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Notable Books

Looking for your next read? Here is my list of notable books from 2020 that still resonate. Enjoy!

My Favorite Nonfiction Reads from 2020

THE PALE-FACED LIE by David Crow. This book grabs you and doesn’t let go until the end. An unforgettable story about life with an ex-con, and growing up too fast. An unbelievable situation. The detail, the settings, the emotional turmoil. This story continues to haunt me.

ACCORDING TO KATE by Chris Enss. Probably my favorite non-fiction book I’ve read so far this year. The lover, long-time friend, nurse, and self-declared wife of legendary Doc Holiday leaps from the pages of this book. A fascinating trip back to the American West. Kate was tough, resilient, and her total devotion to a dying gambler makes for a great love story. Unique because of the research material this author had access to.

FEAR IS NOT THE BOSS OF YOU by Jennifer Allwood. Need a little motivation and inspiration to start something new? This book will light a fire under you and get you started, I promise. Just do it, because “this time next year you’ll wish you had.”

FRANK LITTLE AND THE IWW: The Blood that Stained an American Family by Jane Little Botkin. The series of events that lead this author down the path of discovery of one of her relatives is very unique. The research and detail blew me away. Superb writing, well researched. Interesting piece of American history and definitely a must for your library collection.

Watch a talk here by the author Janie Little Botkin about her research and the process for writing about FRANK LITTLE.

Death in the West podcast features Frank’s story as well. Click here for Episode 1: “In episode one, we re-open the case of Frank Little, a union organizer whose brutal unsolved murder shocked the nation during the tumultuous summer of 1917.

Also under nonfiction I have to include these unique memoirs, if you like true and unusual life stories:

  • I’M YOUR HUCKLEBERRY by Val Kilmer. (inside peak at fascinating career; a must read!)
  • MY GRAPE YEAR by Laura Bradbury. (exchange student in France)
  • STEVE AND ME by Terri Irwin. (I sobbed through this one)
  • INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer. (what the human body can endure will blow your mind)
My all-time Fiction favorites from 2020

THE COWBOY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS by Jodi Thomas and others. Another fun, heart-filled story from Jodi Thomas. It’s about a down and out cowboy who accepts a job that proves to be more than any cowboy can hope to survive. Fill up your favorite cup and curl up with this novella. Entertaining collection.

ONE FOR THE BLACKBIRD AND ONE FOR THE CROW by Olivia Hawker. Be prepared for some sleepless nights because this one is hard to put down. Wyoming, 1876 is the setting and through strange circumstances of fate, neighboring families combine their resources to survive a brutal winter. Stellar writing, imagery, and an emotional ride you won’t soon forget.

THE BEATEN TERRITORY by Randi Samuelson-Brown. This gritty well-written, page turner tells the story of Annie Ryan, a woman who is running a second-rate brothel in 1890s Denver with an eye toward expansion. It’s the story of Lydia, a property owner who has a laudanum addiction and a bad marriage. The story also follows Pearl, a beautiful girl full of potential, swept under into a world she is powerless to control. Good news, the much cheaper paperback format will be released as MARKET STREET MADAM in April 2021.

SWEETBITTER by Stephanie Danler. Newly arrived in New York City, twenty-two-year-old Tess lands a job working in one of the city’s most elite restaurants.  This page-turner contains adult topics.

Also under Fiction, you might like these too:

  • SKYWARD and STARSIGHT by Brandon Sanderson (sci fi)
  • ESCAPE TO EXILE by B. N. Rundell (western adventure series)
  • REDEEMING LOVE by Francine Rivers (Christian Historical Fiction)
  • LETTERS TO THE LOST by Brigid Kemmerer (page-turner, young adult angst)
  • HIDEAWAY by Nora Roberts (crime thriller romance)
  • THE SEARCH by Nora Roberts (crime fiction about search dogs!)
  • THE RED LION by Kathryn Le Veque (medieval romance)
  • A HOLIDAY BY GASLIGHT by Mimi Matthews (Victorian romance)

Let’s connect on Goodreads! Click on my profile page here.

You can find all of these titles at your favorite online retailer. As an author I should provide you with buy links, because that’s how publishers and authors make their money. But as a reader, I’m very much a fan of the secondary book market and cheap hardcovers. Sometimes I love the Kindle version so much, I will add the title to my wish-list for the next time I’m in our local shop. Burrowing Owl Books in Amarillo has an extensive used book selection, and our Barnes and Noble has a fantastic bargain section. Antique stores are another great place to discover those first editions for hardly nothing, often times a little worn and damaged but that’s makes them even better.

Book 1 of the new Wild Cow Ranch Series
Western Fiction, Western Romance, Clean & Wholesome Christian Romance

January 13 is the book birthday for my new series with Denise F. McAllister. Book 1 MAVERICK HEART will be here and I’m so excited! You can pre-order it now, click here. Let me know if you’ve read it and what you think.

May your New Year be filled with joy and new discoveries. Join me at Prairie Purview blog every Friday, right here on the home page of my website, where I’ll post about all things Texas, cattle ranching, history, the Wild West, and my book updates. There might be a cow pic or two if you’re into that. Keep reading my friends, and thanks for connecting.

Happy New Year 2021!