2018 was a busy news year. My librarian DNA pointed me in the direction of bibliotherapy to help me either process or escape from it.

Cover of the book How It All Began


Bibliotherapy is the idea of reading as a healing activity. I’m sharing a list of titles I found to be most helpful. Some are brand new and some are old friends.

I’ve included serious, thought-provoking literature that helped me process a lot of the news, as well as literary mysteries which are my usual choice for escape reading. I also include modern fiction with multi-generational characters which somehow makes me very hopeful the older I get.

Sorry I can’t give descriptions but there is a word limit on these columns! Please visit for details, and best wishes for happy, healing reading in 2019.


Important Books:

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras


Literary Mysteries:

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

The Likeness by Tana French


Multi-generational Modern Fiction:

Rise and Shine Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick

Emily Alone by Stewart O’Nan

How It All Began by Penelope Lively

The Lido by Libby Page


- Ann Chapman, CADL Haslett