So many great books have been released in 2020, from gothic thrillers to provocative books about race, it’s helping to make being stuck at home a little less difficult. So, without further ado, there’s the list of the Best Books of 2020 (so far), according to yours truly.
This list will be updated throughout the year, so stay tuned. This list is limited to titles that have already or are very soon to receive a full release. It’s based both on my personal opinions and reviews from others. Happy reading!
What It's About: In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range.
In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself...See the Full Summary and Review of Deacon King Kong Publication Date: March 3, 2020
What It's About: On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally--and willing to fight to the end...Publication Date: February 25, 2020
What It's About: Twins, inseparable as children, ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds: one black and one white.
The Vignes sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything, including their racial identities...See the Full Summary and Review of The Vanishing Half Publication Date: June 2, 2020
What It's About: A New York Times Notable Book (2020)
Best Book of 2020: Guardian, Financial Times, Literary Hub, and NPR
A thrilling departure: A short, piercing, deeply moving new novel from the acclaimed author of I Am, I Am, I Am, about the death of Shakespeare's eleven-year-old son Hamnet--a name interchangeable with Hamlet in fifteenth-century Britain--and the years leading up to the production of his great play...Publication Date: March 31, 2020
What It's About: “If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?”
England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves...Publication Date: March 5, 2020
What It's About: The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams...Publication Date: February 4, 2020
What It's About: The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.
“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance...Publication Date: August 4, 2020
What It's About: Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city from an ancient evil in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.
Every great city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children...Publication Date: March 24, 2020
What It's About: What was it like? Living in that house.
Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors...See the Full Summary and Review of Home Before Dark Publication Date: June 30, 2020
What It's About: After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region...See the Full Summary and Review of Mexican Gothic Publication Date: June 30, 2020
What It's About: This book is a 'remix' of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning that's intended for younger audiences.
It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.Publication Date: March 10, 2020