Access the Audio Read version of this article directly on Spotify for Podcasters.
"These diverse picks have been compiled thoughtfully, with genres for all moods and for everybody."
2020 has been a wild roller coaster ride. A pandemic, a recession, a US presidential election, racial discourse, social injustice, and lives that have been overall heavily altered. But now it’s time we turn a page, literally and figuratively - the future is bright in literature. 2020 has brought us bookworms and everyone staying cosy at home beautiful reads, and we’re excited for the many new works we’ll devour in the coming months.
The diverse picks below have been compiled thoughtfully, with genres for all moods and for everybody. Authors that have unique voices, wonderful stories, and a heartfelt message, all feature on our list of books to read in 2021, and we hope they will brighten your mood. Happy new year, and happy reading!
Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
In his first literary work after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, author Kazuo Ishiguro writes about Klara, an Artificial Friend with exceptional intelligence, in the search of a perfect customer and companion. Famed for writing ‘novels of great emotional force’, Kazuo’s latest book will be released in March 2021 and promises to be an exploration of the age-old search for love. The Booker Prize-winning author writes with raw vulnerability and tenderness that will resonate with people looking for love and passion across the world. Paperback, 2 March 2021.
Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead
The only Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in his lifetime, Colson Whitehead has spent years working on Harlem Shuffle. Very little is known about the actual novel but if Whitehead’s previous work (The Nickel Boys) is anything to go by, then it will be most definitely powerful and gripping. What we know for now is that the title is tentative and that the book will be a crime novel set in Harlem in the 1960s. A release we’re highly anticipating here at The Spill.
Whereabouts, Jhumpa Lahiri
Originally written in Italian in 2018, this English translation will be released in May 2021. Author Jhumpa Lahiri is a Pulitzer Prize winner and this is her first English novel in nearly a decade. Whereabouts is the story of a confused, lonely, and estranged woman, mired in her emotions and relationships. Readers of The Namesake and The Interpreter of Maladies will find familiar ground in the beautiful and intricate relationships, moments built for literary relief, and a writing style that is extremely poetic, yet real. Lahiri’s risk of writing in Italian pays off, as the artistic challenge of a new language adds another dimension to the story. Hardcover, 27 April 2021.
Chair of Iron, Cassandra Clare
The exciting sequel to Chair of Gold, Cassandra Clare’s latest outing sounds as thrilling as her young adult fans would dream it to be. The latest in the Shadowhunters series, it follows Cordelia Carstairs in her perfect life and on a quest with the Merry Thieves to find a serial killer targeting the Shadowhunters in London. Bearing the legendary sword Cortana, Cordelia struggles with secrets and fears, while her fiancé James is battling literal demons and her best friend Lucie is harboring a plan of her own. What will they uncover and will Cordelia’s perfect life bear under the secrets and stories they are hiding? We will find out in March 2021. Hardcover, 2 March 2021.
Hamlet Retelling, Gillian Flynn
The Hogarth Shakespeare Project aims to have Shakespeare’s works retold by bestselling authors, adding their own style and signature to ‘the Bard’’s stories. The latest author to be commissioned is Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects. Flynn is going to add her signature dark twists and suspense building moments to Hamlet, a classic tale of betrayal and vengeance. The book is due for release in 2021.
The Gilded Ones, Namina Forna
One of the few fantasy novels set in West Africa, author Namina Forna deftly tackles issues such as racism, sexism, women empowerment, and poverty in The Gilded Ones, highly anticipated this year. The fantasy series follows the life of Deka, a young girl struggling with her identity and forced to participate in a blood ceremony to prove her purity and spend her life in the service of men. Deka is found to have golden blood and considered impure, facing exile and death. But fate has planned something bigger for her, as she meets and follows a woman, joining an elite group of female warriors. Fans of Black Panther will find the fantasy series interesting, thrilling, and with a unique perspective and take on magic and dystopian fiction. Hardcover, 9 February 2021.