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These Were the DC Public Library’s Most Popular Books in 2020

A snapshot of what Washingtonians were reading during a big year for books.

The last year was a hard one, but it was a great time to read lots of books—to fill the time, to cope with anxiety, and to learn more about our world. According to DC Public Library, 2020 found “customers exploring and adjusting to this year’s events,” judging by the books that they checked out. 

So what were we actually reading this year? Below are the top reads of 2020, according to the DCPL.

Top 10 Non-Fiction Ebooks

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla Saad

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Yellow House: A Memoir, by Sarah M. Broom

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, by Lori Gottlieb

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou

 Untamed, by Glennon Doyle

Top 10 Non-Fiction Books

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah

The Library Book, by Susan Orlean

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-delusion, by Jia Tolentino

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Three Women,  by Lisa Taddeo

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, by Ronan Farrow

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations, by Mira Jacob

Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J. D. Vance

Top 10 Fiction Ebooks

Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid

Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

The Goldfinch, by Tartt, Donna

Normal People, by Sally Rooney

An American Marriage:, by Tayari Jones

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty

Top 10 Fiction Books

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

There There, by Tommy Orange

Normal People, by Sally Rooney

Circe, by Madeline Miller

The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett




Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.