2020 saw the release of some incredible books in all genres. People read more diversely and great books came to light and got the attention they deserve.
There have been some absolute page-turners from fantasy to literary fiction.
Here’s a list of 30 books released in 2020 which had people on the edge of their seats
1. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Author – Deepa Anappara
Jai, a young boy living in the slums of Mumbai, India puts his detective skills to use along with his trusty sidekick, Faiz and his Hermoine-esque friend, Pari to find the children who have gone missing from the slums.
2. The Burning God
Author – R. F. Kuang
The final book in the incredible The Poppy War series, Rin again finds herself battling invading powers especially the Dragon Republic and the Hesperians. The book is as brutal as its predecessors and filled with moments which will make you cry.
3. Shuggie Bain
Author – Douglas Stuart
Winner of the Booker Prize 2020, the book takes us into the life of yount Shuggie or Hugh, who shares a beautiful bond with his resilient mother. Set in the 1980’s, Shuggie’s family is among millions others who have been affected by Thatcher’s policies in Scotland but they try to keep their above the water even when things are bleak.
4. A Long Petal of the Sea
Author – Isabel Allende
A new family runs away from General Franco’s dictatorial rule in Spain and make their way to Chile. As they settle in and find their way, Chile is taken over by Pinochet and they have to flee to Venezuela. A beautiful historical fiction talking about a family which sticks together.
5. Transcendent Kingdom
Author – Yaa Gyasi
Science and religion come face to face in this tale of a Ghanaian immigrant who finds herself finding answers to the suffering and pain she has witnessed, in both neurology and her old faith.
6. Mexican Gothic
Author – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Noemi receives q letter from her newly wed sister to visit her in her country home. Based in Mexico, Noemi soon finds that her sister’s English in-laws are neck deep in eugenics and have performed atrocities which leave Noemi hoping to return to her family.
7. The Mirror and the Light
Author – Hillary Mantel
The last book in the Thomas Cromwell series – preceded by Bring up the Bodies and Wolf Hall – concludes the story of Cromwell and his involvement in his master, Henry VIII’s work and life.
8. The Midnight Lie
Author – Marie Rutkoksi
An LGBTQ+ fantasy which received only a part of the attention it deserved, put the real world into a fantastical spin. Where Nirrim lives, there’s only crime and injustice while the High Kith benefit from the tithe the others pay. But when she finds hope that she might have magic of her own, she decides to leave behind her old life.
9. The Mercies
Author – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Based in a small Norwegian village in the 1600s, all the women in the town must take responsibilities of both men and women when a storm kills the men. They quickly and efficiently learn the skills but when Absalom Cornet arrives with his young wife, Ursa, he also brings with him the ideology that women who try to do the work of men must be persecuted.
10. The Glass Hotel
Author – Emily St. John Mandel
The latest book from the author of the hugely successful Station Eleven, is quite literally set in a glass hotel – Hotel Caiette in British Columbia. Vincent worked in the bar but he has now mysteriously disappeared. But 13 years back, something connected Vincent, his brother Paul, the hotel’s owner, Jonathan and a shipping executive, Leon.
11. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author – V. E. Schwab
Adeline LaRue wants nothing more than to not be married to the man her family has chosen and to escape, she does that one thing she was cautioned against – pray to a God who answers after dark. 300 years later, Addie is still roaming the earth but the only catch is that nobody remembers her the moment she goes out of their sight.
12. Sharks in the Time of Saviors
Author – Kawai Strong Washburn
A family saga based over a few decades in Hawaii talks of the Flores family. On a family cruise, young Nao falls into the sea only to be delivered back to the family by sharks. While Nao’s need to be connected with the divine increases, the family slowly drifts apart.
13. The Unspoken Name
Author – A. K. Larkwood
First book in the Serpent Gates series, Larkwood writes the perfect assassin. Csorwe is about to sacrifice herself to the gods but a mage offers a different path. She can join him, train to be powerful and help him topple a regime.
14. Darling Rose Gold
Author – Stephanie Wrote
Rose Gold Watts was sick for the first 18 years of her life. Sometimes her condition was so bad she needed a wheelchair. But then it turned out that she wasn’t and it was only a lie her mother made up. Now her mother has served her five years and ready to reconcile with her daughter and explain why she did what she did. But 18 years a long time to make things better.
