20 Book Recommendations To Make Your 2020 A 'Literary Woke' Year

Is “reading more” on your list of resolutions for 2020? I sure hope so! Nourish and feed your brain every day by challenging yourself to read a few pages every day. Reading for classes can be boring, but reading for leisure can be super fun! Here are a list of 20 books to get those brain juices flowing in 2020!

  1. 1. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof

    This story is definitely one of the more serious nonfiction books that talks about a real, eye-opening issue occurring today.

  2. 2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

    This is one of my lifetime favorite books that makes you feel like you are immersed in the narrative as one of the characters, and actually experiencing everything that is happening. This is a book that covers love and family in dire situations and delves into some dark and serious issues that are a reality in the Middle East.

  3. 3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

    This book was on my to-read list for the longest time ever, but I am so glad that I got around to reading it. It is a very practical book that is perfect for people who are trying to hone their social skills and learn how to be better people. 

  4. 4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

    This is another favorite nonfiction book of mine that shows the brief, yet brilliant life of a neurosurgeon reflecting on his life before and after receiving a diagnosis for lung cancer. 

  5. 5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

    This book, which has recently been adapted to the big screen, shows a girl who is affected by police brutality and how she struggles to accept her identity and fights to proclaim that black lives matter.

  6. 6. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

    This book is recommended for those who tend to feel like they are stuck in the daily routine of life. If you want to change your life, you need to learn how to say "yes" to the right things. This autobiographical book by the creator of Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes, shows how a successful and busy woman like herself is able to find her work-life balance.

  7. 7. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

    Ever imagine what it would like to be in a mental health facility? Reading this book provides a small glimpse into what it was like to stay in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s.

  8. 8. Room by Emma Donoghue

    Imagine being born in a room in which you have no access to the outside world and must learn everything through your mom, a television, and whatever is in that room. It's amazing to read something that shows the child's experience of growing up in a small room with only your mom by your side. A powerful must-read.

  9. 9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

    I personally have not read this book yet, but I've heard people rave about it. I plan to read it this year and take a "don't give a f*ck" attitude into 2020.

  10. 10. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood shows her version of a dystopian world that shows a completely patriarchal society that severely limits women's rights and shows how these women fight back for their independence. 

  11. 11. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

    Haruki Murakami has a way with his ingenious words and provides a well-developed plot with excellent character development in this book. It can be a little graphic, but it is very refreshing to read something with all the different plot twists and in-depth descriptions. 

  12. 12. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

    This book contains a myriad of short stories that involve aliens and mankind's attempts to interact with and see them. It is always fun to read about aliens and the possibilities of what life is like outside of Earth. 

  13. 13. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

    It is interesting to see research presented in such a relatable and funny way and amazing to see how romance has been affected by technology in this book. I would recommend this for single people who want to know more about how to love in the modern world.

  14. 14. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

    This is another book that I have yet to read, but I've heard that this book is for those who are ambitious and want to move forward in life. Isn't that something we all want in 2020? 

  15. 15. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

    This is a hilarious account of Mindy Kaling's unfortunate, yet humorous mishappenings and successes in her life, as she describes everything from her dating life to her life on The Office.

  16. 16. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    This classic is one of the most interesting books I read in my AP Literature class in high school. From beginning to end, there is no way to predict what will happen, and John Steinbeck really takes advantage of each character to show their struggles with adapting to the changes at the beginning of the 20th century. 

  17. 17. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    This is another classic that I really enjoyed reading in my AP Literature class. It had me yearning to meet the love of my life at a ball in Europe. To be able to imagine what romance was like at that time had me at the edge of my seat, unable to put down the book till I finished it. I would recommend this book for hopeless romantics and lovebirds alike.

  18. 18. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

    Being in college can be a difficult time, but having a single professor change your life for the better is something that you can remember your college years fondly by. Morrie was one of those professors, and Mitch Albom recalls the brilliant life of his professor Morrie and how he impacted his life and those of many others.

  19. 19. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

    David Sedaris is one of those authors who is able to take any experience and write a brilliant book about. I would recommend any book by Sedaris if you're looking for a fun, yet mind-boggling read. 

  20. 20. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

    Pachinko is one of my top favorite books of all time. Being able to read about the Korean-Japanese relations back in the 1900s through three fictional generations was incredible, and it allowed me to understand what my ancestors may have experienced during that time frame.

2020 is a brand new year. It is time to finally get to that book that you’ve been pushing aside for the past few years. Challenge yourself to read every day. Let’s do it!