2020 may not have been the best year for many, but it was a great year for books.

2020 may not have been the best year for many, but it was a great year for books. Quite a few best-selling gems have emerged this year, many of them providing people with the perfect escape. Whether you’re interested in fiction or nonfiction, this list has something for you. We’ve taken best sellers from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the New York Times to provide you with a diverse and intriguing selection. So, grab your reading glasses, a cozy blanket, and a cup of tea. Let’s dive in. 

10. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett outdoes herself with this brilliant family drama that spans decades and generations. This story is about twin sisters who part ways, only to find that fate has other ideas. Twisted up in this family storyline are engrossing messages of social class, prejudice, and the undeniable passage of time. If you’re the type of reader who likes to disappear into other families and their stories, this would be a good choice. 

9. What We’ll Build: Plans for Our Together Future by Oliver Jeffers

Every once in a while, a children’s book reaches past the child audience. What We’ll Build: Plans for Our Future, is a touching story about a father, daughter, and their plans to build a home together. With lavish illustrations and beautifully crafted prose, this book is the perfect book for children and parents alike. Jeffers does a great job of  bringing families together. 

8. The Return by Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks is on the bestseller list again, and it’s with another beautiful love story. This one comes with a twist, though. It’s about a soldier who, after being wounded in Afghanistan, chooses to return home to a cabin he inherited from his grandfather. Through a series of new friendships and relationships, the main character learns that there is more to his grandfather’s death than he thought. This love story is folded up into an envelope of mystery and curiosity. 

7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

If you’re looking for a heartfelt murder mystery, two things that don’t often go together, this book needs to be on your list. This is the story about a girl who lives alone in a North Carolina marsh for most of her life — until she gets lonely and needs attention. When her yearning for human contact gets too strong, she makes friends with two young men who turn her world upside down and — ultimately — cause a shocking turn of events. This is a coming-of-age story about the power of our past and the way our secrets shape our future.

6. A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Barack Obama has yet another book on the bestseller list, and this one is even more intimate than the last. In A Promised Land, Obama takes us on a journey through his humble beginnings and straight into The White House. This autobiography goes into intricate detail, giving its readers an intimate insight into what it means to survive in a world of politics, passion, faith, and love.

5. The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

The long-awaited prequel to Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth is here, and it’s landing on the bestseller list with a bang. Set in 997 CE, this book takes place in turbulent battle times. Be prepared for an exciting adventure that touches on the themes of wealth, power, and greed. 

4. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey 

Calling all film lovers: Matthew McConaughey wrote an autobiography! The book is filled with his journal entries through the years and it details many adventures and successes. It also catalogs some of his failures and the lessons he’s learned along the way — all with an element of humor. If you’re a fan of Matthew, this is a must-read for you. 

3. Dog Man: Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey

The “Dog Man” series isn’t exactly new to the children’s novels scene, but this book is! Dog Man: Grime and Punishment is filled with all of the hilarious antics and adventures that we’ve come to expect from Dav Pilkey. Pilkey once again explores the themes of empathy, kindness, consideration, and justice in his newest installment. 

2. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Twilight fans rejoiced this year when Stephanie Meyer released Midnight Sun in August. Following the popular Twilight storyline, this novel focuses on the story from Edward’s perspective rather than Bella’s. Told in a bold (and not-so-innocent) narrative, this novel allows fans to see what Edward was up to when Bella wasn’t around. 

1. No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

This book is one for the intellectually active. Ganshert uses the relationship between 3 women to pose questions about societal norms, prejudice, and the meaning of life. Emotionally and intellectually complex, No One Ever Asked is painted with warm tones of love, connection, and realism. 

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