Best Nonfiction of 2020 | Best Fiction of 2020 | Best Kids' and YA of 2020
Sometimes we reach for sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and graphic novels because we want to be transported away from the present; never mind that all of these genres use the tropes of technology, magic, history, myth, and the future to scrutinize the present. In a way, 2020 embodies the contradiction inherent in using genre fiction as a form of escapism: More than ever, we need to be confronting the very grave problems of racism, climate change, illness, economic crisis, and anti-democratic politics; and more than ever, we need an occasional rest from the exertion of those confrontations.
The books below astonished us in their abilities to entertain and educate us, sometimes making us laugh or cry, or indulge in a very ugly combination of the two that (almost) made us thankful for quarantine. Whether you want to read about magic schools, sentient cities, biomedical research, or murderous maids, there’s not a book on this list that won’t take you far away while opening your eyes to the wonders and heartaches of the here and now.