We kicked off the first half of the year with 21 Books to Read in 2021—now, round out your reading year with the books everyone will be talking about from now through the end of 2021.

Jump to the Books:

Must Read Fiction

Big Nonfiction

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Must Read Fiction:

Harlem Shuffle: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.

“Whitehead delivers a portrait of Harlem in the early ’60s, culminating with the Harlem Riot of 1964, that is brushed with lovingly etched detail and features a wonderful panoply of characters who spring to full-bodied life, blending joy, humor, and tragedy. A triumph on every level.”—Booklist, starred review

“It’s a superlative story, but the most impressive achievement is Whitehead’s loving depiction of a Harlem 60 years gone—‘that rustling, keening thing of people and concrete’—which lands as detailed and vivid as Joyce’s Dublin. Don’t be surprised if this one wins Whitehead another major award.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Coming September 14th!

Soon to be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone: A Novel by Diana Gabeldon

Coming November 23rd!

#1 New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon returns with the newest novel in the epic Outlander Series.

Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1746, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same.

The past may seem the safest place to be . . . but it is the most dangerous time to be alive . . .

Coming November 23rd!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.

Matrix: A Novel by Lauren Groff

One of our best American writers, Lauren Groff returns with her exhilarating first new novel since the groundbreaking Fates and Furies.

“Set in early medieval Europe, this book paints a rousing portrait of an abbess seizing and holding power . . . Groff’s trademarkworthy sentences bring vivid buoyancy to a magisterial story.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Transcendent prose and vividly described settings bring to life historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208. Groff has outdone herself with an accomplishment as radiant as Marie’s visions.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Coming September 7th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Oh William!: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout

Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they’ve come from—and what they’ve left behind.

At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.”

“Strout is a brilliant chronicler of the ambiguity and delicacy of the human condition.”—The Guardian

“Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

Coming October 19th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Watch Our Literary Stars Author Panel—Featuring Elizabeth Strout!

Our Country Friends: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart

Eight friends, one country house, four romances, and six months in isolation—a novel about love, friendship, family, and betrayal, a book that reads like a great Russian novel, or Chekhov on the Hudson, by a novelist The New York Times calls “one of his generation’s most original writers.”

“A masterpiece . . . There cannot be a more relevant novel for our moment, certainly not one with such beauty of description, depth of feeling, and, as always, humor.”—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less

“Gary Shteyngart is a national treasure. He has always written with great humor and heart, but never more so than here. Be careful reading this book in public; it is as likely to make you laugh out loud as cry.”—Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Here I Am

Coming November 2nd!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click to Watch Our Literary Stars Author Panel—Featuring Gary Shteyngart!

The Lincoln Highway: A Novel by Amor Towles

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America.

“Towles’ third novel is even more entertaining than his much-acclaimed A Gentleman in Moscow . . . A remarkable blend of sweetness and doom, [The Lincoln Highway] is packed with revelations about the American myth, the art of storytelling, and the unrelenting pull of history. An exhilarating ride through Americana.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“[The Lincoln Highway] is reason to rejoice for Towles’s millions of fans, who made his first two novels, Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow, runaway international bestsellers.”—The Millions

Coming October 5th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

A Slow Fire Burning: A Novel by Paula Hawkins

The scorching new thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train.

A Slow Fire Burning twists and turns like a great thriller should, but it’s also deep, intelligent and intensely human.”—Lee Child

“Only a clairvoyant could anticipate the book’s ending”—The New York Times

Coming August 31st!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

What Strange Paradise: A Novel by Omar El Akkad

From the widely acclaimed, bestselling author of American War, a new novel—beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving—that looks at the global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child.

“Extraordinary . . . I haven’t loved a book this much in a long time.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Riveting . . . Nothing I’ve read before has given me such a visceral sense of the grisly predicament confronted by millions of people expelled from their homes by conflict and climate change. Though What Strange Paradise celebrates a few radical acts of compassion, it does so only by placing those moments of moral courage against a vast ocean of cruelty.”—The Washington Post

Now Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.

The Book of Form and Emptiness: A Novel by Ruth Ozeki

A brilliantly inventive novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things.

