It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

 What I Read Last Week

I read 6 books as well as 13 picture books – an historical romance, 2 fiction books, 2 contemporary romances and a middle grade novel.

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Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. I loved the movie – one of my favourites – and when I saw this for sale, I had to buy it and finally read it.


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Cherry Blossom Temple by C. L. Shore. I got this as a free ebook and was quickly drawn into this delightful story of a widow’s return to Japan.

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When She Was Naughty by Tessa Dare. I so enjoyed this short historical romance novella, sent as a gift to Dare’s subscribers. A lovely story.

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Christmas in Peony Harbor by Rosie Summers. Another Christmas novella which I enjoyed.

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Once Upon a Royal Christmas by Robin Bielman. This was such an engaging Christmas romance novella – my favourite of the ones I’ve read lately.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. Hard to believe I never read it before, but I needed a book published in 1972 and I actually had it. Cute but dated.


I read 13 picture books, some Christmas ones, some from the library.

My favourites:

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski; illus. by P.J. Lynch. Loved this so much.

Spork by Kyo Maclear and illus by Isabelle Arsenault.

Sugar in Milk by Thrity Umrigar, illus. by Khoa Le


What I’m Reading Now

 Still have several books to complete challenges:

The Spy by Paulo Caelho

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


What’s Up Next

I plan to read as many Christmas books as I can! I have lots of ebook novellas that I can read.


Top Ten Tuesday – Santa, Please bring these!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week, the topic is: “Books I Hope Santa Brings”

I already know 4 books that Santa is bringing me (!):

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All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny. One of my favourite series, I always look forward to my new Gamache book at Christmas.

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Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters edited by Darrell Fox. It’s hard to believe it has been 40 years since the Marathon of Hope. Terry has become an international hero. I am anxious to read all the letters.


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If I Knew Then by Jann Arden. A memoir and a look at getting older. Enjoyed her last one Feeding My Mother” so am looking forward to this one as well.


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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. I have been following his drawings/inspiring words on Instagram and I love his quirky illustrations and wise words. Have to have the book!


 Others I’d love to get (and if I get a Chapters card, I will add them to my shelves!):

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Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews. A new book from a favourite fantasy series – must get it.


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Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh. This is her latest and must complete the series.


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Keep Sharp by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Who doesn’t need help to keep their brain in tiptop shape?


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Indians on Vacation by Thomas King. Heard so much about this book, want to read it.



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Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams. Read the first 2 books in the series and so enjoyed them.


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A Promised Land by Barack Obama. Will join his wife’s book – must reads!


It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

its mondayit2527s2bmonday25212bwhat2bare2byou2breading

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

 What I Read Last Week

I read 7 books picture books – a non-fiction book, 3 fantasy/thrillers, an historical fiction, a picture book and a woman’s fiction.

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Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson. Have so enjoyed her whole series and this one drew me into life during the 20s.

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Books for Living by Will Schwalbe. Another informative book about books by the author of The End of Your Life Book Club. Some I’ve read, many I have not, but will be adding some to my Tbr LIST.

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Strange Practice            Dreadful Company            Grave Importance

Trilogy by Vivian Shaw. Loved this fantasy series – quite the world-building.. I read the first to fulfill a category for a challenge (medical thriller) and then had to read the others.

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The Note by Angela Hunt. Picked this up from display at the library as the premise sounded good – and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Teaching Mrs. Muddle by Colleen Nelson, illus. Alice Carter. A cute picture book – but can’t any teacher behaving like this!.

 What I’m Reading Now

I still have a number of books to read for challenges, so I need to read them asap. Here are the ones I plan to read this week:

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


What’s Up Next

Whatever I haven’t finished for the challenges and then as many Christmas books as I can! I have lots of ebook novellas that I can read.

Connect Five Friday – Reading Challenges for 2021


It’s Friday once again and that means it’s time for Connect Five Friday,   hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

As we near the end of 2021, and my reading challenges for this year are almost or are complete, I am already thinking ahead and planning for, the reading challenges for 2021.

Now that I am able to read so much more, I find that participating in these challenges has expanded what I read. I have discovered new authors, read books I normally would not have read and enjoyed the search to find books to meet the categories. It has definitely made reading a more enjoyable pursuit.

Here are 5 challenges I am definitely going to participate in, with links to their guidelines.

Popsugar Reading Challenge, through Goodreads. I have done this challenge for several years and have enjoyed the variety of categories. Some are more challenging than others. I have 2 books left to meet this year’s challenge.

52 Books in 52 Weeks. Again, I have done this one for several years and find the categories interesting. I have 4 left to finish this challenge,

Beyond the Bookends. Each month there is a theme to challenge us.

