Book List: 21 Releases from 2021

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

I’m back with another Book List sharing backlist reads based on their publication year. Have you checked out 19 Releases from 2019 or 20 Releases from 2020 yet?

I’m excited to share 21 releases from 2021 for this list. Since this will be a lengthy book list, let’s jump straight into the titles!

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on December 7, 2021
Genres: Poetry / American / African American & Black
Pages: 240

The instant #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller


The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, this beautifully designed volume features poems in many inventive styles and structures and shines a light on a moment of reckoning. Call Us What We Carry reveals that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
Published by Penguin on June 28, 2022
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / General, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Southern
Pages: 336

***2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER***

***THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER***

Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize Finalist, 2022 Chautauqua Prize Finalist, Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing Shortlist, and the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize shortlist

A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

An Ebony Magazine Publishing Book Club Pick! 

One of Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction | One of Philadelphia Inquirer's Best Books of 2021 | One of Shelf Awareness's Top Ten Fiction Titles of the Year | One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books | One of NPR.org's "Books We Love" | EW’s "Guide to the Biggest and Buzziest Books of 2021" | One of the New York Public Library's Best Books for Adults | San Diego Union Tribune—My Favorite Things from 2021 | Writer's Bone's Best Books of 2021 | Atlanta Journal Constitution—Top 10 Southern Books of the Year | One of the Guardian's (UK) Best Ten 21st Century Comic Novels | One of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Books You Need to Read This June | On Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" | One of the New York Post's Best Summer Reading books | One of GMA's 27 Books for June | One of USA Today's 5 Books Not to Miss | One of Fortune's 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming Out in the Second Half of 2021 | One of The Root's PageTurners: It’s Getting Hot in Here | One of Real Simple's Best New Books to Read in 2021

An astounding work of fiction from New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole

In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

As these characters’ stories build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.

Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind?  Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists, it truly becomes its title.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston
Published by Simon and Schuster on October 5, 2021
Genres: Biography & Autobiography / LGBTQ, Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs, Social Science / Essays
Pages: 336

A hilarious and whip-smart collection of essays, offering an intimate look at bisexuality, gender, and, of course, sex. Perfect for fans of Lindy West, Samantha Irby, and Rebecca Solnit—and anyone who wants, and deserves, to be seen.

If Jen Winston knows one thing for sure, it’s that she’s bisexual. Or wait—maybe she isn’t? Actually, she definitely is. Unless…she’s not?

Jen’s provocative, laugh-out-loud debut takes us inside her journey of self-discovery, leading us through stories of a childhood “girl crush,” an onerous quest to have a threesome, and an enduring fear of being bad at sex. Greedy follows Jen’s attempts to make sense of herself as she explores the role of the male gaze, what it means to be “queer enough,” and how to overcome bi stereotypes when you’re the posterchild for all of them: greedy, slutty, and constantly confused.

With her clever voice and clear-eyed insight, Jen draws on personal experiences with sexism and biphobia to understand how we all can and must do better. She sheds light on the reasons women, queer people, and other marginalized groups tend to make ourselves smaller, provoking the question: What would happen if we suddenly stopped?​​

Greedy shows us that being bisexual is about so much more than who you’re sleeping with—it’s about finding stability in a state of flux and defining yourself on your own terms. This book inspires us to rethink the world as we know it, reminding us that Greedy was a superpower all along.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Matrix by Lauren Groff
Published by Penguin on September 7, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Historical / Medieval, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 272

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE 2022 JOYCE CAROL OATES PRIZE

FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2021

Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, NPR, The Financial Times, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, Vulture, Marie Claire, Vox, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and more!

“A relentless exhibition of Groff’s freakish talent. In just over 250 pages, she gives us a character study to rival Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell .” – USA Today

“An electric reimagining . . . feminist, sensual . . . unforgettable.” – O, The Oprah Magazine

“Thrilling and heartbreaking.” –Time Magazine

“[A] page-by-page pleasure as we soar with her.” –New York Times

One of our best American writers, Lauren Groff returns with her exhilarating first new novel since the groundbreaking Fates and Furies.


Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease.

At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie’s vision be bulwark enough?

Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff’s new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Published by Tor Publishing Group on September 7, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy, Fiction / Horror, Fiction / Noir
Pages: 352

From Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic, comes Certain Dark Things, a pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore.

Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.

Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.

Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
Published by THORNDIKE Press on September 7, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Pages: 736

A dark, satirical thriller by the bestselling Japanese author, following the perilous train ride of five highly motivated assassins--soon to be a major film from Sony starring Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, and Benito A Martínez Ocasio, and more

Satoshi--The Prince--looks like an innocent schoolboy but is really a stylish and devious assassin. Risk fuels him, as does a good philosophical debate, such as questioning: Is killing really wrong? Kimura's young son is in a coma thanks to The Prince, and Kimura has tracked him onto a bullet train heading from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers on board.

Nanao, also nicknamed Ladybug, the self-proclaimed "unluckiest assassin in the world," is put on the bullet train by his boss, a mysterious young woman called Maria, to steal a suitcase full of money and get off at the first stop. The lethal duo of Tangerine and Lemon are also traveling to Morioka, and the suitcase leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will make it off alive?

A bestseller in Japan, Bullet Train is an original and propulsive thriller that fizzes with incredible energy as its complex net of double-crosses and twists unwinds up to the last station.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura
Published by Penguin on June 14, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological, Fiction / Women, Fiction / World Literature / Japan
Pages: 224

“A taut and compelling depiction of loneliness and obsession.” --Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“[It] will keep you firmly in its grip.” --Oyinkan Braithwaite, bestselling author of My Sister, the Serial Killer

“The love child of Eugene Ionesco and Patricia Highsmith.” --Kelly Link, bestselling author of Get in Trouble

A bestselling, prizewinning novel by one of Japan's most acclaimed young writers, for fans of Convenience Store Woman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and the movies Parasite and Rear Window

I think what I'm trying to say is that I've been wanting to become friends with the Woman in the Purple Skirt for a very long time...

Almost every afternoon, the Woman in the Purple Skirt sits on the same park bench, where she eats a cream bun while the local children make a game of trying to get her attention. Unbeknownst to her, she is being watched--by the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, who is always perched just out of sight, monitoring which buses she takes, what she eats, whom she speaks to.

From a distance, the Woman in the Purple Skirt looks like a schoolgirl, but there are age spots on her face, and her hair is dry and stiff. She is single, she lives in a small apartment, and she is short on money--just like the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, who lures her to a job as a housekeeper at a hotel, where she too is a housekeeper. Soon, the Woman in the Purple Skirt is having an affair with the boss and all eyes are on her. But no one knows or cares about the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. That's the difference between her and the Woman in the Purple Skirt.

Studiously deadpan and chillingly voyeuristic, and with the off-kilter appeal of the novels of Ottessa Moshfegh, The Woman in the Purple Skirt explores envy, loneliness, power dynamics, and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, suspenseful narrative about the sometimes desperate desire to be seen.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 18, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Humorous / General, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
Pages: 368

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Writing duo and reigning romance queens Christina Lauren are back with The Soulmate Equation, their most ambitious book to date.” —PopSugar

“A sexy, science-filled, and surprising romance full of warmth and wit.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Chosen as a best pick by Bustle, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, E! Online, PopSugar, BuzzFeed, Goodreads, Country Living, The Pioneer Woman, Woman’s World, Bookish, Bookreporter, Frolic, and more!

The New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners returns with a witty and effervescent novel about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or is it fate? Perfect for fans of The Rosie Project and One Plus One.

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before her daughter was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close but working constantly to stay afloat is hard...and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get ‘to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

“Laugh-out-loud, sweet, charming, and humorous” (Library Journal, starred review), The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 1, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / Lesbian, Fiction / Romance / New Adult, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 432

*INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
*INSTANT USA TODAY BESTSELLER*
*INSTANT #1 INDIE BESTSELLER*


From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks...

