You could check out all the lists below. Or you could just start here and be done with it. Emily Temple of Lit Hub has scoured all the “best books of the year” lists to find out which books appeared most often.
From Lit Hub editor Emily Temple: “I’ve polled the Lit Hub staff to settle on the ten best literary adaptations that debuted on small or large (ha ha) screens in this bizarre death spiral we’ve called 2020.”
BookBrowse presents its award winners in these categories: nonfiction, fiction, debut, and young adult.
And below those titles are the top ten best books of 2020 as voted by BookBrowse subscribers (more than 9,400 people voted).
From the Los Angeles Times.
Also from the Los Angeles Times, because “a lot of smart, important, moving literature was lost in the chaos” of this tumultuous year. The list contains memoirs, short stories, novels, and essays.
From Amazon Book Review.
Lamenting “that the New York Times list of 100 notable books from 2020 only included one short story collection,” Electric Literature offers its list of several more.
“Staff and contributors voted for the best memoirs, essays, and reported work.”
Finally, here’s Electric Literature’s favorite novels of 2020 as voted by staff and contributors.
According to Vulture.
Oline H. Cogdill for Florida’s Sun Sentinel.
From Off the Shelf: “These books are among the very best that compelled us to gush our praise out to the world.”
“When the BookPage editors finished creating our lists of the best books of 2020, we found we just couldn’t stop! Here we’ve rounded up amazing 2020 books we love for very specific reasons.”
From Crime Reads.
The Guardian asked readers about their favorite books of 2020. “From fiction to philosophy, sci-fi to crime, here are some of the best.”
Katy Walkman, book critic for The New Yorker, has a refreshing approach to compiling her list:
I regret to announce that I will not be declaring the ten best fiction books of the year. Such lists are malarkey. I’d be delighted to boss you around—I assume that’s why you’re here, to receive direction or fight—but please just think of the titles below as ten worthwhile books, milestones of a sort, published in this Very Weird Year.
OK, this is not exactly a list of best books. But according to Nicole Saraniero, “The most checked-out titles reflect the way New Yorkers were feeling about the historic events and cultural movements that have occurred over the past twelve months. Many books that earned top spots tackle subjects like social justice and isolation, while others offer pure escapism.”
This article avoids merely listing titles by commenting on and attempting to explain the significance of the data.
© 2020 by Mary Daniels Brown