Best of 2020 Reads

By Allison Reads DC

By Allison Reads DC

A World Between

Emily Hashimoto

$17.95 $16.51

I absolutely loved this adorable queer romance between two women who have a brief but passionate affair in undergrad, and how their relationship evolves throughout their early 20s into their 30s. Highly recommend

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home

Tembi Locke

$17.00 $15.64

When I tell you I SOBBED. One of the most remarkable love stories I've ever read - and it's true. While the writing is flowery at times, I resonated so deeply with the way Tembi examines her relationship with Saro's parents and how it is and is not present throughout their lives. Loved it.

Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement

$18.00 $16.56

We all (hopefully by now) know that police & prisons disproportionately target BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ people, poor people and sex workers and don't actually make our communities safer from violence. This anthology looks at the alternatives - from Trans Support Hotlines that don't mandate reporting suicide risk, to alternatives to calling 911, to how to support families and child sexual abuse survivors without involving the state.

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

Jenn Shapland

$22.95 $21.11

I was hesitant to read this because I've never read any Carson McCullers, and was so pleasantly surprised. This book is an outstanding genre-blending hybrid memoir/biography. Shapland is in her twenties and coming out of a 6yr closeted relationship when she reads letters McCullers wrote to a woman. She instantly recognizes queer desire. Queer visibility is such a precarious thing, and lesbian love has not been represented as such throughout history. Shapland digs into Carson’s life, does a residency in her childhood home, and asks questions about visibility, history, love and more. The result is stunning.

Things We Didn't Talk about When I Was a Girl: A Memoir

Jeannie Vanasco

$25.95 $23.87

One of the most incredible memoirs I've ever read hauntingly addresses redemption, rape culture, accountability, performative gender, and so much more. Trigger warning for rape.

Such a Fun Age

Kiley Reid

$26.00 $23.92

I'm hesitant to share too much about the plot because what I loved most about this book was the unexpected. Its extremely readable & plot forward while tackling things like race, class & privilege in smart, engaging ways.


Raven Leilani

$26.00 $23.92

Truly remarkable, unforgettable debut novel. The sentences are unreal. The protagonist is deeply affecting. Highly recommend this book.

First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School

Alison Stewart


First Class is an incredible, fascinating look at DC history, Black history, education integration history, and all those intersections while writing a love letter to Dunbar high school, examining its legacy as a pinnacle of Black achievement, critiques of elitism and colorism, and looking at how education in DC has shifted over the years.

Felix Ever After

Kacen Callender

$18.99 $17.47

Adorable, charming novel about Felix Love, a 17 year old trans boy who thinks he's unlovable. Felix is a total mess and this book is so lovely.

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry

Imani Perry

$17.95 $16.51

Beautifully written biography of Lorraine Hansberry. I love reading about artists and I love reading about activists, and Lorraine was both.

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons

Imani Perry

$18.00 $16.56

This was added to the favorites of all time as well. An incredibly crafted letter to her sons, touches on Black motherhood, craft, activism, parenthood, empathy, grief, so much... It's incredible.


Toni Morrison

$15.00 $13.80

This was a 2020 reread for me and it is just SO GOOD. Toni holds nothing back in this novel. Flawless.