In Memoriam – 2020

Ann B.

One of my favorite things about reading is feeling that connection with an author that inspires us to read all the books they’ve ever written. We wait, not-so-patiently, for the next title they publish. We feel excited when it finally is available at our library or bookstore. And then time passes and they’re gone. And maybe we mourn or feel like we’ve lost a friend.

We have lost a few of our favorite authors this year either to age or illness. Wonderful, prolific authors who carried us away to new places, new worlds, and new adventures have left behind and treasure trove of materials. From westerns to science fiction and fantasy to romance to classic children’s books, women’s rights and journalism, the list below will hopefully remind you of some favorites you’ve enjoyed in the past.


Three of those we lost were known for their children’s books. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney was read many times to my children. Also, Betsy Byars and Tomie DePaola passed away this year. Most of us have read at least one Strega Nona book!

John LeCarre passed recently and leaves behind a vast number of spy and espionage novels. Most famously, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Several fiction authors have passed as well. These include Clive Cussler, Charles Portis (of True Grit fame), as well as two grand dames of mystery, Mary Higgins Clark and M.C. Beaton.

We lost two giants of science fiction and fantasy: Ben Bova and Terry Goodkind.

And we must not forget Rudolpho Anaya whose Bless Me, Ultima is a staple of New Mexico high school reading requirements. Anaya’s children’s books are also very popular, especially Faralitos for Abuelo and The Farolitos of Christmas.

For more information on authors we lost this year, please check out this article by the New York Times: Notable Deaths 2020: Books by NY Times.

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