The Best Books of 2020 (So Far)

2020 best books new releases fiction nonfiction

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!

Deacon King Kong
James McBride | Riverhead Books

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

The Splendid & The Vile
Erik Larson | Crown

What It's About: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City delivers a startlingly fresh portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz

On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away...

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

The Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett | Riverhead Books

What It's About: From the New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers , a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical...

See the Full Summary and Review of The Vanishing Half

Publication Date: June 2, 2020

Maggie O'Farrell | Knopf

What It's About: 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.

England, 1580...

Publication Date: July 21, 2020

The Mirror & The Light
Hilary Mantel | Henry Holt and Co.

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 10, 2020

The Girl with the Louding Voice
Abi Daré | Dutton

What It's About: A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future.

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a “louding voice”—the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future...

Publication Date: February 4, 2020

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Isabel Wilkerson | Random House

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

The City We Became
N. K. Jemisin | Orbit

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

Home Before Dark
Riley Sager | Dutton

What It's About: In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

What was it like? Living in that house...

See the Full Summary and Review of Home Before Dark

Publication Date: June 30, 2020

Mexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Del Rey

What It's About: An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic artistocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar)...

See the Full Summary and Review of Mexican Gothic

Publication Date: June 30, 2020

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Tiffany Jewell | Frances Lincoln Children's Books/Little, Brown Young Readers

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: August 5, 2020

2020 best books new releases fiction nonfiction

2020 best books new releases fiction nonfiction