Most Popular Books of 2020

   2020 bestsellers photo  

At the top of the list is A Promised Land by Barak Obama.   This was the most popular gift this holiday season, and we are receiving a lot of feed back about how much people have enjoyed reading this memoir of President Obamas first term. to share this holiday season.  Everyone Especially compelling is how readers are able to see into Obama’s process of decision making.  

     Next up is Untamed by Glennonn Doyle.  This book was the go to book at the beginning of the pandemic and stayed strong throughout the year.  Everyone was looking for ways to keep stay true to themselves as we adopted new patterns and limitations driven by the pandemic. 

     This year brought a lot of examination and reflection about who we are, and BLM books are an incredibly important part of this process.  How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi was the most popular BLM book in 2020.  It was closely followed by Caste  fromIsabel Wilkerson and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.  There is so much to learn about this subject and we are constantly expanding the books and our knowledge on this topic at the store.

     We are also part of this place called Idaho, and every year there are books set in and about Idaho that connect people and the place they are from.  Emily Ruskovich’s Idaho has been in our top ten books for the year for multiple years, and it’s compelling narrative is likely to keep it there for many more.  Vardis Fisher’s Boise, produced by Wally Johnston and Rediscovered Books showcased a historic document from the depression and highlighted how much Boise has grown and changed over the years.

     While six of the top ten books were nonfiction this year, the fiction favorites include Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Overstory by Richard Powers. Both of these books take you to a different time and place and have started many conversations throughout this challenging year.

     At the end of the list is what I see as the most loved book of the year,  The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Macksey.  It has brought a sense of peace, joy and hope in a year that has been full of change, worry, and uncertainty.  If you haven’t had a chance to look at this title, make some space for it in the new year.

     All of these books are from the adult side of the store, and I can’t let this article go by without talking about children’s books.  The most popular children’s books this year included a Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry, Stamped, Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, and Bad Guys #1 by Aaron Blabey.  One is a story of the wolves in Yellowstone with beautiful illustrations, another is BLM history for young adults, and the third is a laugh out loud book for kids.  All and all those three categories sum up what I wanted in my reading for the year.  Something about our beautiful outdoors, something to help me grow, and last but not least, something to help me laugh.
2021 is a fresh new year, and the top of the bestseller list so far this year is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  And in my mind this beautiful set of essays is a great way to begin.