Best of 2020 Reads

By Allison Reads DC

By Allison Reads DC

Whether or not they were published in 2020, these are the best books I've read this year so far.

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 $20.66

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.

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

$27.00 $24.30

The writing was slightly corny, but I genuinely learned so much about how to manage my stress and take care of myself better.

Real Life

Brandon Taylor

$26.00 $23.40

Gorgeous campus novel following a black gay Southern man in a Midwestern college town. The writing is profound & beautiful. Wallace, Miller, and their friend group & colleagues are characters I’ll be thinking about forever. The book hangover is real with this one.

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

Jeannie Vanasco

$25.95 $23.36

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 $23.40

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.