Books to Read in 2021, Part One
There are many, many new books I look forward to reading in 2021. So many, in fact, that when I began to compile a list of all the books I was looking forward to reading, I realized I would need to break the list down into thirds.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.
Persephone Station by by Stina Leicht
Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.
The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson
A sweeping and utterly spellbinding tale of a young woman’s courage in the face of war and the lengths to which she’ll go to protect those she loves against the most unexpected of enemies.
Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
Award-winning author Aliette de Bodard returns with a powerful romantic fantasy that reads like The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in a pre-colonial Vietnamese-esque world.
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 ed. by Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain
An epoch-defining history of African America, the first to appear in a generation, Four Hundred Souls is a chronological account of four hundred years of Black America as told by ninety of America’s leading Black writers.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.
How to Find a Princess: Runaway Royals by Alyssa Cole
Alyssa Cole’s second Runaway Royals novel is a queer Anastasia retelling, featuring a long-lost princess who finds love with the female investigator tasked with tracking her down.
Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl by Hettie Bel
Poppy Adams doesn’t have a perfect life, and she wasn’t ready for the positive test. An unexpected baby—Poppy’s unexpected baby—won’t exactly have her family doing cartwheels. But she’s making the right choice. Right?
The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees by Douglas W. Tallamy
The Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycles of life, death, and renewal. From woodpeckers who collect and store hundreds of acorns for sustenance to the beauty of jewel caterpillars, Tallamy illuminates and celebrates the wonders that occur right in our own backyards.
Sweethand by N.G.Peltier
After a public meltdown over her breakup from her cheating musician boyfriend, Cherisse swore off guys in the music industry, and dating in general for a while, preferring to focus on growing her pastry chef business …
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working, at an island resort on the California coastline.
Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew?).
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.
The Glitter in the Green: In Search of Hummingbirds by Jon Dunn
An acclaimed natural history writer follows the trail of the remarkable hummingbird all over the world.