“Heart-breaking and heart-healing—The Book of Form and Emptiness is a triumph.”—Matt Haig, New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library

“A meditative tribute to books, libraries, and Zen wisdom.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A great premise, one that perfectly captures how it feels to be a child falling into a lifelong love of reading. It’s a book for book people, exploring how books can offer meaning and—in this case, literally—speak to us.”—BookPage

Coming September 21st!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Click to Watch our Literary Stars Author Panel—Featuring Ruth Ozeki!

The Last Graduate: A Novel by Naomi Novik

The specter of graduation looms large as Naomi Novik’s groundbreaking, New York Times bestselling trilogy continues in the stunning sequel to A Deadly Education.

In Wisdom, Shelter. That’s the official motto of the Scholomance. I suppose you could even argue that it’s true—only the wisdom is hard to come by, so the shelter’s rather scant.

Our beloved school does its best to devour all its students—but now that I’ve reached my senior year and have actually won myself a handful of allies, it’s suddenly developed a very particular craving for me. And even if I somehow make it through the endless waves of maleficaria that it keeps throwing at me in between grueling homework assignments, I haven’t any idea how my allies and I are going to make it through the graduation hall alive.

Unless, of course, I finally accept my foretold destiny of dark sorcery and destruction. That would certainly let me sail straight out of here. The course of wisdom, surely. But I’m not giving in—not to the mals, not to fate, and especially not to the Scholomance. I’m going to get myself and my friends out of this hideous place for good—even if it’s the last thing I do.

Coming September 28th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Wish You Were Here: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a deeply moving novel about the resilience of the human spirit in a moment of crisis.

Diana O’Toole’s life is perfectly on track.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of her departure to the Galápagos with her boyfriend, Finn, he breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen.

In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

Coming November 30th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Velvet Was the Night: A Novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a noir about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of a missing woman they’re both desperate to find.

“A delicious, twisted treat for lovers of noir. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a masterful writer who pulls you into her dark world and never lets you go. From the suspenseful, slow-burn plot to the crisp, desperate characters, you will be obsessed.”—Simone St. James, New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel

“It’s hard to describe how much fun this novel is—Moreno-Garcia, whose Mexican Gothic (2020) gripped readers last year, proves to be just as good at noir as she is at horror. The novel features memorable characters, taut pacing, an intricate plot, and antiheroes you can’t help but root for. A noir masterpiece.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Coming August 17th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.

My Sweet Girl: A Novel by Amanda Jayatissa

Paloma thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted and made it to America, but she’s about to find out that no matter how far you run, your past always catches up to you.

“Dark, compelling and utterly original. My Sweet Girl heralds a fresh, new voice in psychological suspense.”—Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Home Before Dark

“Hot damn this book is good.”—CrimeReads

Coming September 14th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click for a Book Club Kit.

The Family: A Novel by Naomi Krupitsky

A captivating debut novel about the tangled fates of two best friends and daughters of the Italian mafia, and a coming-of-age story of twentieth-century Brooklyn itself.

“Krupitsky has constructed a work of exquisite tension . . . A tremendous debut.”—Fiona Davis, author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

“It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up all night to read a book . . . Krupitsky has created a riveting story powerful in its realism.”—Diane Chamberlain, author of Big Lies in a Small Town

Coming November 2nd!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe

Scandalous gossip, wild parties, and forbidden love—witness what the gods do after dark in this stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of the best-known stories in Greek mythology from creator Rachel Smythe.

“What Scott Pilgrim did for Canadian slackers, Lore Olympus does for the Greek pantheon, while being so beautiful that you know Aphrodite is just staring daggers in its direction.”—Kieron Gillen, co-creator of The Wicked + The Divine

Coming October 5th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover and Trade Paperback Editions.

Out of Love: A Novel by Hazel Hayes

For anyone who has loved and lost, and lived to tell the tale, this gorgeously written debut is a love story told in reverse, a modern novel with the heart of a classic: truthful, tragic, and ultimately full of hope.

“Hazel Hayes writes with such honesty and casual confidence and flowing dialogue, you feel you are overhearing it rather than reading it. The writing sparkles with wit and a poignant emotional reality. I love it.”—Matt Haig, bestselling author of The Midnight Library

“A smart, touching, time-bending romance. Funny and affecting.”—David Nicholls, bestselling author of One Day and Sweet Sorrow

Coming September 28th!

