Recommendations

12 Books That Got Us Through 2020

Discover the stories, cookbooks, and nonfiction we turned to this year

2020: The Year in Books

2020 was a year like no other, and honestly, we’re pretty glad to see it go. More than ever, we turned to books for entertainment, comfort, and information during tough times. Reading kept us connected to our friends, families and communities near and far, opened our eyes to new experiences, shed light on our shared responsibility to seek a fairer world…and even helped us tackle some messy closets. Discover the books we loved every month of the year and see if you missed any. Here’s to a better 2021, and to all the many more books to come.

January: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This debut novel knocked it out of the park. It seemed like suddenly everyone was reading it and recommending it… including someone named Reese Witherspoon. The book is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Add Such a Fun Age to bookshelf Add Such a Fun Age to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Such a Fun Age
By Kiley Reid
Paperback $17.00
Also available from:

February: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano 

A touching New York Times bestseller, Dear Edward follows the titular character as he struggles to find his place as the sole survivor of a devastating plane crash. It’s a coming-of-age story with a unique twist, and a warm, hopeful look at life after loss.

Add Dear Edward to bookshelf Add Dear Edward to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Dear Edward
By Ann Napolitano
Paperback $18.00
Also available from:

March: Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish

Ok, everyone we know turned to bread-baking during the early days of the pandemic. There’s something very satisfying about making something delicious out of a few simple ingredients. Forkish’s book is the go-to bread book for a reason: it’s accessible for newbies and sophisticated enough for pros.

Add Flour Water Salt Yeast to bookshelf Add Flour Water Salt Yeast to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Flour Water Salt Yeast
By Ken Forkish
Hardcover $35.00
Also available from:

April: Sibley’s Birding Basics by David Sibley

Routines were upended this spring, and for some, that meant a renewed interest in the natural world around them. Google searches for birding books went through the roof and even casual walks turned into bird-spotting adventures. Learn the fundamentals and start to hone in on your local birds with Sibley’s guide!

Add Sibley's Birding Basics to bookshelf Add Sibley's Birding Basics to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Sibley's Birding Basics
By David Allen Sibley
Paperback $16.95
Also available from:

May: Family Meal by Penguin Random House

Created to support the restaurant workers who lost jobs due to Covid-19, this a digital-only collection that features 50 easy recipes from some of our favorite chefs and authors. All proceeds benefit the Restaurant Workers’ Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

Add Family Meal to bookshelf Add Family Meal to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Family Meal
By Penguin Random House
Ebook
Also available from:

June: How to be an AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi

Americans were forced to reckon with their history and present-day police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Many turned to books for information and understanding, and Dr. Kendi’s was an invaluable text.

Add How to Be an Antiracist to bookshelf Add How to Be an Antiracist to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
How to Be an Antiracist
By Ibram X. Kendi
Hardcover $27.00
Also available from:

July: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett’s first book blew everyone away, so there were high hopes for her second novel. Amazingly, her sophomore novel was even more beloved. #1 New York Times Bestseller, longlisted for the National Book Award, Time Magazine‘s #1 Book of the year… the list of accolades goes on and on.

Add The Vanishing Half to bookshelf Add The Vanishing Half to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
The Vanishing Half
By Brit Bennett
Paperback $18.00
Also available from:

August: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns, this is a brilliant examination of American society. It’s gotten rave reviews and its incisive, accessible commentary is exactly what we need right now.

Add Caste (Oprah's Book Club) to bookshelf Add Caste (Oprah's Book Club) to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Caste (Oprah's Book Club)
By Isabel Wilkerson
Hardcover $32.00
Also available from:

September: The Home Edit by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

Spending time at home this year has made one thing crystal clear… our closets need some serious TLC. The professional organizers Clea and Joanna are here to help get your house beautiful, clean, and functional.

Add The Home Edit Life to bookshelf Add The Home Edit Life to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
The Home Edit Life
By Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin
Hardcover $28.50
Also available from:

October: The Soul of America by John Meacham

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham gives some historical context for our current state of politics. Looking back at some of the most polarizing and fraught times in United States history, he explores how we moved on and how we might go forward now.

Add The Soul of America to bookshelf Add The Soul of America to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
The Soul of America
By Jon Meacham
Paperback $20.00
Also available from:

November: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Oh, no big deal, just an intimate, hefty, and revealing memoir from Barack Obama. Delving into personal history and his early political aspirations, this is the former president like you’ve never seen him. Right in time for the presidential election, this is a dose of empathy, thoughtfulness, and yes, hope.

Add A Promised Land to bookshelf Add A Promised Land to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
A Promised Land
By Barack Obama
Hardcover $45.00
Also available from:

December: Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten

You genuinely can’t go wrong with Ina. And we could all definitely use some comfort food this season. The Barefoot Contessa guides us through some favorites, both old and new. Get cozy this winter, and get cooking!

Add Modern Comfort Food to bookshelf Add Modern Comfort Food to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Modern Comfort Food
By Ina Garten
Hardcover $35.00
Also available from: