The 12 Must-Read Books of 2021

With summer well and truly underway, and January setting us with all good intentions, there is never a better time to start your reading list.

So, get your bookmarks at the ready…


  1. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Dear gentle reader, unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard about, or indeed already binge-watched, Shonda Rhimes’ latest series created for Netflix, Bridgerton. At the time of writing this, the series has courted more than 63 million households, which makes it Netflix’s fifth biggest original series launched thus far. This regency-set piece is a delightful blend of Pride and Prejudice and Gossip Girl, making for some scandalous, seductive, and addictive viewing. However, the fantastic series that it is based upon is equally deserving of admiration. While you desperately await the calling of season two, we suggest an unchaperoned reading of The Duke and I, just for starters.



  1. The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Given the year that was 2020, we all need a bit of respite, and there is no better escape than that of the pages of a good book. Chanel’s Next Year in Havana received well-deserved acclaim, including being chosen as a Reese Witherspoon book club pick, and her latest novel is set to follow suit. Set during the nineteenth century and following three revolutionary women fighting for freedom in New York, this intoxicating blend of fascinating history and female empowerment is as delicious as a mojito. It will be worth the wait to indulge on May 4, 2021.



  1. The Champagne Wars by Fiona McIntosh

Another divine read by the talented Fiona! Set in France during WWI, this captivating tale follows the story of champenoise Sophie Delancré as she navigates hardships, love, and loss while running a business and continuing her family legacy. This heart-stopping story not only opens up the world of champagne, but gives an insight into a remarkable part of the globe during world – and history – defining events.



  1. The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little

Among all the designers who have ever graced the catwalk, none have quite the air of mystery and glamour of Coco Chanel herself. In fact, the enigma of a designer once said, “My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.” And that is exactly the tale Judithe brings us. A celebration of Chanel’s cutting wit and incomparable vision that turned Gabrielle into Coco, it’s the perfect story for fashion lovers and history aficionados alike. What’s more, the limelight is shared with Coco’s sister, Antoinette, so one of the designer’s most important relationships springs to life before us.



  1. On Violence and On Violence Against Women by Jacqueline Rose

A blazing, thought-provoking, and important examination of violence and violence against women by a well-respected feminist voice. Focussing on the history of violence in its public and private forms and covering everything from the #MeToo movement to the trial of Oscar Pistorius, this is a critical read. Available February 2, 2021.



  1. Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

Joan Didion needs no introduction and adding to her astounding collection of accomplishments and works is her latest book, which includes 12 never-before-collated pieces by this legendary figure. It covers everything from Martha Stewart to Ernest Hemingway, all delightfully wrapped up in Joan’s unparalleled wit and intellect. Guaranteed to strike a chord, add this to your must-read list come May 5, 2021.



  1. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

For those of you who enjoy dallying with a gothic tale and a twist on a classic, The Wife Upstairs is a gripping, modern retelling of Jane Eyre that is thrilling as it is mysterious. Already receiving rave reviews, this is one to pop some popcorn for and enjoy during a stormy summer evening.



  1. Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Although not a latest release, Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun has never truly stepped out of the spotlight and last year it firmly took its place in the sun when it secured The Women’s Prize for Fiction, earning the coveted title of Winner of Winners. Set during the Nigerian-Biafran War, as told through three very different perspectives, this incredible novel will illuminate you and stay with you long after the final page is turned.



  1. The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

Set during WWII, this new work by the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir follows the story of four women who are competing for a hosting spot on a cooking show named The Kitchen Front. What’s more tantalising about this plot is that it is based on the actual BBC program of the same name! Prepare to be whisked away and utterly absorbed into all the characters’ lives, who have so much more than competition at stake. Simply set your timer to February 23, 2021.



  1. The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

 Actress, human rights activist, artist, mother, daughter, sister, and writer, Sharon Stone has penned one of the most awaited memoirs of 2021, arriving March 30. It’s guaranteed to be an inspiring, candid, and spurring read that delves into everything from the star’s past struggles and trauma to encouraging women and girls to speak out.



  1. The Push by Ashley Audrain

A captivating and thrilling tale that explores the darker side of motherhood, more specifically, the story of one Blythe Connor, who believes there must be something terribly wrong with either herself or her first born. Having previously worked as publicity director of Penguin Books Canada, this debut author has already made her mark, reportingly selling to almost two dozen countries in under two weeks and securing a multi-million-dollar book deal.



  1. How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

Set amongst the fictional African village of Kosawa, How Beautiful We Were is a powerful and eye-opening story that speaks of environmental degradation, politics, consumerism, and the strength of people when we come together for good. Mark March 11, 2021 on your calendar to discover a new favourite read.



Happy reading bookworms!

This post was created by Kathleen Tamara Loxton for Get it on behalf of Figurati 

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