Recalling a year of great books

2020 wasn’t a year we’ll remember fondly — but there was plenty of good reading.

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January 6, 2021 - 9:22 AM

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2020 wasn’t a year we’ll remember fondly — but there was plenty of good reading. For this month’s book column, I want to share my favorite books of 2020. Let me start with my usual disclaimer that I’m not attempting to identify the best books of the year, but just my favorites.

Roger CarswellRegister file photo

 I’ll start with fiction.  “This Tender Land” by William Kent Krueger is set in the 1930s and features an orphaned boy who escapes from the boarding school (and a sadistic worker) where he lives. Taking his younger brother, best friend, and an endangered young girl with him, Odie and his troupe set out on a cross-country trek to try to find a safe place for themselves in the world. They discover much about the world and themselves. 

In “The Second Home” by Christina Clancy, two sisters and their estranged adoptive brother are brought into conflict and then reconciliation after their parents’ death. Flashbacks show how the brief happy time they shared as teenagers after the boy’s adoption was torn apart by violence and deceit not of their own doing. Don’t despair; there’s a happy ending.

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