Ask Approved: 21 of the Best Reads of 2020

Photo Courtesy: HarperCollins via Goodreads

When it comes to the book-publishing industry, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far-reaching — and, honestly, something of a mixed bag. For one, folks are spending more time at home, so whether they need to learn a new skill, deepen their knowledge or escape to a virus-free world for a few hours, books are a welcome solution.

In fact, the Los Angeles Times found that Bookshop.org, an online retailer that aims to support independent bookstores in response to Amazon’s growing influence, saw a 400% increase in sales since the shutdown in March, and, to date, has raised over $9.56 million for indie sellers. However, an increase in demand for print books has put some strain on the production of those books, which means a rise in ebook and audiobook sales and subscription sign-ups for services like Libro.fm and Audible. And while it’s great that folks are getting their reading materials somewhere, the rise in ebook sales, specifically, means less revenue for authors, publishers and brick-and-mortar bookstores.

All of this to say, it’s been a year of ups and downs — but, on the actual book-release side, it’s been a lot of ups. While we can’t squeeze in all of our favorites from 2020 here, we have rounded up a stellar sampling of must-reads.