m Gone Emily Bleeker
First Comes Love Emily Giffin
Three Wishes Liane Moriarty
Truly Madly Guilty Liane Moriarty
Save the Date Jen Doll
The Year of Voting Dangerously Maureen Dowd
Everybody’s Fool Richard Russo
Where She Went Gayle Forman
Two by Two Nicolas Sparks
Talking as Fast as I Can Lauren Graham
Unrivaled Alyson Noel
Nothing That is Ours DJ Palladino
Fangirl Rainbow Rowell
We are all Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
What Light Jay Asher
If Not For You Debbie Macomber
Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Who Asked You? Terry McMillan
Connect the Stars Marisa de Los santos & David Teague
The Knockoff Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
44 Cranberry Point Debbie Macomber
From Notting Hill to Love Actually Ali McNamara
The Postmistress Sarah Blake
You’ll Grow Out Of It Jesi Klein
The Awkward Age Francesca Segal
Queen Takes King Gigi Levangie Grazer
Into the Woods Tana French
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine Gail Honeyman
Bright Precious Days Jay McInerney
Being Mortal Atul Gawande
The Hynotist’s Love Story Liane Moriarty
Boys in the Trees Carly Simon
The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon
American Housewife Helen Ellis
Prejudice & Pride Rachel Anderson
The Bookshop on the Corner Rebecca Raisin
All the Bright Places Jennifer Niven
A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend Felicity Huffman & Patricia Wolff
The Girlfriend Curse Valerie Frankel
The Divorce Papers Susan Rieger
The After Party Anton DiSclafani
The Worst Day of My Life So Far M.A. Harper
It’s Always the Husband Michele Campbell
The Girl in the Spider’s Web David Lagercrantz
Commonwealth Ann Patchett
Lincoln in the Bardo George Saunders
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Jenny Han
The Jane Austen Project Kathleen A. Flynn
The Great Escape Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The Grown Up Gillian Flynn
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen Syrie James
We’ll Always Have Summer Jenny Han
The Sunshine Sisters Jane Green
The Time of My Life: A Novel Cecilia Ahern
The View From the Cheap Seats Neil Gaiman
What Happened Hillary Rodham Clinton
My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante
Winter Storms Elin Hilderbrand
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
What She Knew Gilly MacMillan
Irish Eyes Mary Kay Andrews
Carry On Rainbow Rowell

The Books of 2016

So many books, so little time—part ten.

My son started keeping a reading list in third grade, so I did too. This is the tenth year we’ve done this.

My favorite books of 2016 were probably You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott, a mystery-thriller set in the world of women’s gymnastics; Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave, set in the world of wine-making; Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, which is about the restaurant business; Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes, a terrific collection of shot stories; and The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, who also wrote Fates and Furies, one of my favorite books I read last year.  

As usual, I tend to find an author I like and then read anything I can get my hands on. I adored Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple so much that I also read her two other novels, Today Will be Different (in development as a TV series with Julia Roberts) and This One is Mine, both of which I liked but didn’t LOVE the way I did Bernadette.

Anyway, I’d love to hear about other people’s favorite books this year.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake Anna Quindlen
Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling
Boys & Girls Together William Goldman
Fun Home Allison Bechdel
Precious Gifts Danielle Steel
23 Degrees South Neal Rabin
Last One Home Debbie Macomber
Feel This Ben Stiller & Janeane Garofalo
A Whole New Light Sandra Brown
All Fall Down Jennifer Weiner
The Children Act Ian McEwan
Purity Jonathan Franzen
Crooked Little Lies Barbara Taylor Sissel
The Rumor Elin Hildebrand
The Truth About Alice Jennifer Mathieu
Girl Tripping Gina Iamanna
Everything’s Relative Jenna McCarthy
The Clasp Sloane Crosley
The Guestbook Andrea Hurst
The Art of Peeling an Orange Victoria Avilan
What Alice Forgot Liane Moriarty
Bettyville George Hodgman
Between the Lines Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer
Miss Adventure Geralyn Corcillo
Who Do You Love? Jennifer Weiner
Girl Waits With Gun Amy Stewart
The Tender Bar J.R. Moehringer
The Monsters of Templeton Lauren Groff
Connect the Stars Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
Barbara the Slut and Other People Lauren Holmes
The Moon and More Sarah Dessen
The Apartment Danielle Steel
Dead of Night J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan and Mary Kay McComas
The Swans of Fifth Avenue Melanie Benjamin
Lizzie Bennett Diaries Bernie Su and Kate Noble
The List Siobhan Vivan
One Plus One JoJo Moyes
Nora Roberts Land Miles Ava
Windfallen JoJo Moyes
Dear Mr. You Mary Louise Parker
The Sleuth Sisters Maggie Pill
Fireside Susan Wiggs
Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler
Tiny Pretty Things Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
My Favorite Husband Pam McCutcheon
The Fixer Upper Mary Kay Andrews
The Inn at Rose Harbor Debbie Macomber
I Was Told There Would be Cake Sloane Crosley
A Girl’s Guide to Moving on Debbie Macomber
Drinking Closer to Home Jessica Anya Blau
Identical Scott Turrow
If I Stay Gayle Forman
Euphoria Lily King
Eight Hundred Grapes Laura Dave
In the Unlikely Event Judy Blume
Remembrance Meg Cabot
Innocents & Others: A Novel Dana Spiotta
Calling Invisible Women Jeanne Ray
Royal Wedding Meg Cabot
Eligible Curtis Sittenfeld
The Man of the House Stephen McCauley
Be Frank With Me Julia Claiborne Johnson
Fallen in Love Lauren Kate
Four of a Kind Valerie Frankel
The Bridge Ladies Betsy Lerner
The Goodbye Quilt Susan Wiggs
French Roast Ava Miles
Behind Closed Doors B.A. Paris
Heat & Light Jennifer Haigh
The Grand Opening Ava Miles
Paris for One & Other Stories JoJo Moyes
My Kind of Perfect Hannah Ellis
Heroes Have Always Been My Weakness Susan Elizabeth Phillips
You Will Know Me Megan Abbott
The History of Love Nicole Krauss
Today Will Be Different Maria Semple
This One is Mine Maria Semple

