Learn what 20 books superstar librarian Nancy Pearl recommends for 2020

More than 800 people logged into Zoom Nov. 18 to hear famed Seattle librarian and action-figure inspiration Nancy Pearl advise them on the 20 books she likes best for 2020.

“We had a wonderful event,” Langley Library Manager Vicky Welfare said.

Since Pearl’s first visit to Langley in 1998, the release of her annual book list has been one of the region’s high-water marks of the literary year. Pearl usually filled all 246 seats at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, but this year she adapted to coronavirus restrictions and shared her list from the comfort of her home in Seattle.

Pearl spent nearly an hour discussing all of the titles, then answered moderated questions for another 30 minutes.

Pearl’s virtual talk was funded by the Friends of the Langley Library, the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, the Star Store and the Inn at Langley.

Pearl’s talk was recorded and is now posted on Sno-Isle Libraries’ YouTube channel. You can also watch below.

Nancy Pearl Recommended Reads/November 2020

Featured titles on the list include: 

"THE QUIET AMERICANS chronicles the exploits of four spies... [who] ran covert operations across the globe, trying to outwit the ruthless KGB in Berlin"

" London, 1879. Crowds have gathered at Islington's chilly Agricultural Hall to place their bets on who will become the next world champion in a six-day, 500-mile speedwalking race, the "wobble." When one of the highly favored contenders dies under suspicious circumstances, Sergeant Cribb also has a race on his hands--to pursue a ruthless murderer."

From the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation to the first woman to wear pants on the Senate floor, Quinn shines a spotlight on the women who broke down barriers. 

Lillian and Madison were unlikely, yet inseparable friends at their boarding school. Years later, Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help. Madison's twin stepkids are moving in, and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there's a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated.


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