Monthly Motif / Monthly Key Word. Both these challenges are fom Girl XOXO and  give a challenge each month. Both are fun to do.

While I was Reading, at Ramona Mead. 12 challenges offer a good range of reading enjoyment.

There are so many more reading challenges to participate. For a huge list,  with links,  check at Girl XOXO for more info.

There is overlap at times with these challenges, and I often look for ways one book can meet criteria from several challenges.

Are you planning to participate in any reading challenges in 2021?

Kathryn is taking a two-week hiatus from Connect 5 – I will as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday – My Winter TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week, the topic is “Books on My Winter 2020/21 TBR

At the start of each season, I enjoy creating a must-read list of books for the coming season, as well as a vision board of what I hope to accomplish.

With the upheaval of this year (CoVid and my hubby’s 4 month sojourn in hospital)  spring and summer’s TBR lists did not get fully read. For fall, I read half of the books, which was not too bad, considering.

I will include several from these 3 lists that I haven’t read, but still want to, as well as others that I am looking forward to. I am already planning books to meet the new reading challenges for PopSugar and 52 Books, 52 Weeks challenges. Some will be on this list as well.

Books on My Winter 2020 TBR

 Books I Own and still haven’t Read:

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The Deadly Hours -anthology.  including Susanna Kearsley

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What You Wish For by Katherine Center

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A Better Man by Louise Penny

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A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

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Becoming by Michelle Obama

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If I Kew Then by Jann Arden

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The Outlander by Gil Adamson

And –

Library Books I have on hold and have been waiting (impatiently) for:

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Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

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Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

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Garden of Promises and Lies by Paula Brackston

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

its mondayit2527s2bmonday25212bwhat2bare2byou2breading

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

 What I Read Last Week

I read 5 adult books and 8 picture books – a short non-fiction book and a book on writing (NF), 2 romances and an adult fiction.

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Wired for Story by Lisa Cron. Finally finished this book study – and was very impressed. Will be referring to it as I write.

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Your Second Life Begins When You realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle Giordano. I borrowed this because of the title, but found a lot of wisdom in the novel.

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The Christmas Key by Lori Wilde. A very enjoyable Christmas romance novel.

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Silver Bells by C. J. Hunt. A a sweet Christmas ebook, that i enjoyed reading.

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox. A very short NF read, by a favourite Canadian actor. Well worth the read.

I won’t list all the PBs I read – just my two favourites – both highlighting what makes Christmas so special.

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One Special Tree by Olena Kassain      Christmas Tree Memories by Aliki

 What I’m Reading Now

I still have a number of books to read for challenges, so I need to buckle down and read them. Here are the first 3 I plan to read this week:

Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

What’s Up Next

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Connect Five Friday – Novels set in the 1920s

It’s Friday once again and that means it’s time for Connect Five Friday,   hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

I said last week I’d share some possibilities for some of the categories for the Popsugar Reading Challenge for 2021 – but I want to share some books for a category from this year – that I still have not completed. In the advanced section, one category is to chose a book set in the 1920s. I had made a fairly ong list, but could never set to any one to read. Here are a few I considered and then rejected (with summaries from Goodreads)

At first, I planned to read:

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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s harrowing account of the Bundren familys odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn by each of the family members — including Addie herself — as well as others; the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. Considered one of the most influential novels in American….”

Then I considered:

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Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I have started this a number of times – just couldn’t get too far. Maybe in 2021.

From Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours:   “Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere;
Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century.”

Then, I thought of:

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The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Still plan to read this, for one of the 2021 challenges

“A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.”

Then, it was

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Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I’ve read the first 2 of the Anne books but not this one.

I finally settled on and am reading:

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Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson.  I’m glad I am as I am so enjoying it. Even catching glimpses of some of the notables from that era.

“Jennifer Robson takes readers to 1920s Paris in an enthralling new historical novel that tells the riveting story of an English lady who trades in her staid aristocratic life for the mesmerizing salons and the heady world of the Lost Generation.”

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

its mondayit2527s2bmonday25212bwhat2bare2byou2breading

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

 What I Read Last Week

I read 5 books – 1 special picture book, a short non-fiction book,  a fantasy and 2 historical romances.

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The Boy Who Moved Christmas by Eric Walters with Nicole Wellwood, illustrated by Carlie Liu. This is the story of how the town of St. George, in Ontario, rallied behind a young boy who was dying from a brain tumor. Evan was not expected to last til Christmas, so the town, moved Christmas, complete with a huge parade, decorations and a town filled with love. (Check here for more about this moving story)

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Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop. The final book in The Others series – such a satisfying, needed read.

