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The 2020 Books You Should Add to Your Reading List

best books 2020
Design By Morgan McMullen

Somehow we've made it to the end of 2020. Despite being a trash year overall, it's still been an amazing year for books. Fiction seems to be the most compelling genre—see: Emily Henry's Beach Read and Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half—as we attempt to immerse ourselves in another world to escape the current political climate and COVID-19 crisis. Then there are the purely therapeutic books, like Lili Reinhart's Swimming Lessons and Maggie Smith's Keep Moving, that encourage us to practice more self-love. Ahead, a list of the 2020 book releases we loved the most.

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'Long Bright River' By Liz Moore
$13.94 (46% off)

The opioid crisis is plaguing our country. Liz Moore brings the crisis to light in a twisty mystery where one of two inseparable sisters addicted to drugs goes missing. Oh, and that just so happens while a string of murders are happening in their Philadelphia neighborhood.

Available January 7, 2020

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'Topics of Conversation' By Miranda Popkey
$11.99 (50% off)

If you loved Lisa Taddeo's Three Women, you'll appreciate Miranda Popkey's debut novel, Topics of Conversation. The book is formatted into a series of conversations between fictional women who discuss everything from motherhood to loneliness to anger and guilt. 

Available January 7, 2020

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'We Wish You Luck' By Caroline Zancan
$17.46 (33% off)

It's nearly impossible to describe the premise of Caroline Zancan's We Wish You Luck. Just know that a group of students want to take revenge on their professor, and this is their story. 

Available January 14, 2020

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'Followers' By Megan Angelo
$17.39 (36% off)

Megan Angelo's debut novel traces the stories of three women, unexpectedly connected, who find themselves on the brink of high-profile success while discovering what their follower counts really means for their goals and dreams. It's a deep dive into the social media dominance we currently live within with lots of dark and hilarious turns. 

Available January 14, 2020

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'Uncanny Valley' By Anna Wiener
$13.99 (48% off)

When Anna Wiener was in her mid-20s, she left her book publishing job in New York City for a data startup in Silicon Valley. What she didn't realize is that she'd find herself in a falsely progressive world masked by company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies. In her memoir, Wiener documents the rise and fall of her Silicon Valley dream. 

Available January 14, 2020

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'Love Her or Lose Her' By Tessa Bailey
$12.31 (23% off)

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey writes a juicy rom-com about a couple who seemingly grows apart instead of growing together—forcing one of them to establish a marriage boot camp and the other to expose a big secret. 

Available January 14, 2020 

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'Open Book' By Jessica Simpson
$16.00 (45% off)

Every person nostalgic for the early 2000s will fall in love with Jessica Simpson's juicy memoir, Open Book, where she talks about everything from her relationship with ex John Mayer to how she convinced people to take her seriously while building an epic career. 

Available February 4, 2020

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'The Other Mrs.' By Mary Kubica
$14.49 (46% off)

Mary Kubica's The Other Mrs. tells the chilling story about a woman named Sadie who moves from Chicago to Maine with her husband. All seems well...until her next door neighbor is murdered and she's one of the whispered-about suspects. 

Available February 18, 2020

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'Here For It' By R. Eric Thomas

One could argue that ELLE.com columnist R. Eric Thomas is one of the funniest people on the internet, and now he's blessing the world with his debut book, Here For It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, filled with humorous essays about growing up and feeling like an outsider. 

Available February 18, 2020

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'The Girl With the Louding Voice' By Abi Daré
$22.99 (12% off)

U.K.-based novelist Abi Daré makes her debut with an emotional story about a 14-year-old Nigerian woman determined to get an education and escape the fate of a child marriage her father forces her into with a local man.

Available February 25, 2020

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'Anna K: A Love Story' By Jenny Lee
$12.99 (32% off)

Marie Claire's March #ReadWithMC pick, Anna K, certainly doesn't disappoint. Jenny Lee's modern YA retelling of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina follows rich kids in New York as they navigate everything from sex and relationships to drugs and depression. Expect to be reminded of Gossip Girl. 

Available March 3, 2020

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'The Henna Artist' By Alka Joshi
$16.03 (41% off)

In Alka Joshi's The Henna Artist, 17-year-old Lakshmi escapes her rural village to Jaipur and becomes a henna artist to the wealthy, discovering secrets and challenges along the way. 

Available March 3, 2020

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'Writers & Lovers' By Lily King
$12.40 (54% off)

Lily King, the bestselling author of Euphoria (2014), knows exactly how to combine love, grief, creativity, and balance. A young prodigy who loses her mother must confront how to channel her ambition again...all while finding herself in love with two men at the same time.

Available March 3, 2020

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'The Night Watchman' By Louise Erdrich
$20.11 (31% off)

Based on the author's grandfather, The Night Watchman takes place in 1953 as Thomas Wazhashk fights against the consequential treatment of Native Americans after a bill threatens to take away their land. 

