Top 12 most anticipated books of 2021

From fiction to self-help books, here are the latest works of Cassandra Clare, Ransom Riggs, Bill Gates and more

For someone obsessed with reading during her free time, it’s disappointing to admit that I had a really hard time achieving my reading goal in 2020. What’s more embarrassing is that the bar wasn’t that high in the first place—I only aimed to finish at least 30 books, for crying out loud! But for some reason (hint: starts with a “q” and ends with “uarantine fatigue”), I was only able to read 19 books including the works of Kevin Kwan, Mitch Albom and Suzanne Collins. I’m a disgrace to the bibliophile community, I know… Don’t rub it in.

But since 2021 is supposed to be the year of “healing, recovery and bouncing back,” I swore to help myself out of my year-long slump and get my head back in the reading game. So if you plan to do the same, these most anticipated books from some of the world’s most renowned authors may help you kickstart this year’s reading goals. (Prayer circle: Meet and maybe even exceed them by end of the year.)

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

Expected release date: January 2021
Genre: Historical fiction

Books of 2021: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

“From Kristin Hannah, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘The Great Alone,’ comes an epic novel of love, heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihood as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.”

“Beginners: The Power and Pleasure of Lifelong Learner” by Tom Vanderbilt

Expected release date: January 2021
Genre: Nonfiction, self-help

Books of 2021: Beginners: The Power and Pleasure of Lifelong Learner by Tom Vanderbilt

“The best-selling author of ‘Traffic’ and ‘You May Also Like’ now gives us a thought-provoking, playful investigation into the transformative joys that come with starting something new, no matter your age. Why do so many of us stop learning new skills as adults? Are we afraid to be bad at something? Have we forgotten the sheer pleasure of beginning from the ground up? Or is it simply a fact that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Inspired by his young daughter’s insatiable need to know how to do almost everything, Tom Vanderbilt begins a year of learning purely for the sake of learning. He tackles five skills, choosing them for their difficulty to master and their lack of marketability—chess, singing, surfing, drawing, and juggling. What he doesn’t expect is that the circuitous journey he takes while learning these skills will be even more satisfying than any knowledge he gains. He soon finds himself having a rapturous experience singing R.E.M. in an amateur choir, losing games of chess to an eight-year old child, and avoiding scorpions at a surf camp in Costa Rica. Along the way, he explores the fascinating psychology and science behind the benefits of becoming an adult beginner. Through comprehensive research and surprising insight gained from his experiences, Vanderbilt shows how anyone can get better at beginning again. And he shares how his new sense of curiosity opened him up to a profound happiness and a deeper connection to the people around him. Beginners is not a ‘how to do’ book as much as a ‘why to do’ book. It’s about how small acts of reinvention, at any age, can make life seem magical.”

“Chatter: The Voice in Our Head and How to Harness It” by Ethan Kross

Expected release date: January 2021
Genre: Nonfiction, self-help

Books of 2021: Chatter: The Voice in Our Head and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross

“Turn your inner voice from critic to coach.

Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. Our inner voice helps steer us towards our goals, avoid mistakes and reflect on happy moments. Yet just as quickly it can become our enemy, chewing over our missteps and replaying our daily embarrassments. Before we know it, our thoughts are being hijacked by constant, negative ‘chatter’.

So how does this inner voice, so powerful and wise, turn into our biggest critic? And how can we take back control?

These are the questions one of the world’s foremost experts on the conscious mind set out to answer twenty years ago, when he started on an audacious mission—to study the conversations we have with ourselves. In this highly anticipated book, that expert, the award-winning psychologist and neuroscientist Ethan Kross, reveals the sheer power of the inner voice, and shows the tools we can all use to harness it. Hidden in plain sight, these tools are in the words we use, the stories we tell, the conversations we have with loved ones, even our habits and personal rituals. Tiny tweaks can transform our self-talk.

Brilliantly argued, expertly researched, and filled with compelling stories, Chatter will change the conversations you have with yourself… and help you lead a happier, healthier, more productive life.”

“Desolation of Devil’s Acre” by Ransom Riggs

Expected release date: February 2021
Genre: Mystery, dark fantasy, young adult fiction

Books of 2021: Desolation of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

“The fate of peculiardom hangs in the balance in this epic conclusion to the #1 bestselling ‘Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children’ series.

The last thing Jacob Portman saw before the world went dark was a terrible, familiar face.

Suddenly, he and Noor are back in the place where everything began—his grandfather’s house. Jacob doesn’t know how they escaped from V’s loop to find themselves in Florida. But he does know one thing for certain: Caul has returned.

After a narrow getaway from a bloodthirsty hollow, Jacob and Noor reunite with Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children in Devil’s Acre. The Acre is being plagued by desolations – weather fronts of ash and blood and bone—a terrible portent of Caul’s amassing army.

Risen from the Library of Souls and more powerful than ever, Caul and his apocalyptic agenda seem unstoppable. Only one hope remains—deliver Noor to the meeting place of the seven prophesied ones. If they can decipher its secret location.

