Best Books for Adults 2020

100 Books Found

  • The Abstainer: A Novel

    Manchester, England, 1867. The rebels will be hanged at dawn, and their brotherhood is already plotting its revenge.
    Cover of The Abstainer: A Novel
  • The Aosawa Murders

    Translated by Alison Watts | Seventeen people die of cyanide poisoning at a party held by the owners of a prominent clinic in a castle city on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The only survivor, their teenage daughter, is soon suspected of masterminding the crime.
    Cover of The Aosawa Murders
  • Apeirogon: A Novel

    Two fathers, a Palestinian and an Israeli, navigate the physical and emotional checkpoints of their conflicted world before devastating losses compel them to work together to use their grief as a weapon for peace.
    Cover of Apeirogon: A Novel
  • The Awkward Black Man: Stories

    Mosley overturns the stereotypes that often constrict Black male characters and paints a subtle, powerful portrait of each of his unique, awkward, nerdy, self-defeating, self-involved, and, on the whole, odd heroes.
    Cover of The Awkward Black Man: Stories
  • The Bear

    Living close to the land in an Edenic post-civilization world, a girl learns the secrets of hunting and star navigation before finding herself in an unknown landscape, where a bear imparts powerful natural-world lessons.
    Cover of The Bear
  • Bestiary: A Novel

    Transforming into a manifestation of a tiger character from her Taiwanese heritage, Daughter falls in love with an equally remarkable girl while translating mysterious letters from female relatives who embody mythical archetypes.
    Cover of Bestiary: A Novel
  • Big Black: Stand at Attica

    Illustrated by Améziane | A graphic novel memoir from Frank "Big Black" Smith, a prisoner at Attica State Prison in 1971, whose rebellion against the injustices of the prison system remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history.
    Cover of Big Black: Stand at Attica
  • Black Sun

    In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.
    Cover of Black Sun
  • The Boatman's Daughter

    A swampy literary horror novel about a young woman facing down drug dealers, a crooked cop, and a mad preacher on the banks of an Arkansas river.
    Cover of The Boatman's Daughter
  • Boyfriend Material

    Fabricating a respectable relationship with a man with whom he shares nothing in common when his rock-star father's comeback leads to unwanted attention, Luc stages publicity-friendly dates that become complicated by all-too-real feelings.
    Cover of Boyfriend Material
  • Breasts and Eggs: A Novel

    Translated by Sam Bett & David Boyd | Painting a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan, Kawakami tells the intimate journeys of three women as they confront oppression and their own uncertainties as they search for peace and a future they can finally call their own.
    Cover of Breasts and Eggs: A Novel
  • A Burning: A Novel

    An opportunistic gym teacher and a starry-eyed misfit find the realization of their ambitions tied to the downfall of an innocent Muslim girl who has been wrongly implicated in a terrorist attack.
    Cover of A Burning: A Novel
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

    Wilkerson examines the nature of historical caste systems to reveal how a rigid hierarchy of human rankings, enforced by religious views, heritage and stigma, affect everyday American lives.
    Cover of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
  • A Children's Bible: A Novel

    Contemptuous of the equally neglectful and suffocating parents who would pass the summer in a stupor of drugs and sex, a dozen eerily mature children run away—right as a dangerous storm bears down on them, subjecting them to apocalyptic chaos.
    Cover of A Children's Bible: A Novel
  • The City We Became: A Novel

    Five New Yorkers must come together in order to save their city from destruction.
    Cover of The City We Became: A Novel
  • The Cold Millions: A Novel

    Enduring the corruption of their union employment, two young day laborers are drawn respectively to a feminist activist and a vaudeville singer whose experiences reflect an unjust world on the brink of upheaval.
    Cover of The Cold Millions: A Novel
  • Crooked Hallelujah

    Ford follows four generations of Cherokee women across four decades as they make sacrifices for those they love amid larger forces of history, religion, class, and culture.
    Cover of Crooked Hallelujah
  • Deacon King Kong: A Novel

