The number of “must read” lists is mind-boggling, isn’t it? It feels like every month — if not every week — there’s a new roundup of titles no self-respecting reader would even consider missing. But reading them all would be nearly impossible, even in a pandemic, unless you cease eating, human interaction, and basic personal hygiene. (Please do not cease these things.)
Happily, The Bookies have got your back. Our readers’ advisors have read some of the most lauded titles of 2020 and narrowed down the list, making sure there’s something for everyone. Listed below are a few highlights, along with a link to the download the full list of titles. We’ve also featured some of the picks on our Instagram page — just click the green “Book Buzz” circle to see what each one of us especially loved.
Andrea’s Pick: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
A compulsively organized New York woman has an unexpected premonition of her life in five years, and then the man from that vision appears in her life – as her best friend’s new boyfriend. This is a surprising, poignant story of friendship, love, and grief.
A moving portrait of the determination of both young and old members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians to protect their culture and traditions in the early 1950’s. The novel was inspired by the true story of Erdrich’s grandfather, who fought efforts by the Federal government to terminate the rights of Native American tribes in 1953.
Ellen’s Pick: Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens
High school freshman Boady, who is white, and his new neighbor, Thomas, who is black, are unlikely friends in their small Southern town in the 1970s which is still under the influence of a KKK-like group of thugs. When they find a body in the woods, they inadvertently stir up a hornet’s nest of racism that reaches deep into the heart of their community.
Erica’s Pick: Remembrance by Rita Woods
Historical fiction with a magical realism bent — four women across two centuries struggle with the brutalities of slavery. A hidden village on the Underground Railroad, invisible to slavers, provides sanctuary, but disaster looms. Imaginative, evocative, and complex, with distinctive and strong-willed women at its heart.
An old church deacon nicknamed “Sportcoat’’ is the heart and soul of James McBride’s hilarious new novel set in the Brooklyn projects of the 1960s. McBride’s writing is exquisite and funny. He brings humanity and humor to his characters while dealing with poverty, racism, drugs and violence.
Lindsay’s Pick: Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
A mystery bookshop owner is drawn into the investigation of murders that closely follow a list he drew up years before highlighting what he deems “perfect” murders in some eight murder mysteries. Swanson’s witty ode the mystery genre is twisty and satisfying.
Marianne’s Pick: The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
The story of a Chicago family and four adult daughters’ relationships with their still madly in love parents and each other. Secrets and rivalries abound in this novel of love and family.