The feeling of ending your favorite book is both sweet and bitter. However, there are plenty of books out there that people wish they could read for the first time. Nothing matches the comfort of finishing a life-changing book that makes you feel all sorts of jitters. An avid book reader’s thirst for books can never be satisfied, and they will always long for more.
If you can relate to even one statement mentioned above, we have your list of 21 books to read in 2021 prepared for you.
Here are some reading jewels that should make your list of books to read in 2021. From romance and comedy to thriller, suspense, and mystery, there is something for every bibliophile to enjoy:
By Joseph Heller
This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction; critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos; and much more.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
Now a Hulu limited series starring Christopher Abbott, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie.
Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.
Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.
Call Me By Your Name
By André Aciman
Now a Major Motion Picture from Director Luca Guadagnino, Starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, and Written by Three-Time Oscar™ Nominee James Ivory
The Basis of the Oscar-Winning Best Adapted Screenplay
A New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
A Vulture Book Club Pick
An Instant Classic and One of the Great Love Stories of Our Time
Andre Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Ficition
By Margaret Wise Brown
In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.
In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.
One of the most beloved books of all time, Goodnight Moon is a must for every bookshelf and a time-honored gift for baby showers and other special events.
By Lauren Oyler
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOIC
A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in this “absolutely brilliant take on the bizarre and despicable ways the internet has warped our perception of reality” (Elle, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year).
On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend’s phone and makes a startling discovery: he’s an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she’s not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she’s relieved–he was always a little distant–and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women’s March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies.
Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can’t trust anyone–shouldn’t the feeling be mutual?
Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.
By Kara Thomas
A Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year Nominee
From the author of The Darkest Corners and Little Monsters comes an all-new edge-of-your-seat thriller set in upstate New York about an eerie sequence of seemingly unrelated events that leaves five cheerleaders dead.
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.
First there was the car accident–two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know his reasons. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they’d lost.
That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget.
Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow, Monica is at the center of it all.
There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.
Life Among the Terranauts
By Caitlin Horrocks
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Following her “marvelous” (Wall Street Journal) first novel, Caitlin Horrocks returns with a much-anticipated collection of short stories. In her signature, genre-defying style, she explodes our notions of what a story can do and where it can take us.
Life Among the Terranauts demonstrates all the inventiveness that won admirers for Horrocks’s first collection. In “The Sleep,” reprinted in Best American Short Stories, residents of a town in the frigid Midwest decide to hibernate through the bitter winters. In the title story, half a dozen people move into an experimental biodome for a shot at a million dollars, if they can survive two years. And in “Sun City,” published in The New Yorker, a young woman meets her grandmother’s roommate in the wake of her death and attempts to solve the mystery of whether the two women were lovers.
The Little Virtues
By Natalia Ginzburg
In this collection of her finest and best-known short essays, Natalia Ginzburg explores both the mundane details and inescapable catastrophes of personal life with the grace and wit that have assured her rightful place in the pantheon of classic mid-century authors. Whether she writes of the loss of a friend, Cesare Pavese; or what is inexpugnable of World War II; or the Abruzzi, where she and her first husband lived in forced residence under Fascist rule; or the importance of silence in our society; or her vocation as a writer; or even a pair of worn-out shoes, Ginzburg brings to her reflections the wisdom of a survivor and the spare, wry, and poetically resonant style her readers have come to recognize.
“A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg’s magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart.’ — The New York Times Book Review
Tamerlane and Other Poems
By Edgar Allan Poe
Tamerlane & Other Poems is Edgar Allan Poe’s first book of poems, and the first book that he published in his lifetime. According to the poet, most of the poems herein were written when he was fourteen.
By Vladimir Nabokov
Awe and exhiliration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.
The Little Prince
By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. Richard Howard’s new translation of the beloved classic–published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s birth–beautifully reflects Saint-Exupéry’s unique and gifted style. Howard has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in color Saint-Exupéry’s original artwork. Harcourt is proud to introduce the definitive English-language edition of The Little Prince. It will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.
Random Acts of Senseless Violence
By Jack Womack
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year: In a dystopian future New York, a girl’s diary chronicles her life as society begins to crumble around her.
Until recently, Lola Hart’s biggest problem was her annoying little sister. Now the twelve-year-old girl’s once comfortable life is slowly falling apart. Her mother is a teacher, but she’s lost her job. Her father is a writer, but no one is buying his scripts. It’s gotten so bad that they can no longer afford their Manhattan apartment or the tuition for Lola’s exclusive private school.
They move to a small apartment near Harlem, and Lola enrolls in public school—but the Harts aren’t alone in their troubles. Riots, fires, TB outbreaks, roaming gangs, and civil unrest have become commonplace, threatening the very fabric of life in New York. In the pages of her diary, Lola documents her family’s attempts to adjust as the city and the country spin out of control.