    In the aftermath of the shooting in 1969 of a local drug dealer by a Brooklyn church deacon, the local community's African American and Latinx witnesses find unexpected support from each other when they are targeted by violent mobsters.
    Cover of Deacon King Kong: A Novel
  • Dear Child

    Translated by Jamie Bulloch | A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare.
    Cover of Dear Child
  • Death in Her Hands: A Novel

    Discovering a mysterious note and a grave while walking her dog in the woods, an elderly widow becomes obsessed with learning the victim's story before her grip on reality is shaken by what she uncovers.
    Cover of Death in Her Hands: A Novel
  • Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time

    Ehrenreich weaves together climate science, mythologies, nature writing, and personal experiences to examine how the unprecedented pace of destruction to our environment has led us to the brink of calamity.
    Cover of Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time
  • Don't Look for Me: A Novel

    The daughter of a woman who allegedly went missing by choice visits the small town where her mother was last seen to investigate unsettling witness accounts.
    Cover of Don't Look for Me: A Novel
  • Eat a Peach: A Memoir

    The star of Ugly Delicious traces his upbringing as a youngest son in a deeply religious Korean American family, his search for identity, his struggles with manic depression, and his unlikely rise as one of his generation’s most influential chefs.
    Cover of Eat a Peach: A Memoir
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune

    Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.
    Cover of The Empress of Salt and Fortune
  • F*ckface: And Other Stories

    Twelve stories about rurality, corpses, honeybee collapse, and illicit sex in post-coal Appalachia.
    Cover of F*ckface: And Other Stories
  • Finna: Poems

    Marshall examines and celebrates African America vernacular with an open and conversational attitude.
    Cover of Finna: Poems
  • The Galleons: Poems

    In simple language, Barot explores the Spanish colonial and postcolonial periods in Phillipine history, looking for his place in the world.
    Cover of The Galleons: Poems
  • The Girl in the Mirror

    Taking her successful identical twin's place in the aftermath of a suspicious accident, cynical Iris endeavors to conceive a child with her twin's unknowing husband to secure a multimillion-dollar inheritance.
    Cover of The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Glass Hotel: A Novel

    A novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.
    Cover of The Glass Hotel: A Novel
  • The Great Offshore Grounds: A Novel

    On the day of their estranged father's wedding, half sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. But instead of money, what their father gives them is information—a name—which reveals a stunning family secret.
    Cover of The Great Offshore Grounds: A Novel
  • Grimoire

    One cup history, two spoonfuls memoir, a dash of modern folklore.
    Cover of Grimoire
  • Gut Botany

    Visceral poetry about the natural world exposes an internal human landscape teeming with life.
    Cover of Gut Botany
  • Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague

    O'Farrell presents the evocative story of a young Shakespeare's marriage to a talented herbalist before the death of their 11-year-old son shapes the writing of his greatest play.
    Cover of Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague
  • Hench

    Temping for people on the wrong side of the law, Anna becomes unfairly unemployed before using her talents for manipulating data to expose how the heroes of her world do more harm than good.
    Cover of Hench
  • The Hidden Girl and Other Stories

    Comprising 17 short science fiction and fantasy stories, Liu's collection contains a series of linked stories dealing with variations of a gradually depopulated post-singularity Earth.
    Cover of The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
  • Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

    Kolker tells the heartrending story of the midcentury American family—a family of 12 children, six of whom were diagnosed with schizophrenia—that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.
    Cover of Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
  • Homeland Elegies: A Novel

    Akhtar blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.
    Cover of Homeland Elegies: A Novel
  • Homie: Poems

    An intimate tribute to friendship weaves stories of community building and breaking with brilliant wit.
    Cover of Homie: Poems
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

    A collection of essays taking aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women.
    Cover of Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
  • How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel

    Two orphaned Chinese immigrant siblings flee the threats of their gold rush mining town across an unforgiving landscape where their survival is tested by family secrets, sibling rivalry and disparate goals.
    Cover of How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel
  • Hurricane Season: A Novel

    Translated by Sophie Hughes | Inspired by the real-life murder of a woman in rural Mexico, Hurricane Season takes place in a world filled with superstitions and violence.
    Cover of Hurricane Season: A Novel
  • I Hold a Wolf by the Ears: Stories

