Best Books of 2020The Best Books of 2020! It is time to start shopping for yourself or for someone on your gift-giving list. This blog post is dedicated to my fellow book lovers with whom I share a passion to read. Today, I want to share a list of the best books of 2020 in each of the Good Reads categories. Quick side note: If you aren’t a member of Good Reads, it is a 100% free service that allows you to learn about new books, read book reviews, track the books that you have read – and save a list of books that you want to read. It is a great way for a bibliophile to get organized.

I know what you are thinking, it is November 16th. We have six more weeks to go before we are technically at the end of the year. But, between now and then, I doubt that this list of the best books of 2020 is going to change too much. We are in the ‘Semi Final” stage of the voting schedule and on Tuesday, November 17th, the Final Round of voting will commence. If you are a Good Reads member, you can cast your vote on the book(s) that you think deserve a place at the top – otherwise, you can use this blog post as a guide to help you decide which books you want to read. Winners will be announced on December 8th, 2020.

Best Books of 2020

Here are the twenty categories, I have selected my top pick(s) in each one. I have read some of these books, but not most. To see all the nominees, just click on the numbered list that will open a new tab in your browser and take you to the complete list of nominees in each category:

  1. Best Fiction – I actually want to read them all, but Anxious People and American Dirt are my top two.
  2. Best Mystery and Thriller – The Guest List by Lucy Foley gets my vote. I devoured it and boy oh boy, what a shocking twist of events! I usually can predict the outcome, but this author had me guessing and then stunned me.
  3. Best Historical FictionThe Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.
  4. Best FantasyHouse of Earth and Blood (getting this for the hubby for Christmas).
  5. Best Romance – I read Beach Read by Emily Henry, it was entertaining but meh. Next on my list is One to Watch. I am also DELIGHTED that it is a debut novel!
  6. Best Science Fiction – The Hidden Girl and Other Stories. Credit goes to those authors that can suck you in with a gripping short story that leaves so much more to the imagination than a 300+ page novel.
  7. Best Horror – I’m just going to leave this link right here. I am not much into these books, but if you are… Mexican Gothic has garnered a lot of press.
  8. Best Humor – After this year, we could all use a good laugh. Solutions and Other Problems is my pick.
  9. Best Non FictionTrust: America’s Best Chance by Pete Buttigieg. I hope to see more of him on our political landscape.
  10. Best Memoir and AutobiographyUntamed by Glennon Doyle is on my want to read list. Although, I do struggle with her pandering to those who are cripplingly insecure.
  11. Best History and Biography – My mother is English and married an American man. Her bookshelves are lined with books about Winston Churchill. It’s time for me to get up to speed with The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson.
  12. Best Science and Technology – I can relate to this. As a former PADI Certified scuba diver, I have often wondered why at the end of a dive, my tank has always been left with twice as much air than my fellow divers. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. Breathe in breathe out.
  13. Best Food and CookbooksEat a Peach. Just peachy!
  14. Best Graphics Novels and ComicsHeartstopper Volume Three – but you need to start HERE: Heartstopper Volume One.
  15. Best Poetry – If there was ever a time to evaluate my friendships, this is the year. I have learned so much about the true fragility of long time friendships and the strength of new ones. Homie by Danez Smith. Poems about friendships, the ones that stay and the ones that go.
  16. Best Debut Novel – One of my favorite categories, acknowledging emerging writers! – One to Watch
    by Kate Stayman-London.
  17. Best Young Adult FictionClap When You Land is top on my list and I hope to get my son, Jackson to read it.
  18. Best Young Adult Fantasy – The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins, because even as an adult – I am a die hard fan of all her Hunger Games books.
  19. Best Middle Grade and Children’s – Honestly, this is another category (like Horror) that I have little knowledge about. My son is only reading books assigned by his high school and my daughter is too young for this category.
  20. Best Picture BooksAntiracist Baby. In the wake of the senseless and racially-based deaths of countless black people in this country, it is not enough to teach yourself (me included) and your family about systemic racism. We must teach our children to be antiracist – there is a BIG difference. Read more about that here in this blog post: How to Teach Your Kids to be Anti-Racist.

I hope you get some new books ideas from this post. Please feel free to make suggestions for other books in the comments section below. Thank you and happy reading!



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sarah o’brien

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