46 Top Reads for 2021 | Book Pulse

Vulture previews 46 top reads for 2021, including The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee, and The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Wiley has acquired open access publisher Hindawi for $298 million. Danez Smith reviews The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. for the NYT. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is getting buzz, with a review in the L.A. Times and interviews in Vulture and Kirkus. Plus, Shelf Awareness has a look at how the chaos in Washington, D.C. impacted bookstores there.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Book Lists

Vulture previews 46 of the best books coming out this year

The Canada Reads 2021 longlist is out.

The January and February Loanstars list is up.

Tor.com looks at "Five Recent Books Featuring Superpowered Characters."

CrimeReads rounds up "The Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2021."

Amazon lists 5 wellness books released in January.

Refinery29 offers "12 Self-Improvement Books."

Lit Hub suggests 5 books on climate change.

Shelf Awareness previews new books coming out next week.

GMA offers "16 January reads for the new year."

Barbara Hoffert has new Prepub Alert columns in LJ

Jodi Picoult shares her favorite recent reads with Amazon.

New Title Bestsellers 

Links for the week: NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers | NYT Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers | USA Today Best-Selling Books


The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict (Sourcebooks Landmark) is No. 8 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.

Hush-Hush by Stuart Woods (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin) debuts at No. 14 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list and No. 5 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.


Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May (Riverhead: Penguin) takes No. 13 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list.


The NYT Audio Fiction top bestseller for January is Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline (Random House Audio). The No. 1 Audio Nonfiction for January is A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Random House Audio).


The L.A. Times reviews Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (One World: Random House): "that rare social comedy in which the author cuts people up not to judge them, but to show how we fail to fit together."

The NYT has a review from Danez Smith of The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (G.P. Putnam's Sons: Penguin; LJ starred review): "These short, lyric-driven chapters struck me as instructive and redemptive attempts at healing historical wounds, tracing a map back to the possibility of our native, queer, warrior Black selves. These voices are Black collective knowledge given shape, the oral tradition speaking in your face and setting you right." Also reviewed is W-3 by Bette Howland (A Public Space): "Howland isn’t interested in redemption or instruction — but something more elusive."

NPR reviews Outlawed by Anna North (Bloomsbury: Macmillan): "For all the ways North ingeniously stretches the limits of the genre, she's also clearly a fan."

Book Marks picks “5 Reviews You Need to Read This Week.”

Briefly Noted

Wiley has acquired open access publisher Hindawi for $298 million.

From Shelf Awareness, "D.C. Stores Shut Early After Yesterday's Insurrection and Rioting." 

Tor.com has an excerpt from The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon (Bloomsbury: Macmillan).

Angry Robot acquired the rights to The Augmented Stars, a new novella collection by Tim Pratt. The Bookseller reports.

The Rumpus speaks with Emily Hashimoto about A World Between (The Feminist Press at CUNY).

Vulture has a profile of Torrey Peters, Detransition, Baby (One World: Random House). Kirkus also has an interview with Peters.

Ethan Kross discusses Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It (Crown: Random House) with the Wall Street Journal.

"I had experienced racism in other places but there’s something very particular about the experience here. It was much worse in reality than what I had learned in school, and it was often very upsetting," says Nadia Owusu, Aftershocks (S. & S.), in an interview with the L.A. Times.

The NYT profiles Gabriel Byrne, Walking with Ghosts (Grove). Its "Inside the List" column features Ernest Cline, Ready Player Two (Random House).

Jamie Harrison, The Center of Everything (Counterpoint: Penguin), is in conversation with Thomas McGuane in Lit Hub.

The New Yorker features W-3 by Bette Howland (A Public Space).

Entertainment Weekly interviews Brad Taylor, American Traitor (William Morrow: HarperCollins).

Pamela N. Harris talks with Shondaland about what inspired her when writing When You Look Like Us (Quill Tree: HarperCollins).

The NYT takes a look at the flaw in the H.G. Wells commemorative coin recently issued in Britain.

Additional obituaries for Eric Jerome Dickey come from the NYT, The Washington Post, Shondaland, and NPR.

Authors on Air 

Lil Nas X, C Is for Country (Random House Books for Young Readers), will be on The View today.

Susie Boniface, Bluffer's Guide To Journalism: Instant Wit and Wisdom (Haynes) talks with the We Have Ways of Making You Talk podcast about WWII.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing