Buyer’s Picks 2020

Editor’s Note: Our buyers hand select new bestsellers that are sold in our stores. It is our pleasure to present a closer look at some of our favorite Buyer’s Picks from 2020 and selected titles from the bestseller program!

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

Outside of the President Obama memoir, Ready Player Two has been one of the most anticipated books of the year. The plot of this sequel to the 2011 hit Ready Player One has been a carefully guarded secret, so there was very little information about it before its release. Wade Watts, a young boy living in a trailer park in the future, finds a last Easter Egg, which starts Wade on a new quest. But there is a new rival who will stop at nothing to beat Wade and get the prize himself.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

From the author of the bestselling phenomenon, Station Eleven, comes a new novel with a completely different story. The Glass Hotel is about the fallout of the demise of a Ponzi scheme and the disappearance of a woman on a ship at sea. The one thing that is certainly true of both novels is that author Emily St. John Mandel’s writing evokes such an atmosphere – more than in any other book I’ve ever read. It’s like the times and places in which the story is set are vivid characters in and of themselves. The writing is beautiful and the story is chilling. I’d highly recommend this book to fellow lovers of Station Eleven or literary fiction!

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Midnight Sun is the continuation of the incredibly popular Twilight series from the point of view of Edward Cullen. Some of the scenes have been public for a while due to a leak, but 70% of the book is new material. Considering that 2020 marks the 15th anniversary of Twilight, this book makes the perfect gift for all those Edward-fans in your family. Of course, it’s a must for any collector of YA or teen fantasy!

Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss by Jenna Bush Hager

This lovely book is former first daughter and granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager’s tribute to her paternal grandparents, George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, as well as her maternal grandparents, Harold and Jenna Welch. While we may have known George and Barbara Bush as America’s powerful president and influential first lady, to Jenna they were her beloved grandparents and she allows us a peak behind the curtain to view them as she did- teachers of respect, kindness, humility and living a life of meaning and passion. She also provides us with a view into her maternal grandparents, who were also largely influential in shaping her childhood and adulthood ,and their quieter life. In this moving book, Jenna remembers the past, cherishes the present and prepares for the future with lessons taken from both sets of grandparents.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People is about a bank heist that goes wrong and ends up with a bank robber taking people attending an open house hostage. The bank robber really didn’t mean to, and they’re really not going to hurt anyone, but it just kind of accidentally happened. Backman is one of those writers where you’re reading the book and you think “this book is pretty good,” and then something happens in the last 20 pages that makes you sob and say “this is the best book I’ve ever read.” He always pulls all the pieces of the book together perfectly and has such a great message of tolerance and of being kind and compassionate to other people and to yourself. We absolutely loved this book and recommend it to everyone.

Badass Habits by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero, author of You Are a Badass, is back with another badass book- this time about habits. The book includes enlightening interviews with people who’ve successfully strengthened their discipline backbones, gives a new perspective on how to train our brains to become our best selves, and offers a simple, 21 day, step-by-step guide for ditching habits that don’t serve us and developing the habits we deem most important.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

President Obama’s new memoir is the first in an expected two volume series, which covers his life as a young man, his rise into politics and even delves into his presidency. It is said to be a very personal account of what it was like to run for president as a Black man in America, his time in the Oval Office and much, much more. This long-awaited memoir is flying off the shelves, so be sure to get a copy quick!

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

In this newest work of nonfiction from Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns, she explores the caste system of three different societies – Nazi Germany, India and the United States, and shows how that system has bred discontent. Beautifully written and an original, revealing take on society, Wilkerson is sure to provide an eye-opening read with a re-examination of what lies under the surface for ordinary Americans.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Fellow fans of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s previous bestselling books will love this new suspenseful thriller from them. Shay’s life is headed nowhere when she meets sisters Cassandra and Jane Moore.  After that, Shay’s entire life changes – but is it for the better? We really enjoyed this thriller and can’t wait to see what Hendricks and Pekkanen write next!

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

The Switch is a really fun and cute twist on a classic two women switch places story. In this heartwarming story, with a dash of romance, an over-stressed workaholic young woman living in London trades places with her grandmother who lives in a small town. It is somewhat reminiscent of Fredrik Backman’s stories at times – particularly Britt-Marie Was Here! We highly recommended if you need a light fun read during cold, difficult times! It will be made into a movie with Rachel Brosnahan.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The first novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates is now in paperback. After young slave Hiram Walker is saved from drowning by strange forces, he decides he’s going to escape the plantation and ends up in guerilla cells in the wilderness. As he fights against slavery, he must master his magical gift and reconstruct the story of his greatest loss.

Apeirogon by Colum McCann

Several years ago while McCann was travelling he met two fathers, Bassam, a Palestinian, and Rami, an Israeli, who had both lost their daughters tragically. Even though these fathers live on opposite sides of a conflict, they learn of each other’s tragedy and learn that maybe they are not so different after all. This book is fictional but based on these two men’s real-life stories. It’s a very powerful novel about grief, loss and the power that those feelings can have to change the world.

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

This latest narrative nonfiction book from Erik Larson is about Winston Churchill as a father, husband, citizen of London and statesman. This book describes, in cinematic detail, how Churchill navigated political brinkmanship, internal and intimate domestic drama and the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family. In fact, Larson was allowed access to Mary Churchill’s diary and other previously untapped sources in order to write this book! Readers will appreciate Churchill’s eloquence, courage and perseverance to bind a country and family together.

What was your favorite book of 2020? Be sure to leave a review on the book’s page with the hashtag #2020picks!

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