The 20 best books of 2021 for your next read
Some say that reading any book is better than reading no book at all, and while that may be true, why settle for poor storytelling when you can enjoy something really great? To that end, we take a look at the best books of 2021.
This year, fantastic literature has been published by renowned authors and novice novelists. So without further ado, let’s get to the books.
Five years ago, Viet Thanh Nguyen won the Pulitzer Prize for his first novel The sympathizer, which followed the experiences of a refugee and a double agent of the Vietnam War grappling with the fallout from the conflict. In its thrilling suite The Committed, Nguyen takes up the story to take a critical look at the consequences of colonialism.
While Lisa Taddeo had already made a name for herself in the field of journalism – notably with her best-selling book three woman– his first novel Animal Instantly established her as one of the most confident fiction writers of our time. In Animal, Taddeo tells the story of a young woman who tries to regain control of her life after multiple traumas inflicted by men.
As one of the greatest writers of her generation – and of the 20th century in general – it’s an event every time a book by Joan Didion comes out. Here we have a posthumous collection that characteristically covers a wide range of topics, from Gamblers Anonymous to Martha Stewart.
When a woman invites a renowned artist to stay with her family in their secluded home, she becomes obsessed with the idea that her work provides a clue to a mystery that torments her. This review of art, family, and fate is a must read from Rachel Cusk, who many already know from Contour trilogy.
When Blythe is pregnant, she promises herself that she will bond with her daughter in a way that she and her own mother never did. Once Violet is born, however, Blythe begins to suspect that there is something wrong with her. In this daring psychological thriller, writer Ashley Audrain gives a new twist to a classic story.
Michael Pollan, one of the most acclaimed journalists of our time, has already addressed the question of how food affects the human body. Now he takes his analytical look at three specific plants and the chemicals they contain: coffee and caffeine, poppies and opium, and San Pedro cacti and mescaline.
When financially struggling dog-walker Jane sets her sights on a wealthy man named Eddie, it doesn’t take long to learn that they are both hiding secrets that could either ruin any hope of a relationship or the bring closer. The latest from bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, it brings a contemporary feminist approach to classic Gothic romance.
On the Six-Thousand Ship, the crew consists of both humans and their humanoid creations. While transporting bizarre objects from the planet New Discovery, humans and non-humans alike find themselves strangely obsessed with them. Hailed for its unique structure, The employees has already earned author Olga Ravn a nomination for the prestigious Booker Prize.
After a mother got tired of arguing with her 12-year-old daughter, she stopped and ordered her to get out of the car, telling her to walk home. The aftermath destroys the young girl’s life, reveals the horrific truth about the seemingly peaceful little town they live in, and raises important questions about fate.
In this slow-building novel set in rural Scotland, several families stay in a cluster of isolated cottages. Tired of the lack of mobile phone service, they start looking at each other through their blinds. In Sarah Moss’ slow-burning thriller, a progressive atmosphere of unease pays off in a mind-boggling finale.
Having caused a sensation with his novel Annoyances, Caitlin Horrocks continues with a collection of short stories that will appeal to a variety of tastes, from sci-fi to realism. In Life among Terranauts, we see a series of too human experiences in somewhat fantastic settings.
After the Echota family lose their son Ray-Ray in a police shootout, their lives sink into an abyss of mental illness, addiction and relationship problems. As Ray-Ray’s death anniversary approaches, the family welcome a son who brings an unexpected change to the situation.
Lex may have thought that she escaped her abusive childhood, but after her imprisoned mother passes away and leaves her home to Lex and her siblings, she is suddenly forced to come back and face the past. Girl A is a captivating look at the complex nature of the family.
In a novel that jumps in terms of geography and genre, the mediocre Tiller goes on an adventure with an exciting international businessman named Pong. Later, as we watch Tiller navigate a relationship with a single mother hiding in witness protection, he tries to figure out the meaning of all his travels.
Examining the impact of social media on our lives through a lens that fuses realism with science fiction, Patricia Lockwood tells the story of a woman who finds unexpected fame online and a strange new technology called “the portal”.
In 2017, Kazuo Ishiguo received the Nobel Prize for Literature because, as the Nobel Committee explained, his work “uncovered the abyss under our illusory sense of connection with the world”. In his latest work Klara and the sun he does it again via a narrative that makes the future eerily familiar.
In Sarah Penner’s latest, she borrows elements from Gothic romance to tell a decidedly modern story that nevertheless takes place in 18e century in England. The story of a clandestine apothecary who supplies poisons to the victims of violent men for revenge, The lost apothecary is a novel on the timeless theme of despised women.
When Leila asks the Harlem Melacons – a family that holds power through their magically healing caul – to save their baby, no one could foresee how this simple request for help could have such profound consequences. The latest from bestselling author Morgan Jenkins, Caul baby will attract the attention of all who love a good mystery.
A very imaginative tale by the famous writer Imbolo Mbue, How beautiful we were watch a fictional African village as it battles destruction by an American oil company. It’s essential reading for anyone interested in colonialism, capitalism, and the intersection of the two.
In Dirty animals– the latest from high-profile author Brandon Taylor – we watch a young man attempt to navigate the relationships of a troupe of Midwestern performers. It’s a story of sex, violence, and bad babysitting gigs, and it’s one of the most engaging reads of the year.