New York Times Book Review Reveals Top 10 Books of 2021 | Book Pulse

The New York Times Book Review revealed their top 10 books of the year in a virtual event for subscribers. Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti is the December GMA Book Club pick. More Best of the Year lists arrive. Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan gets reviewed. LJ posts the May 2022 Prepub Alert complete list. Bernardine Evaristo will preside over the Royal Society of Literature. Interviews arrive with Faith Jones, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Mel Brooks, and Mario Vargas Llosa. Stephen Graham Jones’ forthcoming novel, Don't Fear the Reaper is due out in August 2022. Plus, authors Anne Helen Petersen and Charlie Warzel reconsider the future of work. 

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

Book Clubs, Awards, & Best of the Year

Editors at The New York Times Book Review revealed their top 10 books of the year in a virtual event for subscribers.The list will be published later today.  

Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti (Grand Central) is the December GMA Book Club pick

Time releases the 100 must-read books of 2021.

The Chicago Tribune picks its top 10 books of the year. 

Book Page delivers its Best Books of the Year lists.

Merlin Sheldrake wins Royal Society Science Book Prize for Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our FuturesThe Bookseller reports. 


LA Times reviews Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Grove; LJ starred review): “Keegan manages to place her characters and her readers at the center of an essential human dilemma: Will we turn a blind eye to evil in our midst, or will we take some action against it, even if it consists of just one small thing? As Keegan’s concise, capacious new book demonstrates, little acts can lead to real change.”

NYT reviews Looking for the Good War: American Amnesia and the Violent Pursuit of Happiness by Elizabeth D Samet (Farrar): “Her book is therefore a work of unsparing demystification — and there is something hopeful and even inspiring in this. Like the cadets she teaches at West Point, civilians would do well to see World War II as something other than a buoyant tale of American goodness trouncing Nazi evil.” Also, Pilot Impostor by James Hannaham (Soft Skull): “In this playful and varied collection, the novelist James Hannaham…makes use of an unlikely pairing — the works of the Portuguese modernist Fernando Pessoa and the history of plane crashes — to pose knotty questions about contemporary life.” And, The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss (Dial: PRH): “Though slow-moving and often melancholy, The Sisters Sweet is an intimate exploration of sisterhood, identity, ambition and betrayal.”

The Washington Post reviews Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon (Delacorte): "Despite its scope, many of the finest moments are small ones, especially those that depict Claire and Jamie’s enduring love and passion as they enter their 60s. Readers may find themselves choking up as the book nears its cliffhanger ending. It may be another seven years before the next and final Outlander volume, but I’m betting it will be worth the wait." Also, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig (S. & S.): "it’s undeniably thrilling to find words for our strangest feelings. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is most compelling when Koenig casts light into lonely corners of human experience."

The Guardian reviews Renegades: Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama (Crown): “if that person in your life who has everything deserves a reminder of how rock’n’roll can be more moral than its enemies, of how, sometimes, the arc of history bends towards justice a little more noticeably, Renegades will stuff that stocking amply.”

Briefly Noted

LJ posts the May 2022 Prepub Alert complete list.

Bernardine Evaristo will preside over the Royal Society of LiteratureThe Guardian reports.

Salon has a conversation with Faith Jones, Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult (Morrow; LJ starred review), about “leaving a religious cult and re-discovering who she was.”

People talks with Alfonso Ribeiro about whether or not he will read his friend’s memoir, Will, by Will Smith (Penguin Random House).

CrimeReads shares Nick Tosches’ introduction to the new movie-tie in edition of William Lindsay Gresham’s Nightmare Alley (NYRB Classics: PRH), due out next week. Also, Jennifer Chow shares cozy mystery protagonists who travel. Plus, Brianna Cole recommends sexy psychological thrillers.

Bustle explores the question, “Is There A Better Way To Write About Interracial Friendship?” with co-authors of the novel, We Are Not Like Them (Atria), Christine Pride and Jo Piazza.

FoxNews shares details from Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan by Christopher Andersen (Gallery Books).

CrimeReads shares an excerpt from Stephen Graham Jones’ forthcoming novel, Don't Fear the Reaper (Gallery/Saga Pr.), due out in August 2022.

The LA Times has 6 books for December.

LitHub shares 12 books out this week.

Bustle has 10 new books for the week.

Jakucho Setouchi, Buddhist nun and best-selling Japanese author, dies at 99The Washington Post has an obituary.

Authors On Air

NPR’s Morning Edition talks with Cory Woods, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan about his new book, From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan, written with Anthony Bozza (Gallery Books).

Mel Brooks talks to Good Morning America about his remarkable life in show business and his new memoir, All About Me! (Ballantine: Penguin Random House).

NPR’s Book of the Day features Chouette by Claire Oshetsky (Ecco).

NPR has an interview with Mario Vargas Llosa about his new bookHarsh Times, trans. by Adrian Nathan West (Farrar).

Netflix will no longer produce the adaptation of Alice Sebold memoir.  The Guardian reports.

Vox Conversations talks with talks with Anne Helen Petersen and Charlie Warzel, authors of the forthcoming Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home, written (Knopf), about rethinking the role of work in our lives.

LitHub shares a clip of Chadwick Boseman reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.

Vanessa Lachey, Life from Scratch: Family Traditions That Start with You, written with Dina Gachman (HarperOne) will be on with Drew Barrymore tomorrow, and Andy Cohen, Glitter Every Day: 365 Quotes from Women I Love (Holt), will be on The Real.

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