If you’re anything like me, you have an ever growing to-be-read list. Well, it’s about to get longer because Demand Spring’s top book picks of 2020 are here!
With the holidays looking a little different this year, cozy up and find good company in one of our favorite books from this past year.
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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This novel is considered a young adult bestseller and is about a teenager who grapples with racism, police brutality, and activism after witnessing her black friend murdered by the police. With all that’s going on with racial justice and Black Lives Matter today, a group of moms in my community decided we should start to read more about it all, and we started with this one. Not super light reading, but flows quickly and helped me to understand a perspective I did not have before.
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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
For me, this was the year I discovered audio books. In fair or foul weather and to help manage the monotony of isolation in 2020, I regularly grab my iphone and my headphones, walk outside, and escape inside a great piece of fiction. My first foray into this method of ingesting literature was “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith. Set in modern day London, a troubled model either falls or is pushed to her death off the balcony of a luxury residence, and private investigator Cormoran Strike is called in to solve the case. The characters are wonderfully complex, the plot twists and turns kept my walking pace brisk with anticipation, and the narrator’s vocal ability to transform into each character is a wonder. Plus, if you don’t know who author Robert Galbraith really is, that’s a fun twist, too. Happy reading, or listening, this holiday season!
Founder and President
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
This book is about Churchill’s leadership in his first year as Prime Minister. An incredible portrait of positive and resolute leadership in a time of crisis, and an amazing account of the strength of the British people while their cities and homes were being endlessly bombed by the German air force. A must read for leaders and history buffs.
You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned by Swen Nater
This one appealed to the leader, teacher, and basketball coach in me. It’s a first-hand account by Nater, an ex-UCLA and NBA basketball player about the teaching and leadership methods of his famous coach, John Wooden. Wooden is one of the greatest leaders and teachers in the past 100 years and this provides a behind the scenes glimpse of his principled, caring, and fundamentals-centered teaching style.
Wow, no thank you by Samantha Irby
If you want a light book that makes you laugh (much needed for 2020), this is the book for you. A hilarious collection of essays that draw from Samantha’s new life with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red State.
Mind Platter by Najwa Zebian
My first Bachelor degree was in Literature, so I can’t lie, I love poetry of all kinds… I love the classics, but this one is from a young Lebanese-Canadian author and it’s good.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
A Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Dutch House is a moving story that follows the unbreakable bond between two siblings and a past they cannot shake.
A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardson
A legal thriller about 18-year-old Stella, who is accused of murdering a businessman 15 years her senior. Stella is an ordinary teenager from a good family.
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Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
A story about two families torn between real life and love. It’s real, it’s raw, and is a story that draws you through the relatability of the characters.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I haven’t watched the television series yet, but did enjoy the book. This is a story about a clash between a picture-perfect family and a mother who has struggled to balance motherhood and her past.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I’ve only just begun my read, but I am already intrigued by the writing. I was captured within the first five pages. A story about a blind French girl and a German Boy who become intertwined in occupied France as both try to survive the ravages of World War II.
Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
This novel is easily one of the best I have ever read. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, Isabel Wilkerson masterfully exposes how America today (and throughout history) is underpinned by a hidden caste system. Heart-wrenching at times, I believe this book should be read by everyone as it provides a deeper understanding of the root causes of today’s divisiveness while providing a path forward towards common humanity.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
This extraordinary story is about a mother and her 8 year old son who are forced to flee their hometown in Acapulco, Mexico, after narrowingly escaping a violent cartel attack that claimed her loving husband and extended family. Now migrants on the run, the duo join countless others on a perilous journey north to the United States. Despite being a work of fiction, this novel provided a much needed humane perspective on the migrant crisis.
We hope that you enjoy one (or two) of these books as much as we did. Happy reading!