2020 Booker Prize Longlist

The 2020 Booker Prize Longlisted book covers: The New Wilderness by Diane Cook, This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga, Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze, The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel, Apeirogon by Colum McCann, The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward, How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang

Photograph by the Booker Prizes.

By Collection Management Librarian Kathy Sexton

The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020. The shortlist will be announced on September 15, 2020. See previous winners of the Booker Prize »

You can find all of the title suggestions below available in your digital library through Media on Demand and Libby and/or Hoopla.

2020 Booker Prize Longlist


The New Wilderness by Diane Cook

Why you should try it: Love survivalist shows? How about a good dystopian story, especially fueled by climate change? This one’s for you!  

Description: A first novel by the author of Man V. Nature finds a desperate mother in a world ravaged by climate change joining a hunter-gatherer initiative to test humanity’s capacity to survive in the wilderness without destroying it.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

Why you should try it: Through its main character, this tense, psychologically astute novel examines the effects of colonialism and capitalism.

Description: The protagonist of Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions struggles to make a life for herself in Harare, Zimbabwe, eventually taking an ecotourism job that forces her to return to her parents’ impoverished homestead, leading to an unforgivable betrayal.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel

Why you should try it: Mantel just might get a trifecta for her trilogy—the first two books, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, each won the Booker Prize. 

Description: A tale inspired by the final years of Thomas Cromwell describes how after the execution of Anne Boleyn and childbed death of Queen Jane, the former blacksmith’s son orchestrates a desperate plot to fortify England and save his own life.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Want more like this? Check out our list of The Mirror & the Light read-alikes »

Apeirogon by Colum McCann

Why you should try it: If you love fiction that teaches you something and can inform your worldview, you can’t do much better than this novel based on the real lives of two men.

Description: Two fathers, a Palestinian and an Israeli, navigate the physical and emotional checkpoints of their conflicted world before devastating losses compel them to work together to use their grief as a weapon for peace. 

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Why you should try it: A literary page turner of a novel that stars a fierce young woman, inspired by the author’s great grandmother, fighting against fascism? Sign me up!

Description: Tending the wounded when her nation is invaded by Mussolini, an orphaned servant in 1935 Ethiopia helps disguise a gentle peasant as their exiled emperor to rally her fellow women in the fight against fascism.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Why you should try it: An engrossing and eminently readable novel that also happens to contain pitch-perfect social commentary for our times. 

Description: Seeking justice for a young black babysitter who was wrongly accused of kidnapping by a racist security guard, a successful blogger finds her efforts complicated by a video that reveals unexpected connections.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Want more like this? Check out our list of Such a Fun Age read-alikes »

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Why you should try it: If you love a coming-of-age story filled with grit and trauma, in other words delivering an emotional wallop, this is the novel for you.

Description: A young boy growing up in a rundown 1980s Glasgow public housing facility pursues some semblance of a normal life as his older siblings move on and his mother increasingly succumbs to alcoholism.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook, digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Why you should try it: Another emotional wallop of a book that is an arresting and demanding reading experience; this one will stay with you.

Description: Keeping his head down at a lakeside Midwestern university where the culture is in sharp contrast to his Alabama upbringing, an introverted African-American biochem student endures unexpected encounters that bring his orientation and defenses into question.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Why you should try it: Do you refer to your favorite books as charming and witty? Anne Tyler generally, and especially here, fits the bill.  

Description: A tech expert and building superintendent finds his circumscribed routines upended by his significant other’s eviction and the appearance of teen at his doorstep who claims to be his son. 

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang

Why you should try it: A sprawling novel encompassing a lesser known piece of American history that also completely subverts the western genre.

Description: Two orphaned Chinese immigrant siblings flee the threats of their gold rush mining town across an unforgiving landscape where their survival is tested by family secrets, sibling rivalry, and disparate goals.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Librarian Kathy Sexton

About Kathy

Kathy is a Collection Management Librarian who loves reading, sharing, and talking about books. Her missions in life are to: create communities of readers, convince folks that her official title should be “Book Pusher,” and refute that “disco” is a dirty word.

Stay current on news and new arrivals.

Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami