Books that left an impression in 2020

2020 seems to be the year that never ends – but don’t wish it away just yet, because today is my birthday! This year, instead of choosing ‘top’ books I’m making a list of books that I read that left a lasting impression. Given that I read 20+ books more than 2019, that’s not an easy feat. There was a lot of Curtis Sittenfeld, more non-fiction and short stories. There was the ongoing quest to read more about pandemics (which will continue in 2021). There was a lot going on.

Here are some books that I remember vividly, in no particular order:

The End of Epidemics by Jonathan D. Quick with Bronwyn Fryer

If you only read one book on epidemics and pandemics, make it this one. Empowering and informative.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

What five years into the future looks like. Comforting and unexpected.

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

The book about Hillary Rodham you didn’t know you needed in the lead up to the U.S. presidential election. Saxophone scene.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Who knew that a book with extensive passages about international shipping could be mesmerising. But it was all that and more.

There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura

Quirky, fun and delightful novel about a variety of jobs that had me craving rice crackers.

Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

This book is 2020 in a book and it just worked so well across the board.

Riptides by Kirsten Alexander

The Australian summer, heat and humidity, combined with controversy as change is coming.

Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee-Browne

Another trip in a book, this time to Canada. Beautiful yet eerie.

Superbugs by Matt McCarthy

Another epidemic in waiting. Why we need to take action on antibiotic development and resistance, stat.

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Incredibly powerful memoir of pain and honesty.

The Shelf by Helly Acton

When a group of powerful women put a feminist spin on a sexist reality show. Fantastic insults you’ll want to underline.

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