Available March 3, 2020

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'My Dark Vanessa' By Kate Elizabeth Russell
$11.49 (59% off)

This isn't your cliché trope about a high school student-teacher relationship. Kate Elizabeth Russell brings forth all of the emotion and complexity when Vanessa discovers almost two decades later that her first love has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'Untamed' By Glennon Doyle
$15.50 (45% off)

Untamed is a beautiful memoir from activist, speaker, and bestselling author Glennon Doyle that explores the true lessons of motherhood, family, and divorce. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'In Five Years' By Rebecca Serle
$12.53 (54% off)

Rebecca Serle's New York Times bestselling novel, In Five Years, is Marie Claire's April book club pick. Read an exclusive excerpt here, then dive in with us throughout the rest of the month. You'll devour it. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'The Herd' By Andrea Bartz
$15.59 (42% off)

Anybody obsessed with the exclusivity of private women's clubs, typically accessible only to the elite, will appreciate Andrea Bartz's latest thriller, The Herd, about what happens to the members of (fictional) NYC–based THE HERD when its glitzy founder vanishes without a trace.

Available March 24, 2020

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'The Honey-Don't List' By Christina Lauren
$9.29 (42% off)

You're always guaranteed a good time in Christina Lauren's novels, and The Honey Don't List is no exception. Home designers Melissa and Rusty Tripp have a very public Chip and Joanna Gaines-like relationship, except there's one problem: They actually can't stand each other. The story is told from the perspective of Melissa and Rusty's longtime employees, Carey and James, who are doing whatever it takes to keep their bosses' secret. 

Available March 24, 2020

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'It's Not All Downhill From Here' By Terry McMillan
$13.11 (53% off)

Terry McMillan, the bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale is back with yet another heartwarming novel about the inevitabilities in life—this time with a 68-year-old who knows her best days are still ahead of her.

Available March 31, 2020

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'Chosen Ones' By Veronica Roth
$14.39 (47% off)

The New York Times bestselling author of the YA Divergent series is releasing her debut #adult novel about the aftermath of a group of five teens who save the world, essentially asking the existential question: Where do we go from here? 

Available April 6, 2020

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'The Beauty of Your Face' By Sahar Mustafah
$20.39 (24% off)

The unfortunate timeliness of Sahar Mustafah's The Beauty of Your Face will be triggering for anybody who has experienced gun violence or lost a loved one to gun violence. In the novel, a Palestinian principal for an all-girl Muslim school in Chicago is confronted with a school shooter fueled by radical alt-right beliefs.

Available April 7, 2020

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'Afterlife' By Julia Alvarez
$15.29 (41% off)

Julia Alvarez, one of the most influential Latina writers of all time, returns with Afterlife—a story centered on Antonia Vega, an immigrant writer who is forced to cope with the sudden death of her husband, her sister's disappearance, and an undocumented teenager who shows up at her doorstep all at once.  

Available April 7, 2020

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'Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life' By Marie Kondo
$22.19 (21% off)

The inimitable Marie Kondo is here to transform your messy desks...and stressful work relationships. 

Available April 7, 2020

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'Perfect Tunes' By Emily Gould

Fans of Daisy Jones & The Six will appreciate Emily Gould's Perfect Tunes—a story about one mother's journey to pursue her singing dreams and her daughter's quest to find the answers she's desperately searching for 15 years later.

Available April 14, 2020

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'The Book of Longings' By Sue Monk Kidd
$13.26 (53% off)

You'll recognize Sue Monk Kidd from her critically-acclaimed novel The Secret Life of Bees (2003). In her fourth novel, The Book of Longings, she takes readers all the way back to the first century in a tale about a young woman who meets 18-year-old Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. 

Available April 21, 2020

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'All Adults Here' By Emma Straub
$15.63 (42% off)

Emma Straub's All Adults Here will make you question your entire childhood, and how much your parents influenced it as you learn one mother's perspective of what went right and what went wrong with her own family. 

Available May 5, 2020 

28 of 105
'Big Summer' By Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner always writes honest, relatable stories, and Big Summer—a story about ex friends Daphne Berg and Drue Cavanaugh who unexpectedly re-enter each other's lives—is no exception.

Available May 5, 2020

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'Rodham' By Curtis Sittenfeld

As one Marie Claire reviewer wrote, Curtis Sittenfeld writes a "frustrating but fascinating look" at Hillary Clinton's life if she didn't marry Bill. 

Available May 19, 2020

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'Beach Read' By Emily Henry

Emily Henry's Beach Read is a brilliant meta novel about two authors who are complete opposites and decide to spend the summer helping each other finish their books. Nobody will fall in love at the end, right? 

Available May 19, 2020

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