Just in Case You Missed Them:  The Bestselling Books of 2020

Available at the Owen County Public Library

By Ginger Kohr

Many of us can relate to Frank Zappa’s oft quoted lament: “So many books, so little time.”

Browsing the stacks at the library was one service we had difficulty providing for our patrons at times due to covid, and yet writers continued to write, book companies continued to publish, and we continued to purchase the bestselling new books of 2020.

Out of concern that many books of 2020 may have been overlooked, we have created a display in the hearth area of the library (on either side of the fireplace) of some of the top 40 books of 2020, according to the New York Times.  We offer 34 out of a list of 40 with all but two of those in physical book form. We offer most of these titles in multiple formats.

If you are a John Grisham fan, as I am, you probably try to read everything he has written.  A Time for Mercy takes us back to the town of Clanton, the setting of Grisham’s first novel: A Time to Kill, and reintroduces small town lawyer, Jake Brigance who also appears in Sycamore Row.  We have A Time for Mercy in book form, on audio CD’s, and on overdrive as an e-book.

Prolific writer Danielle Steel gives us All that Glitters, which we have as a book, a large print book, and an e-book.

Hilarious Janet Evanovich published her 27th Stephanie Plum novel, titled Fortune and Glory, which we offer as a book, on CD’s, as an overdrive e-book, and an overdrive audio book.

Other fiction books from 2020 include Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson, The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly (in book and CD form), The Return by Nicholas Sparks, and The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child.

In Non-fiction, we have the thought-provoking Caste:   The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson in book, CD, and overdrive e-book form.

The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond published Frontier Follies:  Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere.

Several celebrities published books in 2020:

Dolly Parton, Songteller:  My Life in Lyrics, is available in Book, CD, and as an audio book on Overdrive.

Matthew McConaughey published Greenlights which we have on book and on CD, and if you can’t get enough of his soft southern drawl, he narrates the CD himself.

Michael J. Fox published No Time Like the Future:  An Optimist Considers Mortality.

The late and much-loved Alex Trebek of Jeopardy fame published The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life.

Barak and Michelle Obama each published a book:  A Promised Land by Barak Obama, and the very popular Becoming by Michelle Obama, which is also available in Large print.

We have four of the eight books on the paperback fiction list:  Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell, This Tender Land by William Kent Kreuger (also available in Large Print, and Stephen King’s The Institute which we also offer in Large Print and on CD’s.    We do not have The Queen’s Gambit in paperback, but we do offer it on Overdrive as an e-book.

Bestselling Paperback Nonfiction of 2020 included:  Braiding Sweetgrass:  Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, available also as an overdrive e-book.    My Own Words by the late Supreme Court Judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which we also have on CD; Shade:  A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza (our copy is actually a hardback copy); The Truths we Hold:  An American Journey by Kamala Harris; the Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson offered also on Overdrive as an e-book; and Robin DiAngelo’s book on Racism also offered on CD.

Advice and How-To Books include Atomic Habits by James Clear, which we offer on CD and as an e-book on Overdrive and Forgiving What You Can’t Forget by Lysa TerKeurst also offered as an e-book.  Joanna Gaines cookbook:  The Magnolia Table, and The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten is also offered on Overdrive as an e-book.

We have Gary Chapman’s Men’s Edition of the 5 Love Languages, as well as Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, The Fox, and the Horse, and finally, Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, also available on CD.

In case anyone is curious about the six titles from the list that we do not have, they are as follows:   Home Body by Rupi Kaur, Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, No One Asked for this by Cazzie David, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, MD. And The Official Dungeons and Dragons Cookbook by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Michael Witwer.

If you come in to browse and do not see what you want on the shelf near the fireplace, please check the card catalog, or check with the staff.  What you want may be checked out, may have been shelved rather than put back on display, or may be checked out but available in some other form, and of course you can always reserve items that are currently checked out.

Hopefully, that will get you all caught up on what you may have missed in 2020.

For those of you who use e-books and audiooboks, be sure to check out the new cloudLibrary on the library website, www.owenlib.org  for an additional collection.  The addition of CloudLibrary was made possible thanks to funding received from the REMC Community Fund and the  Owen County Community Foundation.