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11 books to get you through Thanksgiving 2020

My Thanksgiving has already been canceled. One of my four kids is covid-positive, so we’ll be quarantining until Black Friday comes and goes. My husband and his sister will be with us, too, but without their mom and grandmother who died of the coronavirus earlier this year. Their mom’s two dogs will be here though, to lick up any remains in case we try to cook a mini-version of a Thanksgiving feast. It’s a fitting end to this ridiculously challenging year. But then again, parts of Thanksgiving are always stressful, with all that forced family fun. I do feel thankful for so much, despite all the losses — like reading.

Here are 11 books that just might help you get through Thanksgiving and the rest of 2020. (Will it ever end?)

Twisted Family Values, by V.C. Chickering

Ever have a secret crush on a cousin? Think your family is messed up? Spend some time with the hilariously dysfunctional Thorndens and you may get a new perspective on things.

The Best of Me, by David Sedaris

A collection of funny, razor-sharp essays about family, friends and life, including how Sedaris handles his aging father’s demise and losing his sister.

Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, by Emmanuel Acho

Need to stir things up at the dinner table? Spark your conversation with this thought-provoking book by Acho, a former linebacker-turned-activist.

Cobble Hill, by Cecily von Ziegesar

A smart, funny look at some Brooklynites, including a mom who pretends she has multiple sclerosis so that she doesn’t have to get out of bed and deal with her family.

After losing two loved ones to covid-19, I turned to books. Here are 15 titles that helped me cope.

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett

If you haven’t read this, you must. A compelling read about sisters who identify as different races — Black and White — and how that affects their lives and those of their children.

Undaunted: Overcoming Doubt and Doubters, by Kara Goldin

Goldin turned Hint Water (a fruit-infused water) into a million-dollar global business: Be inspired by the persistence and life lessons of this Silicon Valley entrepreneur and mom.

Love Your Life, by Sophie Kinsella

Escape into the whimsical love story about a singleton who leaves for a writing retreat and falls in love with a man who, when they get back to reality, seems less than perfect.

Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life, by Christie Tate

We could all use a little group therapy to get through the holidays. This hilarious memoir about overcoming life struggles with the help of a motley crew of fellow patients, will delight — and might even help keep you sane.

I’ll Be Seeing You: A Memoir, by Elizabeth Berg

Even though your parents may drive you nuts now, Elizabeth Berg’s tender tale of how she dealt with her aging parents will make you appreciate your folks as they are today.

More book reviews and news

The Long Way Home: A Memoir of Fame, Family, and Redemption, by Cameron Douglas

Michael Douglas’s elder son dishes on his absentee mother, distracted father, and how the busboy they paid to be his “manny” sustained him — that is, before he became addicted to drugs and went to prison.

The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done, by Kendra Adachi

Feel like you need to be perfect and host a splendid holiday even just for your kids? Forget it! Do it Adachi’s way and succeed just enough.

Zibby Owens  is the host of award-winning podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.”

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