Book List

Best Memoirs of 2020

  • NONFICTION

     MILL TOWN

    SEPT. 1, 2020

NONFICTION

MILL TOWN

by Kerri Arsenault

Bittersweet memories and a long-buried atrocity combine for a heartfelt, unflinching, striking narrative combination. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE OTHER MADISONS

    MARCH 24, 2020

HISTORY

THE OTHER MADISONS

by Bettye Kearse

A Roots for a new generation, rich in storytelling and steeped in history. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT

    SEPT. 8, 2020

NONFICTION

A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT

by Brittany K. Barnett

Considering her youthfulness, Barnett has accomplished more reform than most individuals could accomplish in two lifetimes. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    GOLEM GIRL

    OCT. 6, 2020

NONFICTION

GOLEM GIRL

by Riva Lehrer ; illustrated by Riva Lehrer

An extraordinary memoir suffused with generosity, consistent insight, and striking artwork. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY

    JULY 14, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY

by Billy-Ray Belcourt

An urgently needed, unyielding book of theoretical and intimate strength. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    SIGH, GONE

    APRIL 21, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

SIGH, GONE

by Phuc Tran

A highly witty and topical read—an impressive debut. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    NINE MOONS

    MAY 26, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

NINE MOONS

by Gabriela Wiener ; translated by Jessica Powell

Refreshingly literary and offbeat—a mother-to-be book for firebrands. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    PLACES I'VE TAKEN MY BODY

    JUNE 2, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

PLACES I'VE TAKEN MY BODY

by Molly McCully Brown

Heartfelt and wrenching, a significant addition to the literature of disability. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH

    JULY 14, 2020

NONFICTION

TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH

by Mary L. Trump

Dripping with snideness, vibrating with rage, and gleaming with clarity—a deeply satisfying read. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    FILTHY BEASTS

    JULY 14, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

FILTHY BEASTS

by Kirkland Hamill

A stunning, deeply satisfying story about how we outlive our upbringings. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    SOMETHING THAT MAY SHOCK AND DISCREDIT YOU

    FEB. 11, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

SOMETHING THAT MAY SHOCK AND DISCREDIT YOU

by Daniel Mallory Ortberg

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, often both at once. Everyone should read this extraordinary book. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    DANCING IN THE MOSQUE

    DEC. 1, 2020

NONFICTION

DANCING IN THE MOSQUE

by Homeira Qaderi ; translated by Zaman Stanizai

An unvarnished, memorable portrayal of a mother’s grief and love. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    RECOLLECTIONS OF MY NONEXISTENCE

    MARCH 10, 2020

  • NONFICTION

    RIDING WITH THE GHOST

    JULY 21, 2020

NONFICTION

RIDING WITH THE GHOST

by Justin Taylor

A greater literary achievement than Taylor’s impressive fiction. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE CARTOONIST

    JULY 21, 2020

GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMICS

THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE CARTOONIST

by Adrian Tomine illustrated by Adrian Tomine

Subtle, provocative, and sharply drawn—a portrait of the perpetually dissatisfied artist. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    HEAVEN

    APRIL 14, 2020

More Book Lists

The Magazine: Kirkus Reviews

YA superstar Angie Thomas has written her best book yet with her prequel to The Hate U Give.

subscribe
  • The Kirkus Star

    One of the most coveted designations in the book industry, the Kirkus Star marks books of exceptional merit.

  • The Kirkus Prize

    The Kirkus Prize is among the richest literary awards in America, awarding $50,000 in three categories annually.

    See the 2020 winners.

Great Books & News Curated For You

Be the first to read books news and see reviews, news and features in Kirkus Reviews. Get awesome content delivered to your inbox every week.

Thank you!