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

"A dazzling romance, filled with plenty of humor and heart." - Time Magazine, "The 21 Most Anticipated Books of 2021"

"Dreamy, other worldly, smart, swoony, thoughtful, hilarious - all in all, exactly what you'd expect from Casey McQuiston!" - Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and Party for Two

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 30, 2021
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / General, Fiction / Cultural Heritage, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 368

An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2021 BY BARACK OBAMA * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * ESQUIRE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * GOODREADS * THE MILLIONS * READER’S DIGEST * PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER * EERIE READER * PUBLIC RADIO TULSA * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY * KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Published by Random House Publishing Group on January 12, 2021
Genres: Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Transgender, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 352

NATIONAL BESTSELLER The lives of three women—transgender and cisgender—collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires in “one of the most celebrated novels of the year” (Time)

“Reading this novel is like holding a live wire in your hand.”—Vulture

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by more than twenty publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Time, Vogue, Esquire, Vulture, and Autostraddle

PEN/Hemingway Award WinnerFinalist for the Lambda Literary Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Gotham Book PrizeLonglisted for The Women’s PrizeRoxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club PickNew York Times Editors’ Choice

Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn't hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn't happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames's boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she's pregnant with his baby—and that she's not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he's been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together?

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can't reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
on May 4, 2021
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / General, Fiction / Gothic, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Pages: 368

A TIME 100 Must-Read Book of 2021

A New York Times Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2021

The Stonewall Book Award winner of 2022

Named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, The New York Public Library, Publishers Weekly and more!

A triumphant, genre-bending breakout novel from one of the boldest new voices in contemporary fiction.

Vern—seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised—flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future—outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it.

Rivers Solomon’s Sorrowland is a genre-bending work of Gothic fiction. Here, monsters aren’t just individuals, but entire nations. It is a searing, seminal book that marks the arrival of a bold, unignorable voice in American fiction.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
Published by Penguin on September 21, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Magical Realism
Pages: 359

When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive national bestselling debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda's story begins where most witches' tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin's all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life--and possibly all of existence--is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she'll accept the fate that she's foreseen for her beloved family...or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
Published by Penguin on February 8, 2022
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / General, Fiction / Historical / General, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 416

Best Book of the Year
NPR • The Washington Post • Boston Globe • TIME • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Real Simple • Parade • Buzzfeed • Electric Literature • LitHub • BookRiot • PopSugar • Goop • Library Journal • BookBub • KCRW

• Finalist for the National Book Award
• One of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year
• One of the New York Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year

• Instant New York Times Bestseller 

A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.

Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony.

With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets fearlessly reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Published by HarperCollins on October 5, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction / Girls & Women, Young Adult Fiction / Monsters, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Pages: 224

An IndieBound Bestseller

“Squad is a fast-paced and feminist horror story for every girl who’s ever felt like prey, and asks how far a girl should go to hunt the hunters.”—Laura Ruby, author of National Book Award Finalist Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

“Squad is a story fitted with the sharpest teeth that chomps down on the patriarchy, and I adored it with my entire vicious heart."—Chloe Gong, author of New York Times–bestselling These Violent Delights

Pretty Little Liars meets Teen Wolf in this sharply funny, and patriarchy-smashing graphic novel from author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and artist Lisa Sterle. When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either.

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But then things get complicated. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure, their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—and Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.

Lisa Sterle’s stylish illustrations paired with Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sharp writing make Squad a fierce, haunting, and fast-paced thriller that will resonate with fans of Riverdale, and with readers of This Savage Song, Lumberjanes, and Paper Girls. 

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Published by Flatiron Books on September 7, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Family Life / Marriage & Divorce, Fiction / Thrillers / Domestic, Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological
Pages: 304

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Feeney lives up to her reputation as the “queen of the twist”...This page-turner will keep you guessing.” —Real Simple
Think you know the person you married? Think again...

Things have been wrong with Mr and Mrs Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.

Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts--paper, cotton, pottery, tin--and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.

Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.

Rock Paper Scissors is the latest exciting domestic thriller from the queen of the killer twist, New York Times bestselling author Alice Feeney.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Fight Night by Miriam Toews
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on October 5, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / General, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 272

"Move over, Scout Finch! There's a new contender for feistiest girl in fiction, and her name is Swiv." -USA Today, "Best Books of the Year"

"Toews is a master of dialogue." -New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice

"A revelation." -Richard Russo

NPR Best Books of the Year * Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize * Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist * Indie Next Pick * Amazon Editors' Pick * Apple Book of the Month

From the bestselling author of Women Talking and All My Puny Sorrows, a compassionate, darkly humorous, and deeply wise novel about three generations of women.