Soon to Be Available in Trade Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Dare to Know: A Novel by James Kennedy

Dark Matter meets Annihilation in this mind-bending and emotional speculative thriller set in a world where the exact moment of your death can be predicted—for a price.

“[An] enjoyable slipstream thriller . . . Readers with a taste for the synchronicity of the cosmic with the commonplace are sure to be entertained.”—Publishers Weekly

“A razor-smart sci-fi corporate noir nightmare . . . A heartbreaking, time-bending, galactic mindbender delivered in the mordantly funny clip of a doomed antihero.”—Daniel Kraus, co-author of The Shape of Water

Coming September 14th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.

What We Carry: A Novel by Kalyn Fogarty

Fans of Caroline Leavitt will relish this rich, complex novel born of the author’s own loss and grief, about how one can overcome tragedy through bravery and self-discovery.

“Heartbreakingly honest and wonderfully emotional, What We Carry is a poignant and heartfelt novel of learning–and loving–through loss, filled with characters you long to root for.”—Kate Hewitt, USA Today bestselling author of When You Were Mine

“This fresh, unflinchingly honest story depicts the chronic ache of grief, the challenge of self-forgiveness, and ultimately, the achievement of a new sense of balance. With fully drawn characters that will live in your heart long after the last page, this moving portrait is not to be missed.”—Rebecca Hodge, author of Wildland

Coming August 10th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.

The Second Mrs. Astor: A Novel by Shana Abe

A mesmerizing novel of historical fiction from New York Times bestselling author Shana Abé, The Second Mrs. Astor tells the sweeping real-life Titanic love story of Madeleine Force, who became the teenaged bride of one of the world’s richest men, and triumphed over tragedy and heartache.

He was American royalty, the richest man in the country and Fifth Avenue scion of the Gilded Age. She was a vivacious teenage socialite suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into fame simply for falling in love with a famous man nearly three decades her senior. Brought to life in this sweeping work of historical fiction by bestselling novelist Shana Abé, the love story between Jack Astor and Madeline Force, from scandalous courtship to tragic honeymoon aboard the Titanic, which made them the most famous couple of their time.

Coming August 31st!

Soon to Be Available in Trade Paperback and eBook Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Big Nonfiction:

Renegades: Born in the USA by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen

Two longtime friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly produced expansion of their groundbreaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material.

Renegades: Born in the USA is a candid, revealing, and entertaining dialogue between President Barack Obama and legendary musician Bruce Springsteen that explores everything from their origin stories and career-defining moments to our country’s polarized politics and the growing distance between the American Dream and the American reality. Filled with full-color photographs and rare archival material, it is a compelling and beautifully illustrated portrait of two outsiders—one Black and one white—looking for a way to connect their unconventional searches for meaning, identity, and community with the American story itself.

Coming October 26th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover and eBook Editions.

Click for More Information About the Renegades Podcast.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story Edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times Magazine

A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.

Coming November 16th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Soon to Be Available for Young Readers: The 1619 Project: Born on the Water.

Will by Will Smith

One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.

“It’s easy to maneuver the material world once you have conquered your own mind. I believe that. Once you’ve learned the terrain of your own mind, every experience, every emotion, every circumstance, whether positive or negative, simply propels you forward, to greater growth and greater experience. That is true will. To move forward in spite of anything. And to move forward in a way that brings others with you, rather than leave them behind.”—Will Smith

Coming November 9th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: Essays by Phoebe Robinson

Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes is Phoebe Robinson’s latest and timely essay collection! We’ve all been through a trying time, which is why she wrote something to make you laugh until you pee a little, feel until you want to rage a little, and think until you go back to laughing a little.

“Strikes the perfect balance of brutally honest and laugh out loud funny. I didn’t want it to end.”—Mindy Kaling, New York Times bestselling author of Why Not Me?

“Whip-smart, laugh-out-loud, and unabashedly honest, this collection feels like a long awaited weekend with an old friend. Phoebe brings you in with her hilarity, and keeps you with her unparalleled social commentary. After the past year, I needed this!”—Abbi Jacobson, New York Times bestselling author of I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff

Coming September 28th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence by Anita Hill

From the woman who gave the landmark testimony against Clarence Thomas as a sexual menace, a new manifesto about the origins and course of gender violence in our society; a combination of memoir, personal accounts, law, and social analysis, and a powerful call to arms from one of our most prominent and poised survivors.

