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10 Forthcoming Books to Add to Your 2021 Reading List

Written by Lola Opatayo; copy edited by Meagan Kus

Did you finish everything on your reading list this summer? Maybe you did, or maybe you didn’t really have one to begin with. Whatever the case, I’ve compiled a list of 10 books you can plan to read before 2021 ends.

I find it difficult to stay on top of new releases with my work schedule. That may be the case with you too. So, to help us all, here’s a list of forthcoming releases and a few recently published ones. Mark the publication dates in your calendar so you don’t miss them!

  1. Matrix by Lauren Groff

Publication date: September 7, 2021

Genre: Fiction

In this historical fiction, seventeen-year-old princess, Marie de France, is cast out of the royal courts and sent to “an impoverished abbey” where she discovers visions and a passion to protect her new sisters.

How does a princess become the symbol of liberty and safety for vulnerable nuns? And how does one become so certain of one’s own visions in the midst of chaos? It remains to be seen in Groff’s new book.

  1. The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters by Julie Klam

Published: August 10, 2021

Genre: Non-fiction

In this part-autobiographical book, Klam explores the truth behind the tales of her grandmother’s cousins—the Morris sisters. On their way to Los Angeles from Eastern Europe, the sisters were supposedly abandoned by their father, after their mother’s death during childbirth. Overcoming all odds, they lived together in New York City. One of them became successful on Wall Street, another allegedly dated JP Morgan, and none of them ever married.

As Klam investigates this pocket of history, she finds that most of the tales about these sisters are untrue, and she begins to evaluate her own life in relation to theirs. One will often come to a deep sense of actualization when history is reviewed, and that’s the intriguing thing about this book.

  1. The Coldest Case by Martin Walker

Publication date: August 3, 2021

Genre: Fiction

If you’re in the mood for some crime fiction, then this story about an anonymous skull, facial reconstruction, and a 35-year-old murder might intrigue you. An investigator discovers a possible clue to a cold case through facial reconstruction. This leads him to a vintner, Henri, and his education at a defunct school that is sponsored by “the repressive police agency of the former East Germany.” His suspicion toward Henri grows when he discovers that he’s been declared dead for over 30 years.

This is a classic whodunit. You can totally ditch Netflix for this.

  1. Night Music by Jojo Moyes

Publication date: August 17, 2021

Genre: Fiction

In this novel from the writer of The Last Letter from Your Lover, a violinist loses her husband and is forced to move to the English countryside when she is faced with the huge debt he’s left behind. Striving to raise her children in the decaying manor she inherited, she doesn’t know that her presence there is stirring things up.

Romance lovers will love this one.

  1. The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Publication date: July 6, 2021

Genre: Non-fiction

The Comfort Book is “a collection of notes, lists, and stories written over a span of several years that originally served as gentle reminder to Haig’s future self that things are not always as dark as they may seem.”

This sounds like a…comfort book! Perfect for relieving stress at the end of a long day. I’m definitely adding this one to my reading list.

  1. The Oracle of Night by Sidarta Ribeiro

Publication date: August 17, 2021

Genre: Non-fiction

This book explores the role of dreams in human development by studying scientific tools and findings to draw conclusions on this wonderous experience.

I am particularly curious about this book. I believe it will share deep insights into the intersection between metaphysics, science, and the intellect.

  1. Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth: A Novel by Wole Soyinka

Publication date: September 28, 2021

Genre: Fiction

A doctor reveals to his close friend the appalling crime of corpses stolen from his hospital for ritualistic purposes. Then his friend, Duyole, who is about to take up a new position at the headquarters of the United Nations, is prevented from doing so by unseen forces. The friends do not know the reason or faces behind this opposition. What is the connection between stolen corpses and a role at the United Nations?

This is Soyinka’s first novel since 1973 and definitely a must-read.

  1. We’re Not Broken by Eric Garcia

Publication date: August 3, 2021

Genre: Non-fiction

Frustrated by the media’s coverage of autism and people on the autism spectrum, journalist Eric Garcia wrote this book as “a message from autistic people to their parents, friends, teachers, coworkers, and doctors showing what life is like on the spectrum.”

Sensitivity readers, in particular, will appreciate this book as a powerful resource in writing and editing content about special needs.

  1. A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

Publication date: August 31, 2021

Genre: Fiction

From the writer of The Girl on the Train comes another suspenseful novel about a murder that leads to three women: Carla, the aunt of the deceased who is grieving the death of another family member, the one-night stand who was last seen with him, and the neighbour who found the corpse but is hiding something from the police.

There are a good number of promising crime novels on this list—including this one—and I trust that it will be worth reading them all.

  1. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Publication date: March 16, 2021

Genre: Fiction

This novel explores the idea of love from the perspective of an inanimate “artificial friend” who surveys the world from her position in a store. Klara expects that someone will someday come and purchase her from the shop and care for her.

What observations will an artificial creature make of the world and the people who come to visit the store? With the ongoing conversations about the role of robotics in the future, I think this piece is timely. I’ll be reading this one too.

And that’s the list! Mark your calendars and pre-order or wait for the releases. Whatever you do, tick these books off your reading list.

Happy reading!


Lola Opatayo is a creative writer, content marketer, and editor. Her creative work has been featured in Obsidian, The Best Small Fictions 2020, Isele, and elsewhere.  
She’s the founder of WordCaps where she coaches writers and shares editing and writing resources. She’s on Instagram and Twitter.

Meagan Kus is a freelance copy editor and proofreader with a 20-year background in arts administration.

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