Best books of 2020: Top 5 masterpieces and bestsellers worth reading

December 14, 2020

It has been a very successful year for world literature: along with the works of well-known authors, we have witnessed several amazing debuts. Therefore, it turned out to be a challenging task to name only the 5 best pieces! Nevertheless, PocketBook is pleased to present our Top 5 books of 2020 that everyone should read because they will be talked about for a very long time.

“A Promised Land” by Barak Obama

The 44th President of the United States and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate is without a doubt one of the brightest and most popular politicians of our time. So it's no surprise that his 768-page memoir became a bestseller on its first day of sale.

“A Promised Land” is not just an autobiography. It is the president's candid reflections on democracy, economics, power, civil society, and racism. Obama also sincerely shares with readers his opinion on political allies and opponents, describes the character and behavior of world leaders in the negotiations that changed the course of modern history.

And fans of audiobooks will have a nice bonus - Barack Obama himself reads the English version of the book!

“The Evening and the Morning” by Ken Follett

The books of this British author are so successful that he can be put on a par with such phenomena of modern literature as Stephen King, Dan Brown or John Grisham. What's Ken Follett's secret? The writer has a gift for explaining complex things in simple language, without sacrificing the deep meaning of the text and attention to detail.

His long-awaited new novel, “The Evening and the Morning,” is the fourth part of the popular Kingsbridge historical series about Medieval England. Readers can expect a complete and reliable (a big team of historians works for the author!) immersion in the dark past of a country torn apart by political intrigues and power struggles. Gripping plot, vivid characters, and lightness, which is usually not inherent in such historical novels.

Haven't read any part of the Kingsbridge series? We've got great news for you: “The Evening and the Morning” is a prequel to the previous three books and is a great introduction to the series.

“A Children’s Bible” by Lydia Millet

The new novel by the Pulitzer Prize finalist is an amazing parable about the change of generations and the impending environmental catastrophe. The author brilliantly mixes styles and genres, so that the story resembles either a light teenage novel, or The Lord of the Flies, or even completely amazes with allusions to Noah's Ark.

Several families have teamed up to rent a huge mansion for summer vacation. Adults are so tired of the real world's problems that they immediately plunged headlong into thoughtless parties, completely forgetting about children, who are gradually losing faith in the wisdom of the older generation. So on the day when a cataclysm occurs, and the house is cut off from the whole world, it is the children who will need to make difficult decisions, paying for the carelessness of adults.

“A Children’s Bible” was shortlisted for the National Book Award and was also listed in The New York Times Top 10 Books of the Year.

“What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly” by Arianna Davis

This book is more than just a biography of a cult Mexican artist. The author helps readers find answers to some difficult questions, being inspired by the courage and originality of Frida Kahlo.

Her life is a colorful mosaic of events, love, suffering, and art, so the interest of writers and directors in Frida is easy to explain. However, Arianna Davis did not confine herself to the story of the legend's life. The author considers Frida Kahlo an ideal example for modern women who lack the confidence or courage to be happy. Therefore, using the artist's biography, Arianna gives answers to the question: "What would Frida do in this or that situation?"

The book, included in many ratings by the world media, has a good chance of becoming a new motivational hit of the year.

“Shuggie Bain” by Douglas Stuart

Of course, our rating would not be complete without the biggest debut of the year! The very first novel by Scottish author Douglas Stewart became a real sensation and won the Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards.

The events take place in Glasgow, during the reign of Margaret Thatcher. This autobiographical book tells about the hard and sometimes unbearable life of a 16-year-old boy who lives with his mother suffering from alcohol addiction. The hero desperately tries to help her in the fight against her demons and also learns to accept and not to be afraid of being himself.

It took almost a decade for Douglas Stuart to finish his first book, which was then rejected by more than 30 publishers.