The books we loved in 2020


As 2020 comes to an end, we thought we’d ask some of the Publishers Association team which book they have enjoyed reading most this year. We hope you might find something here you would like to read too!

Dan Conway, Director of External Affairs

Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire.

“Because gossipy books about Westminster are unbelievably entertaining.”

Maeve Dunne, Policy and Public Affairs Manager

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.

“I became completely enthralled by the world of the Conroy family, and not just because I share a name with one of the protagonists. This book examines the lives of two siblings whose childhood events still impact them in adulthood. As a reader you see them try to reconcile the past and the future over five decades. This is the first time I’ve read a novel by Ann Pratchett, and look forward to reading more.”

Susan Pinkney, Head of Research

Love, Life and Elephants by Daphne Sheldrick.

“Last October, in what turned out to be my last trip abroad pre pandemic, I was on a quick work trip to Nairobi. In a free afternoon I went to visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which is a charity that does great work not only running sanctuaries and rehabilitating orphaned elephants so they can return to the wild but also fantastic conservation work. It was amazing to see, this is me with orphaned Dololo who I adopted (along with about 4 others!) and it spurred me to buy the book on Daphne Sheldrick who set the whole thing up with her husband David. The timing of reading the book was perfect this year as we couldn’t travel but it’s brilliantly written and you can almost picture yourself in Africa, seeing all these magnificent creatures and surrounded by the culture. It’s also about Daphne who is a truly inspiring woman.”

Amy Price, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

“2020 has at least been a great year for good books. I would absolutely recommend Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet – the design is stunning and the writing style is so compelling. I also adored Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half, which I devoured in one sitting.”

Jasmine Joynson, Media Relations Manager

Circe by Madeline Miller.

“I am a fan of most things inspired by Greek myths and I absolutely loved Circe. I had been meaning to read it for ages but in the end I was glad I had (accidentally) saved it. There has been no better year to be transported to a Greek island by a book. It’s a brilliantly page-turning, feminist novel that follows the slightly strange daughter of the sun god Helios and I highly recommend it!”