Book EGOTs: The Best Books of 2020 Awards

Welcome one and all to the first annual Book EGOTs! For those who don’t know, an EGOT is someone who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. In that same vein, I’m going to be awarding books the books I read in 2020 that I think are as phenomenal as an EGOT. 

I will be giving awards to all my favorite books that I read in 2020. I’ve been planning this list all year, coming up with fun awards to give each book that made my 2020 just a little bit better.

Here to present the first award of the post (and all the other awards) is me! Take it away me!

Sure, sometimes this series made me feel a bit smooth-brained, but I always eventually understood what was going on. These books are heavy, so I spread them out throughout the year to give myself time to process and I’m so glad I did. Otherwise, I may not have truly felt the lasting impression these characters made on me.

The world is so imaginative and unique. The magic system is brilliant. Seriously, how did Jemisin come up with all this? She’s a genius, that’s how. Jemisin took this trilogy places I could never have expected. This series single-handedly turned N.K. Jemisin into my favorite author. Well, not single-handedly, but we’ll get to that in a minute. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly, highly recommend you do.

Honestly, I’m still recovering from this one. I loved every second of it, but it destroyed me emotionally. Okay, so I don’t love the ending, but I see why Kuang chose to go that way. And damn if it didn’t make me bawl my eyes out!

This book is intense and a half. Every second thrills, even as you yell at Rin for making the wrong decisions. She’s the kind of unlikable protagonist you root for in spite of her. But it’s not just Rin that Kuang made me love. It turns out I really dig war in fantasy novels. Who would’ve thought? 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish, but it was the climax on that truly made me fall in love. Not only is this a fun, scary horror story, but it’s a fantastic allegory for colonialism. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an author I’ve been wanting to get into for a while, and I’m so glad I started here. Highly recommend, especially if you just finished The Haunting of Bly Manor and need something to fill that void!

This book is so addictive! I hated putting it down. I just wanted to get back to Immanuelle, Ezra, and the horrors of Bethel. I’ve seen this book shelved as both YA and adult and I feel it comfortably fits both. It’s a great crossover read. This book takes clear inspiration from books/plays like The Handmaid’s Tale and The Crucible, but through the lens of a young woman of color (half Black). This lends more gravitas to the feminist themes of Henderson’s debuts. I can’t wait to see what Alexis Henderson writes next! Check out my full review here!

If you’d asked me a few months ago, I wouldn’t have called this book one of my favorites of the year. I really liked it, but I didn’t even give it five stars. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. And so it definitely deserves an award.

The things that grabbed me most about this book were the world-building, the writing, and the protagonist. The plot isn’t what I expected, but exciting nonetheless. The romance could’ve been better handled, the easiest fix being to add Dell into the story more. I suspect this is a standalone, but I wouldn’t be opposed to reading more in this world. All in all, a solid debut! Check out my full review here!

You know those books that speak to your very soul? This is one of them for me. The magic system and concept is weird in the best way. I love everything about this book, from the writing to the plot to the characters. My favorite relationship was the mother-daughter dynamic Bronca and Veneza have. Every time I put this book down, all I could do was think about how incredible it is and that I couldn’t wait to pick it back up. This is some of Jemisin’s best work yet and all this woman writes are masterpieces. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series. Check out my full review here!

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs to read this book. It is perhaps one of the most important books ever written. Even if you think you’ve come to understand racism and how to combat it, this book will teach you so much more.

Kendi lays out how policies need to prioritize equity over equality in order to achieve social equality. He also discusses how the intersections of race with other categories like class, gender, and sexual orientation affects how people of color, but especially Black people, are treated. I’m so glad I read this book and am eager to continue my education.

I read a few series conclusions, but this was easily the best of the bunch. This finale gave me everything I wanted and everything I didn’t know I wanted. I even went from wanting Nahri and Ali to stay platonic to shipping them. The Empire of Gold is easily my favorite in the trilogy.

I don’t think I’ve read a book this wholesome that made me feel this soft in years. I love Linus and Arthur and the kids and all their relationships.I didn’t even know how badly I needed a book like this until I read it. This novel is a ray of light in the unending darkness that is 2020.

These are characters that creep up on you. I fell in love with them and with their relationships. I highly, highly recommend this book. And look, I know this is a stand-alone, but I’m just saying… a sequel from Helen or Zoe’s perspective? So we get more of these characters and their relationship? I wouldn’t be opposed, Mr. Klune. Check out my full review here!

I honestly don’t know how to properly convey the depth of my appreciation and admiration for and of this memoir. Machado takes different genres and lenses through which to examine her abusive relationship with her ex-girlfriend in a way that makes this more than merely a recounting. The most haunting part is the continued use of the second person— Machado is talking to her past self, but the reader feels as though they are living through the torment she suffered. As a lesbian, I especially appreciated insight into the sad reality we too can face and why our abuse often goes unrecognized. In the Dream House is easily one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.

his book was a journey and it took work, but it was worth it. I loved the horror (once we finally got to it) and the overwhelming sapphism that drenched this story. It wasn’t what I expected, and yet it worked so well. I loved Harper, Audrey, and Merritt, even when I didn’t like them. I also loved the relationship that formed between them (was it polyamory? It was certainly something.) While I enjoyed the writing and all the backstory, this book definitely didn’t need to be as long as it is. Either way, this is definitely a book I’ll be thinking about for a long time.

My review of this book on Goodreads merely reads, “What can I say? This book slaps!” so that should tell you how I felt about this book. These characters are fantastic, the world-building is transformative, and the plot is strong. But honestly? The thing I appreciated the most about this book was how easily readable it is. Everything about this book was a breath of fresh air. Check out my review here!

I actually went into this book with fairly low expectations. I’m not sure why, I wass just a bit wary about it. But this book turned out to be incredible. This novel is well-written with unforgettable characters, a thrilling plot, and inventive world-building. And the cherry on top? The dog-cat-otter-demon hybrid creature named Mephi. I’m always a sucker for an animal sidekick.

I recommend this book to absolutely everyone. Like fantasy? Read it. Like lesbians? Read it. Like adventure? Read it. Like rebellion? Read it. Like bone magic? Read it. Like animal sidekicks? Read it. You get the picture. The Bone Shard Daughter was the dark horse of 2020. Check out my full review here!

I went into this book with low expectations. Every review I saw for it said it was okay at best. Imagine my surprise when I fell in love with this story from the first page. This book was incredible. I loved the characters, the writing, the plot, romance, the setting… the everything! If you’re looking for a good crossover YA novel (especially one with a F/F romance), this is the book for you.

The pacing of the novel may be slow, but the plot is exciting enough to carry it forward. Besides, Latimer spends a lot of time balancing writing the plot with building the characters and atmosphere. I’ve heard this novel described as “The Raven Cycle, but with witches and murder” and that couldn’t be more apt. It’s fantastic, a wonderful story with actual consequences for the characters. I’m not 100% sure there’s going to be a sequel, but it seems like there will be based on the ending. And I can’t wait for it. Check out my full review here!

I went back and forth on whether to include this book or not. Krueger has been accused of saying inappropriate things to women, so I originally planned on never acknowledging this book again. But other people love books by problematic authors, so maybe we can make an exception this once. Just keep in mind that Krueger is kind of a shitty dude.

This book’s world and magic system is based on both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Pokémon, two things I love. It’s like it was tailor made for me specifically. On top of that, each of these characters is distinct and lovable. And the plot is so fun! If you do decide to give this book a try, just get it from the library or something.

What were some of your favorite books of 2020? What awards would you give them if you could? Tell me in the comments!

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