There have been plenty of headlines in 2020 that felt ripped from the pages of a dystopian novel.
As our lives continued to change—seemingly every other day—we each found ways to cope and process. As readers, our OOM team naturally turned to books as a source of comfort.
The holidays remind us to take time to reflect on the previous year and give thanks. This year, we're rounding up the books we're thankful for:
Jordana K: With much more time spent at home and lots to worry about in 2020, I found myself gravitating to my favorite classics as a comfort. Matilda by Roald Dahl, Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson, One Day at Horrorland by R.L. Stine. And to some new and uplifting books, too. K-Pop Confidential by Stephan Lee, Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, and Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender.
Brittany S: The book I am most thankful for this year is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. I was feeling a little burnt out from reading earlier this year, when a friend recommended this book. I found myself completely absorbed in this story of a woman’s life from growing up in rural Idaho with no education, to eventually studying at Trinity College Cambridge. This memoir inspired me so much, and was a reminder of the resilience of humans and the power of education—something we often take for granted—to change the trajectory of peoples’ lives.
Royivia F: All Because You Matter by Tami Charles! It was so inspiring listening to Tami Charles read it out loud on Zoom.
Sydney T: Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins: This tender romance warmed my heart. Vitor’s writing is joyous and laugh out loud hilarious. You’ll root for Felipe and Caio. The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen: Graphic novels are essential to my happiness and sanity in 2020. This is a stunning story within a story about family, identity, and the power of stories. It’s a book for the soul and one I’ll forever return to when I’m in need of comfort. On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden: This one’s for the sapphics. Two words: lesbian Zenon. K-Pop Confidential by Stephan Lee: A page-turning, adrenaline rush of a novel about a young girl living out her dreams to become a K-Pop superstar.
Mackenzie C: When life got heavy this year, I turned to my favorite genre—YA—to pick myself up. You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson and The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund were the perfect pick me ups from two spectacular debut authors. Escaping to Panem after 10 years since reading The Hunger Games series was an absolute treat as a super fan. Suzanne Collins' latest novel reminded me to remain resilient no matter what this year brought.
Raisa M: I loved reading the Once Upon an Eid anthology edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed. Both Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha fell during the peak of pandemic restrictions this year for Muslims, which meant that celebrations were limited to our households and virtual gatherings. Reading this book about the festive holiday and how various communities observe it brought back my own childhood memories, and helped me recreate the magic of Eid during these tough times.
Sabrina M: It's a pretty long list, but...I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver, King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender, You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson, Show Me A Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte, Kelly Yang’s Front Desk series, Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust, Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Baron, Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore, Emily A. Duncan’s Something Dark and Holy series.