A year of hidden gems, modern classics, and fungi. Of gothic, dark and twisted tales, and South America in translation. Of memoirs and the natural world, sci-fi and high fantasy. I discovered two authors who have become firm favourites, and gave a couple of others a second chance. Most of all, in this year of lockdown, I turned to short stories.
Ten of the Best in Fiction
In no particular order:
- Best collection of nature and science inspired short stories: A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth – Daniel Mason
- Best trickster character in a German folkloric novel set during the Thirty Years War: Tyll – Daniel Kehlmann
- Best away with the fairies novel: You Let Me In – Camilla Bruce
- Best away with the mermaids novel: The Seas – Samantha Hunt
- Best contemplation of solitude novel: Piranesi – Susanna Clarke
- Best awaiting execution in nineteenth century Iceland novel based on a true story: Burial Rites – Hannah Kent
- Best sharpshooting, cross-dressing heroine in frontier fiction: How Much of These Hills is Gold – C Pam Zhang
- Best pairing of mythical beings in a novel: The Golem & the Jinni – Helene Wecker
- Best did-she/didn’t-she court room drama: Gillespie and I – Jane Harris
- Best female gaze in a gothic novel: Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Top Three Nonfiction
- Entangled Life – Merlin Sheldrake. Full-on fungi fandom
- Inferno – Catherine Cho. Memoir on postpartum psychosis
- Strangers: Essays on the Human & Nonhuman – Rebecca Tamás. Lyrical reframing of perspectives on the nonhuman
What were your favourite books of 2020?
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2 thoughts on “Best Books of 2020”
So excited to read the books you’ve suggested! Thanks for taking the time to help me narrow down my reading choices. Your reviews are always so helpful.
Thank you, Robynne. I’m always looking for recommendations, so do let me know if you come across a book you think I’d like.