My Anticipated Reads (and Recommendations) of 2021

I couldn’t round off the year’s reading without looking forward to 2021 and all of the great new releases that will be coming our way.

I’ve been building up a healthy TBR and pre-order pile for the next few months, as well as excitedly waiting to hear other people’s thoughts on books that I’ve been lucky enough to receive advance copies of to review. In this list, I will share a selection of books (in order of release) that I can’t wait to get my hands on, as well as some books that I’ve enjoyed and think should make their way onto your TBR.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Out 7th January 2021

There’s been such a buzz online for this book and it has fully sucked me in. The Push is a psychological thriller about one woman’s experience of motherhood – and the struggle she faces when it’s not what she expected, but it’s everything she feared. This is going to be one of my first book purchases in the new year!

Gargoyles by Harriet Mercer

Out February 2021

This narrative non-fiction book blends poetic memoir and essays about Harriet’s experience of a rare and life-threatening illness. During her stay at Charing Cross Hospital, Harriet starts to see gargoyles whenever she closes her eyes. As a result, she ends up staying awake for six weeks.

The book explores the effects of illness, grief, love and loss, as well as the power of memory. Gargoyles sounds so interesting and like nothing else I have ever read before.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

Out 2nd February 2021

I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House and I can see it being really popular in 2021. This powerful debut follows the story of Lala and her life in Barbados. When Lala’s husband, Adan, has his burglary plan thwarted, it sets off a devastating chain of events.

It’s a gripping read, full of fantastic storytelling – but it is a difficult story. How the One-Armed Sister… details various forms of violence, the aftermath and the ripple effect it can have on people. This book really highlights the powerful echo that violence can have.

Nightshift by Kiare Ladner

Out 18th February 2021

Nightshift is a fever dream of a book, buzzing with a manic kind of energy as it tells of Meggie’s infatuation with Sabine. It’s a tale of desire, lust and love that quickly develops into an all-consuming obsession.

I loved Ladner’s easy-to-read writing and the vivid descriptions. I was right there in the palpable moments of euphoria, the crushing come downs and the messy moments in-between of this cat and mouse relationship. I highly recommend.

Whiteout Conditions by Tariq Shah

Out March 2021

Another of Dead Ink Books’ exciting spring releases (following Gargoyles), Whiteout Conditions is a book that made its way straight onto my must-read list.

Described as a haunting Midwestern noir, Whiteout Conditions finds Ant, in the depths of a brutal Midwest winter, riding with Vince through the snow to Ray’s funeral. It’s a story of adulthood, grief and toxic masculinity. I am intrigued!

Redder Days by Sue Rainsford

Out March 2021

I loved Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford. It was weird, creepy and mystical – so right up my street! As I flicked to the end of the book, I learned that Redder Days was coming out in 2021 and immediately added it to my TBR.

Redder Days is the story of twins living in an abandoned commune, where they await the world-ending event they believe is imminent. The premise sounds really interesting and if it’s anything like FMTG then I’m in for a treat.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez

Out April 2021

Granta Books couldn’t have sold this book better when they said “dive in for deliciously dark stories of disappearing women, morbid desires and dangerous curses from a master of Argentine Gothic”. Dark? Morbid? Dangerous? I think this book was made for me. I cannot wait to read it.

Absorbed by Kylie Whitehead

Out May 2021

I’m only a few chapters into Absorbed (thanks to Jordan for the proof copy!) and excited to see where it goes. I’m already very into the weird premise, which begins when Allison’s boyfriend starts to slip away from her. She worries about who she will be without him, so she absorbs him. This debut novel from Kylie Whitehead explores female insecurity, body horror and modern relationships. Yes please.

Afterparties: Stories by Anthony Veasna So

Out August 2021

Afterparties is a collection of stories about young Cambodian Americans who are dealing with the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship and family. The cover caught my eye straight away, but the praise of Anthony Veasna So as a bright, emerging talent meant I had to add this to my list. Unfortunately So passed away in December ’20, so I’m sure his writing will be all the more poignant.

What books are you excited to read in 2021?

I’m sure I will be adding plenty more to my list so I’d love to hear your recommendations. Let me know what I should be checking out too in the comments!

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