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2020 in Books

Originally Published 12/26/2020

I often get asked if I have any book suggestions and I always get overwhelmed by the question. Reading is subjective, not only the genres we are drawn to…but what we like depends on our state of mind and what is going on around us at any given time! I also tend to think of ALL THE BOOKS I’VE EVER READ, which is… a lot. So this is my attempt to give myself some limits to work within. These are my favorite books that I read in 2020. If I can, I’m including a favorite quote as well.

I save my “5 star” reviews for books that change me somehow. Books that I need to sit with for a while after I’m done reading them… that put me in a bit of a “book slump” because nothing really lives up to them. I will do a second post of easy-breezy reads that are great for those slumps.

We read literally hundreds of picture books every year…I know I am missing so many here. But, yay for me, I have been doing a better job logging them the second half of this year.

Total books read (not including picture books) – 61 21,305 pages read


The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix Harrow

“I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return”

– The Bluest Eye- Toni Morrison

“This soil is bad for certain kinds of flowers. Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear, and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live. We are wrong, of course, but it doesn’t matter. It’s too late. At least on the edge of my town, among the garbage and the sunflowers of my town, it’s much, much, much too late.”

– The First girl Child- Amy Harmon

“The sun was a nosy stranger, and it found its way inside.”

-A Land Remembered – Patrick D Smith

“Even the hated wolf kills only for food and only for immediate need. Maybe it is man who will eventually perish as he destroys the land and all that it offers, taking the animals down with him.”

-Circe- Madeline Miller

“He does not mean that it does not hurt. He does not mean that we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.”

-Where the Forest Meets the Stars- Glendy Vanderah

“I’ve decided language isn’t as advanced as we think it is. We’re still apes trying to express our thoughts with grunts while most of what we want to communicate stays locked in our brains.”

-The Golden Compass- Philip Pullman

“She was familiar with the way of ideas, and she let it shimmer, looking away, thinking about something else.”

-The Indigo Girl- Natasha Boyd


-If Women Rose Rooted- Sharon Blackie

“A sense of responsibility to the land is a natural consequence of this deep sense of place… it is hard to care for something you do not know.”

-Bird By Bird- Anne Lamott

“The great writers keep writing about the cold dark place within, the water under a frozen lake or the secluded, camouflaged hole. The light they shine on this hole, this pit, helps us cut away or step around the brush and brambles; then we can dance around the rim of the abyss, holler into it, measure it, throw rocks in it, and still not fall in. It can no longer swallow us up. And we can get on with things.”

– Braiding Sweetgrass- Robin Wall Kimmerer

“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”

-Normal Sucks- Jonathan Mooney

“I’ve learned that hands can speak, listening is reading, talking is writing, and that human intelligence and ability are not one thing, but many. Intelligence is not singular but multiple, and it is bigger, stranger, and more wonderful than we’ve all been led to believe…I’ve learned that we are all temporarily able bodies and minds moving in and out of states of ability and disability every day of our lives. Sooner or later we all fall off the center of the bell curve. Our bodies, minds, and lives change. The goal posts surrounding what is normal for us will move, and we will lose our own normality if we ever thought we had it…For all of us, normal is just temporary, and we are only visiting – for a fleeting moment – the center of the bell curve”.

-The Four Agreements- Miguel Ruiz

“1. Be impeccable with your word.

2. Don’t take anything personally.

3. Don’t make assumptions.

4. Always do your best. ”

-The Brave Learner – Julie Bogart

“On some intuitive level, I knew that learning had to be more than the mastery of facts. I’ve experienced it as an adult. I become consumed with a subject like quilting or preparing yogurt cultures, and that topic takes over my life – fabric scraps scattered on the floor, little jars of white sludge cuddled by blankets on my kitchen countertops. When I learned to play guitar in my thirties, no one had to schedule my practices. My guitar lived on a stand in the living room and I tormented our ears multiple times a day until my fingers bled. Passion for learning has that fiery, consuming, can’t-stop quality.”

-The Garden Awakening- Mary Reynolds

A link to all of the books I read this year: Kaitlin’s Year in Books | Goodreads

Picture Books

-We All Saw A Cat – Brendan Wenzel

-Thank You Omu- Oge Mora

-Bear Came Along- Richard T Morris, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

-Stumpkin- Lucy Ruth Cummins

-Orion and the Dark – Emma Yarlett

-In a Jar – Deborah Marcero

-Swashby and the Sea – Beth Ferry, Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

-The Crocodile Who Didn’t like Water – Gemma Merino

-Little Santa- Jon Agee

-The Ghosts Went Floating- Kim Norman, Illustrated by Jay Fleck

-Izzy Gizmo- Pip Jones, Illustrated by Sarah Ogilvie

-The Couch Potato- Jory John, Illustrated by Pete Oswald

-The Honeybee- Kirsten Hall, Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

-Superbuns – Diana Kredensor

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