Amazon Announces 2020’s Best Books of the Year So Far
The wide-ranging and diverse list spans genres, interests, and geographies to help customers discover their next great read
Throughout the year, the
“Determining the Best Books of the Year So Far took on even greater importance this year as many of us spent months at home and often turned to books to better understand our new normal or seek reprieve in another person’s story. In every page and chapter of these profound books, we found opportunities to escape to different worlds, travel through time, and remind ourselves of the things that connect us all,” said
The Girl with the Louding Voice’s altruistic protagonist resonated with readers as well, as the most highlighted passage from the Kindle edition of the book spoke to a desire to make an impact on oneself and others: “My mama say education will give me a voice. I want more than just a voice,
Upon hearing the news that her debut novel is at the top of the Best Books of the Year So Far list, Abi Daré said: “I am completely mind-blown by this! At a time when the world feels weightless and the days an endless, timeless thing filled with uncertainty, this news brought some laughter and color into my heart. A huge thank you to the brilliant editors at
Here are the
- The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel 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.
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker: Hidden Valley Roadis a heartbreaking, expertly told story of an all-American family, the Galvins, six of whom were diagnosed with schizophrenia while still teenagers. Relying on exhaustive research, Kolker weaves together cultural, medical, and family history to show the ravages of mental illness on the six Galvin boys, on their parents, and, perhaps most movingly, on their other six siblings.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: A Hunger Games Novel by
Suzanne Collins: The 10th anniversary of the Hunger Games is beginning, and 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow—President Snow, when we met him decades later in The Hunger Games—has an important role to play. Nearly impossible to put down, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is an exciting and thought-provoking novel that goes outside the arena to ask interesting questions about human nature and ambition.
Deacon King Kong: A Novel by
James McBride: Set in the 1960s, this propulsive and darkly comic neighborhood epic features a cast of characters that are beguiling, boozed-filled, and larger than life. National Book Award-winner McBride weaves a fictional story of one Brooklynproject, but in doing so tells a broader tale of race and religion, getting by and getting out, and how grudges and alliances become embedded in the foundations of our lives.
Pretty Things: A Novel by
Janelle Brown: When a second-generation grifter, Nina, and her shady boyfriend move to Lake Tahoe, they collide with a woman from Nina’s past, heiress Vanessa Liebling. Behind a glittering façade of old money and fast living, a darker story of social climbing, social media, revenge, and betrayal starts to take menacing shape.
Writers & Lovers: A Novel by
Lily King: Writers & Lovers is about the uncertainty of relationships, and of pursuing the creative life, in a world that values success and stability. Life is not waiting for Casey to fulfill her dream of being a novelist, so she works as a waitress and she dates, and she tries to figure it out as she goes. Love and art require frequent, often imperceptible, leaps of faith—and this book captures that perfectly.
Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of
Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In by Phuc Tran: Sigh, Gone is one of the funniest and most profound memoirs of the year so far. Without rose-colored glasses and with a flair for humor, Tran recounts his childhood as a Vietnamese kid growing up in a small Pennsylvaniatown: the racism, dislocation, and violence that surrounded him, how he fought to fit in, and how he fell in love with literature.
- The City We Became: A Novel by N. K. Jemisin: Five strangers unexpectedly become the living embodiments of New York City’s boroughs and must battle an evil entity that threatens the city. Jemisin infuses this live-wire love letter to the city’s diverse denizens with reality-ripping storytelling.
Oona Outof Order: A Novel by Margarita Montimore: Oona Lockhartis celebrating New Year’s Eve 1982 and the eve of her 19th birthday, but at midnight she passes out and wakes up as a 19-year-old trapped in the body of a 51-year-old. Thus begins Oona living life out of order. Although Oona Outof Order could be a fun romp through the adage “youth is wasted on the young” (and it is), it’s also a deeper look at destiny, love, and family.
The Mercies: A Novel by
Kiran Millwood Hargrave: There isn’t much that is not unforgiving when it comes to the far-flung and frigid town of Vardø, Norway, including the sea that surrounds it, which swallows the majority of its male population in an epic storm while they’re fishing. Accusations of witchcraft quickly infect this grieving but resourceful community, threatening what hard-won normalcy they’ve regained. The Mercies is infuriating, baleful, but full of stubborn hope.
The Girl with the Louding Voice joins the
To view the complete list of the Best Books of the Year So Far spanning literary fiction, cookbooks, children’s books and more, visit www.amazon.com/bestbookssofar.
For more coverage of the books featured on the Best Books of the Year So Far list, as well as insightful reviews on new books, author interviews, and hand-curated roundups in popular categories, visit the