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11 must-read books in 2020 so far

Are you a book worm? Check out our must-reads for 2020

Emmy Griffiths

Another year, another plethora of amazing books to read. From period dramas to young adult fiction to crime thrillers, we have put together some of the most talked about and praised novels of the year (so far). Keep your must-read list updated with these picks and be sure to check back as we will be updating with our latest recommendations throughout the year. Happy World Book Day!

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

This is Stacey's second novel after her first, The Familiar, became a huge bestseller - and we think this might be even better. The period drama follows a poor young woman, Bess, who is forced to leave her child at a hospital as a baby, vowing to collect her when she has the money. Several years later, she returns to the hospital and discovers that her daughter had already been claimed... by her. This is a tangled story of intercrossing lives that fit together beautifully, and is essentially begging to be made into a BBC six-part drama. Goodreads score: 4.32

the-foundling

Available now 

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Emira is somewhat listlessly going through life, and babysits to earn extra cash while unsure of her next career move. But when a security guard accuses her of kidnapping her young charge at a grocery store, it sparks off a chain of events involving Emira's overbearing boss, Alix. It is a fascinating look that takes a look at race, class and virtue signalling - and is not one to be missed. Goodreads score: 3.88

such-fun-age

Available now 

Pretending by Holly Bourne

Holly has done it again with her upcoming second adult novel. The story follows a young woman who, thanks to an awful abusive relationship and the nature of her job advising victims of sexual violence, finds men abhorrent. Determined to make them have a taste of their own medicine, she refashions herself into the 'ideal woman' to try and break at least one heart. Needless to say, things don't go quite to plan. In equal parts funny and heartbreaking, this novel is an important one for both men and women to read. Goodreads score: 4.37

pretending

Available 2 April, pre-order here

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

This story follows identical twin sisters who choose to live very different lives. While the identical twins grow up and even run away together, they eventually take their own paths in everything including racial identities, family and community as one sister passes for white, while the other lives with her black daughter in her own southern town. The novel looks at themes of desire, expectations and origins, and has already been lauded by The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine and Harper's Bazaar. Goodreads score: 4.46

vanishing-half

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ABOUT THE VANISHING HALFMy Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This psychological drama follows a young woman Vanessa who, when she was 15, embarked on a passionate relationship with her 42-year-old English teacher. Seventeen years after her love affair, her teacher is accused of sexual abuse by a former student – who asks Vanessa for help. Torn between her conviction that her teenage relationship was true love and to accept that she has been a victim of an inappropriate relationship, Vanessa has to re-examine everything she thought she knew about her past. Goodreads score: 4.32

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Available 31 March, pre-order here

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

This mystery fiction follows the lives of two sisters. One, Kacey, is an addict who lives on the streets while her sister, Mickey, is a police officer who spends every day dreading that she will eventually be called to a case involving her sibling. Just as a string of murders begin to take place in their city, Kacey goes missing. Desperate to find the murderer while worrying about the whereabouts of Kacey, Micky decides to stop at nothing to get the truth. Goodreads score: 4.21

READ: 11 amazing holiday reads you won't be able to put down

long-bright-river

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The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Emily's acclaimed novel sees several lives intertwine in a story that looks at themes of money, moral compromise and greed. The synopsis reads: "Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it's the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent's half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: 'Why don't you swallow broken glass.' Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship." Goodreads score: 3.97

glass-hotel

Available 30 April, pre-order here

The City We Became - N. K. Jemisin

The first of the new sci fi novel series follows five New Yorkers who have to join together to defend their city. The synopsis reads: "Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She's got five. But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all." Good Omens writer Neil Gaiman is among those to have heaped praise on the novel, writing: "A glorious fantasy, set in that most imaginary of cities, New York." Goodreads score: 4.09

READ: Red, White and Royal Blue author Casey Mcquiston talks potential sequel

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Available 24 March, pre-order here

The Resisters by Gish Jen

This dystopian novel is set in a futuristic America where the land is half under water and the population either live on high ground or are forced to live on swampland, or even on the water. The daughter of a poor family, Gwen, is a baseball prodigy who has a way to rise from her humble circumstances when the Olympics comes around – but at what cost? Goodreads score: 3.74

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Available now 

Anna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee

A modern take on Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Anna K is at the top of Manhattan society, has the perfect boyfriend, and has always made her father proud, while her brother and his girlfriend Lolly are dealing with a sexting scandal, and Lolly's sister Kimmie is struggling after an injury ruins her ice dancing career. Meanwhile, Steven's best friend Dustin is in love with Lolly. Then, Anna meets Alexia – a notorious playboy – and everything changes for her. Goodreads score: 3.79

anna-k

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The Recovery of Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

Rose Gold Watts is abused for most of her childhood, believing that she was seriously ill thanks to her mother, who was keeping her that way. After spending time in prison for her crimes, Patty Watts is released from jail with nowhere to go, and Rose Gold allows her to move back into her home. While the pair both say they want to forgive and forget, Rose Gold knows that her mother will never let that happen, and goes to her own lengths to seek out revenge. Goodreads score: 3.93

recovery-rose-gold

Available now