“With searing insight, Hill shows how much and how little things have changed since 1991. Her book gives hope, inspires activism, and discourages complacency.”—Library Journal, starred review

“A powerful argument that ending gender violence is an attainable goal, if only we apply ourselves to the work.”—Kirkus Reviews

Coming September 28th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

1000 Years of Joy and Sorrow: A Memoir by Ai Weiwei; Translated by Allan H. Barr

In his widely anticipated memoir, “one of the most important artists working in the world today” (Financial Times) tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, the nation’s most celebrated poet.

“Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s greatest living artists. He is a master of multiple media. His work is always thought-provoking, unpredictable, and immensely personal.”—Elton John, author of Me

“With uncommon humanity, humbling scholarship, and poignant intimacy, Ai Weiwei recounts a life of courage, argument, defeat, and triumph . . . he has written a majestic and exquisitely serious masterpiece about his China, which is in fact a book about our world. His is one of the great voices of our time.”—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree

Coming November 2nd!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Beautiful Country: A Memoir by Qian Julie Wang

An incandescent memoir from an astonishing new talent, Beautiful Country puts readers in the shoes of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world.

“Heartrending, unvarnished, and powerfully courageous, this account of growing up undocumented in America will never leave you.”—Gish Jen, author of The Resisters

“Extraordinary . . . Consider this remarkable memoir a new classic.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Coming September 7th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Invisible Child: Poetry, Survival & Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliot

The riveting, unforgettable story of a girl whose indomitable spirit is tested by homelessness, poverty, and racism in an unequal America—from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott of The New York Times.

By turns heartbreaking and inspiring, Invisible Child tells an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family, and the cost of inequality. Based on nearly a decade of reporting, Invisible Child illuminates some of the most critical issues in contemporary America through the life of one remarkable girl.

“A wonderful and important book.”—Tracy Kidder, author of Strength in What Remains and Mountains Beyond Mountains

Coming October 5th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: Essays by Helen Ellis

The bestselling author of American Housewife and Southern Lady Code returns with a viciously funny, deeply felt collection of essays on friendship among grown-ass women.

“An uproarious joyride, best enjoyed with a souvenir cup of white wine. Her tales of travels and tribulations with her middle-aged crew are both deep and deeply funny, seeded with bumper-sticker lines like, ‘Instead of a chip on my shoulder, I keep a Nestlé morsel under my brastrap.’”—Martha Stewart Living

“As with everything written by the Alabama-born novelist who gave us Southern Lady Code, this collection of twelve essays is equal parts irreverent and poignant—a mirthful toast to friendship at middle age.”—Southern Living

New York Times New and Noteworthy Book • A PureWow Best Beach Read of 2021 • A Buzzfeed Book to Read this Summer • A People Best Book of the Week

Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.

All About Me!: A Remarkable Life in Show Business by Mel Brooks

The long-awaited memoir, written by the author himself, reflecting on his incredible lifetime of work. All About Me! is funny, poignant, and nostalgic, like the comedy legend himself.

Filled with tales of struggles, achievements, and friendships, and dozens of personal collection photos from throughout Mel’s lifetime, readers will find behind-the-scenes stories and insights that led to Mel Brooks becoming one of the most accomplished and beloved entertainers and artists in history and one of the single greatest influences known to American comedy.

Coming November 30th!

Soon to Be Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

An Exciting Audio Original:

No One Goes Alone by Erik Larson

From New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson comes his first venture into fiction, an otherworldly tale of intrigue and the impossible that marshals his trademark approach to nonfiction to create something new: a ghost story thoroughly grounded in history.

Pioneering psychologist William James leads an expedition to a remote isle in search of answers after a family inexplicably vanishes. Was the cause rooted in the physical world . . . or were there forces more paranormal and sinister at work? Available only on audio, because as Larson says, ghost stories are best told aloud.

Coming September 28th!

Soon to Be Available in CD and Audio Download Editions.

Click for More Information.


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