Your Best of 2021 list, at first glance, looks rather chaotic. I was going to suggest you revisit your titles and streamline them for coherence. But on further inspection I discovered what ties these books together is, for the most part, complete emotional vulnerability. In language loud and soft, in actions exceedingly broad or sometimes so small they barely register as actions, these books all have a magnanimousness of heart. And kissing. This list has a lot of kissing. In conclusion, I am happy to report you have completed all of the requirements for the Best of 2021 list.
Yours in reading,
The team behind the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book Last Stop on Market Street and the award-winning New York Times bestseller Carmela Full of Wishes once again delivers a poignant and timely picture book that's sure to become an instant classic.
An imaginative girl shares some of the wonderful ways she can still show her love to friends and family far, far away. This moving, hopeful picture book is perfect for fans of While We Can’t Hug and Outside, Inside.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
A poignant coming-of-age novel about two best friends whose friendship is tested when they get the opportunity to leave their impoverished small town for an elite prep school. For fans of Looking for Alaska.
"The energy. The clarity. The beauty. Elisabet Velasquez brings it all. . . . Her voice is FIRE!"—New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson
An unforgettable, torrential, and hopeful debut young adult novel-in-verse that redefines what it means to "make it,” for readers of Nicholasa Mohr and Elizabeth Acevedo.
“Second First Impressions is the warmest, coziest, sweetest book of the year, an absolutely perfect blend of humor and heart. I want to live inside Sally Thorne’s brain.” —Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling of Beach Read
*INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
*INSTANT USA TODAY BESTSELLER*
*INSTANT #1 INDIE BESTSELLER*
From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks...
Lady Sophie’s Society Splash
He was supposed to be a myth.
But from the moment I crossed the River Styx and fell under his dark spell...he was, quite simply, mine.
*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Hades and Persephone that's as sinful as it is sweet.*
A piercing howl of a novel and "a tart pleasure...with echoes of Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney," about one young woman’s endless quest for an apartment of her own and the aspirations and challenges faced by the Millennial generation as it finds its footing in the world, from a shockingly talented debut author (Kirkus, starred review).
Winner of the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature, Lana Bastasic's powerful debut novel Catch the Rabbit is an emotionally rich excavation of the complicated friendship between two women in a fractured, post-war Bosnia as they venture into the treacherous terrain of the Balkan wonderlands and their own history.
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s 2021 First Novel Prize • An exquisite new literary voice—wryly funny, nakedly honest, beautifully observational, in the vein of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout—depicts one woman's attempt to keep her four chickens alive while reflecting on a recent loss.
Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and the Washington State Book Award in Biography/Memoir
Named One of the Best Books by Asian American Writers by Oprah Daily
An Post Irish Book Awards Nonfiction Book of the Year - A Guardian Best Book of 2020 - Shortlisted for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize - Longlisted for the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize
Winner of the 2021 National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice
Finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year A Wall Street Journal, Chicago Public Library, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
In this “entertaining mix of social science, memoir, and humor, as if a Daniel Goleman book were filtered through the lens of Will Ferrell” (The New York Times Book Review) a middle-aged man embarks on an entertaining and relatable quest to reprioritize his ties with his buddies and forge new friendships, all while balancing work, marriage, and kids.
At the age of