Favorite Books of 2020: Adult & Nonfiction Edition

December is always one of my favorite book blogging times of the year – if, not my favorite – because I truly enjoy wrap-up season. Over the past two weeks, I’ve shared my most anticipated young adult and contemporary romance releases of 2021. It’s now time to move on to stage 2 of December wrap-up season, aka favorites time! I want to preface this favorites post by saying that my schedule is going to be a little wonky for the next 2 weeks. Although I won’t be venturing out of my home much for the holiday season, I adjusted my schedule since I do celebrate Christmas and want to have my end of year wrap ups posted by New Year’s Eve. This week, I’ll be positing my favorite YA books of 2020 on Wednesday, and I have another blog post coming on Saturday instead of Friday. Next week, I’ll be posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Today, I’ll be giving some love to adult fiction and non-fiction by sharing my favorite reads of the year within those genres! I didn’t create an anticipated releases post for 2021 adult fiction, but I will be sharing some titles in my January and February anticipated releases post early next month. I usually reach for a few adult fiction titles in between YA and contemporary romance, but I definitely reached more for the genre in the latter half of the year. It was a mix of some of my favorite adult authors coming out with new books, recommendations from other bloggers and podcasts, and wanting to take on some less fluffy reads. While I wouldn’t call it a staggering amount, I also read more nonfiction in 2020 than ever before. 

Adult Fiction 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is truly one of the most beautifully written books  I’ve ever read. I just think this book is so timeless and original. Following a woman who made a deal with the devil 300 years ago, it was the perfect blend of fantasy meets contemporary world. 

The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

I remember blowing through The Heir Affair on my Kindle this summer because I truly needed to just keep reading this sequel to Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan’s The Royal We. Following the fictional British royal family, The Royal We is more of a play on William and Kate, while The Heir Affair is more of a play on Meghan and Harry. Although I didn’t necessarily enjoy the book’s love triangle, everything else about it cemented it as one of my favorite 2020 reads. 

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas 

We all know that ACOTAR isn’t really YA – and will officially be considered new adult/adult with A Court of Silver Flames – but I was truly obsessed this year with Sarah J. Maas’ official foray into adult fiction with House of Earth and Blood. I seriously think Crescent City has the potential to beat out Throne of Glass and become my all-time favorite SJM series. The world-building and cast were absolutely phenomenal, and most of all, I loved that even against the plot and romance (can you say, STEAM??), this book was truly about female friendship. 

All Adults Here by Emma Straub 

Emma Straub is an author whose books don’t particularly get a lot of love or attention in my segment of the book blogging world, but I always look forward to any new book of her’s. She just has this way of storytelling when it comes to dysfunctional people and families, which is at the heart of All Adults Here.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird was one of those favorite books that unexpectedly snuck up on me this December. It had been on my TBR all year and decided to check it out of the library on a whim. I’m not necessarily someone who likes books that flip between reality and an alternate reality, but something about this book about a young woman who gets to reunite with her recently passed fiancé in her sleep just stuck with me. 

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

If there’s one book in my 2020 reading that was a guilty pleasure, it was Curtis Sittenfeld’s Rodham , a fictional take on Hilary Rodham’s life if she didn’t end up marrying Bill Clinton. I was awestruck of how Curtis Sittenfeld could make this ‘alternate reality’ of sorts feel so real without actually being real??

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

I am here to confirm that Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half deserves all the hype and more. The book is so much more than its synopsis, following two sisters and their family over four decades. The Vanishing Half is truly a modern classic. 

Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu

As much as I adore my contemporary romances, I’m always for an adult contemporary that might include a romance or two, but is still way more of a contemporary like Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding . Following one family’s time in New Dehli for a lavish wedding, Destination Wedding really exposed me to a culture I hadn’t really seen or read before while constantly making me laugh out loud. 


Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb 

I know I haven’t read a ton of memoirs but I think Bess Kalb’s Nobody Will Tell You This But Me will always be my favorite, even as I dive deeper into the genre. Written in her grandmother’s voice, Bess Kalb explores four generation of females in her family and their maternal relationships. At its heart though is Bess’ love and relationship for her grandmother, which made me laugh and cry (mostly separately, but sometimes simultaneously). 

Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman

In one of the rare instances where I watched the TV show before the film, I ended up reading Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox this summer after watching the Netflix mini series inspired by it this spring. Although the show captured the spirit of the book (Deborah Feldman was super involved in the project), her memoir is just so, so good and so different from the show. 

Honorable Mentions

Jesus Land: A Memoir by Julia Scheeres 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle 

As the year begins to come to a close, thank you so much for supporting Fangirl Fury in 2020. I hope you are able to relax and unwind with some great books by your side over the next two weeks. I hope you are having a happy & safe holiday season, and wish you a happy & healthy new year! Here’s to more reading & blogging for all of us in 2021!

What were some of your favorite adult fiction and nonfiction books this year? Have you read any of my favorites? Share in the comments! 

9 thoughts on “Favorite Books of 2020: Adult & Nonfiction Edition

  1. The HEIR AFFAIR was sosososo good! I admit I was a little wary since there was SUCH a long gap between THE ROYAL WE and THE HEIR AFFAIR but I honestly loved it even more than its predecessor! Unfortunately, I read LYDIA BIRD early this year and while I loved the cover and premise, the story itself dragged for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was totally surprised that I honestly loved Lydia Bird because I had seen a few ‘meh’ reviews about it. & I won’t mind a third Royal We book at all!!


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