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The 2021 Book Releases to Pre-Order and Thank Yourself Later

best books 2021
Design By Morgan McMullen

The only good thing about 2020 was the books, and now it's time to look forward to an exciting batch of 2021 releases. In 2021, expect a brilliant mix of fiction from bestselling authors like Morgan Jerkins and Emily Henry, along with an invitation into the lives of prominent figures like Senator Mazie Hirono in Heart of Fire and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue. Ahead, our running list of the most anticipated books of 2021 to pre-order today and thank yourself later.

1 of 29
'The Push' By Ashley Audrain

If you're looking for a psychological drama about motherhood, Ashley Audrain's The Push takes readers inside the mind of main character Blythe who questions her relationship with her daughter when she's born, forcing her to eventually confront some truths about herself. 

Available January 5, 2021

2 of 29
'One of the Good Ones' By Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

When teen activist Kezi Smith is killed after attending a social justice rally, her family is left to wonder what it actually means to be "one of the good ones."

Available January 5, 2021

3 of 29
'Black Buck' By Mateo Askaripour

Twenty-two-year-old Darren seemingly goes from a Starbucks employee to a ruthless salesperson at an NYC tech startup overnight, becoming unrecognizable to his family. After tragedy strikes, he turns his grief into action by devising a plan to help young people of color enter America's salesforce and achieve the "American dream."

Available January 12, 2021

4 of 29
'Detransition, Baby' By Torrey Peters

When Reese's girlfriend Amy decides to detransition and become "Ames," Reese finds herself engaging in self-destructive behavior. Things get even more complicated when Ames impregnates his boss and lover, Katrina. Alas, it gives him a chance to decide whether this is an opportunity to have both Reese and Katrina in his life.

Available January 12, 2021

5 of 29
'You Have a Match' By Emma Lord

Tweet Cute author Emma Lord returns with You Have a Match, where main character Abby finds out that she has a secret sister who she decides to meet at summer camp. Expect some juicy drama to follow. 

Available January 12, 2021

6 of 29
'Concrete Rose' By Angie Thomas

Fans of The Hate U Give will be excited to learn Angie Thomas' second book in the series, Concrete Rose, takes readers to Garden Heights 17 years before the events in the first novel. 

Available January 12, 2021

7 of 29
'Run to Win' By Stephanie Schriock and Christina Reynolds

In Run to WinEMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock and VP of Communications Christina Reynolds create a guide on how to run for office and win. It includes a foreword by Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris who knows a thing or two about winning. 

Available January 12, 2021

8 of 29
'Let Me Tell You What I Mean' By Joan Didion

Readers who have been longing for new Joan Didion will be thrilled to learn she's publishing 12 previously uncollected essays in Let Me Tell You What I Mean.

Available January 26, 2021

9 of 29
'The Girls I've Been' By Tess Sharpe

Soon to be a Netflix film starring Millie Bobby Brown, The Girls I've Been centers on Nora, the daughter of a con woman, who is caught in a bank heist and determined to get herself, her girlfriend, and her ex/best friend out safely...no matter what it takes. 

Available January 26, 2021

10 of 29
'Girl A' By Abigail Dean

Behold: a psychological novel about a girl who escapes captivity, and later finds herself at the very place she escaped from—forced to confront her identity as "Girl A." 

Available February 2, 2021

11 of 29
'This Close to Okay' By Leesa Cross-Smith

In This Close to Okay, Leesa Cross-Smith tells the story of recently-divorced therapist Tallie Clark, who spots a man named Emmett on a bridge who's seemingly trying to end his life. As they learn more about each other (the book is told in alternating perspectives), Tallie chooses not to tell him she's a therapist. Instead, they have to learn the truth about each other—and themselves—the hard way.

Available February 2, 2021

12 of 29
'My Year Abroad' By Chang-Rae Lee

When Pong Lou, a Chinese American entrepreneur, takes Tiller, an average American college student, with him on a trip across Asia, his perspective on life is forever changed. 

Available February 2, 2021

13 of 29
'Do Better' By Rachel Ricketts

Rachel Ricketts' Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy addresses anti-racism from a spiritually-aligned perspective, providing readers with a guidebook on how to fight racial injustice and white supremacy from the inside out.

Available February 2, 2021

14 of 29
'The Kindest Lie' By Nancy Johnson

Nancy Johnson's The Kindest Lie finds main character, Ruth, back in her hometown that's plagued with racism and despair during the 2008 financial crisis. There she befriends Midnight, a young white boy who helps her uncover secrets from her past. 

