The Most Important Book of 2020

2020 changed many people’s reading styles. Some found it harder to focus on more serious topics, while other dove into those same serious topics. I’ve always read widely, and this year was no exception – except near the beginning of COVID, I read lighter and have slowly progressed back to reading tougher topics.

A lot of people made it a priority to read anitracist books this year (I’ll have a seperate post with my Antiracist Reading soon – stay tuned!), and while I’d like to think I’ve always read diversely, I read more nonfiction selections this year than previous years.

In that reading, I found the most important book I’ve read this year:

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent

by Isabel Wilkerson

In a year when a global pandemic would have been enough to deal with, we also saw massive wildfires ravage the Western United States, and racial frustrations over white privilege and police brutality taken to the streets.

Antiracist book sales soared after the murder of George Floyd. {White} people’s eyes were suddenly opened to what Black people have been saying for years! These conversations led me to Isabel Wilkerson, whose timely book, Caste, was published on August 4, 2020.

Wilkerson forced me to recognize and get honest about my place in the American hierarchy. Through her impeccable narrative style, Wilkerson convincingly argues that America, much like other countries, was entirely built upon this notion that there are supiorior races (ie: white) and non-supiorior races (ie: Black). It is the destiny of Black people to be subservient to white people and the systems they’ve created. It’s an incredibly humble read and demonstrates how revised our history has been and how much work we (ahem, white people) have to go to ease the pain of that past.

This is just the beginning of a long list of antiractist books that need and deserve the attention of white people. What makes this an especially good book is it’s approachablity. Wilkerson commands attention does it through stories and personal accouts that bring the issues to life. Her ability to make information that could easily fall into bland and historical context relatable propels her to the top of experts on the subject. I believe we’ll be hearing about Wilkerson’s contributions to the racial conversation for a long time.

I’d love to hear what the most important book you read this year was! Please drop me a comment!

Also, if you’re interested, read the rest of the “Best of…” lists for 2020 and 2019!

12 thoughts on “The Most Important Book of 2020

  1. I am not sure I can definitively say what the most important book I read this year was but the book that impacted me the most was Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. It landed in my hands are precisely the right moment to save my sanity.

    I will be adding Caste to my long list of race and anti-racist books. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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