56 Greatest Books Of 2020

In her spectacular debut publication of nonfiction, Nezhukumatathil, an award-winning poet, turns her focus on the natural world, with a lyrical and imagistic look in the small daily wonders of life on Earth, visible to anyone who ceases to bear witness. In thirty magic essays, Nezhukumatathil spotlights organic astonishments raining from monsoon season in India to clusters of fireflies in western New York, every one a microcosm of joy and amazement. With her ecstatic prose and her rapturous powers of recognition, Nezhukumatathil proves herself a worthy spiritual successor to the likes of Mary Oliver and Annie Dillard, setting the bar high to get a new generation of nature authors. Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters,The Departure of Vivek Ojiis a novel of family and friendship which challenges expectations--a stunning story of loss and transcendence which will move every reader.
An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his lifetime to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present--from the Pulitzer Prize--winning author ofThe Soul of America. The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease. By theNew York Timesbestselling author ofThe Additional Wes Moore, a kaleidoscopic account of five times in the life of a city on the border, told by eight figures on the front lines of the uprising that overtook Baltimore and riveted the entire world. From the world-renowned physicist and bestselling author ofThe Elegant Universecomes a captivating exploration of profound time and humankind's search for goal.
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With all the makings of an instant queer timeless, Greenwell's moving new job walks the narrow line between novel and story collection with ease and precision. For all the misery we've observed in 2020, this year has also had a few bright spots--such as the release of Margaret Atwood's first poetry collection in more than a decade.
Given that the subject matter, it is fitting that this book was released only a couple months after the killing of George Floyd galvanized Americans across the nation in protest against anti-Blackness. By drawing parallels between the U.S. racial split and other caste systems which have existed throughout history, Isabel Wilkerson's latest is an immersive, unflinching taxonomy of this unspoken social sequence underpinning all of American society. A year after rising star Grace Turner inexplicably vanished from Hollywood, she unexpectedly reappears on the scene, only in time to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to director Able Yorke--her longtime abuser. Such is the way Ella Berman sets the stage in The Comeback, a compelling tale of power and justice in a place -#MeToo world. The dangers of gentrification turn quite literal in love veteran Alyssa Cole's unputdownable new thriller.
David Chang, the chef behind Momofuku and celebrity of Netflix's Ugly Delicious, shares an intimate account of the making of a chef, the story of the contemporary restaurant world he helped shape, and also the way he found that victory can be much harder to understand than failure. Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best sellerHomegoingis a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered book about a Ghanaian household in Alabama. Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a timely and short series of reflective essays by a number of the very clear-sighted and essential authors of our time. #1New York Timesbestselling writer Lisa Gardner unites three of her most beloved characters--Detective D. D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy--in a twisty new thriller, as they investigate a mysterious murder from the past...which points to a dangerous and frightening present-day crime. An electrical debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two sisters are on the run in an unforgiving landscape--attempting not just to survive but to locate a home. By the writer of the home of the Spirits,this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the wake of the Spanish Civil War looking for a place to call home.
Stuart writes superbly observed inner lives for both characters, capturing Shuggie's devotion to his occasionally vivacious and glamorous mum and the pain that comes out of viewing her transformed into a hateful, unpredictable stranger by drink. The novel, a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Booker Prize, is a gut punch. Few novels were eagerly anticipated this season as The Mirror & The Light, the decision to British writer Hilary Mantel's blockbuster Wolf Hall trilogy. Mantel's evocation of Tudor England and her ear to get political play proved just as immersive as ever, and the publication climbed to the very top of bestseller lists at the U.S. and U.K. In 900 richly detailed pages, The Mirror & The Light lays out the downfall of Thomas Cromwell, consigliere to King Henry VIII and powerbroker of the Reformation.
For lovers of theAmityville Horror story comes still another breath-stealer in the hit machine Sager. Maggie's father found fame and fortune writing a true account of the time at a haunted house, but it has never set well with Maggie. When free books download returns to the home after her father's death, she's determined to debunk the tale.
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