Top 20 of 2020

Part 2: Adult Non-Fiction

Here’s a list of our most checked-out adult non-fiction titles for 2020.

20. Me: Elton John official autobiography by Elton John

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“In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble, and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you by a living legend.”

19. A House in the Sky : a memoir by Amanda Lindhout

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“The spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity in Somalia–a story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace.”

18. The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry

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“From renowned cardiac surgeon Steven R. Gundry, MD, a revolutionary look at the hidden compounds in “healthy” foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains that are causing us to gain weight and develop chronic disease.”

17. The Room Where it Happened : a White House memoir by John Bolton

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“John Bolton served as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump for 519 days… In his memoir, he offers a substantive and factual account of his time in the room where it happened.”

16. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k by Mark Manson

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“In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. “

15. Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon

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Angela Liddon’s irresistible and foolproof recipes have become the gold standard for plant-based cooking…  Oh She Glows Every Day proves that it’s possible to cook simple, nourishing, and tasty meals–even on a busy schedule.”

14. Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

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“In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence… This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it’s the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.”

13. 12 Rules for Life : an antidote to chaos by Jordan Peterson

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“What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.”

12. From the Ashes : my story of being Métis, homeless, and finding my way by Jesse Thistle

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“From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up. An eloquent exploration of what it means to live in a world surrounded by prejudice and racism and to be cast adrift, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help one find happiness despite the odds.”

11. Born a Crime : stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah

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“One of the comedy world’s fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. “

10. The inconvenient Indian : a curious account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

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“Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King’s critical and personal meditation on what it means to be “Indian” in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. “

9. The Body : a guide for occupants by Bill Bryson

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“The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you, in particular. As Bill Bryson writes, ‘we pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted.’ The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information.”

8. Sapiens : a brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

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 “A lively, groundbreaking history of humankind. 100,000 years ago, at least six species of human inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo Sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?”

7. 5 Ingredients : quick & easy food by Jamie Oliver

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“Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated – that’s why Jamie’s Quick & Easy 5-Ingredient Food is sure to become your new best friend in the kitchen. It’s all about making the journey to good food, super-simple. Every recipe uses just five key ingredients, ensuring you can get a plate of food together fast, whether it’s finished and on the table super-quickly, or after minimal hands-on prep, you’ve let the oven do the hard work for you. “

6. Too Much and Never Enough : how my family created the world’s most dangerous man by Mary L. Trump

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“Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.”

5. At the Bridge : James Teit and an anthropology of belonging by Wendy Wickwire

“Every once in a while, an important historical figure makes an appearance, makes a difference, and then disappears from the public record. James Teit (1864-1922) was such a figure. A prolific ethnographer and tireless Indian rights activist, Teit spent four decades helping British Columbia’s Indigenous peoples in their challenge of the settler-colonial assault on their lives and territories. 

4. 21 Things you May Not Know About the Indian Act by Robert P. Joseph

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“Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has dictated and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo. Joseph examines how Indigenous Peoples can return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance—and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian.”

3. Talking to Strangers : what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcolm Gladwell

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“Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.”

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

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“In her memoir Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. She describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.”

And Finally, the number one checked out adult Non-Fiction book of 2020 is:

  1. Educated by Tara Westover
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“Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag… With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.”

Stay tuned to the blog for more Top 20 of 2020 lists.

Also, find all the titles from our Top 20 Lists by searching #toptitlesof2020 in our catalogue!

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