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Marry in Haste by Annie Gracie. So enjoyed this historical romance.

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The Last Chance Christmas Ball – anthology, with 6 authors. Loved all the historical romance novellas, and how they all fit together.  

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Sugar Detox by Lance Levan, A short ebook, an overview of cutting out sugar in one’s diet. It was okay.

What I’m Reading Now 

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

 Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

What’s Up Next

The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman (still trying to finish it)


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I’ve seen this book tag on several book blogs (the most recent here ) and thought it was worth doing, to refocus on what needs to finished this month. This tag was first created by Ariel Bisset over on Youtube!

I still have several books needed for the reading challenges I have been working on and so will be busy finishing these.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Yes! Too many! I have started quite a few – only to put them aside when the mood changed and I needed a different book. It has been the kind of year where mood reading has dominated, as well as rereading, which I hardly ever used to do.  I know I won’t get to many of them before the end of the year, but eventually will read them

I hope to finish the following tho:

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Keep it Moving by Twyla Tharp

The Deadly Hours – an historical fiction anthology

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans


Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I’ve had several books on hold at the library that I have been waiting for, for awhile.

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Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean


What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

At least 2 of the above, as well as

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert


What are books you need to read before the end of the year to complete your reading challenges?

I have 10 must reads to finish my challenges. Doable, as I am able to read at least 20 books a month (one of the joys of being retired!)

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

One Thousand Paper Cranes by Takyuki Ishii

The Spy by Paulo Coelho

A Medical thriller


Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

Not really, as I have read so many amazing books this year.


Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

Yes. I have chosen the reading challenges I plan to participate in next year and have started to make lists for the different categories in my notebooks.

I have also bought my new weekly/monthly reading log.  I have started making a list of the first books I hope to read from my overflowing TBR shelves.

As well, I am working on my reading goals for the new year – number of books I hope to read for example.

How will your reading shape up this last month of 2020??




Six Degrees of Separation

This is the first Saturday of the month which means that it is time for Six Degrees of Separation, the book challenge, hosted by Kate at Kate from Books are My Favourite and Best.

The starting point for us this round is to begin with Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

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Here is my chain of books (book info highlighted is from Goodreads)

  1. Judy Blume also writes adult novels and In the Unlikely Event is an imagined story based on real events.

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“Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume imagines and weaves together a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by these disasters. She paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place.”

2. Into the Abyss by Carl Shaban, a non-fiction book, explores how a tragic event can alter lives in an instant, much like the events altered Blume’s characters.

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“On an icy night in October 1984, a Piper Navajo commuter plane carrying 9 passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing 6 people. Four survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop, and the criminal he was escorting to face charges. …  As they fought through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth and status were erased and each man was forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence. The survivors forged unlikely friendships and through them found strength and courage to rebuild their lives.”

3. Brian, the main character in Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, is the sole survivor of a plane crash and just as the men in Shaban’s book, he must struggle to survive. And in their survival, they all face transformation.

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 “Brian is on his way to Canada to visit his estranged father when the pilot of his small prop plane suffers a heart attack. Brian is forced to crash-land the plane in a lake–and finds himself stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness with only his clothing and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present before his departure. Exhausted, terrified, and hungry, Brian struggles to find food and make a shelter for himself. He has no special knowledge of the woods, and he must find a new kind of awareness and patience as he meets each day’s challenges…. Slowly, Brian learns to turn adversity to his advantage… Most of all, Brian leaves behind the self-pity he has felt about his predicament as he summons the courage to stay alive.”

4. I am Still Alive by Kate Allen Marshall also highlights survival in the Canadian wilderness of a teenager, this time of a girl, after her father is killed.

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Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.

Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.”

5. This book led me to Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, which tells the story of a young girl who loses her father in a plane crash and then learns there is a second family, with a half-sister she had never met.

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“Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.
And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.”

6. Acevedo’s novel led me to Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez, a book that takes place as well in the Dominican Republic and focuses on a young girl.

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“Anita de la Torre is a twelve-year-old girl living in the Dominican Republic in 1960. Most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disappeared, Papi has been getting mysterious phone calls about butterflies and someone named Mr. Smith, and the secret police have started terrorizing her family for their suspected opposition to the country’s dictator. While Anita deals with a frightening series of events, she also struggles with her adolescence and her own personal fight to be free.”

And so, from Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, I have wound my way through 6 books to end with Before We Were Free, about a young girl who struggles with finding her place and how to get through adolescence.

Next month (January 2, 2021 ), we’ll begin with the winner of the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell.