From mystery-thriller fiction to inspiring non-fiction, there have been some great new releases in 2021. But as always, choosing the best reads for your book clubs can be time-consuming.
So I have gone ahead and chosen the top new books for the 2021 book club reading list. The list includes bestselling new books from fantasy fiction, romance and memoirs.
Most anticipated novels that tell epic tales along with unforgettable characters that you will lead to heated discussion in your reading group.
32 recommended books that came out in 2021 for book groups. Grab these best new books immediately to get started with an engaging discussion in your book clubs.
Best historical fiction 2021
This fascinating debut novel is set in 18th century London and follows Nella, a female apothecary who secretly sells the poison for women to use on brutal men. But when the twelve-year-old Eliza comes to get the poison on behalf of her employer, their fate is jeopardized.
Years later, it’s historian Caroline’s turn to find out what really happened to the mysterious apothecary from two hundred years ago.
A spellbinding tale of murder, poison and revenge. One of the most Anticipated book club books of 2021
“In The Lost Apothecary, Sarah Penner convincingly weaves three heroines and two timelines into one tale of poison, revenge, and the silent network of women helping other women in a world stacked against them…. A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress
The riveting novel is set in two timelines- Paris during the Nazi occupation during World War II and Montana in 1983. Odile Souchet was a librarian at an American library in Paris until Germany invaded the city.
However, along with fellow librarians, Odile continues to fight for her country and helps people find solace in literature.
Forty years later in Montana, Odile develops an extraordinary bond with a lonely teenager, Lily. A captivating novel for your book club reading.
“A fresh take on WWII France that will appeal to bibliophiles everywhere. I fell in love with Odile and Lily, with their struggles and triumphs, from the very first page. Meticulously researched, The Paris Library is an irresistible, compelling read.” — Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls
A stunning World War II story that concentrates on three women from different backgrounds, who carry distinctive personalities and develop a close friendship while working for the British allied code-breaking operation during the second world war.
However, soon after, they tear apart by secrets and disloyalty. An immersive historical fiction for your book club.
Readers: Prepare to be swept away by The Rose Code. A richly deserved tribute to the WWII codebreakers of Bletchley Park, Kate Quinn’s latest novel is a tour de force. Exhaustive research, vibrant characters, and pulse-pounding suspense combine in a riveting tale destined to be a book club favorite. I absolutely loved it.” — Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday
Band of Sisters is a fascinating tale of a group of women from Smith College who set forth to France in order to help the French civilians.
Once graduated from Smith, Kate is working hard to earn a living. She was too busy to even write frequently to her best friend from college, Emmeline. But when Emme begged her to join the Smith Relief Unit, she reluctantly agreed to sail to France along with other eighteen women.
However, wartime in Paris was nothing like they ever imagined. An inspiring tale of courage and bravery.
“A compelling tale of love, resilience, expectations, bravery, and above all, the powerful, redemptive bonds of female friendship.” — Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names
Inspired by the survival story of bookshops during the Blitz, “The Last Bookshop in London” is an enduring story of love and literature. When Grace Bennett moved to London with her best friend Viv, everything was about to change.
Soon after Grace finds a job in a bookstore even though she has never read a book in her life. But when the war is announced she discovers a sudden urge to immerse herself in literature and serve the country as an ARP warden.
An uplifting novel that shows how people can find solace in books even in the darkest times.
“The Last Bookshop in London is an irresistible tale which showcases the transformative power of literacy, reminding us of the hope and sanctuary our neighborhood bookstores offer during the perilous trials of war and unrest.”
–Kim Michele Richardson, New York Times-bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
The New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s new novel portrays a realistic and heartbreaking historical fiction set in 1930s Texas.
The story follows Elsinore who becomes the daughter-in-law of Martinellis in the most unforeseen circumstances. Elsa lives a whole new life with Martinellis on the farmland.
However, as the great depression hits the state, she is forced to leave her beloved farm to protect her family. Epic Story of survival, courage and sacrifice worth reading in your book club.
“The Four Winds seems eerily prescient in 2021 . . . Its message is galvanizing and hopeful: We are a nation of scrappy survivors. We’ve been in dire straits before; we will be again. Hold your people close.”―The New York Times
These Tangled Vines is a heart-wrenching romantic novel set in the background of picturesque Tuscany. Fiona Bell has been hiding her mother’s secret even since Lilian revealed it on her deathbed.
But when she gets an unexpected call from the Lawyer she is forced to travel to Tuscany, to meet her half-siblings and take over the huge inheritance from her biological father.
An emotional tale worth discussing in your book club.
