A Running List of the Best Books of 2021
If you’re like me and almost everyone I know, you probably read a lot more in 2020 when you were home for most of the year (unless you were in Tulum for Christmas, in which case I am not sure what reality you live in). I probably won’t let go of my new hobby in 2021 – especially since the vaccine roll out isn’t going as fast as originally thought – so here’s a list of the best books of 2021. We’ll update this list as new titles are announced or released.
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
This satirical version of the American dream takes you into the startup world to follow the story of a young black man named Darren who works for a new company that suddenly takes him from the Starbucks on the ground floor to the 36th floor of a shiny office building in Midtown in Manhattan. Darren will soon be drawn into the addicting world of success in the startup industry, but at what cost? Anyone who’s ever worked in the startup world will likely find this to be a poignant, exhilarating take on work culture in the United States in 2021. The cover for this one is eye catching, which – to be honest – is one of the biggest factors in whether or not I record a new title. Early reviews of the book have received an enthusiastic response, and the book represents Askaripour’s debut novel, published by Houghton Mifflon Harcourt. Black Buck is out now. For fans of Sorry To Bother You, Luster by Raven Leilani.
Banned by Anna North
A young girl named Ada discovers that at the end of the 19th century she could not bear children to her husband. When her city tries to brand her a witch – or a victim of a curse – she decides to run away with a group of strange outlaws called Hole In The Wall Gang. It’s a feminist take on old Wild West stories and also has an incredible cover. The book explores topics such as femininity, femininity and the promise of the New Frontier as Ada navigates a world of new possibilities – as long as she demands it. Oh, and there’s a pandemic around the time the book is happening too. Outlawed is already receiving rave reviews and will be featured in several book clubs the month of its release. This movie will please fans of Westworld and feels like the scene from Holes where Kissin ‘Kate Barlow becomes a rogue criminal in the Wild West. The book is available now.
Concrete rose by Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas returns with Concrete Rose to explore the nuances of black childhood and early adulthood through the eyes of a black man in Garden Heights, the fictional neighborhood of The Hate U Give. The novel revolves around Maverick Carter, a young man who faces the reality of having to look after his mother while his father is in jail by having multiple jobs at a young age. The book is already receiving rave reviews on book websites and is available now. For fans of The Hate U Give.
The Woman Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
Based on Jane Eyre, The Wife Upstairs offers a new take on feminist history that is receiving rave reviews within days of its release. The story follows Jane, a dog walker who is new to the Birmingham area and is able to get away with a lot by working in a neighborhood full of wealthy men and women.
The other black girl from Zakia Dalila Harris
One of the most anticipated books of 2021, The Other Black Girl tells the story of a young woman named Nella who works for a publishing company and is fed up with being the only black woman in the office. But when the company hires another black woman to work alongside her, the story quickly turns into a thriller. The other black girl will be available in June 2021.
Fake Lauren Oyler accounts
One of the most recent books to be released in 2021, Fake Accounts tells the story of a woman who sniffs on her boyfriend’s phone the night before Donald Trump’s inauguration. What she discovers – that he is a popular but anonymous conspiracy theorist who spreads misinformation online – shocks her in ways she did not expect. We assume that this one will be very, very popular.
Egg yolks by Mary HK Choi
Mary HK Choi’s latest release, Permanent Record, was one of my favorite readings in 2020. When I found out her next release was just around the corner, I was excited. Her books are full of clever and relevant jokes about popular culture and paint a diverse and colorful picture of life in New York City. Yolk is slated for March 2021.
Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu
A combo of memoir and cultural history, Aftershocks tells the story of Owusu’s experience as a young girl living in Italy when she learned of an earthquake in Armenia from which she and her family had sought refuge. On the same day, Owusu’s mother appears, who wants to take Nadia with her for a fun day before she disappears again. Owusu’s powerful memoir has been described as lyrical and has now appeared.
Future feeling at Joss Lake
Joss Lake is a transwriter, and Future Feeling is a fun novel about a dog walker obsessed with a Bushwick-based social media star. The story is vivid and resourceful and is slated to be released in June 2021.
Milk fed by Melissa Broder
Broder’s So Sad Today, a collection of essays on femininity and mental health, has been one of my favorite readings in recent years. Her next book, Milk Fed, is already getting a lot of positive press and is likely to make waves in the literary community. I haven’t read any of her novels personally and I’m curious to see how Broder deals with fiction. Milk Fed will be released in February 2021.
Let me tell you what I mean by Joan Didion
As one of the greatest American essayists in modern history, Joan Didion’s work is always a delight. The new collection of essays will be released in 2021 and will include works from her early career that have never been seen before. Let me tell you what I mean will be released on January 26th, 2021.
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