Barnes & Noble Announces 2020 Book of the Year Finalists


Barnes & Noble, Inc., with bookstores in every state across the United States, announced today the finalists for the second annual Barnes & Noble Book of the Year.

“For all booksellers, 2020 has been a tough year. Our craft remains as important as ever, to curate our bookstores imaginatively and to bring good books to readers. The Barnes & Noble Book of the Year asks of our booksellers which titles they are most proud to be selling. We make no other qualification. The result, as it was last year, is a wonderful expression of the art of bookselling,” said CEO James Daunt. “There is flair and imagination in the choices, ranging from timely novels to the quirky eccentricity inspired by Wes Anderson, by way of memoir, exquisite cooking, a stunning celebration of the natural world and a YA title of visceral power addressing racism in America. Many of these titles have been neglected by the algorithms of online. This is bookselling of the highest caliber.”

The Book of the Year nominees can be found in all Barnes & Noble bookstores around the country and on Booksellers will vote next for the winner which will be announced in early December.

Last year’s winner was The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, a heartwarming modern fable by illustrator Charlie Mackesy. This book became the surprise bestseller of 2019 as a direct result of its choice by Barnes & Noble booksellers to be their Book of the Year. It went on to sell over 775,000 copies in the U.S.

The 2020 Book of the Year finalists are:

Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval
Accidentally Wes Anderson is a visual tour de force that perfectly embodies filmmaker Wes Anderson’s uniquely crafted aesthetic.”
— Bookseller Halee Burris, Murfreesboro, TN

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
“A Brooklyn family leaves the city for a remote beach vacation—and gets much more than they bargained for. This apt reflection of our doomscrolling age confronts race, privilege and a slow-building threat that hovers (mostly!) just off the page. Leave the World Behind manages to shatter assumptions about both potential disaster and our responses to it.
— Bookseller Amanda Couch, Atlanta, GA

Pieometry: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design for the Eye and Palate by Lauren Ko
Pieometry is truly a ‘berried’ treasure … With its equal parts art, cooking and puns, the book is an all-around balm for the soul.”
— Bookseller Kathleen Murphy, Saugus, MA

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
“This book shines a light on the many forms of racist ideas. It will make you think about, identify, and stamp out racist thoughts — a timely, crucial and empowering exploration of racism and antiracism in America.”
— Bookseller Andrea J. Robbins, Walpole, MA

 by Glennon Doyle
Untamed is transcendent. A book that asks more of us by asking us to examine what we want and to stop feeling that we have to deny ourselves out of a misguided sense of obligation. Glennon Doyle manages to be, at turns, laugh-out-loud relatable and movingly profound. Buy a copy for every woman you care about and another for yourself.”
— Bookseller Rose Youndt, Philadelphia, PA

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half is a powerful portrait of multigenerational women affected by the bonds of family and societal expectations—including the poison of racial micro-aggressions within communities and ourselves—as well as the diverging paths these women take for their future and for their families. This is a deeply enriching book that will sit with you long after you finish.”
— Bookseller Ashley McClintic, San Luis Obispo, CA

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
“When things don’t go as planned in life, we search for meaning in books, nature, and the wisdom of others. Wintering is a philosophical journey of how Katherine May learned to cope with her sadness in a difficult time by embracing these challenges and finding comfort in the depth of beauty that life offers.”
— Bookseller Kelsey Foster, Glendale, CO

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil is a love letter to the natural world.  At times educational, at others a fervent discussion of the wonders of earth. Poet and essayist Nezhukumatathil blends both a personal and global account of nature’s beauty. I fell in love with the author’s beautiful language and clear love for the environment.”
— Bookseller Laurel Faye, Newnan, GA

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Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.