Tag: Bookstr best books of 2020

Best Memoirs of 2020

In the unprecedented tumult of 2020, these inspirational tales of remarkable people provided a new vantage point from which to view the broadening horizon of this vast and changing world. These are true stories of love and loss, of family, faith, and failure, of self-examination, confession, and success against all odds. Within these pages, the authors leave their mark on a world made just a little better, a little brighter, and a little more informed. Here are some of the year’s best memoirs:

1. A promised Land by Barack Obama

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Former President Barack Obama’s critically acclaimed memoir is wonderfully rich and detailed, the prose crafted with a deft hand. Included in the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2020, this book is an intimate self-examination of the life and career of the 44th President of the United States.

Giving readers a first-person view of his life as politician, husband, and father, this powerfully introspective story of Obama’s presidency, its trials and tribulations, and the journey that led to it gives its audience “…a sense of what it’s like to be the president of the United States.”

2. The Answer Is…: Reflections on my life by Alex Trebek

The Answer Is...: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek
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A humorous and heartfelt “aperçu of Alex Trebek,” brings readers into the life and mind of the man who has been the face of “Jeopardy!” for more than three and a half decades.

What followed Trebek’s announcement of his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis was an outpouring of love and sympathy that convinced him to write his memoirs. In these pages, Trebek details moments of his life in witty and honest vignettes that leave readers closer to the man who many felt was already part of the family.

3. Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir
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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Tretheway utilizes her mastery of the craft of language to tell a story that is in turns agonizing, beautiful, and devastatingly mournful.

The daughter of a marriage between a black American woman and a white Canadian man, Tretheway writes Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir as both a poetic elegy to the senseless murder of her mother thirty-five years prior, and as a forceful navigation of a minefield of racism, discrimination, grief, and suppressed pain. Nineteen at the time of her mother’s death, Tretheway returns to the city she swore she would never come back to as an adult. The memoir that is her confrontation with the anguish and injustice of her mother’s killing is an absolute tour de force.

4. Girl Decoded: A Scientist’s Quest to Reclaim OUr Humanityby Bringing Emotional Intelligence to TEchnology by Rana el Kaliouby with carol colman

Girl Decoded by Rana el Kaliouby book
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In this candid memoir, author Rana el Kaliouby explores her journey as an Egyptian American Muslim woman to and through the American tech industry.
While her book is a commentary on navigating the perils of a world in the throes of an “empathy crisis”—a world in which, despite being constantly connected, people are more alone than ever—her story is also that of a woman trying to reconcile her dreams with the expectations of her upbringing.

5. Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss by Jenna Bush Hager

Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss
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Jenna Bush Hager’s heartfelt collection of personal essays provides a charming look into what it was like growing up in two presidential families.
Having lost three of her grandparents in the space of a single year, Bush Hager draws on her loving memories of her paternal grandparents—George and Barbara Bush—and her maternal grandparents—Harold and Jenna Welch, the author’s namesake—as she explores what it is to remember the people whose lives, love, and lessons shaped who she is as a woman, a mother, and a public figure.

6. I Have Something to Tell You: A Memoir by Chasten Buttigieg

I Have Something to Tell You: A Memoir
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Honest and engaging, this delightful memoir is a sincere conversation between Buttigieg and the reader. It is at once a compassionate coming-of-age story and a deeply interesting glimpse behind the scenes of his husband’s political campaign as the nations first openly gay presidential candidate.
From his childhood in Michigan to coming out to himself and his family, from fighting to put himself through to meeting his future husband, Chasten Buttigieg speaks with an endearing voice to lend hope; not just to the LGBTQIA community or future leaders, but to everyone.

7. One Life by Megan Rapinoe and Emma Brockes

One Life
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Two-time Women’s World Cup champion, Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe has crafted a memoir that uses her platform as a world-famous soccer player to examine and discuss a multitude of timely issues, ranging from politics to racial injustice to feminism.
This is a story about soccer, of course, but it is also about much more. Rapinoe tells the story of her life and her career in an honest and unapologetic way, using her power and position as an out lesbian athlete activist to bring about the crucially needed change she believes so strongly in.

8. The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey

The Meaning of Mariah Carey
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Profound, intimate, and at times heartbreaking, this memoir is a candid examination of how every step of Mariah Carey’s life made her the internationally famous woman she is today. Through the triumphs and tragedies, this story is a testament to the necessity and power of believing in oneself. From her troubled childhood through a terrifying marriage to a final return to the top of the chart, this well-written and honest memoir is a unique and beautiful opportunity to get to know—and admire—the icon that is Mariah Carey in a way like never before.

