2020 brings the promise of a new year full of great books. With so many great authors coming out with debuts, sequels, prequels, essay collections, books of poetry and everything in between, by the number of new books hitting the shelves can be overwhelming. These are the books I am most excited for this year.
‘American Dirt’ by Jeanine Cummins
Jan. 21 | Literary Fiction/Current Issues
The fourth novel of best-selling author Jeanine Cummins chronicles the life of immigrants fleeing from their gang-ridden home in Mexico.
Lydia Quixano is a mother, wife and business owner living in Acapulco, Mexico. Although the town slowly becomes more under the control of drug cartels, Lydia’s life remains fairly comfortable. That is until her husband publishes a tell-all article about the head of the cartel, and Lydia and her son are forced to escape for their own safety. Now immigrants, Lydia and her eight-year-old son make their way north to the United States, but they soon find their journey will not be as easy as they originally hoped. Surrounded by countless others fleeing violence, Lydia soon learns how much people are willing to sacrifice to reach a glimmer of hope.
‘Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot’ by Mikki Kendall
Feb. 25 | Nonfiction Essays
“Hood Feminism” is the second book published by Mikki Kendall, an activist and cultural critic who often focuses on media representation and the history of the feminist movement.
In this collection of essays, Kendall brings attention to all of the shortcomings of the modern feminist movement. According to Kendall, the current feminist movement rarely addresses issues affecting many people in the country: food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage and medical care. Using her own experiences, Kendall is able to take aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement and point out everything it can do to improve.
‘Chosen Ones’ by Veronica Roth
April 7 | Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Veronica Roth, the writer of the popular young adult series Divergent, attempts her first novel for adults.
“Chosen Ones” tells the story of five adults who were singled out to take down a powerful entity, known as the Dark One, as teenagers. 10 years after the seemingly ordinary teenagers take down the dark force, one of the chosen ones, Sloane, still deals with the lasting trauma from her teenage days of fighting and fame. On the ten-year anniversary of the death of the Dark One, the group must deal with a new type of trauma, the death of one of their own. When they all gather for the funeral, they come to find the reign of the Dark One never truly ended.
‘Memoirs and Misinformation’ by Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon
May 5 | Memoir/Semi-Autobiography
Written partially by the man himself, this semi-autobiographical novel seeks to answer the question, who is Jim Carrey?
The successful and beloved actor finds himself in middle age, past his prime and in a constant state of dissatisfaction. This all changes when Carrey meets the love of his life, Georgie, and becomes excited about the prospects of the role that will help him rediscover himself. The universe, however, has other plans for Carrey. In this novel, writers Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon manage to deconstruct the idea of personality while fashioning a story about Hollywood, acting, agents, friends, celebrity, privilege, the need to maintain relevancy and the idea of our soul.
‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ by Suzanne Collins
May 19 | Young Adult Dystopian
Eleven years after the final book to her best-selling series was published, Suzanne Collins is treating her fans to another highly anticipated story within the world of her Hunger Games’ novels. Despite the hype, not much is known about the prequel to the original trilogies. So far, we only know that this novel will revisit the world of Panem 64 years before the events of the original Hunger Games trilogy, starting on the morning of the reaping of the 10th Hunger Games.
“The Resisters” by Gish Jen (Feb. 4)
“The Other Mrs.” by Mary Kubica (Feb. 18)
“Wow, No Thank You” by Samantha Irby (March 31)
“Death in Her Hands” by Ottessa Moshfegh (April 21)
“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett (June 2)