Top 20 of 2020
here have been so many great books to turn to—for escapism, for consolation, for growth, for hope - that it was excruciating to choose just twenty. We argued, we reasoned and pleaded for our favourite to make the list. Here is the team’s Top 20 of 2020. We hope you find something for you and yours to love, while together we sail on to a new year.
A Promised Land
By Barack Obama
"A deeply personal and utterly inspiring account. A Promised Land reminds us that even amidst turmoil there's always hope and the promise of change."
The Mirror & the Light
By Hilary Mantel
By Douglas Stuart
Humankind: A Hopeful History
By Rutger Bregman
Leave the World Behind
By Rumaan Alam
"Stuart draws from his past and captures a stark portrait of a family devastated by poverty and addiction, with a sheer force of unconditional love that shines through."
WINNER OF THE
2020 BOOKER PRIZE
"Bregman fills these pages to the brim with case after case that humans are innately good and kind - a truly uplifting read."
"Alam perfectly captures the fear and dread that comes when a world just stops. Weaving between characters, he tackles ingrained racism and social disparity - absolute required reading for 2020. "
Sapiens: A Graphic History
By Yuval Noah Harari
By Elizabeth Wetmore
Breast and Eggs
By Mieko Kawakami
Saint X: A Novel
By Alexis Schaitkin
"Professor Harari, his niece Zoe, and a motley crew of historical figures all feature in this wonderfully illustrated graphic novel. A marvelous stepping stone into History for all ages."
"Broken and barely alive, 14 year old Gloria Ramírez is viciously attacked. What follows is a tidal wave of racism and victim blaming before justice can be served. This might be set in the 70s, but Wetmore's message is just as important today."
"Mixing comedy and realism, breasts and Eggs tackles the broader subjects of female repression in Japan, poverty, domestic violence, and reproductive ethics. An epic life-affirming journey about finding inner strength and peace."
"A hauntingly beautiful debut mystery/ psychological novel that really engages you with a colorful cast of characters"
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
By V. E. Schwab
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
By James Nestor
My Dark Vanessa
By Kate Elizabeth Russell
The Gifts of Reading
Curated Jennie Orchard
"Magical and fantastical, another Schwab read that you won't be able to set down. Perfect for artists, writers and musicians - or for any creative eager to leave their mark on the world."
"In a year as challenging as 2020, we're told it's important to pause, to take mindful moments to just breathe... Nestor tells us exactly why that is, and even shows us steps we can take to breathe better."
"Considered the most controversial book of 2020, but you know what? We need books like this. Books that challenge us, change us - and most importantly - books that give a voice to those who often go unheard."
"The act of reading might be solitary, but being a bookworm is anything but. The Gifts of Reading is a love letter to the books that connect us and fill us with joy."
By Naoise Dolan
Ready Player Two
By Ernest Cline
The Enola Holmes Mystery Series
By Nancy Springer
What We'll Build: Plans For Our Together Future
By Oliver Jeffers
"Set in our very own 852, Exciting Times is a 21st Century love story where Dolan's dry wit and sharpness shines."
"Action-packed and pop-culture filled, Ready Player Two is the perfect read if you need to put on a haptic suit, head back to the Oasis, and skip past 2020 for a bit."
"A beautifully illustrated tale about a father and daughter; two builders, a handful of tools, and the wonder they create."
By J.K. Rowling
By Jennifer Bell
New Kid Series: New Kid & Class Act
By Jerry Craft
"J.K. Rowling pens to paper what's sure to be a classic. The perfect bedtime story read with our two heroes going on a grand adventure to investigate a certain fabled monster..."
"Science, history and video games collide in Wonderscape, a virtual universe where our heroes need to somehow find their way back home. You'll fly through the pages of this fun-filled adventure."