Why on earth would he do such a thing? Whether in the tumultuous halls of power in Tudor England with The Mirror & the Light, a storm-ravaged mansion in A Children’s Bible or a ghost-filled Japan with Where the Wild Ladies Are, readers could find joyful, thrilling distraction, models of resilience and empathy and challenges that somehow made our own feel more bearable. That understated and witty touch is what makes this short story collection, translated to English by Polly Barton, so special. MacMillan writes with impressive ease. Fiction | W.W. Norton & Company. Alternating sections recount the separate fates of Stella and Desiree, twin sisters from a Black Louisiana town during Jim Crow, whose residents pride themselves on their light skin. Buy Now: Shuggie Bain on Bookshop | Amazon. O’Farrell, an Irish-born novelist, conjures with sensual vividness the world of the playwright’s hometown: the tang of new leather in his cantankerous father’s glove shop; the scent of apples in the storage shed where he first kisses Agnes, the farmer’s daughter and gifted healer who becomes his wife; and, not least, the devastation that befalls her when she cannot save her son from the plague. With so many amazing fiction books on the market, it can be hard to know which book is right for you. Each chapter centers on a year with a different thematic focus. Buy Now: Where the Wild Ladies Are on Bookshop | Amazon, Read More: The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020. Lindsay Baker rounds up BBC Culture’s picks. $28. Best Book Club Books: End of 2019 The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates Coates’s debut novel mixes magical realism with historical fiction as it tells the story of Hiram Walker, who joins the … Updated: November 19, 2020 3:04 PM EST | Originally published: November 19, 2020 10:36 AM EST, Georgia Election Official Calls Out Trump. $27. Although some people spend the time leading up to the … Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half lives just outside the realm of realism, in that space where a touch of fantasy serves to underscore the strangeness of reality. by David Baldacci. The sixth book in … 3 weeks on the list. Sportcoat, veteran resident of the Causeway Housing Projects, widower, churchgoer, odd-jobber, home brew-tippler and, now, after inexplicably shooting an ear clean off a local drug dealer, a wanted man. In moving between their three voices, Majumdar reveals the intersections of their ambitions and fears, coalescing into an unnerving investigation of corruption, class and tragedy. A mystery story, a crime novel, an urban farce, a sociological portrait of late-1960s Brooklyn: McBride’s novel contains multitudes. The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles this year. It’s all around us, influencing everything we see and do; it’s in our bones. In Where the Wild Ladies Are, Japanese author Aoko Matsuda guides readers through supernatural events and introduces them to otherworldly characters as if they were completely ordinary. His is a feat of narrative journalism but also a study in empathy; he unspools the stories of the Galvin siblings with enormous compassion while tracing the scientific advances in treating the illness. Even the deacon himself doesn’t seem to know. McBride, the author of the National Book Award-winning novel “The Good Lord Bird” and the memoir “The Color of Water,” among other books, conducts his antic symphony with deep feeling, never losing sight of the suffering and inequity within the merriment. Buy Now: I Hold a Wolf by the Ears on Bookshop | Amazon. The elastic plot expands to encompass rival drug crews, an Italian smuggler, buried treasure, church sisters and Sportcoat’s long-dead wife, still nagging from beyond the grave. While Natsu was measured and judgmental in narrating the story of her sister’s obsession with perfecting her image, she is now uncertain and confused by her own fears about aging. Don and Mimi Galvin had the first of their 12 children in 1945. | Read the review | Listen: Anna Wiener on the podcast. Buy Now: Breasts and Eggs on Bookshop | Amazon. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. Buy Now: Deacon King Kong on Bookshop | Amazon. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. Their interactions are relayed through the dry voice of Natsu in scenes filled with blunt and witty dialogue. The Best Fiction Books Coming Out in 2020. ... December 10 2020. Read the best new books released, and yet to come, in 2020. From the opening chapters when the fictional Ayad’s father treats Donald Trump for a heart condition in the 1990s, it’s clear we are in a world that is recognizable but not necessarily real. Beyond Jivan, Majumdar introduces two key perspectives: the protagonist’s former gym teacher, PT Sir, who has ties to the right-wing political party that seeks to seal her fate, and Lovely, an outcast with dreams of being an actor and the only person who can prove Jivan’s innocence. All Rights Reserved. Among them are the “grief freelancer” who brings in extra income by impersonating the dead, the wife who is unknowingly being drugged by her husband with sedative-spiked seltzer and the daughter who accompanies her ailing mother on a bittersweet final tour of Italy. While the setting is bleak, littered with descriptions of quiet indignities—Agnes’ late-night calls to her ex-husband’s taxi company, lingering mugs filled with day-old beer—the guiding light of the novel is the boy’s enduring love for his mother. Paperback Trade Fiction. It’s September 1969 when Sportcoat, the grumpy old deacon of a church in the Causeway Houses project in Brooklyn, shoots local drug dealer Deems in the face. Suddenly, she’s gone, leaving a devastated Desiree behind. No matter what fiction books you like best, there's a hot … While the grown-ups indulge (pills, benders, bed-hopping), the kids, disaffected teenagers and their parentally neglected younger siblings, look on with mounting disgust. View the Top 100 best sellers for each year, in Amazon Books, Kindle eBooks, Music, MP3 Songs and Video Games. Presidential memoirs are meant to inform, to burnish reputations and, to a certain extent, to shape the course of history, and Obama’s is no exception. National Book Award-winning author James McBride unveils the answer in this story of comedy and compassion, which pays loving attention to a wide cast of characters. Reading fiction in 2020 was an act of defiance—of turning our attention away from the catastrophes playing out around us to engage in a quiet, imaginative act. The last chapter, “2017: Left | Right,” where Shapiro truly soars, analyzes the notorious Central Park production of “Julius Caesar.” By this point it is clear that the real subject of the book is not Shakespeare plays, but us, the U.S. Nonfiction | Penguin Press. In his latest book, the author of “Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?” and “1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare” has outdone himself. | Read the review, [ Want more? $30. The characters in these narratives are each broken in different ways, but they all quietly grapple with life’s greatest questions—the meaning of loneliness and loss, the durability of love. When Stella decides to pass for white, the sisters’ lives diverge, only to intersect unexpectedly, years later. | Read the review. The first chapter, “1833: Miscegenation,” revolves around John Quincy Adams and his obsessive hatred of Desdemona. Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s novel, which was a National Book Award finalist, is both an adventure story reminiscent of the classics and a warning tale of a grim future told through the eyes of a generation far too comfortable with catastrophe. In Millet’s latest novel, a bevy of kids and their middle-aged parents convene for the summer at a country house in America’s Northeast. War has led to many of civilization’s great disasters but also to many of civilization’s greatest achievements. I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is short fiction at its finest: van den Berg captures the cruelest of traumas on one page, then supplies a healing dose of humor on the next. Few novels were as eagerly anticipated this year as The Mirror & The Light, the conclusion to British author Hilary Mantel’s blockbuster Wolf Hall trilogy. Nonfiction | Doubleday. 3. He takes two huge cultural hyper-objects — Shakespeare and America — and dissects the effects of their collision. A bold feat of imagination and empathy, this novel gives flesh and feeling to a historical mystery: how the death of Shakespeare’s 11-year-old son, Hamnet, in 1596, may have shaped his play “Hamlet,” written a few years later. A GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick! “For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation of the family is permanently tilted,” Kolker writes. Then, Kawakami shifts the story forward, picking up 10 years later and focusing on Natsu as she is single but considering motherhood. By Corinne Sullivan. It’s historical fiction, but dazzlingly literary in its ambitions and dramatic in the cut and thrust of its dialogue. In her first novel published in English, Japanese author Mieko Kawakami follows three women and their relationships with their changing bodies. Fiction | Riverhead Books. 2020 Best Books: Realistic Fiction Recommendations : Pop Culture Happy Hour Every year, NPR brings together some of the best books in a searchable, explorable guide called the Book … Wiener’s stylish memoir is an uncommonly literary chronicle of tech-world disillusionment. Beneath the polished surface and enthralling plotlines of Bennett’s second novel, after her much admired “The Mothers,” lies a provocative meditation on the possibilities and limits of self-definition. | Read the review | Listen: Robert Kolker on the podcast. Our list of favorites, fiction and nonfiction. ... General fiction. An eloquent new entry to literature on that most vital of subjects, identity, The Vanishing Half is the novel of the year. Soured on her job as an underpaid assistant at a literary agency in New York, Wiener, then in her mid-20s, heads west, heeding the siren call of Bay Area start-ups aglow with optimism, vitality and cash. Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li. Fiction | Alfred A. Knopf. ... keep an eye on this list of the top new books to watch out for in 2020. This is a short book but a rich one with a profound theme. The New York Public Library is proud to present our Best Books of 2020. | Read the review | Listen: Lydia Millet on the podcast. The 10 Best Books of 2020: It was an off year for the arts, but not for books. The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, Erik Larson. Mantel’s evocation of Tudor England and her ear for political drama were just as immersive as ever, and the book climbed to the top of bestseller lists in the U.S. and U.K. The result is a reimagining of traditional tales as part of a broader narrative about women and power. $26.95. At once personal and political, Akhtar’s second novel can read like a collection of pitch-perfect essays that give shape to a prismatic identity. $28. $45. By signing up you are agreeing to our. Buy Now: The Vanishing Half on Bookshop | Amazon. | Read the review | Listen: James McBride on the podcast. Check out our list of 100 notable books of 2020. The novel, a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Booker Prize, is a gut punch. We found the best fiction books of 2020, ranging from historical fiction to romance, fantasy, and even creepy thrillers and mystery. Write to Lucy Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Annabel Gutterman at email@example.com and Ciara Nugent at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fiction | Riverhead Books. Intelligence and good looks ran in the family, but so, it turns out, did mental illness: By the mid-1970s, six of the 10 Galvin sons had developed schizophrenia. