The year 2020 would go down in history as the ‘Year of the Pandemic’. It certainly caused widespread fear among people across the world of getting infected with the Coronavirus. It caused millions of people to lose their jobs. As well as being forced to stay indoors, with work-from-home becoming the norm. And it impacted people in many other ways too, physically and mentally.
However, the pandemic did give something valuable to a whole lot of people – time. So, many of the Americans utilized their time reading some excellent books penned by some of the modern greats. As a result, the year also saw the online sales of some titles soar over the months.
Here are the top 10 books of 2020, which won the hearts of booklovers in the United States and went on to become bestsellers of the year:
1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
This book was published by Crown Publishing Group on the 17th of November 2020. It is a memoir authored by Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. It takes the reader through his life right from his early years and describes some important events in his political career. In its concluding parts, the book gives an insight into the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011.
It was highly anticipated even before its release and almost everyone was certain that it would be the year’s top-selling book. By the end of November 2020, the book had sold more than 1.7 million copies in North America alone. No wonder it has been in the New York Times best-seller list for eight consecutive weeks in the non-fiction category!
2. The Return by Nicholas Sparks
This is the 21st novel of Nicholas Sparks. It is a moving story about Trevor, an army doctor, who is badly injured in a motor blast and the two women who would change his life. Those who have read the previous novels of Nicholas Sparks know that he writes slow-paced, prose-heavy stories. This is what his fans love and makes his books so soothing to read.
Readers who don’t like reading very intense novels would certainly like this book. While reading the book, it may not come across as a page-turning stuff. However, you’ll still find it quite pleasant to read.
3. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Untamed made its debut at the number one position on the New York Times best-seller list in the non-fiction category. It is a memoir written by Glennon Doyle and was published by The Dial Press on the 10th of March 2020. Within about 20 weeks of its release in March 2020, a million copies of this book have been sold.
Glennon Doyle’s writings reflect her perspective of how women have been raised in the society and how being sensitive must not be perceived as a weakness. So, all those who have read a lot of self-help books on the empowerment of women will surely fall in love with Untamed.
4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
A prequel to The Hunger Games, this novel tells the story of Coriolanus Snow while reintroducing readers to Panem. It narrates the former life of Coriolanus before he became Panem’s tyrant president. After reading this book, the readers will be left wondering whether or not Coriolanus Snow was a true villain.
Suzanne Collins was named one of the most influential people of 2010 in the Time magazine as a result of the massive popularity of The Hunger Games trilogy. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was released on the 19th of May, 2020. It was reported that the book sold over 500,000 copies within a week of its release.
5. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Brit Bennett is known for her ability to follow her curiosities and find answers to more complex questions. After having garnered a lot of acclaim from book critics for her first novel, Brit Bennett came up with this wonderful novel on the 2nd of June 2020.
The Vanishing Half debuted at the number one position on The New York Times best-seller list and sold over 400,000 copies by the end of August 2020. The book tells the tale of Desiree and Stella Vignes, the two twin sisters who witness the terrible sight of their father getting lynched in the 1940s.
6. One by One by Ruth Ware
In this suspense-filled thriller, Ruth Ware gets you hooked with all the exciting stuff of locked room mystery with the touch of her brilliance. You’ll be transported to the French Alps as you follow the group of co-workers of a start-up heading to a ski chalet in the mountains. The book released on the 8th of September 2020 and made it to the New York Times best-seller list soon after.
Before she became a full-time writer, Ruth Ware had been into different professions. She was a waitress at one point, she has been a bookseller, and even worked as an English teacher and a press officer. She loves writing thrillers as she believes they engage the readers intellectually in solving the mystery.
7. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
Released on the 24th of November 2020, this science fiction novel by Ernest Cline is the sequel to his 2011 novel, Ready Player One. His first book was a critical and financial success. The book debuted at the number one position on the New York Times best-seller list, but slipped to the number four position in its sixth week.
Ernest Cline was addicted to movies and video games in his youth. This led him to write his first science fiction novel, which released in 2011. It went on to sell 1.7 million copies and was also adapted into a film directed by Steven Spielberg.
8. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey is one of the finest actors in Hollywood. He has given some memorable performances in films like The Wedding Planner and Interstellar. His performance in Dallas Buyers Club won him the Academy Award for Best Actor.
To write Greenlights, he spent fifty-two days in a desert without electricity. He took references for the book from his journals spanning 36 years. The book debuted at the number one position on The New York Times best-seller list in the non-fiction category soon after its release on the 20th of October 2020.
9. Forgiving What You Can’t Forget by Lysa Terkeurst
Forgiving What You Can’t Forget released on the 5th of November 2020 and soon made it to the New York Times best-seller list. This book will be of immense help for those who have been stuck in a cycle of pain that has not been resolved and keep playing the dark past over and over in their minds.
Lysa TerKeurst has written twenty-one other inspirational books. She has been through her share of personal troubles. But discovered how to let the bound-up resentment go during the course of her journey. Along with all the inspiring words, she will also help you discover what the Bible truly says. About forgiving and the sense of peace that comes with it.
10. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Packed with suspense and provocation, Leave the World Behind covers the complexities of race, class, and parenthood. It narrates how the closest bonds are affected and unexpected new bonds are created in the moments of crisis.
An American author of Bangladeshi origin, Rumaan Alam studied writing at Oberlin College. He has also authored ‘That Kind of Mother’ and ‘Rich and Pretty’. Leave the World Behind is his third book and was critically acclaimed and nominated for the National Book Award of 2020.