In 2021, most of us continued to adjust to our new ways of being in this world. Lucky for us, some of our favorite authors (and some immensely talented debuts) did us a huge favor by releasing new work for us. And we’re obsessed! Their words certainly stood out for us during a year that already had a lot going on. Here are a few of our 2021 favorites — read them while you wait for your most anticipated releases in the new year!
1. Kazuo Ishiguro — Klara and the Sun
Now, he needs no introduction, and neither does his work. The Nobel Laureate continues to add to his eclectic body of work with Klara and the Sun, a soft science fiction novel guaranteed to get you thinking. He explores the possibilities that our collective technologically-forward future holds through the friendship between a chronically ill girl and Klara, her new AF (Artificial Friend). You may not catch the sun for too long this winter, but you can surely grab a copy and find out how artificial (or not) their friendship is!
2. Michelle Zauner — Crying in H Mart: A Memoir
Grammy nominee Michelle Zauner made her writing debut this year, and we couldn’t be more grateful to her. Crying in H Mart was first published as an essay three years ago, and is today a best-selling memoir, widely acknowledged as a heart-wrenching reflection on the grief that accompanies the loss of one’s parent. It may not be an easy read, but it sure is a worthwhile one.
3. Patricia Lockwood — No One Is Talking About This
When we heard the Priestdaddy memoirist was releasing her debut novel, we had to apologize, yet again, to the long-neglected books on our shelves. And no, we didn’t regret it in the slightest. No One Is Talking About This is a fresh, experimental take on internet culture. Lockwood juxtaposes a stream of tweet-like comments in the first half of the book with a personal tragedy her protagonist experiences in the second half. Not only is it super relevant in our era of social media, but it’s also equally addictive.
4. Sally Rooney — Beautiful World, Where Are You
Let’s be real, there’s no way she wasn’t making this list. She’s all the rage right now and for good reason! Her writing strikes a chord, often when you least expect it to, and usually in the best way possible. In her most mature novel yet, Beautiful World, Where Are You, we hang out with Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon — four characters moving about this big, big world while living their everyday lives. Trust us, you’ll want to read it between your Normal People binge-watching sessions.
We’re excited about what’s in store in 2022, especially, the promising bookish adaptations. Here are some of those we’re extremely eager to watch!