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Goodbye Forever, 2020!

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It's time to bid a not-so-fond farewell to a trying year. Goodbye and good riddance, 2020. Here's hoping 2021 will be a year of good reads, good vibes and kindness to all!  Here are 21 books to lift your spirits and give you warm fuzzy feelings as we head into a fresh New Year. Happy 2021, everyone!

Miranda, Lin-Manuel
Gmorning, gnight!

Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift

Waxman, Abbi.
The bookish life of Nina Hill

Nina Hill's life may not seem like much, but for a person battling anxiety, it's more than enough. She enjoys her job at a bookstore and her small circle of friends. Until a visit from a lawyer changes everything... The father that Nina never knew existed has died, leaving behind an enormous extended family. Nina now has innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, and cousins all living within a twenty-mile radius--some welcoming and some not so welcoming, but all demanding her attention. If that's not enough, Nina's talent for worrying is taking the thrill out of falling in love. Tom, a fellow trivia nerd--who's totally into her--is obviously too good to be true. Everything is moving too fast for Nina. Caught in a whirlwind of new people, emotions and experiences, she feels the need to protect herself. But maybe opening her world--and her heart--is a risk worth taking.

Schnall, Susie Orman.
We came here to shine

Vivi Holden is closer than she's ever been to living her dream as a lead actress in sun-dappled L.A., but an unfair turn of events sends her back to New York, a place she worked so hard to escape from. Maxine Roth wants nothing more than to be a serious journalist at the iconic New York Times, but her professor has other plans. When Max and Vivi's worlds collide, they forge an enduring friendship. One that shows them to be the daring, bold women they are, and one that teaches them to never stop holding on to what matters most, in the most meaningful summer of their lives.

Jaswal, Balli Kaur.
Erotic stories for Punjabi widows

Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a 'creative writing' course at the community center in the beating heart of London's close-knit Punjabi community. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected, and exciting, kind.

Cohen, Jon.
Harry's trees

When his wife dies suddenly, Harry Crane leaves his job and old life behind and takes up residence in the woods behind single mother Amanda's house. She and her daughter Oriana have suffered a tragedy of their own and Harry reluctantly agrees to help the little girl in a scheme to escape his past, which just might change his life.

Li, Yiyun
Must I Go

Lilia Liska has shrewdly outlived three husbands, raised five children, and seen the arrival of seventeen grandchildren. Now she has turned her keen attention to the diary of a long-forgotten man named Roland Bouley, with whom she once had a fleeting affair. This is a novel about life in all its messy glory, and of a life lived, by the extraordinary Lilia, absolutely on its own terms. With great candor and insight, Yiyun Li navigates the twin poles of grief and resilience, loss and rebirth, that compass a human heart.

Lawson, Jenny
Furiously happy

In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest.

Ortberg, Daniel Mallory.
Texts from Jane Eyre

Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O'Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she'd constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages.

Angelou, Maya.
And still I rise

These poems are powerful, distinctive, and fresh—and, as always, full of the lifting rhythms of love and remembering. And Still I Rise is written from the heart, a celebration of life as only Maya Angelou has discovered it.

Wagamese, Richard.
Embers

Embers is perhaps Richard Wagamese's most personal volume. Honest, evocative and articulate, he explores the various manifestations of grief, joy, recovery, beauty, gratitude, physicality and spirituality--concepts many find hard to express. Within these pages, readers will find hard-won and concrete wisdom on how to feel the joy in the everyday things..

Søderberg, Marie Tourell.
Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness

Other books will tell you how to be hygge. This is the only book that will show you. Though we all know the feeling of hygge instinctively few of us ever manage to capture it for more than a moment. Full of beautiful photographs and simple, practical steps and ideas to make your home and life both comfortable and cheering all year round, this book is the easy way to introduce hygge into your life.

Lee, Ingrid Fetell.
Joyful

We are often made to feel that the physical world has little or no impact on our inner joy. Increasingly, experts urge us to find balance and calm by looking inward -- through mindfulness or meditation -- and muting the outside world. But what if the natural vibrancy of our surroundings is actually our most renewable and easily accessible source of joy?

McCall Smith, Alexander
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors

Backman, Fredrik
A man called Ove

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets. But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

Honeyman, Gail.
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine

Eleanor Oliphant is, well, a bit of an oddball--albeit a loveable one. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking . . . and that, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, a tendency to wear the same clothes year after year), means that Eleanor has become a bit of a loner. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and sweet IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repairing her own damaged one.

Coelho, Paulo.
The alchemist

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

Pooley, Clare.
The authenticity project

Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes most people aren't really honest with other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It's run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves--and soon find each other in real life at Monica's Café.

Blackwell, Lewis
The life & love of dogs

Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished. Dogs live with us in a way that no other creature does. Their contribution to our history has enabled us to be where we are today. It’s a connection that can even have depths beyond those we have with our own species. For all dog lovers, The Life and Love of Dogs offers hundreds of incredible images by acclaimed photogra­phers from around the world.

Arslanian, Tamar.
Shop cats of New York

Humans of New York meets The French Cat in this carefully cultivated, gorgeous full-color collection featuring New York’s iconic felines and the stories behind them. Depending on their mood, these cats will ignore enthusiastic admirers, offer a few delightful purrs, or occasionally even take a swipe. Some even find a mouse or two to chase.

Herriot, James.
All creatures great and small

Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offers an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semi-feral cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James find he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him. And when he meets Helen, the beautiful daughter of a local farmer, all the training and experience in the world can't help him.

Gailey, Sarah.
Magic for liars

When a murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.