    An urgent and unsettling collection of stories about women on the verge.
    Cover of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears: Stories
  • If I Had Two Wings: Stories

    In Kenan's fictional territory of Tims Creek, North Carolina, an old man rages in his nursing home, a parson beats up an adulterer, a rich man is haunted by a hog, and an elderly woman turns unwitting miracle worker.
    Cover of If I Had Two Wings: Stories
  • Indelicacy: A Novel

    A museum cleaning woman and aspiring writer marries a rich man who she believes will give her the freedom to practice her art, but discovers that privilege is no less constrained than her previous social station.
    Cover of Indelicacy: A Novel
  • Inheritors

    Spanning more than 150 years, and set in multiple locations in colonial and postcolonial Asia and the United States, Inheritors paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of its characters as they grapple with the legacies of loss, imperialism, and war.
    Cover of Inheritors
  • Interior Chinatown: A Novel

    A stereotyped character actor stumbles into the spotlight before uncovering surprising links between his family and the secret history of Chinatown.
    Cover of Interior Chinatown: A Novel
  • Intimations: Six Essays

    Written during the early months of lockdown, Smith's essays explore ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation.
    Cover of Intimations: Six Essays
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

    Making a Faustian bargain to live forever yet never to be remembered, a woman from early-18th-century France endures unacknowledged centuries before meeting a man who remembers her name.
    Cover of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
  • Jack

    A new Gilead novel that tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the beloved, erratic, and grieved-over prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister from Gilead, Iowa.
    Cover of Jack
  • Just Us: An American Conversation

    As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly visible with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another?
    Cover of Just Us: An American Conversation
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio

    A commemorative 50th anniversary graphic novel account of the May 4, 1970, shootings of Vietnam War college student protesters by the Ohio National Guard draws on in-depth interviews to profile the tragedy's four victims.
    Cover of Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio
  • Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry

    A wrathful and personal analysis of American myths, Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry is a new classic.
    Cover of Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry
  • Leave the World Behind: A Novel

    In this provocative novel about the complexities of parenthood, race, and class, the owners of a Long Island beach house unexpectedly take refuge with a vacationing family after some unexplained incident has wiped out phone lines, internet, power, and cell service.
    Cover of Leave the World Behind: A Novel
  • Likes

    A collection of stories that weaves together the real and unreal, fairy tale, sci-fi, and myth.
    Cover of Likes
  • Little Eyes: A Novel

    Translated by Megan McDowell | A metaphorical tale depicts a complex and relatable world where people from all walks of life engage in internet encounters that lead to unexpected love, transformative adventures, and unimaginable terror.
    Cover of Little Eyes: A Novel
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist

    Tomine illustrates the amusing absurdities of how we choose to spend our time, all the while mining his conflicted relationship with comics and comics culture.
    Cover of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist
  • Long Bright River: A Novel

    A police officer races to find her missing sister, a homeless addict, amid a vicious killing spree in a Philadelphia neighborhood.
    Cover of Long Bright River: A Novel
  • The Low, Low Woods

    Illustrated by Dani | Shudder-to-Think, Pennsylvania, is plagued by a mysterious illness that eats away at the memories of those affected by it. El and Octavia find themselves victims of this disease after waking up in a movie theater with no memory of the past few hours.
    Cover of The Low, Low Woods
  • Luster

    A young Black artist falls into an affair with a man in an open marriage before gradually befriending his wife and adopted daughter against a backdrop of dynamic racial politics.
    Cover of Luster
  • The Lying Life of Adults

    Translated by Ann Goldstein | Italian teenager Giovanna searches for a sense of identity and clear perspectives when she finds herself torn between the refinements and excesses of a divided Naples.
    Cover of The Lying Life of Adults
  • Magdalena: River of Dreams—A Story of Colombia

    Davis recounts a journey down Colombia's Magdalena River, illuminating the country's rebirth after decades of political violence, drug cartels, and guerrilla warfare.
    Cover of Magdalena: River of Dreams—A Story of Colombia
  • Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

