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Book Recommendations List

Lists: Best Books of 2020

Publishers Weekly: Best Books 2020

Publishers Weekly started the annual parade off before Halloween with its lists. This page offers a portal to categories such as mystery/thriller, poetry, romance, various children’s levels, and YA.

Barnes & Noble: The Best Books of 2020

Barnes & Noble got in on the action during the first week of November. Here’s its portal to various lists.


Fortunately, when it comes to recommending good books, there are no mistakes.

—Ron Charles, Washington Post book columnist
Book Club Newsletter, 11/6/2020

RIF’s Favorite Books of 2020

THE 100 MUST-READ BOOKS OF 2020

Announcing the Amazon Editors’ Best Books of 2020

Bill Buford, the writer and former fiction editor at The New Yorker, once said: “Stories protect us from chaos, [and are] essential to the way we make sense of our lives.” Given the tumult of this past year, we’ve needed stories more than ever. And fortunately, while 2020 has fallen wildly short of many expectations, it’s been a boon for readers who enjoy great books. 

From Erin Kodicek, editor of Amazon Book Review, comes this list of the top 10 books of the year. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction. And, since it’s from Amazon, you’ll find many links to other lists that might suit you.

The 10 best books of 2020

Both fiction and nonfiction choices from the book folds at The Washington Post, with links to associated “best books of 2020” links.

50 notable works of fiction in 2020

Another offering from The Washington Post, also with associated links.

50 notable works of nonfiction in 2020

And here’s The Washington Post’s list of the year’s best nonfiction.

These Are the Best Books of 2020, According to O, The Oprah Magazine

Yes, Oprah weighs in with fiction and nonfiction titles.

100 Notable Books of 2020

This list from The New York Times includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

The End of the World Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2020

“The End of the World Review” formulated this list to contrast with the New York Times list above, which is heavily weighted toward the giant publishing conglomerates.

The New York Public Library: Best Books of 2020

The New York Public Library offers lists for adults, for kids, and for teens. There are also Spanish lists and information on books available in accessible formats (e.g., digital talking books and braille editions).

The Ten Best Books About Food of 2020

“From cookbooks to grocery-store exposés, these new books will tempt palates and fuel curiosity”

From Smithsonian Magazine.

The best books of the year 2020

From the BBC Culture desk.

Best books of 2020

From The Guardian, this is the portal page to lists in fiction, children’s books, crime and thrillers, science fiction and fantasy, memoir and celebrity books, politics, ideas, sport, nature and science, poetry, comics and graphic novels, art, food, and stocking fillers.

The Best Nonfiction Books of 2020

Recommendations from Sophie Roell, editor and one of five founders of Five Books.

AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2020

This page features the best of the best. 

The Best Books We Read in 2020

“The fiction and nonfiction, old and new, that kept us going.” From The New Yorker. The books that comprise this list are not necessarily new publications from 2020.

Best Books of 2020

This is BookRiot’s portal to its lists of best books in these categories: children’s, comics, fantasy, fiction, horror, mystery/thriller, nonfiction, poetry, romance, science fiction, young adult.

Our columnist picks his 10 favorite crime novels of 2020

Choices from Adam Woog, crime and mystery fiction columnist for The Seattle Times.

The best mysteries and thrillers of 2020

This list contains only a few titles, with a link to the full list of 20. I’ve included this link because the article begins with a brief description of how the Amazon Book Review selects its best books of the year: “there’s no formula. It’s just us, reading new books by authors we love, reading books recommended by publishers, or reading books because we just like the look, or the description, of that particular book.”

NPR’s Book Concierge

NPR offers a big list of books that allows you to apply all different kinds of filters to find something that’s just right for you or for some lucky gift recipient. And just in case you can’t find anything published this year that quite fills the bill, you can also consult the best books of years past (back to 2013).

The Best of 2020: Our Top Ten

AudioFile has its list of the best audiobooks of 2020. Here Audible, the audiobooks arm of Amazon, offers its list of the top 10. At the bottom of the page are links to other categorical lists, such as fiction, comedy & humor, memoir, self-development, and mysteries & thrillers.

Times Critics’ Top Books of 2020

“The Times’s staff critics give their choices of the best fiction and nonfiction works of the year.”

From The New York Times.

Our Top Five Picks For Best Mystery & Suspense of 2020

From Jamie Canavés for Novel Suspects: “The way I judged this year’s list was rather simple: what are the thriller books and mystery books published this year that I read and am I still thinking about? In a year that felt a decade long, it seemed like a good way to set the bar.”

The best books of 2020 – picked by our acclaimed guest authors

Here’s another list from The Guardian: “Our panel of writers – who all published books this year – share their favourite titles of 2020.”

Our 65 Favorite Books of the Year

From Emily Temple for LitHub: “We Lived Through 2020 and All We Got Were These Really Good Books.”

Of all the unique occurrences of 2020 that Temple lists (and the first paragraph is worth reading just for this list), my favorite is this one: “We all watched every TV show ever created and then complained about them on the internet.” I say this after watching all seven seasons of The 100, a show with an interesting premise that outlived that premise by four seasons and ended up with a totally stupid conclusion. 

The Best Books to Elevate Your Reading List in 2020

From Esquire: “The best fiction and nonfiction of the year covers everything from teenage sexuality to Big Tech, while also telling deeply human stories of identity, romance, and family.”

Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Books of 2020

I always take special interest in this list because the books are chosen not by critics or professional associations but by ordinary readers like you and me.

© 2020 by Mary Daniels Brown