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The Best of 2020

2020 has seen the world face unprecedented challenges, but books have been there through it all helping us to understand these turbulent times a little better. Many reads have encouraged empathy and compassion for those with different lived experiences, while others have provided much-needed escapism. Here we celebrate some of the top titles 2020 had to offer, bestsellers, and award winners.

 

The Bestselling Book of 2020

Girl, Woman, Other : WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019 - Bernardine Evaristo

This is Britain as you've never read it. This is Britain as it has never been told.

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years.

They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope...

"The most absorbing book I read all year." Roxane Gay

"The characters are so vivid, the writing is beautiful and it brims with humanity" Nicola Sturgeon on Twitter

"Bernardine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life" Ali Smith

Winner of British Book Awards Author and Fiction Book of the Year 2020, The Booker Prize 2019 and Sunday Times #1 Bestseller.

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More Bestsellers of 2020   |  View All

2020 Award Winners   |  View all

2020 saw the book industry rise to the challenge of celebrating the best books of the year despite the restrictions caused by covid-19. Many award ceremonies were streamed live on social media. Special guests joined via video calls. Readers across the globe were able to enjoy celebrations that had previously been exclusive events. 

Prizes were awarded across fiction and non-fiction and a variety of genres. Douglas Stuart was awarded The Booker Prize - considered by many to be "the leading literary award in the English speaking world" - for Shuggie Bain by the unanimous choice of the judging panel, while Craig Brown was awarded The Baillie Gifford Prize for One Two Three Four, his "joyous, irreverent, insightful celebration of The Beatles".

Visit our award pages to find out more about the literary awards, their winners and shortlists, and browse our collection of 2020 award winners below.

2020 Top Releases

Although many book launches were delayed by the pandemic, we were still treated to numerous brilliant new releases each month. 

Top releases included debuts such as The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Ghosts by Dolly Alderton, and Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, as well as new books from Hilary Mantel, Matt Haig, Yotam Ottolenghi, Philip Pullman, and many other established and popular authors.

See below for the bestselling release of each month, and discover more in top releases month-by-month: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December.

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