The families have rented a mansion for the summer, and then a massive hurricane hits. From established storytelling maestros to exciting new voices, and from compelling crime thrillers to scintillating science fiction - not to mention the little matter of the conclusion of a certain Tudor-era trilogy - there are many, many reasons to get excited about publishing in 2020. The Booker Prize winner masterfully completes her years-long character study of Cromwell, again fusing history and fiction to create a mesmerizing narrative centered on a man whose obsession with power leads him to his brutal, and inevitable, end.

“This may be his debut,” says The New York Times Book Review, “but he proves himself an old hand at dissecting the ways in which places — our connections to them, our disconnections from them — break us and remake us.” (Credit: Canongate), A series of episodic vignettes, the widely acclaimed novel Weather is narrated by librarian Lizzie, who speaks with frankness about her daily preoccupations and ordinary anxieties.

A young woman can see visions of murdered and missing people when she eats dirt. In this candid and occasionally humorous memoir, Orr recalls her 1970s, working-class upbringing in Scotland, and her complicated relationship with her mother. Here, alphabetically by author, the best books of 2020 so far. When two murders are reported in their neighborhood, the women find their lives inextricably connected by the crimes and obsessions of one man. Described by the London Evening Standard as “an observant and timely guide”, I Am Not Your Baby Mother by blogger Candice Brathwaite is a memoir and a manifesto about black motherhood. Cosmopolitan participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. The best books of the year so far explore themes of power, perseverance and hope through creative storytelling and glittering prose. It is a coming-of-age tale set in the 1970s in Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo, where young Michel is negotiating everyday life, until the brutal murder of the president. Literally the only good thing about the change of seasons is discovering all the clothes and shoes I forgot I had. The result is a deeply affecting portrait of one family’s immigrant experience—and the toll that the American Dream takes on those who chase it. Full of her usual compassion, empathy and joyfulness, it is classic Tyler, and has been highly praised. The Observer says: “Moran proves herself, once more, a sage guide in the joys, as well as the difficult bits, of being a woman – of being a partner, mother, friend and feminist.”, The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Growing up in a small Ugandan village, Kirabo is surrounded by powerful women, all of whom want her to conform. In his third collection of short stories, Kevin Barry portrays an Ireland in transition, and also a country where tradition and myth still endure. Fifteen years later, Laura’s teenage daughter, Marie, begins to ask questions about the dreams her mother left behind. Love, race and the mores of the mid-West are central themes in a book described by The Guardian as “radiant and visionary”. Our House is on Fire by Greta Thunberg et al, This family account of Greta Thunberg’s Asperger’s diagnosis has been hailed as a must-read environmental message of hope.

Erdrich describes the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota in rich detail and illustrates the lengths that some will go to protect the ones they care for. There, she is faced with the decision of whether to remain loyal to her employer or help Mui’s foremost resort fabricate a disaster big enough to save the island’s economy.

In House of Glass the journalist Hadley Freeman uncovers her family’s secrets, focussing on the life story of her grandmother, who escaped the horrors of Europe during World War Two to live in the US, as well as the contrasting lives of her great uncles. Though the end of World War II is no mystery, The Splendid and the Vile reads like a thriller, demanding attention with pages that illuminate the strength of leadership in times of grave crisis and uncertainty. Eight long years after publishing the acclaimed YA novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M. Danforth’s adult debut will finally hit shelves in October. C Pam Zhang’s electrifying debut is a sweeping work of historical fiction—the sort of masterpiece that immediately establishes an author as a force to be reckoned with.