Your Reading List For 2020

Your Reading List For 2020

From celebrated wordsmiths to debut novelists, these are the conversation-stirring books we’ll be stuffing in our carry ons throughout 2020.

was a good one for bookworms, with the likes of Sally
Rooney, Lisa Taddeo and Bernardine Evaristo taking centre shelf.
Nevertheless, the new year is bringing with it a slew of fantastic
new titles. From celebrated wordsmiths to debut novelists, these
are the conversation-stirring books we’ll be stuffing in our carry
ons throughout 2020.

Read our pick of the 30 best books for 2020

Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid, 7 January

Reid’s page-turning novel offers a darkly humorous commentary on
the complicated dynamics of race and privilege when Emira, an
underemployed black 25-year-old, is apprehended at a supermarket
for “kidnapping” the blonde toddler she’s actually babysitting.

Long Bright River

by Liz Moore, 9 January

Moore brings the US’s opioid crisis into sharp relief in this
gripping mystery and family saga. As a string of mysterious murders
plague a Philadelphia neighbourhood, the story hones in on the
disappearance of drug-addict Kacey, sister of police officer Mickey

How to Break Up with Fast Fashion

by Lauren Bravo, 9 January

No outfit should cost the earth – and yet it’s estimated that,
in the UK, 300,000 tonnes of clothing go to landfill every year.
Chronicling a year of quitting fast fashion, Lauren Bravo offers
down-to-earth advice on how to repair and recycle garments without
sacrificing style.

Uncanny Valley

Anna Wiener, 14 January

In her mid-20s, Wiener left her publishing job in New York to
join a San Francisco tech start-up. Uncanny Valley unveils the
casual sexism, dubious success and unchecked ambition that she
experienced, and examines our life-changing addiction to

American Dirt

by Jeanine Cummins, 21 January

Shining a light on the US’s border crisis, American Dirt is the
heart-rending tale of a Mexican mother, Lydia Quixano Pérez, and
her son Luca who are forced to flee Acapulco after her journalist
husband publishes an exposé on cartel kingpin, Javier.

Interior Chinatown

by Charles Yu, 28 January

Young actor Willis Wu dreams of progressing from roles such as
“generic Asian man” to “kung-fu guy”. In this inventive seven-part
novel, Charles Yu dissects the impact of racial stereotypes,
immigration and otherness.


by Emma Jane Unsworth, 30 January

Jenny’s life according to her social media profiles is perfect –
and yet in reality she is unloved, unemployable and emotionally
unfiltered. With painful hilarity, Unsworth’s satirical narrative
examines our age of self-promotion and the impossibility of

Brother and Sister

by Diane Keaton, 4 February

While Diane Keaton is best known for her idiosyncratic
silver-screen characters (hello, Annie Hall), the actress has in
fact already penned two memoirs. In her third, she shares the story
of Randy, her troubled younger brother, and considers the bonds
that hold families together.


by Lidia Yuknavitch, 4 February

Yuknavitch’s collection of short stories paints beautifully
brutal portraits of those who have been marginalised by modern
society. Readers will meet an eight-year-old trauma victim turned
organ carrier and a janitor who transforms discarded objects into a
miniature city.

Apeirogon: A Novel

by Colum McCann, 25 February

Apeirogon (a geometrical term meaning “infinte number of sides”)
revolves around the improbable friendship between Bassam Aramin, a
Palestinian, and Israeli Rami Elhanan. It’s an unflinching story of
love, loss and belonging grounded in a harsh reality.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women White Feminists Forgot

by Mikki Kendall, 25 February

Kendall offers a fresh voice in black feminism. She argues that
mainstream feminism focuses on increasing privilege for the few
rather than ensuring the basic needs – food security, education,
safety, medical care, a living wage – needed by the many.

Topics of Conversation

by Miranda Popkey, 27 February

Liked Sally Rooney? You’ll love Popkey’s electric debut. The
book’s unnamed 21-year-old protagonist is navigating a break up.
Spanning across 20 years, her story of lust, disgust, loneliness
and power is told almost entirely through conversations between

The Night Watchman

by Louise Erdrich, 5 March

Based on the life of her grandfather who fought against Native
dispossession in the 50s, Erdrich’s narrative weaves the stories of
night watchman and council member Thomas Wazhashk and Pixie
Paranteau, a factory worker pushing against traditional female

The Girl With the Louding Voice

by Abi Daré, 5 March

Fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl Adunni is destined for a life of
servitude, having been sold as a third wife to a local man and
later, in Lagos, acting as a servant to a wealthy family. Instead,
she wants an education and freedom – her “louding voice”.

The Mirror and the Light

by Hilary Mantel, 5 March

The final instalment of Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning Tudor
trilogy concludes the saga of Thomas Cromwell. Readers followed the
plotting politician’s rise in Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the
Bodies (2012); now they be privy to his fall.

