Year in Reading – 2020

Here are the books I’ve read during this very strange year of 2020. I keep these lists every year as a record for myself, but I post them in invitation for fellow readers to talk about books both read and overlooked. If you want to chat about these or if there are books you think I should read, please email me! Sometimes I write short notes (I hesitate to say “reviews”) over on my Goodreads page.

I’ve put ** next to my absolute favorite reads of the year.

Selected 2020 Reading (by genre, then alphabetical by author/editor last name)


  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison**
  • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  • To the Wedding by John Berger
  • Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather**
  • Trust Exercise: A Novel by Susan Choi**
  • How to Catch a Coyote by Christy Crutchfield
  • The Maytrees by Annie Dillard**
  • Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron
  • The Book of X by Sarah Rose Etter
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  • Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
  • Empire City by Matt Gallagher 
  • Cleanness by Garth Greenwell 
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
  • The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
  • Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane**
  • Writers & Lovers by Lily King
  • Passing by Nella Larsen
  • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  • Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
  • Sula by Toni Morrison**
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
  • Weather by Jenny Offill
  • The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa**
  • Last Night at the Lobster by Steward O’Nan**
  • The Dive from Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • Such A Fun Age  by Kiley Reid**
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
  • The Ancestry of Objects by Tatiana Ryckman
  • Self Care by Leigh Stein
  • Real Life: A Novel by Brandon Taylor**
  • Women Talking by Miriam Toews
  • We the Animals by Justin Torres
  • Distant Dead by Heather Young
  • Drifts by Kate Zambreno


  • Art of Subtext by Charles Baxter
  •  A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
  • On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
  • Art of Perspective by Christopher Castellani
  • All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
  • The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich 
  • Abandon Me by Melissa Febos**
  • Things That Helped by Jessica Friedman
  • The Unreality of Memory by Elisa Gabbert**
  • Make it Scream, Make it Burn by Leslie Jamison
  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Ongoingness by Sarah Manguso**
  • Before and After the Book Deal by Courtney Maum
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland **
  • No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder

Short Story Collections

  • Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
  • Animal Wife by Lara Erlich**
  • We Had No Rules by Corinne Manning**
  • Wild Milk by Sabrina Orah Mark
  • Buckskin Cocaine by Erika T. Wurth**

Lit Mags and Anthologies

  • Always Crashing Issue Three
  • The Best Small Fictions: 2019 Anthology
  • The Lascaux Review Prize Vol 6


  • Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
  • Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward**


  • One More For the People by Martha Grover
  • Claim Your Space by Minyoung Lee
  • Women at Work: Interviews from The Paris Review by The Paris Review