“You're a small thing,” Grandma writes, “and you must learn to fight.” Swiv's Grandma, Elvira, has been fighting all her life. From her upbringing in a strict religious community, she has fought those who wanted to take away her joy, her independence, and her spirit. She has fought to make peace with her loved ones when they have chosen to leave her. And now, even as her health fails, Grandma is fighting for her family: for her daughter, partnerless and in the third term of a pregnancy; and for her granddaughter Swiv, a spirited nine-year-old who has been suspended from school. Cramped together in their Toronto home, on the precipice of extraordinary change, Grandma and Swiv undertake a vital new project, setting out to explain their lives in letters they will never send.

Alternating between the exuberant, precocious voice of young Swiv and her irrepressible, tenacious Grandma, Fight Night is a love letter to mothers and grandmothers, and to all the women who are still fighting-painfully, ferociously- for a way to live on their own terms.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki
Published by DC Comics on July 27, 2021
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels / Superheroes
Pages: 162

From New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and artist Yoshi Yoshitani (Zatanna and the House of Secrets) comes a story about Mandy, the daughter of super-famous superhero Starfire. Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is not like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is not a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers. She’s a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend, Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant, angry, light-years away moon. And ever since she walked out on her SATs, which her mom doesn’t know about, Mandy has been even more distant. Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Or she did until she gets partnered with Claire, the person she intensely denies liking but definitely likes a lot, for a school project. When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom. I Am Not Starfire is a story about teenagers and/as aliens; about knowing where you come from and where you are going; and about mothers.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Published by Orbit on June 8, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Lesbian
Pages: 576

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2021 BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, LIBRARY JOURNAL, BOOKLIST, AND THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

A ruthless princess and a powerful priestess come together to rewrite the fate of an empire in this “fiercely and unapologetically feminist tale of endurance and revolution set against a gorgeous, unique magical world” (S. A. Chakraborty, author of the The City of Brass).

Exiled by her despotic brother, princess Malini spends her days dreaming of vengeance while imprisoned in the Hirana: an ancient cliffside temple that was once the revered source of the magical deathless waters but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
 
The secrets of the Hirana call to Priya. But in order to keep the truth of her past safely hidden, she works as a servant in the loathed regent’s household, biting her tongue and cleaning Malini’s chambers.
 
But when Malini witnesses Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a ruthless princess seeking to steal a throne. The other a powerful priestess desperate to save her family. Together, they will set an empire ablaze.

Praise for The Jasmine Throne:

"Raises the bar for what epic fantasy should be." —Chloe Gong, author of These Violent Delights

"An intimate, complex, magical study of empire and the people caught in its bloody teeth. I loved it.” —Alix E. Harrow, author of The Once and Future Witches

"Gripping and harrowing from the very start." —R. F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War

"Suri’s incandescent feminist masterpiece hits like a steel fist inside a velvet glove. Simply magnificent." —Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun

"A fierce, heart-wrenching exploration of the value and danger of love in a world of politics and power." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This cutthroat and sapphic novel will grip you until the very end."Vulture 

"Lush and stunning....Inspired by Indian epics, this sapphic fantasy will rip your heart out."BuzzFeed News

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 7, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / Gay, Fiction / Romance / Multicultural & Interracial, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 368

A MOST ANTICIPATED ROM-COM SELECTED BY * BUZZFEED * LGBTQ READS * BUSTLE * THE NERD DAILY * ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT * FROLIC MEDIA * AND MORE!

A BEST BOOK PICK BY * HARPER’​S BAZAAR * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

The Charm Offensive will sweep you off your feet.” —PopSugar

In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy—reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch—an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.

Book List: 21 Releases from 2021Bath Haus by P. J. Vernon
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on May 24, 2022
Genres: Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Gay, Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Pages: 320

Nominated for a 34th annual Lambda Literary Award - A scintillating thriller with an emotional punch: "The tension builds to unbearably claustrophobic levels. To say more would rob readers of the 'no, he didn't' suspense that makes Bath Haus an unexpectedly twisted, heart-pounding cat-versus-mouse thriller (Los Angeles Times).

Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they've made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn't be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it's a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it's the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.

He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies.

What follows is a classic runaway-train narrative, full of the exquisite escalations, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and oh-my-god twists. P. J. Vernon's Bath Haus is perfect for readers curious for their next must-read novel.

What are some of books released in 2021 you would recommend? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

Rae

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