Reading List: 2020’s Most Critically Acclaimed Books

View a more detailed description of the 2020 list.
View a list of all the critically acclaimed titles on our list from 1940 to 2020.


  1. What A Woman’s Gotta Do by Evelyn Coleman
  2. B-More Careful by Shannon Holmes
  3. American Spy: A Novel by Lauren Wilkinson
  4. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston
  5. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  6. Romance in Marseille by Claude McKay
  7. On the Corner of Hope and Main: A Blessings Novel by Beverly Jenkins
  8. It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan
  9. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  10. Here and Now by Kimberla Lawson Roby
  11. The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré


  1. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  2. Black Boy by Richard Wright
  3. The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison
  4. Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker by Alice Walker
  5. My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers
  6. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall


  1. A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross
  2. Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  3. A Black Woman Did That by Malaika Adero
  4. African by Peter Tosh
  5. Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi


  1. Pale Colors in a Tall Field: Poems by Carl Phillips