9. What Can i Do?: my path from climate despair to action by Jane fonda

What Can I Do?: My Path from Climate Despair to Action by Jane Fonda book
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The deeply personal call to action that is Jane Fonda’s What Can I Do? asks and attempts to answer the all-pervasive question plaguing the minds of those concerned with the largest environmental crisis the world has ever seen.

Fonda does a clean, concise, and compelling job of answering this question at the end of each chapter, giving readers simple strategies and additional resources to make an impact in their own lives and actions. This is more than a well-written memoir: it is bone-deep commitment to the cause and a rallying cry to those who would fight to save the future of the planet.

10. This is what america looks like: my journey from refugee to congresswoman by Ilhan omar

This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman by Ilhan Omar book
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In a memoir that is as well-written as the author is well-spoken, Omar tells a deeply absorbing story of survival and tenacity in the face of heartbreak and danger.
Congresswoman Omar is a Representative of the state of Minnesota and is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in the United States Congress. The story of her life and career is an extraordinary political memoir, but it is also the story of a black woman, a Muslim woman, a refugee, and a mother in modern-day America. This is an inspiring and eye-opening must-read.

11. greenlights by Matthew mcconaughey

Greenlights
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As McConaughey says, “This is not a traditional memoir…This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” In this ‘playbook,’ McConaughey presents a quick and fascinating read, proving himself to be a skilled author as well as a talented actor. Readers are given a raw and down-to-Earth view of events in McConaughey’s life—some famous, some infamous, some mundane, but all significant.
While it is clear he marches to his own beat, his well-crafted and enjoyable personal stories trade polish for the true ring of authenticity. With a dash of self-help and a lot of wit, this is a great read for die-hard fans and casual viewers alike.

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Best Romance Books of 2020

Being separated from loved ones for most of this year has been hard on all of us. Whether missing hugs, dinner dates or cozy nights, romance was certainly thrown out the window for a lot of people. Fortunate for us, 2020 did not stop plenty of romance authors from releasing new books to comfort us all while being quarantined. If you’re missing the heart-skipping, steamy romances of reality here are the top eight books you can enjoy while being closed off to the world.

1. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout

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Ever since she could remember Poppy’s life has always consisted of being The Maiden, chosen from birth to usher in a new era.  The solitary life of never being touched, spoken to or looked upon has isolated her and leaves a gaping hole in her own desires. With an entire kingdom resting on her Ascension Poppy feels the pressure now more than ever. Even though this requires her full attention and quite literally her life, Poppy’s traitorous heart won’t stop skipping with the nearness of Hawke, an intoxicating guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension. Hawke not only stirs forbidden desires within her but he challenges her like no one ever has and makes her question everything she believes in. When her certain destiny becomes entangled with unbridled desire and danger Poppy’s life as The maiden becomes blurred by right and wrong as she fights for her life and her heart.

2. Beach Read by Emily Henry

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When one summer brings together a romance author who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut you can be sure the next three months will be full of surprises. Polar opposites Augustus Everett, an acclaimed author of literary fiction, and January Andrews, bestselling romance writer, find themselves living for the summer as neighbors in two separate beach houses. Struggling with finances and writers block they spend one blurred evening together and strike a deal that will break them out of their creative ruts. Switching roles they will write each others genres. While attending field trips and interviews could it be possible that their writing might not be only thing full of surprises as an unexpected romance blooms between them.

3. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

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Everyone has always been asked the question of where you see yourself in five years? For Manhattan lawyer Donnie Kohan she had the perfect answer during the most important interview of her career. Scoring a proposal from her boyfriend and having a successful interview Donnie goes to sleep content in knowing she is right on track. When she wakes up though is an entirely different reality. It is the same day December 15th but five years in the future. With a different apartment, ring on her hand and completely different man asleep beside her Donnie’s confused and shocking vision startles her. At the stroke of midnight, she wakes again back in her room and the current year of 2020. Beside herself and not one to believe in superstitious visions she pushes the experience from her mind. Until four and half years later she comes face to face with the same man from her vision. Filled with joy, heartbreak, friendship, the power of loyalty and an unpredictable destiny. In Five years will have you flipping through the pages.

4. Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

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Danika Brown is one woman who knows exactly what she wants and romance is certainly not it. Been there, done that Dani only focuses on her professional career and academic renown. With the stress and pressure of obtaining the life she wants Dani asks the universe to send a friend-with- benefits- someone who can take the career-driven tension away and knows their way around the bedroom. The universe certainly answers but not in the way she thought. Zafir Ansari, a brooding security guard and ex rugby player, makes a daring rescue during a fire drill gone wrong. As the video of her rescue goes viral Zaf begs Dani to go along with it to help his sports charity cause for children. Who could say no to that? Dani reluctantly agrees but as romance and desire blooms she soon realizes that Zaf has his own walls built around his heart but deep down is a sappy romantic. Suddenly, Dani finds herself wanting to bring the protective wall down around Zaf and maybe even her own heart. Has her plan backfired or is the universe hoping she will just take a hint.

5. The Happily Ever After Playlist by Abby Jiminez

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Sloan Monroe’s life came to a crashing halt after loosing her fiancé two years ago, nothing has seemed to go her way. Stumbling into a trouble-making pup who’s eyes beg her to take him home flips her world upside down. After so much time she finally begins to feel herself until Tucker’s owner, Jason,  reaches out. A musician on tour in Australia and with one request: he wants Tucker back. Sloan is not about to roll over and let him take Tucker away from her. As their texts turn flirty and soon turn into long phone calls Sloan can no longer deny the connection between them. Not wanting to endure another heartbreak Sloan has no way of telling what will happen when they meet in person. With Jason’s music on the rise and Sloan’s heart on the line will one pup bring together his owners for good?

6. A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

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Lady Lucie leads the Oxford suffragists and has finally scraped enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing house. Her plan to use it in a coup against Parliament is almost complete. An unpredictable snag in her plan leaves her fuming as an old nemesis, Lord Ballentine, stands between her and success. Lord Ballentine has no problem stepping aside under one condition- a night in Lady Lucie’s bed. The battle of their will and words flame a smoldering romance that if not careful Lord Ballentine’s silver tongue my trip on his own seductive snare. As Lucie fights against Lord Ballentine in the boardroom and the bedchamber she realizes that the poets speak the truth when they say: all is fair in love and war.

7. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

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Carolina Santos is a successful top-tier wedding coordinator in D.C. building dream weddings for people and yet when it was her time to shine she was left at the alter. How ironic. Although she’s moved on from the disaster in her past Lina is finally offered a life changing opportunity that unfortunately comes with a major hitch. She has to work with the best (actually worst) man from her own failed wedding. Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to expand his brand with a highly coveted hotel client. When he learns he’ll be collaborating with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning and completely off-limits ex-fiance he nearly doubles over with dread. Not only did he stand by his brother but was the one who encouraged him to jilt the bride, leaving Lina to positively loathe him. Ready to give Max a piece of her mind they struggle to work together in the coming weeks. Underneath all the animosity and wounding words Max and Lina discover that anger and hurt might not be the only reason that sparks fly between them when they’re together. Lina is not interested in falling in love, least of all with her ex-fiance’s brother and Max vowed to never play second best to his brother ever again.

8. The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

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Liya Thakkar is many things. A biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast and most of all a happily single woman. When a disaster dinner party at her parent’s house turns into a set-up for her and the man her parents want her to marry Liya flees. A week later the new lawyer hired to save her company turns out to be the deserted man from her parent’s house. Jay Shah is not thrilled to see Liya either after the humiliating dinner. With his arrogant and infuriating ways and Liya’s adamant independent thinking their witty office banter turns into late night calls. While their connection deepens Liya is sure he might be the one for her but is not sure on opening up about exposing both of their painful pasts. Unsure whether to keep running away or give love a fighting chance, Liya finds herself caught between the battle of her heart and her mind.

 

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Best Non-Fiction Books of 2020

In a year where we couldn't take our eyes off the news, these non-fiction titles offered us some solace and empowerment by educating us on social justice issues, telling stories that inspire us, and showing us the most humane and strange sides of our world. Here are some of the best non-fiction titles that kept us going this the year.

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The Best Business Books of 2020

This past year was, in short, very complicated. The business scene changed dramatically with every passing month and many of us were left dumbfounded by it, but that doesn't mean we can't grow to understand it. For that reason, we are compiling ten of the best business books published in 2020 for the entrepreneur inside of you.

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