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Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2020

Publishers Weekly has just released their list of best books of 2020. Check out the full list below!



The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Wealth, Race, and Power by Deirdre Mask

Mask’s enthusiastic debut explores the stories and histories behind street names and how they have the power to determine who matters, and who doesn’t. The book impressively covers thousands of years of history from the ancient Romans to the present day, while revealing truths about power, class, race, and history.


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Bluebeard’s First Wife by Ha Seong-nan, translated by Janet Hong

This collection captures the dark side of South Korean society through mischievous, unapologetic feminist stories. Shocking violence between a new married couple, a stolen dog, and suspiciously noisy neighbors are among a few of the disturbances in this wonderfully unusual book. Each story stands out, as they come together to form a nightmare impossible to turn away from.


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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Wilkerson’s deeply researched, exquisitely written, and exceptionally timely investigation into America’s “shape-shifting, unspoken race-based” caste system is a must-read. Wilkerson draws incisive parallels to the caste systems of India and Nazi Germany, while debunking widespread myths about US history and reveals the steep price American society pays for limiting the potential of Black Americans.


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The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir by Wayétu Moore

Moore’s lyrical memoir details her traumatic flight from her home in war-torn Liberia in 1990, her childhood in Texas, and the racially fraught romances of her postgraduate years in Brooklyn. By the end of the book, Moore accomplishes one of the year’s most moving and eye-opening feats of imagination, shifting perspective to recount her mother’s trying journey from New York to Africa to rescue her family.


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Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

This work of autofiction confronts a series of contradictions, reversals, and enigmas among the author-protagonist’s family members, friends, and lovers. The most affecting is the story of Ayad’s complicated relationship with his father, an immigrant from Pakistan who once served as Donald Trump’s doctor, leading him to support Trump in 2016.


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The Last Great Road Bum by Hector Tobar

Following his novel Deep Down Dark, this stunning novel is based on the life of failed Hemingwayesque writer Joe Sanderson, who died fighting with the guerillas in El Salvador. Tobar creates brilliant tension between his critiques of Joe’s desire to remake the world in his own image and a genuinely exciting chronicle of Joe’s adventures


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The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes by Zachary D. Carter

Journalist Zachary Carter untangles the personal and professional contradictions of economic theorist John Maynard Keynes in this masterful biography. From Keynes late-in-life love affair with a Russian ballerina to his abandonment of the Paris Peace Conference over German war reparations and influence on FDR’s New Deal, Carter renders Keynes brilliant mind and radical optimism accessible to readers.


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A Saint from Texas by Edmund White

White tells the wickedly funny tale of a Texas oil heiress who trades her wealth to become a French baroness while her sister devotes herself to a convent in Colombia, as each explores her own sexuality. White combines manners of the French aristocracy and American nouveau riche in this wonderfully humorous novel.


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Sisters by Daisy Johnson

This psychological novel takes place in a North York Moors cottage, where a mother deals with depression and a teenage girl struggles to put the pieces back together after being bullied. With phenomenal prose and unforgettable images, the reader is completely immersed in this fearsome novel with a thrilling twist.


book cover of sisters

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Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt

Historian Claudio Saunt argues that the Trail of Tears was not an inescapable American tragedy but a deliberate political choice in this meticulous account. Saunt details the links between Indian removal and slavery, and the brutal oppression of Native American resisters by law enforcement.


book cover of unworthy republic

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