Books Forward staff’s fav reads of 2020

Needless to say, 2020 has been…a year. But one thing we could always depend on throughout the weird year was our favorite thing: books. Check out some of the reads that the Books Forward staff read this past year and absolutely loved — some of them might even make it onto your 2021 TBR!

Ellen, senior publicist:

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I really leaned into hardcore fantasy this year, and Priory was an absolute standout: The way the author weaves together the story tendrils, the flawed and intriguing characters, the casual queerness in the world and THE DRAGONS all really resonated with me.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Sometimes I have a hard time with memoirs that touch on heavy subject matter, but Chanel Miller is an astounding writer and person, and I’ll read anything she writes.

Corrine, junior publicist:

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides 

This book had me on the edge of my seat from the second I picked it up to the moment I finished it 24 hours later.

Brittany, digital marketing coordinator:

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

This book had a high-intensity, unpredictable ending — I felt like I was in the latest Netflix binge-worthy show and needed to finish it ASAP. The way Cole twisted gentrification into a thriller left me even more shook at how deep rooted systemic racism can be. This book is scary in more ways than one.

Jenn, publicist:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

I feel like I’ve talked about this book so much this year but that’s how good it is — Gyasi’s writing is some of the most beautiful prose I’ve had the honor to read, and the way she weaves multiple stories between generations is a true work of art.

Wool by Hugh Howey

I’m not usually a fan of science-fiction, so I was pleasantly surprised with how into this book I got (and I’m talking stay up way too long, losing sleep into it). I was immediately sucked into the story and world Howey built and now have the rest of the series on my TBR.

Jackie, publicist:

Bunny by Mona Awad

This creepy horror story praised by Margaret Atwood as “genius” is also surprisingly funny as a satire of MFA programs, and definitely one of the weirdest, most unforgettable books I’ve read!

Angelle, lead publicist:

How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones recounts his life in a series of vignettes, reflecting on his adolescence growing up in the South, his budding sexuality, race, relationships, family dynamics and grief. I picked this incredible memoir up as a group read with the Books Forward team, and I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know!