The best books of the year, according to the New York Public Library

The best books of the year, according to the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is at it again with another list. This time, as we round the corner to the final month of the year, the library has laid out its picks for best books of 2020.

Selections span genre and form, sweeping up graphic novels, poetry collections and essays in adult, teen and children categories. Chosen by librarians across the New York Public Library system, the books add up to a list of 280 titles.

“The Library’s Best Books lists reflect an inspiring mixture of the services our readers need from their library,” Lynn Lobash, associate director of the NYPL’s Readers Services team, said. “Our Best Books Committees read hundreds of books, sought out titles both physically and digitally, determined to create a great list of books that readers can enjoy despite the difficulties of 2020.”

Here are the top 10 books in each category. A full list of titles can be found here.

All titles in alphabetical order.

Top 10 Adult Books

  • “The City We Became: A Novel” by N. K. Jemisin
  • “Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague” by Maggie O’Farrell
  • “Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot” by Mikki Kendall
  • “Interior Chinatown: A Novel” by Charles Yu
  • “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab
  • “Luster” by Raven Leilani
  • “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig
  • “The Sacrifice of Darkness” by Roxane Gay and Tracy Lynne Oliver
  • “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel” by Grady Hendrix
  • “Temporary: A Novel” by Hilary Leichter

Top 10 Poetry Books

  • “Finna: Poems” by Nate Marshall
  • “Galleons: Poems” by Rick Barot
  • “Grimoire” by Cherene Sherrard
  • “Gut Botany” by Petra Kuppers
  • “Homie” by Danez Smith
  • “Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry” by John Murillo
  • “My Baby First Birthday: Poems” by Jenny Zhang
  • “Nail the Evening Hangs On” by Monica Sok
  • “Nancy Reagan Collection” by Maxe Crandall
  • “Postcolonial Love Poem” by Natalie Diaz

Top 10 Teen Books

  • “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” by George M. Johnson
  • “Displacement” by Kiku Hughes
  • “Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn
  • “The Magic Fish” by Trung Le Nguyen
  • “Not So Pure and Simple” by Lamar Giles
  • “Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation” by Candy J. Cooper with Marc Aronson
  • “Punching the Air” by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
  • “Raybearer” by Jordan Ifueko
  • “We Are Not Free” by Traci Chee
  • “We Are Not From Here” by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Top 10 Children’s Books

  • “Black Heroes of the Wild West” by James Otis Smith
  • “Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away” by Meg Medina, illustrated by Sonia Sánchez
  • “Go with the Flow” by Lily Williams & Karen Schneemann
  • “Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera” by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
  • “Land of the Cranes” by Aida Salazar
  • “Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration” by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
  • “Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet” by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik
  • “When Stars Are Scattered” by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
  • “When You Trap a Tiger” by Tae Keller
  • “You Matter” by Christian Robinson

Los 10 mejores libros para edades 0–12

[Top 10 Books for Ages 0–12 (in Spanish)]

  • “¿Cómo lo ves?” by Vera Galindo
  • “Amigas” by Lauren Ace, illustrated by Jenny Lovlie
  • “La bañera” by Lisa Biggi, illustrated by Paloma Corral
  • “La belleza del final” by Alfredo Colella, illustrated by Jorge González
  • “Los carpinchos” by Alfredo Soderguit
  • “Manos a la tierra: Crea tu propio jardín” by Kirsten Bradley, illustrated by Aitch
  • “Mi abuelo” by Émilie Chazerand, illustrated by Nicolas Duffaut
  • “Mi lazarilla, mi capitán” by Gonzalo Moure, illustrated by Maria Girón
  • “Música en el jardín” by Mariana Ruiz Johnson
  • “Los tomates de Mila” by Sanne Dufft