Available February 9, 2021

15 of 29
'Kink' Edited By R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell

Featuring an incredible roster of writers, Kink is a short fiction collection that explores love, lust, BDSM, and more, edited by bestselling author R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell.  

Available February 9, 2021

16 of 29
'Sparks Like Stars' By Nadia Hashimi

In Sparks Like Stars, Sitara Zamani is transported to a new American life after communists staged a coup in her home of Afghanistan, assassinating the president and her entire family. Forty years later, she encounters the soldier who saved her (and may have been responsible for her family's death), prompting her to return to the country for answers. 

Available March 2, 2021

17 of 29
'My Inner Sky' By Mari Andrew

There's something about Mari Andrew's words and illustrations that make you feel at home. My Inner Sky reminds readers of the shared grief, joy, and sorrow that we experience throughout life—and how to cope with it.

Available March 2, 2021

18 of 29
'How Beautiful We Were' By Imbolo Mbue

When the fictional African village of Kosawa is being destroyed by an American oil company, the people residing in the village decide to fight back, prepared for the consequences that they'll face. 

Available March 9, 2021

19 of 29
'Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue' By Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Amanda L. Tyler

In Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue, readers will learn even more details about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's family life and lifelong career fighting for gender equality. The book was heading into production around the time of RBG's death. 

Available March 16, 2021

20 of 29
'The Beauty of Living Twice' By Sharon Stone

In The Beauty of Living Twice, actress and humanitarian Sharon Stone reflects on how she rebuilt her life after a massive stroke that altered her family, love, and career. 

Available March 30, 2021 

21 of 29
'Caul Baby' By Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins' first work of fiction is about a woman named Laila, desperate to become a mother, who's in search of a caul from an old and powerful family in Harlem known as the Melancons. What follows is a deep search for familial connection after Laila's niece, Amara, gives birth to a child named Hallow that she gives to the Melancons to raise. When Hallow and Amara cross paths years later, Hallow must decide where she truly belongs.

Available April 6, 2021

22 of 29
'Heart of Fire' By Mazie K. Hirono

Mazie Hirono, the first Asian-American woman and the only immigrant serving in the U.S. Senate, shares her inspiring journey growing up in rural Japan and eventually becoming one of the most influential members of Congress.

Available April 6, 2021

23 of 29
'Peaces' By Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi, bestselling author of Gingerbread, returns with another magical storyline. This time, in Peaces, a couple finds themselves on a sleeper train that turns out to be anything but ordinary. 

Available April 6, 2021

24 of 29
'Aquarium' By Yaara Shehori

Yaara Shehori's debut centers on two deaf sisters, Lili and Dori Ackerman, raised by deaf parents who refuse to let them interact with anything or anybody in the world of hearing. That is, until they suddenly find themselves in it and are forced to relearn everything they've been taught. 

Available April 13, 2021

25 of 29
'People We Meet on Vacation' By Emily Henry

If you enjoyed Emily Henry's Beach Read, you'll appreciate People We Meet on Vacation—a novel about two best friends, Alex and Poppy, whose annual vacation ritual is halted after they've stopped speaking. And yet, somehow they convince each other to go on one final seven-day vacation together in an attempt to make it right. 

Available May 11, 2021

26 of 29
'While Justice Sleeps' By Stacey Abrams

There seems to be nothing Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams can't do, and that includes writing a compelling thriller. Ever so timely, While Justice Sleeps centers on Avery Keene, a young clerk for the fictional Justice Howard Wynn, who becomes his legal guardian and power of attorney when he slips into a coma. When Avery discovers the justice has been secretly researching a controversial case, she's propelled on a quest for the truth while Washington attempts to replace the justice. 

Available May 25, 2021

27 of 29
'Somebody's Daughter' By Ashley C. Ford

Ashley C. Ford invites us into her world growing up a poor Black girl in search of answers—namely why her father, who she often turns to for hope, is in prison—taking readers on an emotional journey that leads her to discover the truth about his incarceration, and herself, along the way.

Available June 1, 2021

28 of 29
'Filthy Animals' By Brandon Taylor

Hailed as one of 2020's breakout literary stars, scientist-turned-novelist Brandon Taylor is back with Filthy Animals—a collection of connected short stories set in the midwest

Available June 22, 2021

29 of 29
'We Were Never Here' By Andrea Bartz

Andrea Bartz's mystery, We Were Never Here, is about two best friends who are enjoying their annual reunion trip until one of them walks into their hotel room to find the other killed a backpacker in self-defense. A similar incident happened the year prior...was it just a coincidence or something more? 

Available July 13, 2021

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