“Rich descriptions and attention to detail will have you living and breathing the Tuscan air, and the tangled vines of truth and lies will have you questioning what is right and wrong. I recommend you curl up with a glass of Italian wine and savour every page.” ―Donna Alward, New York Times bestselling author
The New York Times bestselling author, Kristin Harmel’s new novel is a coming-of-age story of a young woman, who was stolen from her wealthy German parents.
Yona was two years old when Jerusza kidnapped her. Later, for the next twenty years, the old woman teaches the little girl everything about how to survive in the wilderness alone. That’s how Yona when she meets a group of Jewish in the wild, was able to do everything for them.
A breathtakingly beautiful novel to read in your book club.
“What a triumph! Not since Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers, have I read such a spellbinding and immersive tale of a people’s will to survive.” — Stephanie Dray, NYT Bestselling author of The Women of Chateau Lafayette
One of the most anticipated debut novels of 2021, The Seed Keeper spans over generations and follows several Dakota women.
The book opens with the story of Rosalie Iron Wing, who after being widowed leaves the family farm and returns to her childhood cabin to find out more about her own family and community.
A monumental debut to read in your book club.
“In chapters that shift among the perspectives of four Dakhóta women―including Rosalie’s great-aunt, who grew plants because the seeds in her pocket were ‘all that’s left of my family’―Wilson tracks Rosalie’s attempts to understand her family and her roots, and considers how memory cultivates a sense of connection to the land.” ―New Yorker
Set in 1980s Malibu, the story revolves around the annual summer party of the prominent Riva siblings- Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit. The story shifts between the 1950s and 1980s, between the history of their parent’s relationship and the lives of each Riva sibling.
An enthralling novel to discuss in your book club
“There’s an impeccable sense of balance in Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Malibu Rising, a natural order in which every action meets its equal and opposite reaction. . . . Reid’s sense of pacing is sublime as she introduces and dispenses with a revolving door of characters to approximate the chaos of a rager where sloshed A-listers couple up in the closets and waiters pass trays of cocaine.”—The Washington Post
Best mystery and thriller books 2021
This addictive mystery thriller focuses on family and love, told in two timelines. The story follows Hanna Hall. She is living with her husband Owen and step-daughter, Bailey. One day Hanna gets a note from her husband which said “Protect her”. Later she learns that Owen has disappeared. She has no clue about what exactly the note meant. So she decides to find answers on her own.
A gripping action-packed tale you don’t want to miss.
“Laura Dave is a master storyteller. Gripping, big-hearted and twisty, The Last Thing He Told Me grabs readers from the very first page and never let’s go.” — Greer Hendricks, New York Times best-selling co-author of The Wife Between Us and You Are Not Alone
This instant New York Times bestseller takes us to Blythe’s life. She has had a traumatic childhood. Both her mother and grandmother had problems in their motherhood which makes Blythe doubtful about her own role as a mother. When her daughter Violet is born, the same thought disturbs her. Later on, she finds her daughter unlovable.
Awesome book for fans of psychological thrillers.
“Starkly original and compulsively readable, Ashley Audrain’s THE PUSH is a deep dive into the darkest nooks and crannies of motherhood. Raw, visceral, and often disturbing, this is an intense psychological drama that will be embraced by serious book clubs and fans of Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin.”
— Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author
This twisty dynamic thriller follows Nella Rogers, an editorial assistant at Wagner Books, the only black girl at the office. Her initial enthusiasm to bring diversity and change at her workplace was lessened once she realized her efforts are going nowhere. However, when the firm hired Hazel, she is delighted to meet another black girl; But soon the acquaintance turns to jealousy.
Indeed an essential reading for your book clubs
“Witty, inventive, and smart, The Other Black Girl goes deeper to take on class privilege, race, and gender in a narrative that slyly plays along the edges of convention. Zakiya Dalila Harris’s debut is a brilliant combustion of suspense, horror, and social commentary that leaves no assumption unchallenged and no page unturned.” — WALTER MOSLEY, internationally bestselling author of Devil in a Blue Dress
This is a suspenseful story created by the inspiration of the classic novel ‘Jane Eyre’. It depicts the life of Jane, who is a professional dog walker. A woman of big dreams, she always wanted to be rich in her life. Fortunately, her fate changes at the time she meets Eddie Rochester, a widower, who lost his wife in an accident. As their relationship grows she is disturbed by thoughts of his former wife and whether they had any secrets as she had in her past.
“Hawkins delivers a sharp, fresh twist on a classic in this darkly funny, suspenseful story of murder, ambition, and love. Creepy and fast-paced, The Wife Upstairs kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the very last.” ––Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author
This instant New York Times bestseller is about Rose and Fern, non-identical twins who have been extremely close despite their distinct personalities. Rose is an interior designer and Fern is a librarian. Told from two different perspectives, The Good Sister is a mix of psychological thriller and family drama.