Table Manners: The Cookbook

by Jessie and Lennie Ware, 5 March

We devoured the Table Manners podcast, and now we’re hungry for
Jessie and Lennie’s cookbook. More than 100 recipes (including bean
casserole served to Ed Sheeran and custard tarts enjoyed by Nigella
Lawson) are found across six sections: Effortless, A Bit More
Effort, Summertime, Desserts and Baking, Chrismukkah and Jewish-ish

My Dark Vanessa

by Kate Elizabeth Russell, 10 March

Among 2020’s most buzzed-about books, this thought-provoking
psychological thriller revolves around an affair between a
middle-aged teacher and his 15-year-old student, Vanessa. Seventeen
years later, as the protagonist contends with her past, the tale
raises complex and timely questions around sex, power and

The Hungover Games

by Sophie Heawood, 12 March

We love journalist Sophie Heawood’s celebrity interviews. Now
she tells her own story of single motherhood in The Hungover Games,
dubbed “Bridget Jones for the Tinder generation”. What happens, she
asks, when you have an accidental baby in your mid-30s, but you
haven’t yet worked out how to look after yourself?

The Recovery of Rose Gold

by Stephanie Wrobel, 19 March

Inspired by Munchausen syndrome as well as the true story of Dee
Dee and Gypsy Blanchard, Wrobel tells the tale of Rose Gold who is
poisoned by her mother, Patty, for 18 years. When the mother is
released from a five-year jail sentence, Rose wants revenge.


by Maggie O’Farrell, 31 March

Drawing inspiration from the tragic death of William
Shakespeare’s son, O’Farrell’s period chronicle set in 1596
imagines the short life of Hamnet Shakespeare while summoning
timeless themes of grief and loss.

Raven Smith’s Trivial Pursuits

by Raven Smith, 2 April

“Life is the pursuit of big and small stuff, so I’m chewing it
all over without gagging,” Smith told SUITCASE about his book.
Expect wryly intelligent musings on what goes through his head
during yoga class and why Theresa May needs a visit from Queer
Eye’s Fab Five.

Joy at Work

by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein, 7 April

Bid farewell to messy desks and office agro. Having sorted your
underwear drawer (we’re fans of sock rolling), Marie Kondo is
honing in on your career with the help of psychologist Scott
Sonenshein. If your work life doesn’t spark joy, you need the
KonMari method.

Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency

by Olivia Laing, 16 April

For Laing, art is an antidote to our turbulent political
climate; it’s a form of resistance and repair. In this inspiring
essay collection – featuring a profile of Georgia O’Keefe, an
interview with Ali Smith and a love letter to David Bowie – she
makes the case for why art matters.

The Glass Hotel

by Emily St John Mandel, 30 April

The Glass Hotel has already been picked up for a TV series, so
this book is bound to be a cracker. It ties the disparate
disappearance of a woman off the coast of Vancouver Island with the
collapse of a wicked Ponzi scheme in Manhattan. Read it before you
see it.

The Lying Life of Adults

by Elena Ferrante, 9 June

We couldn’t get enough of Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. Now,
following a surprise announcement in September 2019, the
best-selling anonymous author is back with the story of Giovanna
and her painful adolescence in middle-class Naples.

Olive by Emma Gannon, 25 June

by Emma Gannon, 25 June

As Olive’s best friends reach the traditional milestones of
marriage and motherhood, she questions whether she wants to do the
same. Gannon’s debut novel will ignite conversations around female
stereotypes and is a must-read for every woman at a crossroads.

Fat Cow, Fat Chance

by Dame Jenni Murray, 25 June

The star of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour lets us in on her
struggles with weight in a world obsessed by thinness. At once
political and personal, the book tackles issues such as the obesity
epidemic, asks why fat shaming isn’t a hate crime and examines how
we can become comfortable in our own skin.


by Ali Smith, 2 July

This is the fourth and final book in Smith’s seasonal
state-of-the-nation quartet. While it can be enjoyed as a
standalone novel, Summer is best paired on your shelf with Autumn,
Winter and Spring – the exquisite Hockney-print dust covers prove
that a book can be as good as its cover.

How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? & Other Essays on Modern Life

by Pandora Sykes, 16 July

What should our best life look like? What if we get it wrong?
Covering topics such as consumerism, wellness and womanhood, Sykes’
penetrating essays explore the anxieties and agendas that consume
our modern lives, and interrogates the stories we tell


by Dolly Alderton, 15 October

As she tries to piece together her unravelling life, 32-year-old
food writer Nina Dean becomes a victim of ghosting. Navigating the
minefields of online dating, friendship and family (read: her
father’s encroaching dementia and a mother’s midlife makeover),
Alderton’s foray into fiction promises to be devilishly funny and

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