Another list that I should have published at the beginning of the year, but the first month of the year isn’t yet over, so I’m going to consider it a win. But it’s my blog and I think it goes without saying that I can post whatever I want, whenever I want without bothering about anything in the whole wide world. No? Just what I feel? Okay then. 😛
I’ve already talked about this on my BookTube channel. Follow this link if you’d like to watch it: 21 Books I Want to Read in 2021.
While you’re at it, please do subscribe to my channel? 🙂
Also, if you’d like to buy any of these books, then please use my Amazon Affiliate links that I’ve provided along with each of these books. The price remains the same for you but I get a small commission off of every purchase that you make. Please help a creator out? Pretty please? 🙂
Okay, I’ve gone on long enough. Let’s jump in and look at the 21 books that I want to read in 2021. (Please be nice to me, 2021.)
#1 – War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The first book on this list is one that I know will take me a long time because of two reasons. One, it’s a TOME. Two, this will probably be my first step into Russian Literature and it’s going to be heavy one. I’m not going to lie: I am intimidated. But I have two friends reading this book with me, so hopefully this journey will be an easier one. I’ll consider this a success if I stop saying Fyodor Dostoevsky every time I think “War and Peace”. 😛
Buy here: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
#2 – The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Netflix movie prompted me to add this book to this list. I think the movie is now out but I haven’t yet read this book. I’m in the middle of a bunch of books right now, so I think I’m going to have to push this to February. Either way, I’m hoping it will be an interesting read at the least because I’ve been hearing mixed reviews about it. Fingers crossed!
Buy here: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
#3 – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
This is a book that I’ve had for a long time but haven’t ever read, despite being such a huge fan of Maya Angelou, the amazing human being that she was. I’ll be reading this in February for Black History Month and will be making a reading vlog + book review video since it is the Subscriber Pick for the month. I’m so glad that my subscribers chose this! Super excited and prepared as well!
#4 – Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
I have no idea why I added this chunker to this list. Maybe because I’ve been holding off on it for years now? My first encounter with this book was when I was in college and a friend was reading it. I was someone else in college and didn’t pay heed to what I wanted and didn’t want, so I ignored it. But not anymore. I’m now really intrigued by this book and am looking forward to reading it.
Buy here: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
#5 – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid usually chooses to talk about fictional erstwhile celebrities, it feels like to me. Daisy Jones & the Six was about a fictional 70s band and written in the form of an interview. Evelyn Hugo, on the other hand, is about yesteryears actress Evelyn Hugo, who is about to open up about her life in Hollywood (I think?). This book has so many fans that I thought, okay, let me pick this up and see what the hype is all about.
#6 – Our Moon Has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita
A book about the Kashmiri Pandits’ exodus, this book was made into a movie called ‘Shikara’. I’ve been wanting to read the book for a while now (got it way back when) and now, want to watch the movie as well. I’ve heard that this book is hard-hitting and puts out a lot of hard facts that a lot of people tend to ignore. Let’s see how this one goes! I’m supposed to read it this month, but I think it’s going to Feb!
#7 – The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I had intended to read this book quite a while ago, but if you know me, you’ll know that I haven’t been able to read it because of various reasons. But I’m hoping that this will be the year that I get to it. I’ve also added this book to my February 2021 TBR and am hoping that I will get to it in Feb. Finally! It is an important book, going by the things that I’m hearing about it. So fingers crossed, I do pick it up and read it!
#8 – The Adivasi Will Not Dance by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
A collection of short stories that will help me as I host and participate in a year-long readalong along with Nandini on Instagram, The Adivasi Will Not Dance is apparently powerful and political and in this time and age? I think we really need stories and authors that will make us think and then haul us up off our asses to do something!
#9 – Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
This is a book that I should have read a long time ago but I keep putting it off because I’m not ready to feel all the things that people say I will feel. Viktor E. Frankl’s own story about what he went through during the Holocaust is going to make me feel so much anger at the people who defend Hitler to this day! I can already feel it radiating off my mind. Calm, Sona! Take a deep breath. Phew!
#10 – Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
A book I want to read to improve my writing skills. The tagline for this book says “some instructions on writing and life” and heaven knows I can use instructions for both! I didn’t sign up for this adulting shit and it’s getting unbearable with each passing day! 😛
Buy here: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
#11 – Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
This is one book that I added to so many of my TBRs in 2020 that it now haunts my dreams. No, on a serious note, this is a book that is said to be super hard-hitting, given the issues it addresses with Sri Lanka’s political situation around the 1983 riots as a background. I’ve always been super intrigued to read this book but somehow never got around to pick it up. But this year, it’s going to be different. I promise (myself).
