The best releases of 2021 to kickstart your resolution to read more this year.

By Megha Alam

Beautiful World Where Are You – Sally Rooney

You either love her or you hate her but there’s no way you haven’t come across Sally Rooney in the past couple of years. The Irish author, known for her television adapted novel, Normal People, published her latest and my personal favourite book of hers back in September. Filled with the  intermittent comfortably cynical email conversation and flawed yet relatable characters, (both Rooney trademarks), this story differs in that the course of the charaprevious cters’ relationships is followed to the end less ambiguously and reads as a mature departure from her novels. 

Detransition, Baby – Torrey Peters

A chaotic story three characters (trans and cis) confronted with the potential to be a parent and create a family, except it’ll be in a way they never expected. It’s a messy, unique and witty book about queerness and family that will satiate your desire to read trans characters in literary fiction. 

Cultish – Amanda Montell

If you’re fascinated by true crime, cults or psychology then this book is for you. Montell explores another side to all things cultish from Scientology to SoulCycle, namely the lexicon that underpins them and explains how their language enables them to do all that they are capable of. If you’re one of the lucky ones, then this book won’t trigger some self-reflection on how you respond to cultish language. 

Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson 

No book has truly engulfed me into the narrative as this love story has, maybe because it is written in second person or perhaps the familiar setting of London. The poetic and elegant prose describes two young black artists slowly and softly falling in love in a city that is as warm and inviting as it is brutal and cold. 

Crying in H Mart – Michelle Zauner

Michelle Zauner, lead singer of indie rock band Japanese breakfast, has written a raw and emotional memoir that explores love, loss, belonging and the complexity of family ties. It details Zauner’s life growing up as a mixed race Korean-American in the US and the pivotal role that food plays in her identity. If you happen to eat food or have a family then you will find yourself somewhere in these pages.  

Nightbitch – Rachel Yoder

This kafkaesque satire details the hardships of motherhood and of womanhood in general, so absurdly and nightmarishly that you will burst out with laughter while feeling unsettled. Yoder employs magical realism in such a way that renders this book unforgettable, whether you like it or not. 

Hey, I’m Megha and I study Politics and History. I predominantly like to write about literature but I also love film and fashion. If you ever want to chat to me about anything or give me any book recommendations you can find me on instagram (@megha.vii) or email me at


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