The Best Books You Should Read in 2020 (part 2)

Hollywood Park, written by Mikel Jollett

Not many rock memoirs start on the grounds of an infamous American cult, but that is one of the things about the Airborne Toxic Event frontman’s personal tome separating it from the droves. Cinematic in its recounting of his family’s exit from the Synanon commune in California, Jollet’s subsequent unraveling of the abuses having shaped his stolen childhood is piercing. His pain feels at once universal and unknowable and his rhapsodic writing makes readers unable to put Hollywood Park down.

They Wish They Were Us, written by Jessica Goodman

This debut YA novel from Cosmopolitan senior editor Jessica Goodman deliciously serves up entree into the ruling inner circle of Long Island’s elite Gold Coast Prep. Although the chilling murder mystery is an irresistible hook, the novel carefully builds each character’s wrought, internal conflicts really digging in, elevating it from a high society whodunit to a knowing mission in order not just to uncover one’s own identity, but to build it.

A Children’s Bible, written by Lydia Millet

One of our best writers of climate fiction has created a harrowing novel of environmental dystopia, named A Children’s Bible. It tells the story of a group of families summering together at a vacation home and stranded by the climate apocalypse. As the storm to end all storms descends on their remote rental, the teens conclude that their debauched parents are unfit to take care for them and therefore they strike out on their own to encounter all manner of biblical calamities in the wilderness. Millet’s work has never been more timely than in an age when the dispossessed young generation blames the pillaging older generation for their ravaged environmental inheritance.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold, written by Pam Zhang

In her glittering debut How Much of These Hills Is Gold, C. Pam Zhang sets the scene of the story in the dying days of the gold rush when two orphaned kids of Chinese immigrants roam the ravaged American west searching of a new home, in order only to meet hostility wherever they go, not just from the unforgiving landscape, but also from the racist and inhospitable locals. When these siblings form their nascent identities their loss, they re-imagine their own history and heritage.

The Best Books You Should Read in 2020 (part 1)

Whether you are looking to immerse yourself in a novel that transports you to another place or explore the multifaceted world of a short story, there is always something in this list suitable for you.

A Children’s Bible, written by Lydia Millet

From one of the finest writers of climate fiction comes an environmental dystopia novel, a group of families summering together at a vacation home are stranded by the climate apocalypse. As the storm to end all storms descends on their remote rental, the teens conclude that their debauched parents are unfit to take care for them and decide to strike out on their own to encounter all manner of biblical calamities in the wilderness. In an age when the dispossessed young generation blames the older generation for their ravaged environmental inheritance, A Children’s Bible has never been more timely.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold, written by C. Pam Zhang

In this glittering debut, C. Pam Zhang sets the theme of the book in the dying days of the gold rush, when two orphaned children of Chinese immigrants roam the ravaged American west to search for a new home, only to meet hostility wherever they go – not only from the unforgiving landscape, but also from the racist and inhospitable locals. When these siblings form their nascent identities under the weight of their loss, they reimagine their own history and heritage. How Much of These Hills Is Gold tells a tender coming-of-age story, a thrilling adventure, an excavation of the corrosive mythmaking surrounding the American west, as well as the arrival of a major literary talent.

Drifts, written by Kate Zambreno

Kate Zambreno, one of the world’s most formally ambitious writers, comes back with a sublime fiction following a woman who is struggling to finish her overdue novel,  since she becomes more and more obsessed with the challenge of writing in the current tense and capturing the slippery nature. Her creative blockage leads her to take up correspondences with her friends and lose herself in the works of the dead greats, whose creative crusades shed light onto herself.