Ten Books to Start 2021

Every month, Amazon staffers sift through hundreds of new books searching for gems. Here are some of their favorites.

Books, coffee and a scarf on a window sill during a cold winter morning

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Fiction

Black BuckBook cover for Black Buck

by Mateo Askaripour

This funny and exuberant novel follows Darren, a Starbucks employee, who transforms into Buck, the best (and only Black) salesman at a new tech start-up. You’ll root for him and his mission to help get minorities into the workplace.

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Before She DisappearedCover for Before She Disappeared

by Lisa Gardner

Frankie Elkin, a middle-aged woman “with more regrets than belongings,” searches for people the police have given up on. In this thriller, it’s Lili Badeau, a Haitian teenager missing from her Boston home.

(Dutton)

A Thousand ShipsCover for A Thousand Ships

by Natalie Haynes

This tale of adventure, grit, and passion reimagines the Trojan War from the viewpoint of the women who had to cope with the loss of lovers, sons, and husbands, and how they came out on the other side.

(Harper)

The Wife UpstairsCover for The Wife Upstairs

by Rachel Hawkins

Fans of Jane Eyre will love this new twist on a classic. Jane’s dreams come true when she meets a wealthy widower, but as their romance escalates, their separate pasts threaten their shared future.

(St. Martin’s Press)

OutlawedCover for Outlawed

by Anna North

In this twist on the Western genre, a band of outlaw women try to create a town where all are welcome. There’s gun slinging and cowboy antics but also grim truths about society’s treatment of the infertile

(Bloomsbury)

Nonfiction

Cover for Nine DaysNine Days

by Stephen and Paul Kendrick

The pivotal story of how Martin Luther King Jr.’s jailing sparked three staffers on JFK’s team to fight for his release, and in so doing changed the trajectory of the entire Democratic Party.

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Cover for Pee WeesPee Wees

by Rich Cohen

Cohen has chronicled legendary teams like the Bears and the Cubs. Here he aims lower, to his son’s pee wee hockey team, but with all the drama, thrill, and camaraderie (plus parental dynamics) as his previous bestsellers.

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Cover for ChatterChatter

by Ethan Kross

As satisfying as it is helpful, Chatter will change the way you think about human nature, about those silent conversations you have with yourself, and about how those conversations can help and hurt you.

(Crown)

Cover for ExtraterrestrialExtraterrestrial

by Avi Loeb

In 2017, a bright, oddly shaped interstellar object made its way to our solar system. Loeb, an astrophysicist and Harvard professor, pulls together clues to explain this real-life outer space mystery.

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Cover for The Secret Life of Dorothy SoamesThe Secret Life of Dorothy Soames

by Justine Cowan

Cowan didn’t discover her mother was an orphan until after her death. In this memoir, the author digs deep to try to understand who raised her mother and why her grandmother gave up her baby.

(Harper)

This article is featured in the January/February 2021 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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