For us book bloggers, the beginning of the year means a lot of things. Mostly that we don’t have to think about which posts to write because we can just do all of the standard new year shit (not a bad thing, it’s fun to read). But one of the posts everyone comes out with around this time of year is their post anticipated books. Which I absolutely love, because it’s how I find out about a lot of new books.
But, when I was thinking about my list this year, I realized there weren’t necessarily a lot of books coming out this year that I’m ridiculously excited for. Also, I didn’t really read any of my most anticipated books last year, so clearly that means nothing over here. So, instead of doing that, I wanted to share the books I’m both excited and curious about this year. There are definitely a few highly anticipated books by some of my favorite authors on this list, but there are also some new authors I really want to try. So I think it’s a good mix.
I know there are a lot of books that have yet to be announced, so this is just the first half of the year. I may do a part two in June. Also, there were a lot of nonfiction books on the list, so I’ll be sharing those in a second post next week. But, for now, here are the fiction books coming out in 2021 that I’m keeping on my radar:
The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker (June 8)
If I had to pick just one new release to read this year, it would be The Hidden Palace. One of my absolute favorite books – from before I even started this blog – is The Golem and the Jinni. It’s just so, so magical. To be honest, I know very little about this book, except that it does center around the golem and the jinni from the first book. Which I love. Honestly, I’d read this regardless because I am so excited that we’re getting another Helene Wecker book. Especially because this was supposed to come out last year (under a different title) and kept getting delayed. But it has a cover now, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll actually see this book in June.
Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir (May 11)
This the final book in the Six Tudor Queens, which you probably all know is one of my favorites. It’s historical fiction, but each book features one of Henry VIII’s wives as the protagonist. Obviously, this is about Katherine Parr, who he was married to when he died. I think this is going to be an interesting one, because not only is it about Katharine, who I know almost nothing about, it’s also probably going to be a lot about the end of Henry’s life. At this point, he was not doing well, which a lot of the books tend to gloss over. I particularly love Alison Weir’s books because she is an actual historian – she will also be featured on my list of nonfiction releases this year – and you can tell she really does her research. But she also makes her books interesting and compelling to read. I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (June 1)
Something I kind of like to brag about is that I knew about this book before most people. Like, I found out about it in June 2019 when I went to a signing for Red, White, & Royal Blue and Casey McQuiston decided to share a little about the book she was currently working on. She described it as basically Kate and Leopold, except the time traveler is from the 70s and they’re both lesbians. Which of course meant I immediately wanted to read it. And, while it was kind of cool I knew about this so early, it also meant I have to wait longer than everyone else. Especially because I am not one of the lucky ones who got an early copy. But it’s fine, I’m not bitter at all. I’ll still go out and buy a copy the day this comes out.
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire (January 12)
This is actually the only book on this list that I’ve preordered, because it comes out next week and I cannot wait to read it. It’s the sixth book in the Wayward Children series, which is one of my favorites. Other than the Six Tudor Queens, the is the only series I’ve stuck with through six books in a very long time. What I love about this series is that it is so incredibly diverse and all of the characters are really great. From what I understand, this book introduces new characters, so I’m pretty excited about that. Though if I don’t get Christopher and Kade stories by the time this series ends, I will be very upset. That said, I’m still pretty excited to meet these new characters, because I’m sure they’ll be just as great as the ones we already know.
The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. (January 5)
I actually chose this for my January Book of the Month, so it is on its way to me. But it was absolutely an easy choice this month. This is the debut novel about the forbidden love of two enslaved men on a plantation in the Deep South. Tell me that doesn’t sound INCREDIBLE. Honestly, I might just rearrange my TBR this month to fit this one in. Because I’ll probably want to read it the second it gets here. I’m also pretty excited to discover some new black authors this year, which also leads me to…
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 1)
This was definitely on my list going into 2021, and then I read a post that described it as “Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada” and I knew I absolutely HAD to read it. Clearly, I have to wait a while because this won’t be coming out until June, but I’m still very excited. It is a workplace thriller (which I am just now learning is a thing) about two black women working in the same office. A series of “uncomfortable events” results in one of them being elevated above the other. And then the threatening messages start and things get crazy. Or so the synopsis says. I already can’t wait to get to this.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (May 25)
One author I have absolutely fallen in love with over the past few years is Taylor Jenkins Reid. I actually met her at the Casey McQuiston event. She said I had cool glasses and I told her she made me cry at work (I thought it was a good idea to read Evelyn Hugo on my lunch break). This one takes place in the same universe as Evelyn Hugo – it actually takes place at Mick Riva’s house. Which is kind of cool. But it does kind of give me more Daisy Jones vibes, so I’m really curious to see what this one is about. Also, TJR books are the only ones my book club universally likes, so maybe this will be an excuse to get together again this year.
Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (April 6)
Helen Oyeyemi is kind of a three-star author for me. I’ve read two of her books (Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox), and thought they were both just good (not great). Which is fine. Because even though I don’t love them, I do really enjoy how weird they are. And it’s been a while, so I thought maybe I’d give this one a shot. Also, this takes place on a creepy sleeper train and involves a pet mongoose, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (January 19)
Finally, we have the newest book by Nnedi Okorafor. I loved Binti, but haven’t yet read anything else by her. And this one just seems the most up my alley. The protagonist is the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. It’s a little bit fantasy, a little bit sci-fi, and seems pretty dark. Which sounds amazing. It’s also fairly short, and it always blows me away what Nnedi Okorafor can do in under two-hundred pages. Seriously, Binti felt as intricate as any five-hundred page sci-fi novel I’ve ever read and it is literally less than a hundred pages long. So good!
If it wasn’t obvious yet, I am pretty excited for all of these books. I’m looking forward to discovering new authors and reading some old favorites this year. What new 2021 releases are you most looking forward to?
Come back next week to see which new nonfiction releases are on my radar for this year! There are some good ones!