If you are anything like me, you may have fallen off your reading habit during the last year due to quarantine. Hey, the TV is right there and requires a lot less brain power, so I don’t blame us. But 2021 has brought us a collection of new and compelling stories from authors both debut and seasoned, so it’s about time to dust off our reading glasses and break out our bookmarks. Even if you haven’t read for a while or reading isn’t your thing, there is sure to be something these new releases has in store for you.
Non-Fiction – “Confident Women” by Tori Telfer
If you are into true crime or incredible women, then Telfer’s new book on the lives and times of some of the world’s most infamous con women is right up your alley. Spanning the centuries from the 1700s to today, the book is “a thoroughly entertaining and darkly humorous roundup” of women who duped the world and more often than not got away with it.
Horror/Thriller – “The Burning Girls” by C.J. Tudor
For those who like their page-turners a little bloodier, look no further. “The Burning Girls” follows a vicar, Reverend Jack Brooks, in a little town in the English countryside with a dark past and an even darker present. After the previous vicar mysteriously kills himself, Brooks uncovers the menacing secrets of Chapel Croft and finds that there might be more to their history than anyone lets on—and that darkness is waiting around every corner.
Young Adult – “The Project” by Courtney Summers
In the same vein of suspense and thrill, this book is about a girl named Lo Denham whose older sister deserted her to join a group called The Unity Project. Lo’s plan is to expose the Unity Project for frauds and manipulators in order to win back her sister, but the more she digs into the organization’s leader, the more she finds herself caught in a web of cult behavior. Soon Lo doesn’t know what’s true and what’s lies, and she doesn’t know if she can afford not to believe in the Unity Project for herself.
Memoir – “Surviving the White Gaze” by Rebecca Carroll
Culture critic Rebecca Carroll recounts her experiences growing up as a black woman in America. Adopted as a baby by white parents and raised in New Hampshire, Carroll’s early life made her feel isolated and out of place. The memoir details the author’s journey as she struggles to discover her racial identity. Through heartbreak, chosen family, and an unflinching look at a black woman’s experiences in America, the book is a timely read for Black History Month.
Fantasy – “The Absolute Book” by Elizabeth Knox
If you are looking for action and magic in your next read, “The Absolute Book” is not one to miss. It stars an author, her sister’s violent death, revenge, and an ancient scroll box called Firestarter. “Hidden treasures are recovered, wicked things resurface, birds can talk, and dead sisters are a living force” in this book that claims to be a love letter to stories and the way they impact their readers and “create gods out of mortals”.
Romance – “Honey Girl” by Morgan Rogers
A divergence from serious topics or a step into that warm and fuzzy feeling Valentine’s Day left you with, this book from upcoming #OwnVoices author Morgan Rogers tells the tale of a young overachiever who drunkenly marries another woman in Vegas and upturns all her life plans. The story is the stuff of rom coms as the heroine navigates adulthood and whirlwind romance all at once.
Graphic Novel – “Nubia: Real One” by L.L McKinney
Yes, books that are mostly pictures count as reading, too! And this one will blow you away with its colorful, dynamic illustrations, and beautiful coming-of-age story. It follows the life of Nubia Johnson, originally one of D.C.’s first black female superheroes and sister of Wonder-Woman, as a teenager with incredible strength and speed. To keep her friends safe “Nubia will risk it all—her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class—to become the hero society tells her she isn’t.” Written by the critically acclaimed author of “A Blade So Black” this should go on your to-be-read pile immediately.