Guys, 2020 was a weird year. Spring marked the arrival of a global pandemic. We had to close our doors for awhile and when we reopened them, we were running a very different operation than we had been at the beginning of the year. Summer saw the spark of national unrest and outrage over the unfair treatment and brutal killing of Black people in our country. In the fall, kids and teachers masked up and went back to school, dealing with all kinds of new rules and challenges to learning. It was scary, stressful and pretty overwhelming a lot of the time. It was also full of love, support, encouragement and proof of the good in humanity and in our community.
Like a lot of people, the booksellers at Hartfield went through some serious reading slumps in 2020. We talked about it a lot throughout the year (because we like to talk about stuff like that) — checking in with each other, sharing things that made us smile and laugh, helped us escape into another world and forget (or, at least ignore for awhile) the barrage of negativity dinging constantly on our cellular devices. Our book club struggled through some tough reads (selected in a simpler time... way back in 2019), but had some great virtual and socially-distanced discussions in spite of everything.
By December, when we were tallying up our lists and nominating titles for our favorites of the year, we were delighted to discover that despite those slumps and a general feeling of exhaustion, we actually ended up reading quite a lot this year. Twelve titles were selected by multiple booksellers, making for a very easy / obvious favorites list and we're happy to share them with you below. Maybe you read some of these, too. If so, we'd love to hear what you thought! Or, maybe you'll find something in this list to help you break your own reading slump.
Because we're professional book people, we've already started reading and getting excited about books that will come out in 2021. We can tell you that lots of good things are coming and we can't wait to share them with you. In the meantime, your friends at Hartfield Book Co. wish you a peaceful, restful and restorative New Year!
More bookseller favorites (excluding any already included in the bookstore's list above):