As it does each year, Amazon has now unveiled its list of the Best Books of 2020. This time around, Amazon is highlighting 10 different titles that were announced within the calendar year, setting the stage for what will likely be some of the most popular gifts of the holiday season. We checked in at the halfway point of the year in June as Amazon noted a few top picks so far for 2020, but now we’re getting the full list. This year’s event feels different from previous renditions of the book list, given the number of people that are staying at home these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Head below for a look at Amazon’s top reads for 2020.
Amazon details its annual Best Books of the Year list
As noted off the top, it’s an even bigger year for the Best Books list, as there’s more interest amongst consumers for books than in recent memory. The global pandemic has more folks reading at home and books are an easy gift to ship out this holiday season. As such, Amazon’s best books of the year list is getting more attention than usual.
Without further ado, here’s the list of this year’s top reads from Amazon:
- A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom by Brittany K. Barnett: At times, Barnett’s memoir reads like page-turning crime fiction; at others, a galvanizing and redemptive portrait of a lawyer trying to defend Black lives that were never protected in the first place. Urgent, necessary, hopeful — and a knockout read.
- Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy: Teeming with adventure, darkness, love, and loss, Migrations is a novel that’s impossible to put down as you learn about the life of Franny Stone — a sharp, flawed, and determined woman who will stop at nothing to regain what she’s lost.
- Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel by S.A. Cosby: A pedal to the metal thriller about a retired getaway driver, caught between the rock of poverty and the hard place of Southern racism, who gambles on one last heist to get him ahead. Toggling between high-stakes action and quiet — even tender — family scenes, this is Southern noir with heart.
- Group by Christie Tate: Tate was a summer intern at a law firm and top of her class, and yet her memoir opens with her sitting in her car alone, wishing someone would shoot her. Written with the gift of hindsight, Group is an honest, heartbreaking, and hilarious look at reaching rock bottom and climbing your way back to life.
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: Ideal for book clubs, The Vanishing Half examines sisterhood, personal identity, starting fresh, and what it means to be Black (and white) in America. Bennett is known for creating taut family dramas, and like her brilliant debut, The Mothers, this novel shows just how strong the bonds of sisters are, even at their weakest.
- Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie: Set in post-WWII Japan, this sweeping story about a love child left with her scandalized, and brutal, grandparents will have you rooting for its resilient heroine, Nori, who must summon the courage to assert her own identity and live life on her own terms. This is a debut you don’t want to miss.
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson: Ten years after her award-winning The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson argues that our entire social structure is built upon an unrecognized caste system. White people — whether their ancestors were slave owners or abolitionists — have been able to live and thrive under these set assumptions of inequality. This is a mind-expanding book.
- The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré: In this rousing tale of courage and pluck, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl is sold into servitude by her father when her mother — a proponent of education — passes away. You will root for Adunni as she endeavors to escape her sorry — and often harrowing — lot and applaud the kind strangers who buoy her efforts and her spirits.
- Memorial by Bryan Washington: Memorial unfolds with depth, humor, and telling detail. Mike is a Japanese-American chef. His partner, Benson, is a Black daycare teacher. When Mike leaves Houston to visit his ailing father in Osaka, his mother comes to live with Benson. You will laugh, cry, and ask yourself: What makes a family?
- Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker: A medical mystery story — with twists and reveals to rival any thriller — that shows how an all-American family was ravaged as an elusive, centuries-old mental illness caught and kept them in its crosshairs for decades.
Which book are you most excited about this holiday season? We expect Amazon to offer up one of its usual promotions during Black Friday, discounting a number of books throughout Thanksgiving Week. Be sure to keep it locked to 9to5Toys for all of the latest details.
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