Best books 2020: The woman&home Book Club Award winners

From candid memoir and romantic reads to inspiring non-fiction, Books Editor Zoe West rounds up our favourite books of the year

woman&home Book Awards
(Image credit: Future)

2020 was a year we found ourselves reading more than ever – and thankfully there was plenty to choose from. From fast-paced thrillers to heart-warming romances and literary gems, we‘ve seen a stellar line-up on our shelves. 

Our favourite books of 2020 are the ideal place to start building your reading list before moving onto the best books for 2021. Whether you’re looking to lose yourself in a novel that will transport you to another place or explore the multilayered story 
of Hamnet, there’s something here for you.

Without further ado, 
here’s woman&home‘s standout books of 2020 chosen by our Books Editor, Zoe West.

MORE: Want to write some good books yourself? We consulted top authors for their writing tips

woman&home Book Club 2020 Award winners 

Best feel-good fiction

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

(Image credit: Amazon)

Best memoir (medical)

Dear Life by Rachel Clarke

(Image credit: Brown)

Best heart-warming read

Saving Missy by 
Beth Morrey

(Image credit: HarperCollins)

Best literary saga

A Long Petal of the Sea 
by Isabel Allende 

(Image credit: Bloomsbury)

Best psychological drama

Blurred Lines by Hannah Begbie

(Image credit: HarperCollins)

Best classic whodunnit

The Thursday Murder 
Club by Richard Osman

(Image credit: Viking)

Best picture book

Owl or Pussycat? by Michael Morpurgo

(Image credit: David Fickling Books)

Best adventure story

The Highland Falcon 
Thief by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman

(Image credit: Pan Macmillan)

Best teen drama

Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence

(Image credit: Hachette)

Best romantic fiction

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

(Image credit: HarperCollins)

Best domestic noir

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

(Image credit: Wildfire)

Best feminist inspiration

Ladies Who Punch by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

(Image credit: Biteback Publishing)

Best comedy 

Dear Joan & Jericha: 
Why He Turns Away

(Image credit: Orion)

Best memoir (funny)

I’m Just a Teenage Punchbag by Jackie Clune

(Image credit: Hodder & Stoughton)

Best historical drama

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

(Image credit: ,

Best feel-good food

The Great British 
Bake Off: Love to Bake

(Image credit: Little, Brown)

Best thought-provoking

The Midnight Library
 by Matt Haig 

(Image credit: Canongate)

Best self-discovery

Miss Benson’s Beetle 
by Rachel Joyce

(Image credit: Transworld)

Best topical drama

American Dirt by 
Jeanine Cummins

(Image credit: Headline)

Best family drama

The Vanishing Half by
 Brit Bennett

(Image credit: Brown)

Best words of wisdom

And Now for the Good News: To the Future 
With Love by Ruby Wax

(Image credit: Penguin Life)

Best autobiography

Tomorrow Will Be a 
Good Day by Captain Tom

(Image credit: Michael Joseph)

Best family cookbook

Nadiya Bakes by
 Nadiya Hussain

(Image credit: Penguin)

Best TV tie-in

60 Years of Coronation Street by Abigail Kemp

(Image credit: Octopus)

Best gardening

Modern Container Gardening by Isabelle Palmer

(Image credit: Hardie Grant Publishing)

Best dark thriller

The Curator by MW Craven

(Image credit: Brown)

Best magical realism

Orfeia by Joanne M 

(Image credit: Orion)

Best travel

Unforgettable Journeys

(Image credit: DK Eyewitness)

More great books from the 2020 woman&home Book Club

Where We Belong by Anstey Harris

Anstey Harris doesn’t flinch from shining a light on some of the most difficult situations anyone can face, but she does it with warmth and compassion. She’s also very good at flipping assumptions. Cate is a mum and a wife, but both roles have brought major challenges. When her life changes beyond recognition, she has to draw on all her reserves to secure a future for herself and her son. With a crumbling museum, a Mrs Danvers-like guardian and simmering romance, it’s a beautiful story of love, loss and resilience.


What’s Left Of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott

Set in Tokyo, Satō hires Kaitarō (a breaker-upper) to seduce his wife in order to gain the advantage in divorce proceedings. He assumes it will be a quick, easy case. Yet his wife, Rina, is not the woman he thought she was. Inspired by a real-life situation, this spellbinding tale about the marriage break-up industry in Japan has devastating consequences.


Miss Austen, Gill Hornby

In this subtle and delicate novel, Gill Hornby has created a clever, warm-hearted character in Cassandra, Jane Austen’s sister. Cassandra is on a mission to recover letters sent by Jane to relatives before they can be publicly exposed. We follow her through youth and old age, and emerge closer to the genius of one sister and the loving devotion of the other.


Three Women, Lisa Taddeo

A book centred around the unmet needs of three women - Lina, who wanted to be desired and isn't, Maggie, who wanted to be understood but is instead hated, and Sloane, who wanted to be admired, but is seen as a sexual object. A fascinating look into the worlds of three different women.