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As we close the books on 2020, we asked our editorial staff to reflect on newly published reads that they loved. We also wondered what books, from any year, they turned to for help processing everything that’s happened, from a pandemic to the climate crisis to electoral politics to a renewed push for racial justice—a decade’s worth of content in just 52 weeks, as one Mother Jones engagement editor put it. The resulting list, “The Books That Got Us Through 2020,” is wide-ranging and surprising, with everything from highly publicized picks like Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste and Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults to an unconventional “speculative narrative about wayward Black women at the beginning of the 20th century,” Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals. As the coronavirus continues to exert its deadly toll and winter lockdowns descend, our reading list offers an escape hatch.

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GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

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