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. The Best Books to Look Out For in 2020: Children's and Young Adult. While each chapter is its own contained short story, some interlink. “Bennett’s tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it’s especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel, … Bennett weaves a layered and satisfying narrative that shifts through time and multiple characters’ perspectives to trace the impact of a single decision on Stella, her family and the next generation. When a catastrophic storm tears through the house, the adults choose to ignore the chaos and turn to the liquor cabinet instead, leaving the kids to seek safety on their own. Her thoughts on the burgeoning natural disaster capture the dual personalities of a sulking teen, sick of her parents, and a young person forced to grow up too fast. At its rollicking heart is Deacon Cuffy Lambkin, a.k.a. Nonfiction | Crown. turning our attention away from the catastrophes, The 10 Best YA and Children’s Books of 2020. Practically every page of her book is interesting and, despite the grimness of its argument, even entertaining. An easy, elegant writer, he studs his narrative with affectionate family anecdotes and thumbnail sketches of world leaders and colleagues. Nonfiction | Random House. May 10 Walk The Wire: David Baldacci: May 17 Camino Winds: John Grisham: May 24 The … Buy Now: Homeland Elegies on Bookshop | Amazon. By Christopher Borrelli. This year’s Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction was the closest contest in the history of the awards. And the year’s best fiction offered many paths toward greater understanding and meaningful escape. House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1) Sarah J. Maas (Goodreads Author) Debuted: October 22 2020. Against the backdrop of a city neglected by the government and in decline, Shuggie and Agnes wrestle for control over their lives, often finding themselves swept away by the waves of her addiction. In describing these anxieties, Kawakami takes a stirring look at the expectations put on women by the world and by themselves. Books are both solace and inspiration. Please try again later. … Mantel’s Cromwell is a character for the ages—rough-edged yet introspective, with a mind as sharp as an axe. Stuart writes beautifully observed inner lives for both characters, capturing Shuggie’s devotion to his sometimes vivacious and glamorous mother and the pain that comes from seeing her transformed into a hateful, unpredictable stranger by drink. It’s a delicate balancing act between what’s real and what may not be, yet in Akhtar’s brilliant book the complexities of the American Dream have never been so naked. It’s an action with terrible consequences, as she’s taken into custody and accused of aiding the attackers. In her second novel, Bennett invents the tiny Black town of Mallard, La., where the residents pride themselves on their light skin, and identical twins Stella and Desiree Vignes are growing up in the 1950s all too aware of racial violence and oppression. In her exquisitely plotted debut novel, Megha Majumdar writes with absorbing urgency as she details Jivan’s plight. The lure and ruin of capital, the wounds of 9/11, the bitter pill of cultural rejection: Akhtar pulls no punches critiquing the country’s most dominant narratives. Douglas Stuart’s acclaimed debut novel draws heavily … Buy Now: A Children’s Bible on Bookshop | Amazon. Browse Amazon’s “Best … Of course, the books you like to read will depend on your own unique preferences. Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart Start planning those reading lists for the new year with this bumper selection of forthcoming fiction for 2020. With an unfailingly light touch, Millet delivers a wry fable about climate change, imbuing foundational myths with new meaning and, finally, hope. | Read the review | Read our profile. MacMillan argues that war — fighting and killing — is so intimately bound up with what it means to be human that viewing it as an aberration misses the point. They light the way, even while enabling temporary escape from life’s worries, which is why here, we wanted to share 20 of the best books 2020 had to … Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from t… There’s 30-year-old Natsu, her older sister Makiko and Makiko’s daughter Midoriko. Illustration by Luis Mazon. Pick up one of these. On a vacation like no other, a group of families share a lakeside summer home, where the parents care little about what their children are up to. The ensuing chaos is underscored by scenes and symbols repurposed from the Bible — a man on a blowup raft among the reeds, animals rescued from a deluge into the back of a van, a baby born in a manger. Discover Amazon’s Top 100 best-selling products in 2012, 2011, 2010 and beyond. $25.95. | Read the review. The 11 stories that comprise Laura van den Berg’s beautiful and bold collection feature a cast of contemplative women navigating situations that are strange, sad and unsettling. His father and two older siblings have left home, long before he can. $27. Our annual recommendations for kids, teens, and adults, curated by our expert librarians, encompass fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, poetry, kids’ books in Spanish, and much more. Story, some interlink remarkable degree of introspection is its own contained story... Series of unglamorous jobs — in various customer support positions — follow Deacon King Kong Bookshop... 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