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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 Sally Rooney, along with an invitation into the lives of prominent figures like Senator Mazie K. Hirono in Heart of Fire and the late Supreme Court Justice 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.

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'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

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'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

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'The Prophets' by Robert Jones, Jr.

Robert Jones, Jr.'s debut novel, The Prophets, is a queer love story centered on two enslaved men, Isaiah and Samuel, who live together on a plantation in the Deep South—forced to confront oppression, betrayal, and ultimately, the threat of their existence.  

Available January 5, 2021

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'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

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'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

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'Aftershocks' by Nadia Owusu

Nadia Owusu's gripping memoir helps readers struggling with their own identity feel seen through Owusu's recount of her unstable childhood, family secrets, and depression that eventually lead to her self-discovery. 

Available January 12, 2021

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'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

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'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

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'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 from Vice President Kamala Harris who knows a thing or two about winning. 

Available January 12, 2021

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'Shipped' by Angie Hockman

When a workaholic marketing manager and a remote social media manager (who are both up for the same promotion!) are forced to go on a company cruise together, they discover that their virtual love/hate relationship may not include much hate in real life after all. 

Available January 19, 2021

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'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

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'The Ex Talk' by Rachel Lynn Solomon

If you happen to love a good romance and NPR, look no further than Rachel Lynn Solomon's The Ex Talk

Available January 26, 2021

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'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

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'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

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'Surviving the White Gaze' by Rebecca Carroll

In Surviving the White Gaze, cultural critic Rebecca Carroll reflects on her childhood growing up Black in a white rural New Hampshire town and how she forged her path as a Black woman in America.

Available February 2, 2021

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'Milk Blood Heat' by Dantiel W. Moniz

If you're obsessed with Florida, Dantiel W. Moniz's Milk Blood Heat uses the state as a backdrop to tell compelling stories of ordinary people in this memorable debut. 

Available February 2, 2021

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'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

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'Fake Accounts' by Lauren Oyler

Allow Lauren Oyler to take you on a wild ride in Fake Accounts, where a woman discovers her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist. Believe it or not, that's only the beginning.

Available February 2, 2021

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'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

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'Do Better' by Rachel Ricketts

Rachel Ricketts's 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

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'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 2, 2021

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'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

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'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

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'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

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'Professional Troublemaker' by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

If you've been consumed with imposter syndrome or, frankly, anything that's been holding you back in life, allow New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones to help you tackle that fear through her signature wit and refreshing honesty.

Available March 2, 2021

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'Infinite Country' by Patricia Engel

Patricia Engel's Infinite Country takes readers into the lives of a Columbian family who has immigrated to the U.S. and is forced to weigh the all-too-familiar struggle of risking deportation or willingly returning to the very country they decided to flee from. 

Available March 2, 2021

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'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

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'Black Girl, Call Home' by Jasmine Mans

Jasmine Mans's highly-anticipated poetry collection, Black Girl, Call Home, beautifully illustrates what it's like to be a queer Black woman in America. 

Available March 9, 2021

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'Act Your Age, Eve Brown' by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert's third book in the Brown Sisters series focuses on the unpredictable Eve Brown and the unexpected love she finds at the bed and breakfast she interviewed as a chef for. She may or may not have also ~ accidentally ~ hit the owner with her car, but we'll leave the rest of that story for the book. 

Available March 9, 2021

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'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

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