Looking back at 2020, a year marked by uncertainty and challenges, we can also remember the amazing books that provided us with an escape, solace, and new perspectives. The year brought us stories that touched our hearts, opened our minds, and challenged our beliefs. Dive into this list of the top 5 must-read books of 2020 and let your emotions run wild.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
A captivating story of family, identity, and race, Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half” explores the diverging lives of twin sisters who choose different paths, only to be haunted by their shared past.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
In this mesmerizing tale, we follow Addie LaRue, a woman who made a deal with the devil to live forever, but at the cost of being forgotten by everyone she meets. This heart-wrenching novel explores love, loss, and what it means to be truly seen.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
This groundbreaking work by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson exposes the hidden caste system that has shaped America’s history and continues to influence its present. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the roots of inequality and the power of change.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
A raw and honest memoir, “Untamed” tells the story of Glennon Doyle’s journey toward self-discovery and breaking free from societal expectations. This powerful book serves as a call to action for women everywhere to embrace their true selves.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
“Mexican Gothic” transports readers to a mysterious mansion in 1950s Mexico, where dark secrets and chilling horrors await. This eerie tale is a haunting exploration of colonialism, power, and the human desire to control and possess.
Diving Deeper into Each Book
The Vanishing Half
Stella and Desiree Vignes, identical twins, grew up in a small southern town. As they grow older, their lives diverge in unimaginable ways. One sister embraces her heritage, while the other abandons it entirely. This poignant story delves into the bond between sisters and the challenges of reconciling the past with the present.
Bennett’s novel deftly explores the complexities of identity and race, demonstrating how the choices we make can shape our lives and the lives of those around us. The Vanishing Half is a testament to the power of empathy and understanding.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Addie LaRue is desperate to escape her mundane life in 18th-century France, so she makes a deal with the devil. She gains immortality but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. This enchanting tale follows Addie’s journey through the centuries as she grapples with loneliness, love, and the power of memory.
The emotional heart of this novel lies in the deep connections Addie forms despite her curse. As she struggles to leave her mark on the world, we are reminded of the profound impact that love and loss can have on our lives.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
In “Caste,” Isabel Wilkerson dives deep into the unspoken caste system that permeates American society. By drawing parallels to the caste systems in India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson exposes the insidious nature of this hierarchy and the harm it has inflicted on generations of Americans.
Wilkerson’s work calls for empathy, understanding, and a dismantling of the caste system that has shaped our world. By recognizing the invisible barriers that divide us, we can begin to heal and work toward a more equitable future.
In “Untamed,” Glennon Doyle shares her personal story of finding her true self and breaking free from the constraints society places on women. Her emotional journey serves as an inspiration for readers to embrace their authentic selves and live life on their own terms.
Doyle’s candid memoir is a rallying cry for all women to question the status quo, challenge societal norms, and live a life that is true to themselves. It is a call to action that resonates deeply with readers.
Set in a remote Mexican village, “Mexican Gothic” follows Noemí Taboada as she uncovers the terrifying secrets hidden within the walls of the mysterious High Place. The novel is an atmospheric masterpiece that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Mexican Gothic” delves into the dark side of colonialism, exposing the exploitation and abuse of power that has echoed through generations. It is a chilling reminder of the consequences of unchecked ambition and the lasting impact of history on the present.
In a year full of challenges, these five books brought us stories that stirred our emotions, opened our minds, and gave us hope. From exploring the depths of identity and race to uncovering the secrets of a haunted mansion, these must-read books of 2020 offer a much-needed escape and a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit. Immerse yourself in these compelling stories and allow yourself to be swept away on a journey of self-discovery, love, and the power of change.
Q1: Which book would you recommend for someone interested in exploring identity and race?
A1: “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett is an excellent choice for readers interested in exploring identity and race, as it delves into the complexities of these themes through the lives of twin sisters.
Q2: I’m a fan of supernatural stories. Which book on this list should I pick up?
A2: “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab is a captivating novel that combines supernatural elements with themes of love, loss, and memory, making it a great choice for fans of the genre.
Q3: What book on this list offers a deep dive into American history and social issues?
A3: “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson is a groundbreaking work that exposes the hidden caste system in America and offers insights into the roots of inequality and the potential for change.
Q4: Which book should I read if I’m looking for an empowering and inspirational story?
A4: “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle is a raw and honest memoir about one woman’s journey toward self-discovery and breaking free from societal expectations, making it an empowering and inspirational read.
Q5: If I want a thrilling, atmospheric novel, which book would you recommend?
A5: “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a chilling and atmospheric gothic tale set in 1950s Mexico, perfect for readers seeking a thrilling and immersive reading experience.
The Impact of These Books on Our Lives
The top 5 must-read books of 2020 have left an indelible mark on our hearts and minds. Each book has stirred our emotions, challenged our beliefs, and opened our eyes to new perspectives. As we reflect on the impact these stories have had on our lives, let us consider the power of literature to inspire change, ignite our imaginations, and heal our souls.
The Transformative Power of Stories
Stories have the power to transport us to new worlds, allowing us to experience life through the eyes of others. They create a sense of empathy and understanding that transcends the boundaries of our own experiences. These five books have provided us with a window into the lives of others, fostering a sense of unity and compassion in a world that often feels divided.
A Source of Hope and Inspiration
In times of uncertainty, books can be a beacon of hope, offering solace and inspiration to those who seek it. The emotional stories in these five must-read books serve as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is light to be found. They encourage us to persevere, challenge the status quo, and embrace our authentic selves, as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of our lives.
A Catalyst for Change
The impact of these books reaches beyond the pages and into the lives of their readers. They have the power to inspire change on both a personal and societal level. From confronting issues of race and inequality to breaking free from the constraints of societal expectations, these stories have ignited important conversations and encouraged us to look inward, examining our own beliefs and values.
Embracing the Journey
As we continue to move forward, let us not forget the lessons we have learned from these powerful stories. May we carry the emotional weight of these books with us, allowing them to guide and inspire us in our own journeys. Together, let us continue to explore the depths of human emotion, seek understanding, and strive for a more empathetic and inclusive world.