15. Real Life
Author – Brandon Taylor
One of the most moving books of 2020, Real Life is nothing but the truth. Black and Queer, Wallace has created a lot of walls around himself even when he has left behind his conservative town. But an encounter with a hostile white and straight classmate make him realize that things have not changed much.
16. The Vanishing Half
Author – Brit Bennett
Faintly reminiscent of Sula by Toni Morrison, the Vignes take very different paths in life. While one remains where they grew up with her daughter, the other marries a white man and deleted her past.
17. The Empire of Gold
Author – S. A. Chakraborty
The incredible conclusion to the Daevabad series, see the fall of Daevabad and Nahri and Ali safely escaped to Cairo. However, they both can’t stop thinking about the people and families they have left behind.
Author – Daisy Johnson
The author takes a look into sibling love and what happens when they drift apart to exert their own individual personalities. July and September were born only 10 months apart and are as close as you’d expect. But when they have to move and start a more isolated lives, their distance increases.
19. Forest of Souls
Author – Lori M. Lee
Considered to be perfect for the fans of Naomi Novik, it beats A Deadly Education by a lot. Sirscha is a determined heroine who would do anything to be something. After training to be masterful spy, she finds herself in a strong different than she expected when her best friend is killed in a shaman attack.
20. Oona Out of Order
Author – Margarita Montimore
18 year old Oona is having the happiest New Years Eve. She has a nice boyfriend, plays in a band and her 19th birthday is just around the corner. But at the stroke of midnight, something odd happens and she wakes up as herself, only now she’s 52 years old.
21. The Mountains Sing
Author – Nguyen Phan Que Mai
The Mountains Sing is a family saga based around the Tran family who were forced to flee their land by the Communist government. Years later, they find themselves in a similar situation when Huong has to see her parents and uncles fight in the Vietnam War.
22. The City We Became
Author – N. K. Jemisin
From the highly successful writer of The Fifth Season, The City We Became is the first book in the Great Cities series which focus on the evil that resides under the glamor of each place.
23. Blacktop Wasteland
Author – S. A. Cosby
A heist thriller with one of the most badass characters – Beaugard Montage – was one of the nail biting reads of 2020. Bug was once a well known getaway driver and after some financial troubles he must go back to the life he had left behind.
24. My Dark Vanessa
Author – Kate Elizabeth Russell
Years back, 15 year old Vanessa found herself in a relationship with her manipulative teacher, Jacob Strane. When other allegations come against Strane and one person approaches Vanessa, she must decide how much of it was manipulation and if she really knew what she was getting into.
Author – Megan Giddings
Lena Johnson has just found herself the perfect job. It’s high paying and all she has to do is lie about what is done. Focused on important topics such as genetic manipulation, racism and ‘designer babies’, Lakewood is a mysterious medical thriller in its own way.
26. Black Sun
Author – Rebecca Roadhouse
Back sun is without doubt one of the best epic fantasies of 2020. First book in the Earth and the Sky series, it’s based in the city of Tova where a rare celestial event raises brows as its considered to be the moment of the unbalancing of the world. And sailing towards Tova is Xiala and Serapio who have motives of their own.
27. The Death of Vivek Oji
Author – Akwaeke Emezi
The Death of Vivek Ojibwa is a truly moving read. Based in Nigeria, it follows Vivek, a child with mysterious happenings. Vivek often has moments of disconnections and people struggle to understand him. He finds solace in his friendship with Osita.
28. Death in Her Hands
Author – Ottessa Moshfegh
The book is a beautiful combination of psychological horror and suspense. An elderly widow finds a note pinned to a tree in her new town. The note tells about Magda and her death. Slowly, the protagonist becomes obsessed with the woman, her death and life.
29. Deacon King Kong
Author – James McBride
Sportcoat accidently shoots a young man. What follows is a frequently hilarious account of the African -American and Latinx community who witnessed it, the white neighbours and the cops who have been assigned the case.
30. The Only Good Indians
Author – Stephen Graham Jones
A horror story of Nature and humans clashing, The Only Good Indians is arguably one of the best horror books of 2020 as four American Indian men have their past come back to haunt them.
Do you have any suggestions for this list. Leave a comment down below.