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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