Greatest books of 2020


Hilary Mantel, Ali Smith and Tsitsi Dangarembga accomplished landmark sequence, Martin Amis turned to autofiction and Elena Ferrante returned to Naples – Justine Jordan picks the most effective novels of the yr, together with a bunch of good debuts.

Children’s books

Imogen Russell Williams on a superb wintry fantasy, a pair of younger detectives, the return of Lyra and Pan – plus image books and poetry for everybody.

Crime and thrillers

From hard-hitting debuts and gritty mysteries, to a comfortable caper and a swashbuckling maritime puzzle, Laura Wilson picks the most effective crime and thrillers by the likes of Tana French, Stuart Turton, Rumaan Alam and extra.

Science fiction and fantasy

From Kim Stanley Robinson to Diane Cook dinner, Adam Roberts considers a yr the place visions of a local weather emergency-ravaged close to future got here to the fore.

Memoir and celebrity books

Fiona Sturges selects the most effective memoirs, together with Caitlin Moran, Raynor Winn and Deborah Orr, in addition to searing revelations and glowing anecdotes from Mariah Carey, Matthew McConaughey and Michael J Fox


Gaby Hinsliff picks the most effective books about politics and politicians, together with biographies exposing the inside demons of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, some high quality David Cameron gossip – and why Germans do it higher.


The right way to succeed at failing, guides to anti-racism work, a enjoyable journey in direction of the apocalypse, and human nature – good or dangerous? Steve Poole shares the most effective books about large concepts.


Huw Richards picks a clear-eyed take a look at grassroots soccer, hard-hitting memoirs from a world champion kickboxer and a number one feminine rugby participant, and extra.

Nature and science

Katy Visitor seems on the books revealed in a yr the place science grew to become large information: guides to coping with future pandemics, the human facet to Stephen Hawking and a data-led argument for world ladies’s empowerment. And Patrick Barkham picks 5 outstanding nature books, together with teenager Dara McAnulty and the follow-up to Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’ The Misplaced Phrases.


Rishi Dastidar marks a yr of fantastic collections, together with Clive James’s joyous farewell, sounds of town from Caleb Femi, and excellent debuts from Will Harris and Rachel Lengthy.

Comics and graphic novels

An award-winning story of rival ice-cream sellers, a migrant Syrian household’s experiences of the US and a superhero in drag are simply a number of the highlights chosen by James Sensible.


Kathryn Hughes picks titles about Andy Warhol, Artemisia Gentileschi and Lucian Freud, plus a clear-eyed view of London’s altering panorama.


Mouthwatering pastries, easy one‑tin bakes, a brand new Ottolenghi and a rapturous account by Nigella … Meera Sodha shares the most effective recipes and meals writing to move you all over the world.

Stocking fillers

Justine Jordan selects 5 little treasures to enliven your festive giving, together with a historical past of Essex ladies and the brand new David Sedaris assortment.


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