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.


Fiction

  1. What A Woman’s Gotta Do by Evelyn Coleman
  2. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  3. B-More Careful by Shannon Holmes
  4. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  5. American Spy: A Novel by Lauren Wilkinson
  6. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston
  7. It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan
  8. Blacktop Wasteland (autographed) by S. A. Cosby
  9. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies (Signed Copy) by Deesha Philyaw
  10. Romance in Marseille by Claude McKay
  11. The Stolen Daughter by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
  12. On the Corner of Hope and Main: A Blessings Novel by Beverly Jenkins
  13. Here and Now by Kimberla Lawson Roby
  14. The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Nonfiction

  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. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  5. Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker by Alice Walker
  6. My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers
  7. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
  8. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall

Children’s

  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
  6. King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

Poetry

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