10 Must-reads of 2020 – all written by women

best books by women 2020

Women are master storytellers. From Jane Austen to Gillian Flynn, we have been fortunate to experience the works of such amazing women for centuries. Luckily for readers and book lovers alike, the storm of talented female writers just keeps on coming, making 2020 an outstanding year for books and the women who write them. If you’re looking to stack your TBR with some fantastic new titles this year, we suggest these 10 – all written by women – to get you started.

best books by women 2020

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

A favorite of Jenna Bush Hager, The Girl with the Louding Voice tells the story of 14-year-old Nigerian girl Adunni. Wanting an education and following the words of her mother, she knows that to get what she wants in the world, she must find her voice and use it. But when her father sells her to a local man to be his wife, she has no choice but to run away, seeking refuge in the city. It’s here that she finds her power and begins to stand up for herself and other women who can’t speak up for themselves.


best books by women 2020

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

In Liz Moore’s New York Times bestselling novel, two unlikely sisters find themselves completely intertwined in each other’s lives. Kacey lives a tough life on the streets, shrouded in addiction. Her sister, Mickey, patrols the same streets as a police officer. But everything goes wrong for these sisters when Kacey disappears and Mickey must track her down or risk losing her forever. With a killer on the loose, it’ll be a race against the clock to find the young woman.


Wow, No Thank You.: Essays by Samantha Irby

Samantha Irby’s new essay collection will leave you in tears from both crying and laughing. Irby has just turned 40 and feels uncomfortable in her own skin no matter how often people on Instagram tell her to be confident. Having just left her job as a receptionist, she finds success in book publishing but also feels outcasted by the young and beautiful people in Hollywood. Moving to the midwest and finding herself both bored and completely charmed by the new place, she comes to terms with where her life has brought her and what’s on the horizon.


The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin

Questioning her decision to move to New York and break up with her longtime boyfriend, Cecily is confused about life. Then she meets Grant at a dive bar and everything changes. But as soon as their story begins, it ends as the tragic events of 9/11 take place and Grant is lost in the chaos of it all. In trying to track him down she’ll come face-to-face with difficult questions about their relationship and begins to wonder if she ever really knew Grant at all.


One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak

After submitting her DNA for a 23andMe test, Serenity Alston is shocked to learn that she has two half-sisters. Now questioning everything about her family, she figures the best way to get answers is to meet her new sisters. Deciding to tackle the mystery of their family together, the three women head to Serenity’s family cabin in Lake Tahoe. It’s here that the three come to terms with their family’s secrets and the direction their lives are heading.


best books by women 2020

Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh

Ottessa Moshfegh’s narrator in Deah in Her Hands is startled when during her usual walk in the woods she finds a note that reads, “Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.” Now curious about who Magda is, why she would have been killed and who did it, the woman begins her own investigation and as she gets deeper, she finds that this incident is either an innocent mishap or something extremely dangerous and sinister.


Little Gods by Meng Jin

Liya always looked up to her mother, Su Lan, so when she passes, she takes a trip to her mother’s home in China to spread her ashes. Traveling to this unknown place, she seeks comfort in the memories of her mother and the relationship she forms with two people who knew her mother best: Zhu When and the father she never knew, Yongzong. As she learns more about the woman her mother once was, she begins to question things about her own life and future.


Glorious Boy by Aimee Liu

After spending five years on the remote Andaman Islands, Claire, her husband Shep and their mute four-year-old son are forced to evacuate when a threat is made. Unfortunately for the couple, they know they have to leave the one girl who can communicate with their son behind. When tragedy strikes and Claire is separated from her husband and son, she embarks on a dangerous message to unite her family and bring them home.


Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today by Rachel Vorona Cote

In Rachel Vorona Cote’s Too Much, the author examines the fact that throughout history, women have become accustomed to hearing they’re “too much.” Too fat, too loud, too emotional. Weaving anecdotes, theory and cultural criticism together, this new release tells the story of women and how the past can be something we learn from instead of run from.


best books by women 2020

Godshot by Chelsea Bieker

When the town of Peaches, California experiences a severe drought, everyone turns to cult leader Pastor Vern for answers – a man who promises rain if they follow his every word. Among his followers are 14-year-old Lacey and her mother. Before long, Lacey’s mother is exiled from the community, leaving her daughter behind. Left to fend for herself, she begins to realize just how dangerous Pastor Vern is and eventually decides to go after her mom and start a new life.

(Feature image courtesy of @bookmarkedbya)

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Bookshop Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Bookshop.org while simultaneously supporting local bookstores. 

Ashley Johnson

Ashley has always been a writer at heart, receiving a diary from her mother at a very young age. Supportive book-buying parents influenced her love of literature and storytelling as she grew up. Her love for songwriting led the way to creating short stories and the start of her own blog where she documented her life as a college student. A fan of dark plot lines, Ashley picked up Stephen King’s It and never looked back. When she is not working on her first novel or new story ideas, Ashley can be found curled up with her rescue chihuahuas or exploring breathtaking locations throughout the US.

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