By Adrianne M. Schinkai, Head of Reference & Circulation Services at Vicksburg District Library
Every December, I research the critiques and ratings of the year’s new books across the internet and library science journals. I make a list of the best, see which of those the Vicksburg District Library purchased during the year, then whittle the list to the top 25.
I take great pleasure in putting together the list every December. I enjoy seeing what people across the globe are reading each year. Many of our library’s patrons tend to prefer adult fiction and mysteries. Writers such as James Patterson, Jodi Picoult and David Baldacci are among our most requested items. The list is a great tool to help patrons pick a book that may have slipped under their radar.
The 2020 list:
- “His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope” by Jon Meacham
- “Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own” by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
- “Clanlands: Whiskey, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other” by Sam Heughan & Graham McTavish
- “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama
- “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
- “The Magic Fish” by Trung Le Nguyen
- “All the Devils Are Here” (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #16) by Louise Penny
- “Battle Ground” (The Dresden Files #17) by Jim Butcher
- “Punching the Air” by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
- “The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons Down on Mischief Farm” by Hilarie Burton Morgan
- “Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America” by Bill O’Reilly, with Marin Dugard
- “Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn
- “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
- “Rage” by Bob Woodward
- “The Evening and the Morning” by Ken Follett
- “Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss” by Jenna Bush Hager
- “Get Out of your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts” by Jennie Allen
- “White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color” by Ruby Hamad
- “The Girl with the Louding Voice” by Abi Daré
- “Where the Lost Wander“ by Amy Harmon
- “Network Effect” (The Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells
- “The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” by VE Schwab
- “The Mirror and the Light” (Thomas Cromwell #3) by Hilary Mantel
- “Solutions and Other Problems” by Allie Brosh
- “Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the 116 Days that Changed the World” by Chris Wallace, with Mitch Weiss
Non-fiction is always popular on the list. And politics is always present. That has been the norm for the last few years I have done this. This year, with the rise of civil rights events in the country, a lot of books having to do with the historical movement and anti-racism made the list.
At the same time, it is normal to see science fiction and graphic novels on the list, as well as young adult selections. Those shouldn’t be discounted simply because they are written with a younger audience in mind. Many young adult novels tell amazingly complex stories for all ages. These genres may not be for everyone, but people do read them and they are quite popular.
Items from the list come from the library’s adult fiction, adult non-fiction, and young adult collections. Suggestions, ratings, and reviews were taken from Amazon, Goodreads, Google Books, Booklist and The New York Times. I really hope patrons enjoy the books on the list. All of them are available for circulation at the Vicksburg District Library, so my only recommendation is to give us a call so we can put them on hold for you!