20 books to look out for in 2020

Booklovers, another glorious reading year is upon us! We've picked 20 of the most anticipated books published in the first half of 2020, from stunning contemporary fiction to edge-of-your-seat thrillers.

Which books are you most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments below.


A Long Petal of the Sea

A Long Petal of the Sea
by Isabel Allende

First up is Isabel Allende's A Long Petal of the Sea, a masterful work of historical fiction that soars from the Spanish Civil War to the rise and fall of Pinochet. This year, Isabel Allende will be visiting the UK for the first time in 12 years. 

The Mercies

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Kiran Millwood Hargrave's The Mercies looks stunning. Inspired by the Vardø storm and 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story about how suspicion can twist its way through a community, and a love that may prove as dangerous as it is powerful. Kiran's also the author of The Girl of Ink and Stars and other books for younger bookworms. Her next children’s book is out later in the year, too!

The Guest List

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party was a sensational thriller and we're excited to read Lucy’s next book. On a remote island, guests gather for the wedding of the year. The cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped. All have a secret. All have a motive.

This Lovely City

This Lovely City
by Louise Hare

We gave away 100 copies of this atmospheric book last year with Caboodle Firsts (check out the first chapter). Louise Hare's Windrush story is poignant and compelling, and shows that new arrivals have always been the prime suspects. But, also, that there is always hope.

The Mirror and the Light

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

We have to include this long-awaited sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. The Mirror and the Light is the stunning conclusion to Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall trilogy.

The Glass Hotel

The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel

The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts. We’ve been eagerly awaiting this next book from Station Eleven author Emily St John Mandel.

In Five Years

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle's joyful yet heartbreaking novel promises to be one of the biggest love stories of 2020, perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day. Dannie Kohan falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. It's 2025, five years in the future. Dannie’s determined to ignore her odd dream. That is, until four and a half years later, she turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream...

A Thousand Moons

A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry

If you couldn't put down Days Without End, you'll be thrilled to hear that there's a new Sebastian Barry book coming this year. Told in his gorgeous, lyrical prose, A Thousand Moons is a powerful, moving study of one woman's journey, of her determination to write her own future, and of the enduring human capacity for love.

The Gilded Cage

The Gilded Cage by Camilla Läckberg

For fans of psychological thrillers, Swedish crime sensation Camilla Läckberg is back with a gripping new book. Faye's life is perfect. So how is it, then, that she now finds herself in a police station? The truth is that Faye's life is far from what it seems. Faye isn't even her real name. And now she's been caught out. There’s no way she’s going to go down without a fight. The only question is – who will escape with their life?


The Authenticity Project

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Julian begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life and loneliness. Leaving it on a table in Monica’s café, he never expects Monica to find it and track him down. This uplifting story is our January Caboodle Firsts, so try to grab yourself a copy before it’s out!


The Switch

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

If you, like us, loved The Flatshare, you'll love Beth O’Leary's second novel. Eileen is sick of being 79. Leena's tired of life in her twenties. Maybe it's time they swapped places...


Pretending by Holly Bourne

How Do You Like Me Now? was one of our favourite books of 2018, and now Holly’s back with Pretending. April can't seem to get past date five... and so she swaps places with Gretel. The problem is, Gretel isn't real. As soon as April starts 'being' Gretel, dating becomes much more fun, especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. As she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside... This is one for younger bookworms – and any reader that adores magical adventures!

Dear Child

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller. In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor. One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues.

The Sin Eater

The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi

Megan Campisi's fantasy story is on Lisa from National Book Tokens' wishlist. Set in a thinly disguised sixteenth-century England, The Sin Eater is a wonderfully imaginative and gripping story of treason and treachery; of secrets and silence; of women, of power – and, ultimately, of the strange freedom that comes from being an outcast with no hope of redemption for, as our protagonist May learns, being a nobody sometimes counts for everything.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

This unexpected prequel is high up on our list of books to read. It revisits the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games

The Paris Library

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

For fans of historical fiction, we can't wait to read this novel of courage and betrayal in occupied Paris. It's 1939 and Odile Souchet is obsessed with books, working at The American Library. The Library and its thriving community of students, writers, diplomats and book lovers provide her with a safe haven. When war is declared, the Library is determined to remain open. But then the Nazis invade, and everything changes.

Brown Baby

Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Parenting and Home by Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant, is back with his latest non-fiction, exploring how to raise his daughters in a world weighed down by racism, sexism and climate change. He describes Brown Baby as “the book about being a parent I would have loved to have read when my kids were born.”

Utopia Avenue

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell, is back with his first novel in five years, telling the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue (the "strangest British band you've never heard of").


Summer by Ali Smith

The finale to Ali Smith's dazzling literary tour de force: the Seasonal quartet concludes in 2020 with Summer.


Win a £50 National Book Token!

Comment below, telling us which books you're looking forward to, and we’ll pick one winner to receive a £50/€60 National Book Token after Thursday 30th January 2020.

Congratulations to Lucy S.!

National Book Tokens gift cards can be bought and spent in thousands of bookshops across the UK and Ireland, including independents, Waterstones, WHSmith, Easons, and Blackwells, and can also be spent online and on eBooks. Find your nearest bookshop.

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