Here’s a bit of a different one. I’m always eager to look at all the new novels that are released throughout the year, and obviously, hone in on the ones I’d like to read.
Although this means lots of excitement for me, it also means I can miss out on a lot of excellent books simply because they aren’t the kinds of books I usually prefer. As part of my constant drive to really expand the kinds of books I read, I thought I would write a list here of books releasing in 2021 from genres I don’t typically read.
There are some real gems here! I’m definitely going to be looking more widely at publishing lists from now on!
People Like Her — Ellery Lloyd
Synopsis: People like Emmy Jackson. They always have. Especially online, where she is Instagram sensation Mamabare, famous for always telling the unvarnished truth about modern parenthood But Emmy isn’t as honest as she’d like the fans to believe. She may think she has her followers fooled, but someone out there knows the truth and plans to make her pay.
This book contains two things I’m not usually a fan of – thriller plots and stories about influencers – but it looks intriguing! I think it will have something interesting to say about the online vs irl persona we all have, and it sounds like it would be a fun read.
The Talk of Pram Town – Joanna Nadin
Synopsis: It’s 1981. Eleven-year-old Sadie adores her beautiful and vibrant mother, Connie, whose dreams of making it big as a singer fill their tiny house in Leeds. It’s always been just the two of them. Until the unthinkable happens. Jean hasn’t seen her good-for-nothing daughter Connie since she ran away from the family home in Harlow – or Pram Town as its inhabitants affectionately call it – aged seventeen and pregnant. But in the wake of the Royal Wedding, Jean gets a life-changing call: could she please come and collect the granddaughter she’s never met?
This book is set in the 80s and revolves around a mother, her daughter and her mother. As enjoyable as any story about second chances usually sounds, this has the kind of synopsis that I wouldn’t necessarily read, but a story exploring mothers and daughters definitely sounds intriguing.
Just Eat It – Laura Thomas
Synopsis: Just Eat It isn’t just a book. It’s part of a movement to help us take back control over our bodies. To free us from restrictive dieting, disordered eating and punishing exercise. To reject the guilt and anxiety associated with eating and, ultimately, to help us feel good about ourselves. This anti-diet guide from registered nutritionist Laura Thomas PhD can help you sort out your attitude to food and ditch punishing exercise routines.
Self-help or wellness books are not anything I regularly read (or ever read, actually!) and that’s doubly so when they’re about diet and exercise. However, the premise of this book, it’s almost angry title, does actually make it feel like something different. I always think I should give myself a healthier attitude to food, and this author clearly thinks so too.
Last One at the Party – Bethany Clift
Synopsis: It’s December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended. The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM (‘Six Days Maximum’ – the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself). But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.
Is it just me or do stories about viruses hit a bit different these days? Either way, I’m not a huge fan of apocalyptic fiction. It’s the kind of thing I prefer in movies (maybe because it’s a bit less…heavy). But there is something very compelling about this story, which follows a woman and her dog trying to discover herself because… no one else exists.
Thin Places – Kerri ni Dochartaig
Synopsis: Kerri ni Dochartaigh was born in Derry, on the border of the North and South of Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a council estate on the wrong side of town. But for her family, and many others, there was no right side. One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year they were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like Kerri’s, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape.
Admittedly, it was the beautiful cover that first drew me to this book, but the summary is very interesting too. I never usually read memoirs (I don’t know why, though??) but this one, about a woman’s childhood in Ireland during the Troubles, seems like a story made for this moment. Borders and the identities that transcend them seem to have become political talking points these days, but these are people’s lives, and it is nice to see people writing about it in this way.
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster – Bill Gates
Synopsis: Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.
Look, if I don’t read memoirs, I’m certainly not going to read ‘authoritative’ how-to’s from billionaires. My problem with books about climate change is half of them are from people attempting to place the blame of literal global warming with individuals rather than say, oil companies. But I am honestly kind of curious about what’s in this book! I don’t want to be misjudging it from the cover and I am also always very intrigued by the kind of tech that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and that’s a large part of this book.
Looking at books I would never usually look at on release schedules rather than only keeping track of a handful of faves is actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I’m making no promises to myself to read any of these books, but I probably will, and it’s nice to have them on my radar!
Do you plan to read any of these? What genres do you never read and want to explore?