I’m always looking for a good read among the new releases each year. These books are all on my to-be-read list for 2021. I’m calling it the 2021 Breezy Afternoons Good Read Book List, and I can do that, because it’s my website. New books from the authors of The Martian, Daisy Jones & the Six and THIRTEEN more. Authors had a lot of extra time last year to write during the COVID-19 pandemic and it shows. I am kind of a book list addict and these are the books I’m so excited about I wrote down so I would not forget them when the time comes.
If you’re new to Breezy Afternoons, welcome! If your dream vacation is laying in a hammock by some water on a breezy afternoon with a book in your hand, you’re home. In this post we’ll dish on some up and coming books, and there will be ads from Amazon and links to bookshop.org. I am not a saleswoman, and I encourage you to go to the library and put these on hold NOW so that when they finally come in, you’ll be first in line. I then hope that if you do decide to buy books or look for recommendations in the future, you’ll come back again and again. Breezy Afternoons is reader supported but just your views, shares and participation are all I beg for. Now, onto the book list!
2021 Breezy Afternoons Good Read Book List Choices
1. The Hare by Melanie Finn
Release Date: January 26, 2021
The Hare is described as a thriller involving young Rosie, and an older conman who sweeps her off of her feet. As he isolates her more and more, she struggles to escape and survive.
One reason it’s on the 2021 Breezy Afternoons Good Read list is that the novel explores the roles a woman must play in order to stay in the game. The author’s website says “The Hare considers a woman’s inherent sense of obligation – sexual and emotional – to the male hierarchy.”
Since my list is like, three months late, this one is already out, so you don’t have to wait. Check it out from the library or order it today!
2. Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler
Release date: February 2, 2021
No matter your politics, this book is going to hit a nerve if you’re living in the United States. A woman finds out that her boyfriend is a certified nutso online conspiracy theorist and rabble rouser. His identity is secret from her. She, on the other hand, is planning on going to the Women’s March in 2016.
The rest of the book is promised to be full of twists and turns. This book debuted to much fan fair and it is on my list because each and every one of us likely knows someone dealing with a split relationship, where in the past it was easy to co-exist but the last four years have shown us that we sometimes have to draw the line. I’m interested to see how the author explores this theme. It’s available now, so go for it!
3. Caul Baby by Morgan Jenkins
Release Date, April 6, 2021
Caul Baby is about a young woman named Laila, who unfortunately has had a series of unsuccessful pregnancies. She knows of a Harlem family that is known to have a special, magical skin called “Caul.” This is the name for the bag of waters that breaks when a woman starts labor.
Some babies are born “en caul” – inside the fluid filled bag that never breaks. Caul babies have long been celebrated as having special abilities and protections.
Soon, a child named Hallow is given to the family to raise, and she is believed to be a special caul baby as well. I’m hoping the book explores how a child can transform a family, when the circumstances are right. I’ll have to wait, though. It doesn’t come out until April.
4. Land of Big Numbers: Stories by Te-Ping Chen
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Te-Ping Chen is a Wall Street Journal reporter who has lived in Beijing, China for longer than anywhere else in her life. This collection of short stories, all about China and its culture, have been almost universally praised by all that read them as brilliant.
Lately, Short stories as a literary genre are really soaring in interest and is the source of some of the most insightful reading that is out there right now.
The overarching theme of the book is the question “What is Freedom?” – as an American reading about freedom in Chinese culture this tops my list. Freedom comes in different forms, as does tyranny. A different perspective may enrich our own.
5. Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Release date: May 4, 2021
Alright, I’ve actually already preordered this book on Audible. I didn’t even read the description. After reading The Martian and Artemis, I’m going to read everything this author ever releases.
I don’t even love Science Fiction, y’all. But this stuff makes me love science and space. A man wakes up millions of miles from Earth, his crew is dead, and he has lost his memory. Our lives hang in the balance. How can we not all be reading this right now instead of looking at this website? Oh, yeah, it isn’t out until May. Pre-order it or put it on hold at the library NOW or you’ll be waiting years to read it.
6. Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson
Release date: April 6, 2021
Mother May I is a suspense novel. Bree is a woman who grew up poor and married into wealth. (Which, by the way, I hate as a trope. I wish I could see more poor men marry into wealth, like in The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins).
So, life is good, and then she sees a little old woman in a window. Then her kid disappears, and her ransom note is from the mysterious old lady.