    The former U.S. poet laureate remembers the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and how this profound experience of loss shaped her as an adult and an artist.
    Cover of Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir
  • Memorial: A Novel

    Mike and Benson begin reevaluating their stale relationship after Mike departs for Japan to visit his dying father and Benson is suddenly stuck with his visiting mother-in-law, who becomes an unconventional roommate.
    Cover of Memorial: A Novel
  • The Midnight Library

    There is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, another the story of the life you could have led had you made different choices.
    Cover of The Midnight Library
  • Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

    Hong's book blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America.
    Cover of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
  • Missionaries: A Novel

    Klay examines the globalization of violence through the interconnected stories of a U.S. Army Special Forces medic, a foreign correspondent, a Colombian officer, and a militia lieutenant who are all trying to navigate the realities of modern warfare.
    Cover of Missionaries: A Novel
  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

    Shapland draws on an intimate correspondence between McCullers and a woman named Annemarie to share previously unknown insights into the 20th-century novelist's private life, her approaches to queer fiction, and the influence of her time at Yaddo on her life and work.
    Cover of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir
  • My Baby First Birthday: Poems

    Radiant and tender, Zhang's collection examines innocence, asking who gets to be loved like a baby and who must struggle just to survive.
    Cover of My Baby First Birthday: Poems
  • A Nail the Evening Hangs On

    Sok uses fast and chaotic poetry to describe the intergenerational trauma of the Khmer Rouge and the lingering silence among families and communities.
    Cover of A Nail the Evening Hangs On
  • The Nancy Reagan Collection

    Nancy Reagan gets her hair done while the AIDS epidemic gets ignored.
    Cover of The Nancy Reagan Collection
  • New Waves: A Novel

    Fed up with discriminating bosses, an Asian American customer service representative and a talented African American programmer conspire to steal their employer's user database before an unexpected setback exposes a secret double life.
    Cover of New Waves: A Novel
  • The Next Great Migration

    Full Title: The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move | Shah examines how the refugee crises and unusual animal migrations of today can be linked to historical migrations in earlier eras.
    Cover of The Next Great Migration
  • The Only Good Indians: A Novel

    Jones blends classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary in a tale about four American Indian men haunted by a disturbing event from their youth that has left them in a desperate struggle for their lives.
    Cover of The Only Good Indians: A Novel
  • Piranesi

    Living in a labyrinthine house of endless corridors, flooded staircases, and thousands of statues, Piranesi assists the dreamlike dwelling's only other resident in a mysterious research project before evidence emerges of an astonishing alternate world.
    Cover of Piranesi
  • Postcolonial Love Poem

    Diaz explores identity and desire in this mordant and funny collection, which moves seamlessly from the personal to the universal and back again.
    Cover of Postcolonial Love Poem
  • Real Life: A Novel

    Keeping his head down at a lakeside Midwestern university where the culture is in sharp contrast to his Alabama upbringing, an introverted Black biochem student experiences a series of unexpected encounters that bring his orientation and defenses into question.
    Cover of Real Life: A Novel
  • The Sacrifice of Darkness

    Illustrated by Rebecca Kirby | This powerful graphic novel adaptation of Gay's bestselling short story "We Are the Sacrifice of Darkness" follows a woman's journey through a world where the sun no longer shines.
    Cover of The Sacrifice of Darkness
  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

    With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.
    Cover of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
  • Shadowplay: A Novel

    A historical novel featuring Bram Stoker is set during the golden age of West End theater in a London shaken by the crimes of Jack the Ripper.
    Cover of Shadowplay: A Novel
  • Shuggie Bain: A Novel

    A young boy growing up in a rundown 1980s Glasgow public housing facility pursues some semblance of a normal life as his older siblings move on and his mother succumbs to alcoholism.
    Cover of Shuggie Bain: A Novel
  • Something to Talk About: A Novel

    When her career is threatened by a red-carpet photo that appears to have romantic undertones, a Hollywood showrunner and her female assistant are targeted by paparazzi before realizing their feelings for each other.
    Cover of Something to Talk About: A Novel
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel

