5 books we loved during the pandemic

If there was a silver lining in this Year of the Pandemic, it was that millions of us rediscovered reading. It was a welcome escape from the often depressing news outside and a something to talk about with family and friends on Zoom.

Here are a few of our books from 2020:


The Glass Hotel. Emily St. John Mandel’s last best seller, Station Eleven, was about a flu-like global pandemic – a little too close to home to read this year. In her latest page-turner, Mandel spins a captivating tale about a massive Ponzi scheme in New York.



Clean: The New Science of Skin. Earlier this year, author James Hamblin wrote a timely essay titled “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus” just as COVID-19 was revving up. In his new book, Hamblin chronicles the answer to a somewhat gross but attention-grabbing question: “what would happen if we stopped showering?”


Clean, The New Science of Skin, James Hamblin


New Waves. Kevin Nguyen created waves with his debut novel about two friends at a tech company who decide to steal its user database but the heist doesn’t go as planned with one of them unexpectedly dies.



Rodham. What would have happened if Hillary had never married Bill? In this what if novel, Curtis Sittenfeld takes the reader on an imaginative look at an alternate history of the woman who might have become President.



You Never Forget Your First. Most biographies of America’s founding fathers are written by men but Alexis Coe offers a refreshingly different look at the life of George Washington and the women in his life.



What were the best books you read in 2020? Please share your reviews – good and bad with the Shop Talk blog community forum.


Did you know: Pandemic reading was tough for some


While many used reading as an escape, lots of us were too anxious to concentrate.

27 thoughts on “5 books we loved during the pandemic

  1. Decorating! Anything that looks to new is OUT. Actually it was never IN. A home with ALL new stuff always looked like it a show room in a store. For a house to become a home you need to bring your own personality into every room. I have always had old family/antique/vintage pieces mixed with new in my home. When I started out it was by necessity so I made slip covers or covered chairs with throws etc. Once I made a sofa from a twin bed and large throw pillows. Plants are very important they clean the air and make you think of summer and the garden. It is fun to mix antiques with more modern pieces try it out, trust your gut if it looks weird try something else. If you have an old piece of furniture you love you will find a home for it just keep experimenting. You do not want a home where people are afraid to sit down because it looks so perfect.

  2. reading is not a problem for me. What i am having a problem with during pandemic is being able to go to the bookstore and getting my books. I know I can order online but I like to get the books on hand and it’s faster.

  3. Loved the biography of John Adams and the biography of George Washington . The Adams book took a bit of time to say the least HAHA. It seems lately , even before the pandemic really came on strong, I have been reading biographies and autobiographies. I am a big history buff so I really do enjoy reading biographies about people who have become such standouts in the history of our country. This way I get to read about the person but at the same time I get to learn about the U.S and also some world history also!! So sorry that I wrote such a long note 😳

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