This book is on my 2021 Must Reads list because I’m dying to know what she has to do to get her kid back.
7. Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews
Release Date: March 2, 2021
I love the premise of this book. Maud Dixon is a pseudonym for a famous author. Maud Dixon’s real name is Helen Wilcox. Helen has taken Florence Darrow, an aspiring writer, under her wing.
They’re in Morocco on location for a new novel and there is some kind of accident. Helen is no where to be found ,and Florence Darrow wakes up with no knowledge of what happened or where Helen is, and she thinks, well… I guess I’ll be Maud Dixon now.
This sounds fun, plus I’d love to read a novel set in Morocco instead of Western Europe for a change.
8. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Like with Andy Weir, right now I’m going to read anything that Taylor Jenkins Reid releases. Her last two books, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six, were both incredible reads.
This book will certainly be another page turner. It involves a beach party, supermodels, famous people, drama, alcohol, and a giant fire. This should be a nice escapism read.
9. The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Alright, y’all. Hear me out.
So, Evelyn, the main character, has cloned herself. Her clone, Martine, is “patient, obedient and gentle.” Apparently, Evelyn is not any of those things.
Naturally, Evelyn’s husband is having an affair with her clone. That’s wild.
This is on the must read list because I’ve got to see how the author pulls this off. I hope it’s good, but if I am being honest I think this book probably has the least odds of being something I’ll want to finish. The concept is so good, though, I’m giving it a shot. I think you should, as well.
10. The Ex-Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Release Date: January 26, 2021
This is a rom-com that I can’t wait to pick up. It’s a classic romance trope – two people hate each other, they’re forced to work together and neither of them likes it, and they start to fall in love.
The reason these are romance tropes is because they work, and when they work well, they are wonderful.
Shay and Dominic are essentially cast as hosts of the “ex list” – they must pretend they used to date to host this radio show. It becomes an enormous success, and they are stuck in this lie, while falling in love.
This is a perfect breezy afternoon read, and I hope to read it by the pool this summer.
11. Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: January 5, 2021
For lovers of mythology, Lore is about Gods sent down to earth to walk as mortals. This is a punishment for some long ago committed atrocity, and three Gods: Lore, Castor and Athena all pair up to fight a common enemy.
I included this book on behalf of two of my children that love mythology and any type of spin-off tales. It is not personally something that I would love but they will both lose their minds over it. I aim to please.
12. The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
Release Date: June 7, 2021
The first political thriller by Bill Clinton and James Patterson was called The President is Missing. The audible version was narrated by Dennis Quaid and he was amazing. I was blown away by the entire thing.
Recently, I took James Patterson’s master class on writing. He collaborates with these authors in a really interesting way. Usually, they toss around ideas, come up with an outline, and the co-author, in this case a former President, writes using their own style and experience, checking in with Patterson every 10 chapters or so.
If this was as good as the first time around, it will be an absolute page turner. If Quaid narrates it again, I’m getting the audible version.
13. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Girl moves to New York looking for her love story. Next, girl meets girl on subway and falls in love. Then, girl learns that the girl she loves is some kind of time traveler stuck here from the 1970s.
Therefore, I’m in.
I love time travel stories. I am also really into romance novels right now, especially contemporary romance. This one seemingly has both! It will be an excellent summer read, for sure.
14. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Colson Whitehead has a way of writing a novel that grips your heart with its storytelling while simultaneously shining a revealing light on our culture and history.
This novel is set in 1960s Harlem, where a young black family man is running a furniture business. He gets sucked into a heist and all of a sudden his above board lifestyle and business is crawling with low-lifes and crooked cops.
Given Whitehead’s history of excellent writing and ability to immerse you in an entirely different life, this book is in my “Must read” category. I’ve already got it on hold at the library.
15. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel by Emily Austin
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel seems to be incredibly funny. I chose it for the Good Read list because the idea of a comedy with a lesbian working in a Catholic Church, combined with a mysterious death seemed like something I’d definitely want to pick up.
In addition to an interesting plot, this book is the author’s debut novel and I am all about supporting new authors. The more people writing the more good books, the better!
This is it – for now – for the 2021 Good Reads Book List! I never stop looking for good books, though, so if you think I’ve missed something, email me or leave a comment and I just might add it to the list down the road. If you’re an author and you want your book submitted for review, just let me know. I only give honest reviews, though, so be careful what you wish for.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.