A compelling and unputdownable read.
“Hepworth’s latest further solidifies her place among the top domestic suspense authors…Fern is drawn as smart, capable, and probably on the spectrum, and she is multilayered and relatable, illustrating Hepworth’s talent for page-turners with depth.“— Booklist
Top Light & Fun novels 2021
This sparkling adorable novel is about two polar opposite best friends- Alex and Poppy. As best pals from college, they always take the summer vacation together. However, due to unexpected events they didn’t talk for years. But poppy suggests one last trip to save their friendship. The story takes us to both their present and past summer trips.
A gorgeous book club read for rom-com fans.
“Emily Henry is my newest automatic-buy author, and People We Meet on Vacation is the perfect getaway: a heartfelt, funny, tender escape that you wish could last forever.”—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Two Ways
An incredibly charming novel of romance and fake relationships. Daisy is a software engineer who is not very keen on making any kind of relationship with people. But when her family wants her to get married soon, her childhood crush is the only option. But it’s not so easy as she has a bitter memory of him during her prom.
An incredibly charming novel for your book clubs.
“Outrageously funny, meltingly hot and tender, and wrapped up in heartwarming community, this book will warm you in the best ways. Daisy and Liam are just the kind of sexy joyful magic we need in the world right now.”—Sonali Dev, author of Recipe for Persuasion
Act Your Age, Eve Brown is the third book of the Brown Sisters series. This story follows the flightiest sister, Eve Brown. Eve always ended up in chaos. She always flew from one job to another, but this time not for long. Her parents want her to prove to them that she is capable of looking after her own. That’s when she lands a new job at a B&B. Will she be able to cope with her new grumpy boss?
An unpredictable love story that you wouldn’t be able to stop discussing at your book club.
“I love getting lost in a story that I cannot put down—and even better if it involves a lot of laughter and swooning. Talia Hibbert always delivers and her books are the perfect material for a beach trip or a pick-me-up. She’s unputdownable, every time.” — Taylor Jenkins Reid
Rosaline Palmer is a bisexual, single mom and gifted baker. She is trying hard to provide for her daughter. When she gets a chance to compete in the nation’s most celebrated baking show, she hopes her financial problem will be solved soon. However, as always, things just don’t go as planned.
Utterly engaging story of self-love and family.
“Every once in a while you read a book that you want to SCREAM FROM ROOFTOPS about. I’m screaming, people!”―Sonali Dev, USA Today bestselling author, on Boyfriend Material
Maddison Goldbloom has always loved weddings since childhood. Now she is living her dream life as a wedding dress designer, dating the handsome paediatrician. Just as everything is going pretty well the devil shows up. Her super-rich ex-boyfriend whom she dated for six months. Now he asks a favour she would never have imagined, to become a fake fiancee.
A charming second-chance romance of love, loss and finding the perfect man.
“Shen has created believable character arcs for her captivating protagonists, and the plot provides a terrifically smart twist on the fake-fiancé trope. Fans of Jennifer Weiner may enjoy this sexy contemporary romance.” —Booklist
The debut novel follows Catalina Martin, a 28-year old, who works in New York. When her sister announces her wedding, it’s Catalina time to panic as she has to find a new boyfriend in weeks’ time to go with her to the wedding in Spain. Her only option is Aaron Blackford, the guy who irritates her every now and then.
A delightful enemies-to-lovers story for your book club.
“Absorbing from the very first page and heartwarming to the very last one.”- Bestselling author Ella Maise
Guncle is a hilarious tale of a retired sitcom star, Patrick. After losing the love of his love to a car accident, he leads an isolated life with occasional socializing. When he learns that his best friend and brother’s wife, Zara, passed away, he is forced to bring her two little kids to his house. After all how hard that can be to look after two kids!
An endearing novel perfect for light reading.
“A joyous Auntie Mame spritz! A reading pleasure; pour yourself a tall glass and enjoy, preferably poolside. You deserve it!” –Andrew Sean Greer, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Less
Dial A for Aunties is a hilarious romance novel that includes an accidental murder and family bonding. When Meddelin Chan accidentally kills her blind date, it’s her mother and aunts who help her get rid of it. Set in the background of the Chinese-Indonesian heritage and traditions, this novel will take you back and forth between nervousness and excitement.
“It’s a high-wire act of comic timing, misunderstandings, romantic foibles and possibly foiled heists…The glue is Meddeline, endearing, capable and in full thrall to her elders, who are all absolute hoots to keep company with.”—The New York Times Book Review
The New York Times bestselling author of “The Unhoneymooners” new novel is about a single mom Jessica Davis, a hardworking freelance statistician. When she and her best friend Fizzy learn about a new DNA-based matchmaking company they decide to give it a go. To her surprise, Jess’ DNA is compatible with the company’s founder.
