As we bibliophiles find our heaven as soon as we grab a novel and get a comfortable corner to take a dive into that book, which takes us away into some other world – we have spent a majority of 2020 abandoning ourselves to fiction like Miss Elizabeth of Pride and Prejudice.
Best Fiction Books (2020)
Don’t worry if you are not a bibliophile; some storybooks have the power to make you fall in love with the process of reading by making its words embrace your reality and instill them with magic.
2020 has been quite hard, and many people resorted to reading to feel better and to divert their attention from the never-ending chaos of this year – just like I did.
Here are some amazing books of 2020 you may want to read:
1. “Where the Wild Ladies Are” by Aoko Matsuda
While reading ‘Where the Wild Ladies Are’ by Aoko Matsuda, you will stumble across the invincible strength of women even when they are dead. The humorous and energetic stories of female ghosts assuming various roles and taking over important chores will make you realize that humans and ghosts co-exist. In this book, Aoko Matsuda retold the traditional Japanese Folktales by incorporating feminist values. With her witty storytelling, she subtly challenged the gender stereotypes that are mainly constructed for women.
2. “Shuggie Bain” by Douglas Stuart
The Booker Prize award winner book ‘Shuggie Bain’ tells a story about Shuggie Bain, whose childhood was lonely and tough because his father lost his job under the government’s new policies. His mother resorted to heavy alcohol consumption to get away from her miserable life. Shuggie’s father and his other siblings distanced themselves from his mother, but he could not abandon his mother as she has always been supportive and the only ray of guidance for Shuggie. Shuggie is a closeted queer who tries hard to fit into the societal norms by acting ‘normal.’ Douglas Stuart portrays the raw lifestyle and problems of a working-class family and boldly introduces the readers to various issues like sexuality, love, and addiction.
3. “Breasts and Eggs” by Mieko Kawakami
This novel centers around the three main women characters: The thirty-year-old Natsu, Maikiko, the older sister of Natsu, and Midoriko, the daughter of Maikiko. Kawakami wrote this novel with an endeavor to reveal the struggles of women in contemporary society in Japan while growing up. These women deal with their own problems of coping up with society’s pressure to look or act in a certain way; one thing that is common among them is that they all are on the quest for self-identity and recognition. They all are on the journey of searching for peace and solace in the future where they can feel safe.
4. “The City We Became” by N. K. Jemisin
N. K. Jemisin, after winning Hugo Award three times and after becoming the New York Times bestselling author, wrote her book, ‘The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy, 1)’ which is an excellent documentation of the glorious ‘New York City.’ This book captured every detail of the city starting from the cultural history to the magical and mythical beliefs which are still prevalent in the contemporary New York City.
This book narrates stories of people who develop a strange connection with New York City, and through these stories of people, the author gives the city an immortal soul.
5. “The Glass Hotel” by Emily St. John Mandel
‘The Glass Hotel: A Novel’ is a well-crafted story of catastrophe and survival. A bartender named Vincent meets Jonathan Alkaitis, who is leading an international Ponzi scheme and is taking money from the account of clients by fraudulence. Soon, the financial sector shrinks, which leaves innumerable lives devasted of their fortunes. After years when one of the victims of the scam went to investigate an unusual event, everyone discovers that a woman has mysteriously disappeared from the deck of a container ship. Emily St. John Mandel makes the readers acquainted with dark underground activities, illegal electronica clubs, the undercover business associated with international shipping, and life in federal prison. The story of this book deals with greed and guilt, love and regret, ghosts, and unforeseen circumstances.
6. “Little Eyes” by Samanta Schweblin
This novel is going to send a shiver down the spine of the readers because it will make the readers confront the stark realizations of self and truth about human beings. Samanta Schweblin, in this novel, tells the stories of real people and their souls, which are interconnected and can travel to far off places without being physically present. Samanta reveals the beauty of the interconnection of souls living far away from each other and also, on the contrary, presents the disadvantages of the world, which is linked together. In ‘Little Eyes: A Novel’ Samanta paints a picture of the world that is unpredictable, and if someone enters it, that person is stuck here forever.
7. “Temporary” by Hilary Leichter
An ambitious woman who keeps changing her work every now and then but devotes all her hard work and effort when she is inside the boundary of her workplace – this is what Hillary Leichter writes about in her book ‘Temporary.’ The woman in this story appears for every kind of placement from providing assistance to the assassin, to cleaning the deck of a pirate ship, to appearing for the Chairman of the board. In ‘Temporary’ the most intimate thing for a woman is to do her job with unwavering dedication. This story is going to resonate with everyone who put all their heart into their work.
8. “Summer (Seasonal Quartet)” by Ali Smith
‘Summer: A Novel’ is the final novel of the seasonal quartet. This is a story revolving around people who are on the verge of experiencing massive changes in their lives, there are people in this story who belongs to the same family, but they think they are interacting with strangers. The inevitable troubles are lying ahead of them, but they are struggling to get through it together. ‘Summer’ brings hope and resilience and teaches us how to live every moment of life.
9. “The Lying Life of Adults: A Novel” by Elena Ferrante
The transformation of childhood to adolescence is the most impactful change in someone’s life, but for Golvanna, it changed the entire course of her life with time. As she grew up, her face resembled her aunt, whom she never met and whom her parents hated the most. This novel is about Golvanna’s quest for self between the two similar cities, Naples of the heights and the Naples of the death, which strongly despise each other. This Neapolitan story will leave a mark in the heart of the readers.
10. “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
In this book (The Vanishing Half), Brit Bennett boldly challenges the corruption of racism prevalent in various communities. Its heart-wrenching plot twists make the readers dive deep into the book’s psychological understanding of different matters. This book tells the story of the Vignes twin sisters who resembled each other since childhood, but after running away at the age of sixteen, their lives took different turns when they became adults. Even after living miles apart from each other, the destiny of the two sisters is entwined through their daughter’s stories.
A good story can rescue you from the mundanity and insanity of regular life. I hope you enjoy these reads as much as I did – you can grab them all on Amazon, Flipkart, or your nearest bookstore!
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot