Feature image credit: @the.caffeinated.reader
There’s always something so exciting about starting a new year especially when we get to make our book club reading plan, too! There are a lot of exciting books coming out in 2021, but these picks are perfect for your next book club selection because regardless of the genre, they’re thought-provoking and easy to discuss.
It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian
If your book club is the place you go to vent about the pressures of daily life, then you can escape with Noni’s story about leaving it all behind. Noni Blake is a queer, plus-sized woman finding her place in this crazy world. Much of her storyline is related to Christian’s own life, who desired to make a book with all women represented.
Faye, Faraway by Helen Fisher
Faye, Faraway is magical realism at its finest and will give you all the feels. Married with two girls, thirty-seven-year-old Faye makes it a priority to let her daughters know daily that they are loved beyond measure. Because she lost her own mother thirty years prior, she always wants to make sure her children have the mother’s love that she always longed for. All of a sudden, Faye finds herself traveling back in time to connect with her mom and the two develop an emotional bond. Wrapped up in this new relationship, she knows the time is coming for her to choose to stay in the past or return to her present. As you follow her on this adventure, you’ll experience it all – love, loss, grief, and goodness.
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
Taking up space in his mother’s brownstone, twenty-two-year-old Darren is perfectly content working at Starbucks, hanging out with his girlfriend, and getting three square meals a day on his mom’s dime. However, his mom would like nothing more than to see him do something more productive with his time. Out of the blue, Darren meets Rhett Daniels, CEO of New York’s latest startup. Before he knows it, he’s working as a salesman who reinvents himself as Buck – the only Black salesperson in the company. His alter-ego is on a mission to inspire people of color to join the sales force and live up to their full potential. This story will have you laughing and crying, but most importantly, leave you feeling inspired.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
It’s 1934 in Texas and things have taken a turn for the worst for the farmers trying to stay afloat during the Depression. While dangerous dust storms coat the land with dirt, crops continue to fail from the paralyzing drought. With so many out of work in the Great Plains, Elsa Martinelli, along with many other members of her community, must decide to stay and fight or head west to California for a chance to begin again. This story truly captures the essence of a fearless female who shows us that the only choice we really have is to be strong.
What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
Racial tensions are running at an all-time high in Piedmont, North Carolina when Black students from the east side of town start to integrate into the predominately white schools on the west. When students Noelle and Gee decide to take part in the school play in an effort to begin closing the gap between the old and the new, a chain of events begins that will connect their families for years to come. What’s Mine and Yours takes an honest look at how the past may shape us but it does not have to divide us. The complexity of family, friendship, and love will take you on a path of seeing different perspectives and ultimately choosing inclusion.
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
For those book clubs that like to drink wine between the lines or simply have an appreciation for magical potions, this gem is for you! In eighteenth-century London, hidden away from the mainstream, was a secret apothecary shop. Almost like a speakeasy, this store wasn’t for everyone; in fact, there was a specific audience searching for these magical elixirs. Women would seek out Nella’s concoctions to use against oppressive men in their lives. However, things spiral out of control with one mistake, leaving a tangled mess that will take years to clean up. This story will take you down the rabbit hole of both suspenseful revenge and the solidarity of sisterhood with every page turned.
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia
As Carmen, an immigrant from Cuba, struggles with the separation of her home and her own mother, she is now trying to be the best mom to Jeanette, who is battling addiction. As Jeanette struggles to understand the chaos that colors their lives, she makes the decision to visit her grandmother in Cuba to get answers. This story of addiction, immigration, and generations of strong women will take you on a journey through the hardships and experiences that have shaped the lives of these ladies. This heart wrenching tale examines how choices have consequences and takes a deep, meaningful look at the things that define us.
Publication Date: March 30, 2021
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
This story is full of suspense and secrets as it tells the tale of two sisters tangled up in a complicated web. Fern is the quiet one who would rather stay at home on the couch on a Saturday night, while all Rose can think about is having children. Although these two don’t have much in common, they are extremely close. However, they are keeping things from each other that result in a dark turn as deception comes to light. This page turner will leave you guessing and questioning how strong these family ties really are.
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This mid-year release is the novel we didn’t know we needed this summer! When it comes to throwing their annual end-of-summer bash, money is no obstacle for these four famous siblings. Nina, Jay, Kit, and Hud know how to party and the most anticipated night of the season is about to kick off. But when the alcohol starts flowing and secrets are revealed, things go up in flames – literally, as their Malibu mansion gets burned to the ground. Truly a night that nobody will forget, this story of fame and family will keep you guessing until the very end.
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Version Zero by David Yoon
For those book clubs who love a good thriller, this novel is for you. Max works for a social media company called Wren and has seen firsthand the dark underbelly of the virtual world. He starts to question the integrity of the data mining and ends up losing his job in the process. Instead of getting mad, he wants to get even and become a social media superhero to save humanity from falling victim to big tech. With time to kill, Max recruits his unrequited love, Akiko, to help him break the internet. Little do they know that sometimes when things break, they end up being irreparable.
Publication Date: May 25, 2021