Jacob and his friends will face deadly enemies and race through history’s most dangerous loops in this thrilling page-turner, the final adventure in the beloved Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.”

“A Court of Silver Flames” by Sarah Maas

Expected release date: February 2021
Genre: Fantasy, romance

Books of 2021: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah Maas

“Sarah J. Maas’s sexy, richly imagined A Court of Thorns and Roses series continues with the journey of Feyre’s fiery sister, Nesta.

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly—proud, swift to anger and slow to forgive. And since the war—since being made High Fae against her will—she’s struggled to forget the horrors she endured and find a place for herself within the strange and deadly Night Court.

The person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred, winged warrior who is there at Nesta’s every turn. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. And when they are forced to train in battle together, sparks become flame.

As the threat of war casts its shadow over them once again, Nesta and Cassian must fight monsters from within and without if they are to stand a chance of halting the enemies of their court. But the ultimate risk will be searching for acceptance—and healing—in each other’s arms.”

“The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S.” by David Levithan

Expected release date: February 2021
Genre: Fantasy, children’s fiction

Books of 2021: The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan

“New York Times bestselling author David Levithan takes young readers on a twisting journey through truth, reality, and fantasy and belief.

Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply… impossible. But it’s the story Aidan is sticking to.

His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But Lucas is aware of what other people, including their parents, are saying: that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away.

When the kids in school hear Aidan’s story, they taunt him. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan’s side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?”

“How to Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” by Bill Gates

Expected release date: February 2021
Genre: Nonfiction

Books of 2021: How to Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates

“In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical—and accessible—plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions–suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.

As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.”

“Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant

Expected release date: February 2021
Genre: Nonfiction, self-help

Books of 2021: Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant

“Discover the critical art of rethinking: how questioning your opinions can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life.

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, the most crucial skill may be the ability to rethink and unlearn. Recent global and political changes have forced many of us to re-evaluate our opinions and decisions. Yet we often still favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt, and prefer opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. Intelligence is no cure, and can even be a curse. The brighter we are, the blinder we can become to our own limitations.

Adam Grant, Wharton’s top-rated professor and #1 bestselling author, offers bold ideas and rigorous evidence to show how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, encourage others to rethink topics as wide-ranging as abortion and climate change, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You’ll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, and how a vaccine whisperer convinces anti-vaxxers to immunize their children. Think Again is an invitation to let go of stale opinions and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what you don’t know is wisdom.”

“Chain of Iron” by Cassandra Clare

Expected release date: March 2021
Genre: Young adult fiction, fantasy, romance

Books of 2021: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

“The Shadowhunters must catch a killer in Edwardian London in this dangerous and romantic sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling novel ‘Chain of Gold’, from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare. ‘Chain of Iron’ is a Shadowhunters novel.

Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.”

“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Expected release date: March 2021
Genre: Dystopian fiction, science fiction

Books of 2021: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

“Klara and the Sun is a magnificent new novel from the Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro—author of ‘Never Let Me Go’ and the Booker Prize-winning ‘The Remains of the Day’.

Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

In its award citation in 2017, the Nobel committee described Ishiguro’s books as ‘novels of great emotional force’ and said he has ‘uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world’.”

“Infinity Reaper” by Adam Silvera

Expected release date: March 2021
Genre: Young adult fiction, fantasy

Books of 2021: Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera

“In this gripping sequel to the New York Times bestselling ‘Infinity Son,’ Adam Silvera brings a diverse cast of heroes and villains to life in an alternate New York where some people are born with powers, while others steal them from the blood of endangered magical creatures.

Emil and Brighton defied the odds. They beat the Blood Casters and escaped with their lives—or so they thought. When Brighton drank the Reaper’s Blood, he believed it would make him invincible, but instead the potion is killing him.

In Emil’s race to find an antidote that will not only save his brother but also rid him of his own unwanted phoenix powers, he will have to dig deep into the very past lives he’s trying to outrun. Though he needs the help of the Spell Walkers now more than ever, their ranks are fracturing, with Maribelle’s thirst for revenge sending her down a dangerous path.

Meanwhile, Ness is being abused by Senator Iron for political gain, his rare shifting ability making him a dangerous weapon. As much as Ness longs to send Emil a signal, he knows the best way to keep Emil safe from his corrupt father is to keep him at a distance.

The battle for peace is playing out like an intricate game of chess, and as the pieces on the board move into place, Emil starts to realize that he may have been competing against the wrong enemy all along.”

“Dog Man 10: Mothering Heights” by Dav Pilkey

Expected release date: March 2021
Genre: Comics, humor

Books of 2021: Dog Man 10: Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey

“Dog Man and Petey face their biggest challenges yet in the tenth Dog Man book from worldwide bestselling author and illustrator Dav Pilkey. Dog Man is down on his luck, Petey confronts his not so purr-fect past, and Grampa is up to no good. The world is spinning out of control as new villains spill into town. Everything seems dark and full of despair. But hope is not lost. Can the incredible power of love save the day? Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including: empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of doing good. Full color pages throughout.”

All 12 books are available at National Book store.

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