Best Books from 2020 That We Missed

We love a good “Best Books of the Year” list. There’s always some that we’ve read and love (see our Worth the Hype series), and then there’s some that leave us wondering how the heck they made it! There’s also a few books that we haven’t read but we know we want to get to this year. Here’s 6 books that we missed and plan on reading this year.


I put 3 books on last year’s “missed list”. I read and loved Pet, Akwaeke Emezi – which I hope becomes a required read in schools in the future – and Get a Life Chloe Brown, Talia Hibbert … a fun, snarky romance novel. Normal People, Sally Rooney was also on my list and while I liked it – I didn’t love it as much as other people seem to have.

The books I’ve added from the 2020 “Best of the Best Books” lists include …

Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi

There was so much buzz about this book that I bought it months ago – along with the author’s previous book, Homegoing – which is also really popular.

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

Luster, Raven Leilani

This contemporary, debut novel looks very different from anything I’ve read recently and according to The Top 50 from the Best Books of 2020 List of Lists it’s the 2nd most recommended book.

Edie meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage. She ends up finding herself unemployed and living with Eric and his family. She becomes hesitant friend to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, Isabel Wilkerson

I’ve only recently started adding a bit of non-fiction to my reading and I’d like to keep that going. Caste is one of Oprah’s Book Club Picks and Barack Obama’s Best Books of 2020.

Caste examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

~ KIM ~

I read so many good books last year but I still feel like there were mountains of them that I wanted to read and didn’t get to. Here are three that are at the top of my list.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, V.E. Schwab

I first noticed the buzz for this one on #bookstagram about three months ago and immediately added it to my TBR. So many people have said it was their favorite book of the year. I don’t buy many books but I did order a copy of this one. Since I pretty much had the rest of my 2020 reads already mapped out, I’ve set it aside to read very soon.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. She’s had centuries of adventure, all of it spent feeling invisible. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, Isabel Wilkerson

Like Tanya, I knew I had to read this one as soon as I started seeing it around the book community. Then it won a Goodreads award for Best History & Biography. I went ahead and order a copy of it as well as Wilkerson’s other popular book, The Warmth of Other Suns.

Caste examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse

I saw several science fiction and fantasy bloggers that I follow say they loved this book. The cover alone will be enough to get me to pick this one up.

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Which book did you miss reading from last year?


// Comments //

  1. MJ

    Jan 13

    Great post. I love looking back on a year and seeing what I really did miss out on and need to ensure I read in 2021.
    Books I completely missed were The Midnight Library by Matt Haid and Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alma. However, I also didn’t get to Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi and I did know about that one.

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