The Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2020

Yet again I’ve been struggling to read, and Covid didn’t really help. I’ve still managed to get through a few, so here are the five best books I’ve read so far in 2020. 

1. Sacred Hunger, Barry Unsworth

I love immersive eighteenth century historical fiction (even more so when the setting is a ship), so I raced through this overlooked 1992 Booker winner. A tense, humane, moral and beautiful thing. Click here

2. To Calais, In Ordinary Time, James Meek

Was it a good ideas to read a tense novel about the Black Death in the week the entire world went into lockdown? Probably not. But the technical mastery and downright weirdness of this medieval fable had me hooked. Click here

3. Say Nothing, Patrick Radden Keefe

A history of The Troubles that is also just a fantastically well written and righteous piece of journalism. Click here

4. Black and British, David Olusoga

David Olusoga’s book is an extraordinary, compassionate and beautifully written alternative history of Britain. Click here

5. King Leopold’s Ghost, Adam Hochschild

This history of the Belgian genocide in the Congo is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of popular history of the last two decades, and it made me understand my own life in different ways. Click here