The Books of 2014

The InterestingsSo many books, so little time—part eight.

My son started keeping a reading list in third grade, so I did too. This is the eighth year we’ve done this.

My favorite books of 2014 were probably One More Thing by B.J. Novak, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, and My Latest Grievance by Eleanor Lipman. All are fiction but otherwise they have very little in common other than sharp writing. 

Anyway, I’d love to hear about other people’s favorite books this year.

2014 Book List
title author last author first
Whiskey Beach Roberts Nora
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming Jackson Joshilyn
Don’t Go Scottoline Lisa
A Playdate With Death Waldman Ayelet
Elsewhere Russo Richard
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage Patchett Ann
What My Mother Gave Me: 31 Women on the Gifts That Mattered Benedict Elizabeth
Fast Women Crusie Jennifer
Eleanor & Park Rowell Rainbow
Winners Steel Danielle
The Big Burn Egan Timothy
Until the End of Time Steel Danielle
The Tenth of December Saunders George
The Replacement Wife Gouge Ellen
Divergent Roth Veronica
The Island Hildenbrand Elin
My Latest Grievance Lipman Elinor
That Summer Dessen Sarah
The Magician’s Assistant Patchett Ann
Girlchild Hassman Tupelo
Summer at Willow Lake Wiggs Susan
Irresistable Forces Jackson Brenda
The Patron Saint of Liars Patchett Ann
The Sixes White Kate
Empty Mansions Dedman Bill and Paul Clark Newell Jr.
The Good Luck of Right Now Quick Matthew
The Smart One Close Jennifer
Tempting Fate Green Jane
Slim to None Gardiner Jenny
The Madwoman in the Volvo Tsing Loh Sandra
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Miller Rebecca
The Gap Year Bird Sarah
Tempted Cast P.C. & Kristen
Goodbye for Now Frankel Laurie
Crow Planet Haupt Lyanda Lynn
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl McAfee Stephanie
The Day I Ate Whatever I wanted Berg Elizabeth
Cinderella Ate My Daughter Orenstein Peggy
The Renaissance Soul Lobenstine Margaret
The Big Short Lewis Michael
One More Thing Novak B.J.
San Miguel Boyle T.C.
The Signature of All Things Gilbert Elizabeth
Wedding Night Kinsella Sophie
The Interestings Wolitzer Meg
Traveling With Pomegranites Monk Kidd Sue & Ann Kidd Taylor
A Foolish Consistency Weir Andrea
Tiny Beautiful Things Strayed Cheryl
Truth and Beauty Patchett Ann
You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty Barry Dave
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Alexie Sherman
When I Found You Ryan Hyde Catherine
I’ve Still Got It … I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It McCarthy Jenna
Famous Baby Rizzo Karen
Blossom Street Brides Macomber Debbie
Prospect Park West Sohn Amy
And the Heart Says Whatever Gould Emily
The Chaperone Moriarty Laura
Astonish Me Shipstead Maggie
My Reading Life Conroy Pat
Backseat Saints Jackson Joshilyn
The Apple Orchard Wiggs Susan
The Picture of Dorian Gray Wilde Oscar
The Wonder Bread Summer Blau Jessica Anya
Summerland Hildenbrand Elin
The Buddha in the Attic Otsuka Julie
Gratitude & Trust Jackson Tracey & Paul Williams
The Here and Now Brashears Ann
The One and Only Griffin Emily
100 Names Ahern Cecilia
Love Letters Macomber Debbie
The Girls of August Siddons Anne Rivers
Beautiful Ruins Walter Jess
The Engagements Sullivan J. Courtney
Vintage Gloss Susan
Not That Kind of Girl Dunham Lena
The Half Life Weiner Jennifer
Before We Kiss Mallery Susan
Choose Your Own Autobiography Harris Neil Patrick
You Should Have Known Korelitz Jean Hanff
Save the Date Andrews Mary Kay

Click to read The Books of 2013.

Click to read The Books of 2012.

Click to read The Books of 2011.

Click to read The Books of 2010.

Click to read The Books of 2009.

Click to read The Books of 2008.

Click to read The Books of 2007.