Buy here: Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
#12 – If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
This is a recommendation from none other than Nandini! I was talking to her about Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore and how weird I found it. She goes, “Wait till you read Italo Calvino’s book. It’s going to mess with your mind.” And I immediately bought it because I trust her recommendations like no other. AND this story has a bookshop and a book in it! What else do I need?!
#13 – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
I think A Little Life is one book that is so universally loved because it broke a lot of people and made them BAWL. Everywhere I see, people are going, “I’m not okay,” and I went, “Okay then. I need that not-okayness in my life” and went and got this. This was a birthday gift from my parents who have no idea what’s about to happen to their daughter once she reads this. I don’t think even I know. 😛
Buy here: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
#14 – Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Ooooh this book was at the midst of a huge controversy on BookTube last year! There’s this readathon called The Reading Rush that happens every year around July-August and last year, this was the group book for it. But the hosts didn’t prioritize it and instead even made fun of themselves for not reading it. Which would have been fine had it not been for the fact that this book literally talks about performative allyship. It rubbed a lot of people the wrong way – including me – but the hosts did give an apology, although it sounded like a half-assed one. Let’s see what we do this year.
Buy here: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
#15 – Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
I don’t know anything about this book except for the fact that it talks about mansplaining, and that too I got from the title. But I’ve heard amazing things about this book and how it makes important points and revelations as to how men seen women. Super excited to read this. Will get to it in March, I’m thinking.
#16 – Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
This title of this book itself gave me the chills and made me go, “Why would anyone do this?” But it’s apparently from a William Blake poem. It’s not reassuring, but okay. This is a thriller set in Poland and we all know how much I love thrillers! Not that it is any benchmark of being a good book, but this one apparently won the International Man Booker Prize in 2018. Make what you will of it. 😛
#17 – Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford
Clementine Ford’s Fight Like a Girl was one of my favorite books of 2020. I can’t even tell you how much I loved that book because it made me go, “Yes. Yes! YES!!!” in so many places. Clementine Ford is fearless in the way she puts forth examples of how men are always treating women like trash and generalizing us, but when we go, “All men are the same,” they start calling us names. It’s also empowering to see how she deals with the assholes that harass her online. EVERYWHERE! I had second hand experience of this when I tagged her on Twitter saying that I loved the book and people came for me. Scared me, but it also made me laugh as to how huge of a snowflake the world is!
But that’s beside the point. My point is, I loved Fight Like a Girl and I’m sure that this one, Boys Will Be Boys is going to be one that’s going to be dropping even more truth bombs (pretty uncomfortable ones for the weaklings) than ever before. Looking forward to it!
#18 – Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa
The problem with the world is it prioritizes white men over everything else and I fuckign hate it! This is what happened with this book as well, that Susan Abulhawa, a Palestinian author was ignored in favour of Colum McCann who wrote a pretty meh book called Apeirogon about the Israel-Palestine situation. I disliked the book way before I even knew that Abulhawa’s book was treated this way, so you could say I’m a fair judge, no?
#19 – The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Another author and book that I should have read a long time ago! But you know what grinds my gears? That the author of Irrfan Khan’s biography spoiled this book for me. And I’m still pissed about it a year since this happened because I absolutely HATE spoilers! Why the f*ck would you do that? I mean, I’d understand if it was important to what you were writing, but at least warn your readers, no? It wasn’t even relevant, FFS!
Phew, I went off there for a minute, but I’m still excited to read this book. I swear!
Buy here: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
#20 – Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
A book recommended to me by a Bookstagrammer friend and one that I’m really excited to read! I think this will also be one that I can read for #LongAndShortOfIt and that makes me super happy that such a highly acclaimed, well-loved book is on my TBR for the year. Looking forward to it!
#21 – The Women Who Forgot to Invent Facebook and Other Stories by Nisha Susan
Another short story collection but this is a debut by an Indian author and that cover has me going all shades of loving pink! Just look at it! And the title is also so snappy and sarcastic that I want to just smirk at it for however long I might stay alive. 😛 But honestly, I’ve been hearing good things about it so that makes me cautiously optimistic about picking this book up! Maybe March?
So those were the 21 books that I’m looking forward to reading in 2021! These are all backlist books. I will be posting a new releases blog post this week, so stay tuned for that!
Let me know in the comments which of these books you’ve read, which you’ve liked, which you’ve disliked, which you’re excited for, which other books you’re looking forward to reading this year – tell me EVERYTHING! I’d love to chat with you! 🙂
I’ll see you in the next blog post.
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 😀
All pictures sourced from Goodreads.