Throne of Glass series
By Sarah J. Maas
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
By Danielle Geller
A daughter returns home to the Navajo reservation to retrace her mother’s life in a memoir that is both a narrative and an archive of one family’s troubled history.
“This shattering memoir combines image and text to reveal a portrait of home.”—Elle
When Danielle Geller’s mother dies of alcohol withdrawal during an attempt to get sober, Geller returns to Florida and finds her mother’s life packed into eight suitcases. Most were filled with clothes, except for the last one, which contained diaries, photos, and letters, a few undeveloped disposable cameras, dried sage, jewelry, and the bandana her mother wore on days she skipped a hair wash.
Geller, an archivist and a writer, uses these pieces of her mother’s life to try and understand her mother’s relationship to home, and their shared need to leave it. Geller embarks on a journey where she confronts her family’s history and the decisions that she herself had been forced to make while growing up, a journey that will end at her mother’s home: the Navajo reservation.
The Silent Patient
By Alex Michaelides
**THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**
“An unforgettable—and Hollywood-bound—new thriller… A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.”
The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By Rebecca Skloot
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The story of modern medicine and bioethics—and, indeed, race relations—is refracted beautifully, and movingly.”—Entertainment Weekly
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah. Deborah was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Had they killed her to harvest her cells? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Love Me Do: The Beatles’ Progress
By Michael Braun
The #1 best book about the Beatles, according to Rolling Stone magazine, which went on to say “This is as close to a Beatles ride-along as you’ll get.” John Lennon said, “A true book. He wrote how we were, which was bastards.”
The year is 1963 and “Love Me Do” is the Beatles’ first number one hit, closely followed by “Please Please Me”. John, Paul, George and Ringo celebrate their new found success with a hectic six-week tour, briefly interrupted by an historic live appearance at the “Royal Variety Performance” at the London Palladium. This is the beginning of “Beatlemania” and American writer, Mike Braun, is there to chronicle events and watch as the drama unfolds. A year later, The Beatles are the world’s biggest pop group. This book details what really happened in those first magic weeks.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
By Betty Smith
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century.
From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior—such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce—no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Betty Smith has artfully caught this sense of exciting life in a novel of childhood, replete with incredibly rich moments of universal experiences—a truly remarkable achievement for any writer.
The Poisonwood Bible
By Barbara Kingsolver
“A powerful new epic . . . [Kingsolver] has with infinitely steady hands worked the prickly threads of religion, politics, race, sin and redemption into a thing of terrible beauty.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.
By Ian Fleming
In the novel that introduced James Bond to the world, Ian Fleming’s agent 007 is dispatched to a French casino in Royale-les-Eaux. His mission? Bankrupt a ruthless Russian agent who’s been on a bad luck streak at the baccarat table.
One of SMERSH’s most deadly operatives, the man known only as “Le Chiffre,” has been a prime target of the British Secret Service for years. If Bond can wipe out his bankroll, Le Chiffre will likely be “retired” by his paymasters in Moscow. But what if the cards won’t cooperate? After a brutal night at the gaming tables, Bond soon finds himself dodging would-be assassins, fighting off brutal torturers, and going all-in to save the life of his beautiful female counterpart, Vesper Lynd.
Taut, tense, and effortlessly stylish, Ian Fleming’s inaugural James Bond adventure has all the hallmarks that made the series a touchstone for a generation of readers.
The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Young, handsome, and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby seems to have everything. But at his mansion east of New York City, in West Egg, Long Island, where the party never seems to end, he’s often alone in the glittering Jazz Age crowd, watching and waiting, as speculation swirls around him–that he’s a bootlegger, that he was a German spy during the war, that he even killed a man. As writer Nick Carraway is drawn into this decadent orbit, he begins to see beneath the shimmering surface of the enigmatic Gatsby, for whom one thing will always be out of reach: Nick’s cousin, the married Daisy Buchanan, whose house is visible from Gatsby’s just across the bay.
A brilliant evocation of the Roaring Twenties and a satire of a postwar America obsessed with wealth and status, The Great Gatsby is a novel whose power remains undiminished after a century. This edition, based on scholarship dating back to the novel’s first publication in 1925, restores Fitzgerald’s masterpiece to the original American classic he envisioned, and features an introduction addressing how gender, race, class, and sexuality complicate the pursuit of the American Dream.
The Bell Jar
By Slyvia Plath
A realistic and emotional look at a woman battling mental illness and societal pressures written by iconic American writer Sylvia Plath.
“It is this perfectly wrought prose and the freshness of Plath’s voice in The Bell Jar that make this book enduring in its appeal.” — USA Today
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s neurosis becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.