Best books to gift in 2020

Landon Groves

It can be difficult to shop for book lovers, especially if you don't know what they've read yet-- but these new releases make great gifts for all types of readers.

Not sure what to get the bookworm in your life? We don’t blame you — with so many great titles out this year, it can be daunting to try to pick the perfect one.

To help you out, we put together a list of the best new books to gift in 2020. Each title delivers something special, and in this comprehensive collection, you’re sure to find something great whether you’re shopping for a significant other or a budding young reader. 

The best books to gift in 2020

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. SchwabIn this genre-defying young adult novel, veteran writer V.E. Schwab takes the reader back to France in 1714. A young girl makes a Faustian bargain to live forever but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus, she begins a journey that spans several centuries and multiple continents. 

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

In this feel-good LGBTQ fantasy story, 40-year-old Linus Baker finds family and unconditional love in the most unexpected of places while embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Obliteration: An Awakened Novel by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

From a bestselling author and a co-star of television’s “Impractical Jokers,” this science fiction thriller is rife with subterranean monsters, devious plots, scheming villains, and an affable hero.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

In “Antiracist Baby,” lauded race relations writer Ibram X. Kendi turns his attention to kids, offering nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney

This newest addition to the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series takes Greg Heffley and his family on a road trip across the contiguous United States, but trouble arises when they get stranded at an RV park that’s less than glamorous.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

A Book for Escargot by Dashka Slater

For the budding reader in your life, this illustrated children’s book is a great option — it follows a charming French snail on his quest to find the book of his dreams.

Also available on: Kindle

The Cool Bean by Jory John

This hardcover picture book for early elementary students deals with the subject of “cool” and asks an important question: Is it cool to be kind?

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

From the author of 2012’s runaway hit “A Man Called Ove,” this novel chronicles a hostage situation gone wrong and brings together eight strangers and a bank robber, each one wishing for some kind of rescue.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

This bestselling novel follows Gyasi’s bestseller “Homegoing” and once again tells the story of a Ghanian family in Alabama. Like her first book, this one is emotional and intense, telling a story of self-discovery in complicated circumstances.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper

For the true crime fanatic in your life, this page-turner pieces together an unsolved 1969 murder at Harvard and takes a hard look at the misogyny that’s all too common in academia.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Open Book by Jessica Simpson

Singer, actor, fashion designer, and now-author Jessica Simpson penned this intimate self-portrait to shed light on how it felt to become one of the most talked-about women in the world, sharing the wisdom she’s gleaned along the way.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

One Life by Megan Rapinoe

In her autobiography, Megan Rapinoe, the star soccer player who helped propel the United States national team to victory during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, offers a glimpse into the journey that led her to become one of the sporting world’s most prominent advocates of social justice.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

In his newest autobiography, former president and prolific author Barack Obama looks back on his eight years in office and offers a deeply personal account of history in the making.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

This book, the followup to the immensely popular book-turned-Spielberg-movie “Ready Player One,” takes us back into Ernest Cline’s rich virtual universe with a fun new cast of characters and an even more inventive plot.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang

“How Much of These Hills Is Gold” is a novel set at the tail end of the gold rush. It follows the saga of siblings Sam and Lucy as they try to turn an unforgiving scrap of land into a home. When their father dies, they set off to give him the funeral he deserves, learning a thing or two about themselves along the way.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

This book tells the story of identical twins, the Vignes sisters, who leave their small black community at 16 and go their separate ways. The narrative weaves together the stories of estranged family members and explores the mostly invisble history of racial passing in America.

Available on: Kindle, Audible

The Best American Poetry 2020 by David Lehman and Paisley Rekdal

Since 1988, the Best American series has anthologized some of the country’s most lasting poetic works. This new edition brings together some of this era’s most talented writers.

Also available on: Kindle

Clean: The New Science of Skin by James Hamblin

In this fascinating read, preventive medicine physician and “The Atlantic” staff writer James Hamblin takes on a subject that any other year may have been taboo: our own hygiene.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters Vol. 1: Galaxy’s Deadliest by Ethan Sacks

For the Mandalorian fan in your life, this canonized book is a fun, pulpy dive into a galaxy far, far away.

Also available on: Kindle

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

In “Uncanny Valley: A Memoir,” Anna Wiener looks back at her years in Silicon Valley before the bubble burst, offering a rare firsthand account of an unchecked industry at the height of its power.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad by Mike Birbiglia

For the new parent in your life, this collection of true stories from comedian Mike Birbiglia offers a hilariously fresh perspective on the trials and tribulations of raising a child.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

The Cold Millions by Jess Walter

Jess Walter, a novelist with a proven track record for telling stories that captivate, turns his eye to the class warfare of the early 20th century in his newest book and asks the question: Is it enough to win the occasional battle even if you cannot win the war?

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

In Bibi's Kitchen by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen

This cookbook brings together the recipes and stories of grandmothers from the eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean and is perfect for the chef or world traveler in your life.

Also available on: Kindle

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

In “Writers & Lovers,” Lily King follows an aging artist from one personal crisis to another and takes a long, hard look at that strange interval between youth and middle age.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

After reaping praise for his masterpiece “The Devil in the White City,” Erik Larson is back with a new piece of historical fiction, this time chronicling Winston Churchill and London during a very uncertain time in world history.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

No One Asked for This: Essays by Cazzie David

Larry David’s daughter Cazzie David proves she’s just as hilarious and inventive as her father in this new collection of essays. She also sheds some light on her much-talked-about relationship with comedian Pete Davidson.

Also available on: Kindle, Audible

Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind (Vol. 1) by Yuval Noah Harari

This book, the graphic accompaniment to Yuval Noah Harari’s incredibly popular book of the same name, takes a deep dive into our origins as a species and offers some theories as to where we’re going.

Also available on: Kindle


Landon Groves is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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