2020 Book Recap


Graphic/Marissa Xu

During the pandemic, many spent their time reading. Luckily for bookworms, there were plenty of great releases this past year.

Aika Orshybek, Staff Writer

Books affect people’s lives in numerous ways, regardless of time or place. Novels can transport readers to new worlds they can lose themselves in, and it’s important to choose the right ones. Having spent a lot of time inside this past year due to the pandemic, many turned to reading to fill their time. That being said, here’s a recap on some of the top books of 2020. 

“Actress” by Anne Enright is a Booker Prize winner story that explores fame, mother-daughter relationships, post-war Hollywood, and the life of the main character who’s just trying to find her way. The plot develops around Norah, who narrates her younger life as a middle-aged woman and reflects on her and her mother’s past. Catherine O’Dell, Norah’s mother, was a Dublin-based 20th-century star, both on-stage and offstage. Author Anne Enright was born in Dublin and had experienced life as a professional actor.

“How To Pronounce Knife” is a collection of fourteen short stories written by Souvankham Thammavongsa. In addition to being the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, it’s just a breathtaking masterpiece. The book describes the life of a Laotian immigrant family as they plan to settle in the United States. Throughout the journey of reading these stories, you’ll learn about the racism, sexism, classism, and discrimination that many immigrants face, along with how privilege and power affect their lives. 

“Interior Chinatown,” written by Charles Yu, is the winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The story develops around Willis Wu, an Asian actor who witnesses racism in the workplace. The entire story is written in the form of a screenplay, and one of the main settings throughout the book is a rundown apartment in Chinatown, Los Angeles. The story literally takes place in the interior of Chinatown, the place where some of the cruelest and heartbreaking consequences of racism can be found and demonstrated. 

While being all kinds of a year, 2020 certainly was not a bad year for bookworms, as illustrated by these three authors. They had everything they needed: some free time and some good, new, interesting, and deep books.