A delightful book that will keep you engaged throughout.
“Writing duo and reigning romance queens Christina Lauren are back with The Soulmate Equation, their most ambitious book to date.” -(POPSUGAR)
New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon’s third novel follows eighteen-year-old, Evie. Ever since her parents are divorced she doesn’t believe in love. She feels that all great love stories have to end in broken hearts. When she meets X, her dance partner, she begins to ponder her opinion about “love”.
An irresistible love story that you wouldn’t be able to put down.
“Evie’s, and Yoon’s, musings on life and love will be appreciated by Y.A. readers of all ages.” —New York Times
Best new memoirs 2021
The New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson, writes an exciting memoir that will take you on an emotional roller coaster. As someone who suffers from depression, Jenny takes readers to her mental and physical journey, sprinkled with humorous anecdotes and tales.
A brilliantly written memoir for your book clubs.
“A new book from Jenny Lawson is always cause for celebration, and Broken is the party of the year. Even better: it’s a party that socially-anxious introverts can enjoy from the solitary comfort of their own couches, beds, cars, or closet floors buried under a pile of blankets and/or cats. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? I loved it. And if you like laughing and weirdness and honesty and―most of all―feeling seen, you will love it too.” ―Sarah Knight, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k
Suleika Jaouad, in her heartbreaking memoir, describes living in two kingdoms- the Kingdom of wellness and sickness. How she fought the very best to win her life back that has been swallowed by cancer. Her story will resonate with anyone who has to accept living in the most unplanned circumstances.
A captivating book about survival and finding a new life.
“When the life we had is snatched away, how do we find the conviction to live another? Between Two Kingdoms will resonate with anyone who is living a different life than they planned to live. This is a propulsive, soulful story of mourning and gratitude—and an intimate portrait of one woman’s sojourn in the wilderness between life and death.”—Tara Westover, author of Educated
Somebody’s Daughter is a profoundly moving memoir by Ashely Ford. A complex life story about her father whom she considers the only person who understands her. However, she has only faint memories of him as he is in prison. Ashely provides a brilliant coming-of-age story, from growing up poor to becoming the first generation of college student, utterly radiant life story worth the discussion in the book club.
“Ashley C. Ford’s wrenchingly brilliant memoir is truly a classic in the making. Ford’s writing is so richly observed and so suffused with love and yearning that I kept forgetting to breathe while reading it.” ―John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author
The Ghanian, Armenian-American writer, Nadia Owusu’s new book is a poetic memoir. Having grown up in different countries she has struggled with her identity. When her Armenian mother abandoned her at the age of two, she grew up with her father and stepmother.
A powerful autobiography that explores selfhood and belongingness.
“Nadia Owusu’s Aftershocks bleeds honesty. It is a majestically rendered telling of all the history, hurt and loves a body can contain. A wonderful work of art made of so many stories and histories it is bursting with both harshness and perseverance. An incredible debut.”—NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH, author of New York Times bestseller Friday Black
In her memoir, activist Laura Coleman shares her life in a wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia. She narrates how the puma, Wayra became her close companion for life. The incredible journey that changed her life forever. The book also specifies how deforestation and climate change affect the wildlife habitat of the Amazon.
A compelling story of courage and self-discovery.
“Impassioned, honest, unexpected and often very funny. A book about being consumed by the wild, in all its difficulty and damage, with a vivid cast of humans and animals.” —Nick Hunt, author of Where The Wild Winds Are
Best sci-fi and fantasy books
From the author of The Martian comes another thrilling science fiction. The novel starts with Ryland Grace waking up from his induced coma in a spaceship. He hasn’t the slightest idea about what’s going on except that he has been sleeping for a very very long time. With the corpses of his colleague and the vague memories of his past, it’s up to him to save the Earth from extinction.
A compelling book club read.
“Andy Weir proves once again that he is a singular talent. Project Hail Mary is so fascinating and propulsive that it’s downright addictive. From the first page as Ryland wakes up not knowing who or where he is, I was hooked.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six
The Witch’s Heart is a fascinating novel that brings in epic tales from Norse Mythology. Angrboda is a witch who is banished by Odin to live in solitude. Later, she is found by the trickster Loki and falls in love with him.
A spellbinding tale of a powerful witch and a devoted mother.
“The Witch’s Heart is a unique novel that transforms the faceless names of an epic tale into living, breathing, sympathetic characters. With a witty and spirited protagonist, this book will surprise and delight from beginning to end.”—Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches and The Age of Witches
Are you excited to get started with NEW Books from 2021?
What titles have you already enjoyed reading in 2021?
Let me know in the comments,
Always curious to hear from you,