As this strange, at times chaotic, and unprecedented year comes to an end, take heart (or not) in one constant that cannot be altered: The best of (insert year here) book list. 2020 has produced a bumper crop of these lists, maybe because many of us have had more time at home to read this year.
Whatever the reason, wading through them all can be daunting. If you want to dip your toe in the ‘best reads of 2020’ waters, here is a selection of the major lists that have come out so far. And never forget, almost all of these titles are available from the Everett Public Library.
First and foremost, and admittedly we could be a little biased here, you need to check out our very own Spot-Lit posts on A Reading Life. Every month, Spot-Lit highlights some of the most anticipated new fiction releases based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm. You can access all of the 2020 recommendations, complete with links to the catalog, from the Notable New Fiction 2020 list.
Newspapers and news outlets are the mainstay of the Best of Lists, and this year is no exception:
New York Times 100 Most Notable Books
Los Angeles Times 10 Best Books of 2020
USA Today Best Books of 2020
Magazines and media figures have also been busy compiling:
Oprah Magazine Best Books of 2020
Time Magazine 100 Must-Read Books of 2020
Vanity Fair 15 Best Books of 2020
Bill Gates 5 Good Books for a Lousy Year
New Yorker The Best Books We Read in 2020
And, of course, the literary & book world outlets have plenty of lists to peruse:
Publishers Weekly Best Books 2020
Library Journal Best Books 2020
Literary Hub Our 65 Favorite Books of the Year
Book Riot Best Books of 2020
Pacific Northwest Booksellers 2021 Book Awards Shortlist (all published in 2020)
Finally, it can be fun to view Best of Lists from other countries to gain a different perspective:
The Guardian Best Books of 2020
Canadian Broadcast Company Best Canadian Fiction of 2020
So can anything good be said of this wretched outgoing year? Perhaps not. But at least it produced some great books for us to read as we move onward and upward.