    A supernatural thriller set in South Carolina in the 1990s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a real monster.
    Cover of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel
  • The Splendid and the Vile

    Full Title: The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz | Drawing on personal diaries, archival documents, and declassified intelligence, Larson examines Winston Churchill's life during the Blitz and his role in uniting England.
    Cover of The Splendid and the Vile
  • Sports Is Hell

    Tea is separated from her friend during a riot and joins a small clique fighting its way through armed groups of football fanatics to meet a star receiver who just might end the civil war or become the city's new oppressive leader.
    Cover of Sports Is Hell
  • Temporary: A Novel

    Eighteen boyfriends, twenty-three jobs, and one ghost who occasionally pops in to give advice: Temporary casts a hilarious and tender eye on the struggle for happiness in late capitalism.
    Cover of Temporary: A Novel
  • These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel

    A man on his deathbed reveals that he stole another man's identity decades earlier, traces the family's history from colonial Jamaica to present-day Harlem, and reconnects with the firstborn daughter he never knew.
    Cover of These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
  • The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel

    Meeting weekly in their retirement village's jigsaw room to exchange theories about unsolved crimes, four savvy septuagenarians propose a daring but unorthodox plan to help a woman rookie cop solve her first big murder case.
    Cover of The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

    A space voyager living her dream of exploring new worlds lands on a distant planet ripe for colonization before her discovery of a mysterious relic transforms her life and threatens the entire human race.
    Cover of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
  • Tomboyland: Essays

    A fiercely personal and startlingly universal essay collection about the mysteries of gender and desire, of identity and class, of the stories we tell and the places we call home.
    Cover of Tomboyland: Essays
  • The Undocumented Americans

    An Ivy League–educated DACA beneficiary reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans, from the volunteers recruited for the Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11 to the homeopathy botanicas of Miami that provide limited health care to noncitizens.
    Cover of The Undocumented Americans
  • Upright Women Wanted

    A near-future exploration of queer identity, written in the style of a pulp western, finds a woman stowing away to escape her arranged marriage to a man who was once engaged to the late best friend she secretly loved.
    Cover of Upright Women Wanted
  • The Vanishing Half: A Novel

    Separated by their embrace of different racial identities, two mixed-race identical twins reevaluate their choices as one raises a Black daughter in their southern hometown while the other passes for white with a husband who is unaware of her heritage.
    Cover of The Vanishing Half: A Novel
  • Verge: Stories

    A powerfully empathetic group portrait of the marginalized and outcast in moments of crisis.
    Cover of Verge: Stories
  • Vesper Flights: New and Collected Essays

    A collection of essays about humanity's relationship with nature, exploring subjects ranging from captivity and immigration to ostrich farming and the migrations of songbirds from the Empire State Building.
    Cover of Vesper Flights: New and Collected Essays
  • Weather: A Novel

    Hired by her famous podcaster mentor to answer letters from increasingly polarized fans, a librarian who has acquired her education from a lifetime spent reading struggles with the limits of her knowledge and growing crises in the outside world.
    Cover of Weather: A Novel
  • World of Wonders

    Full Title: World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments | A collection of essays about the natural world and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
    Cover of World of Wonders
  • Writers & Lovers: A Novel

    Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and has spent the last six years working on a novel.
    Cover of Writers & Lovers: A Novel
  • Year of the Rabbit

    Translated by Helge Dascher | The true story of one family's desperate struggle to survive the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
    Cover of Year of the Rabbit
  • The Year of the Witching: A Novel

    Observing a life of strict submission to minimize discrimination for her mixed heritage, Immanuelle discovers dark truths about her community's church and her late mother's secret relationship with the spirits of four witches.
    Cover of The Year of the Witching: A Novel
  • You Will Never Be Forgotten: Stories

    A collection of stories featuring characters who use technology to escape their uncontrollable feelings of grief or rage or despair, only to reveal their most flawed and human selves.
    Cover of You Will Never Be Forgotten: Stories