If you are anything like me, books have been wonderfully kind companions in 2020. I have traveled, been caught up in whirlwind adventures, grown in my faith, felt encouraged, entertained, and enthralled—all without leaving the comfort of home! Perhaps this year I’ve been more grateful than ever for the gift of books. And so, as is my custom, I’ve painstakingly selected six of my favorites from the fifty or so I’ve read this year to share with you, my bookish friends…
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” Anna Quindlen
When it comes to buying gifts for anyone at any age, if in doubt—buy a book. And whether you are looking for Christmas gifts for loved ones or something wonderful to curl up with yourself over the festive season and beyond, I have some absolute gems to suggest. If you would like more, you can also find my book lists and follow me on GOODREADS here—the best place on the internet to find all the booklovers!
I’ll get right to it… I’ve included my Amazon affiliate links in case you want to grab a copy (full disclosure here) which means I get a tiny commission while you pay the regular price for any of the books:
THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE by Kristin Harmel (historical fiction)
This heartbreaking romance is set in the city of Paris during the turbulent WWII years—therefore I simply HAD to read it! When an adventurous American woman named Ruby is swept off her feet by a handsome Frenchman, she willingly follows him to Paris as his bride at the cusp of the war—only to lose him. But with the desire to make a difference in her new homeland and to also protect Charlotte, her young Jewish neighbor, Ruby puts her own life in grave danger. The French resistance, an RAF pilot, courage, love, and the unthinkable horrors of war, all play out in this gripping novel.
CHASING VINES by Beth Moore (Christian non-fiction)
“True belonging is found only in the sovereign palm of God.” I live in Canadian wine country surrounded by vineyards and was therefore intrigued by Beth Moore’s latest book, Chasing Vines. It is so rich, so wise, so hilarious, so down-to-earth yet with eternal perspective—I read a chapter a day in order for it to marinade. With engaging deep-dives on everything from Place, Pruning, and Pestilence to Soil, Song, and Manure, Beth takes us from her humble tomato plants in the US to the picturesque vineyards of Italy on a quest to explore God’s Word and how we are created to flourish in Christ, wherever we are. For a theological adventure through vineyards, an education for your mind, and encouragement for your soul, I thoroughly recommend reading Chasing Vines!
THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX AND THE HORSE by Charlie Mackesy (children’s/ fiction)
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” “Kind,” said the boy. Sometimes a book simply stirs your heart! Precious and poignant filled with stunning sketches, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a timeless delight for readers of any age. Every page has heartwarming text as the friendship between these sweet characters deepens on their journey together. I thoroughly recommend this profound little book.
THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY by Natalie Jenner (historical fiction)
If you enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this could be your next great read! Set in Chawton, England just after WWII, an unlikely group of Jane Austen fans band together in efforts to protect the late Jane Austen’s home and legacy. Each brilliantly-crafted character is dealing with grief or loss of some kind, finding deep comfort in the words of their beloved local author. Avid Jane Austen fans will adore the literary references made—yet prior Austen knowledge is certainly not essential to be utterly swept up in this rich, beautiful story!
THE HAUNTING AT BONAVENTURE CIRCUS by Jaime Jo Wright (Christian fiction)
This beautifully written split time historical mystery set in 1928 and present-day is a true page-turner. Coping with an unpredictable autoimmune disease, Chandler Faulk is determined to raise her son and maintain a high-powered job as a real estate project manager—until mysterious happenings at her latest work project prove to be more than superstition and legend. In the early 1900s, Pippa Ripley is on a quest to discover the identity of her “Watchman” and why she was abandoned as a baby and raised by the owner of Bonaventure Circus. An abandoned train depot, a serial killer, and unforeseen romance weave both stories together seamlessly with faith, love, and forgiveness.
MEET ME IN MONACO by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb (historical fiction)
A talented, sophisticated young French perfumer and a loveable rogue ex-army English photographer were the most unlikely match—but their paths crossed and hearts entwined, thanks to the kindness of iconic actress, Grace Kelly. In this beautiful historic fiction set in 1950s Cannes, Sophie and James navigate complicated pasts and uncertain futures after chance encounters with Grace during her whirlwind romance with Prince Rainier of Monaco. Friendship, love, and tragedy all play their part in this delicious novel, which leaves you longing to take a trip to the south of France, and befriend your very own Grace Kelly!
I hope you find something here that appeals to you or to someone you love. I’m so thankful to be able to write books as well as read them—a quieter 2020 has opened my eyes to that blessing. On behalf of all the authors out there, thanks for buying books—we appreciate it more than you know. And lastly, please let me know in the comments if there’s a special book you have loved this year…
P.S. It would be remiss of me not to mention my own books for gifts or to treat yourself! You can find my books for children, teens, and adults HERE! 🙂
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers… check them out: