Books I want to Read in 2021

Whatever 2021 has in store, there’s certainly lots of good books coming out this year. Here’s five on my list to read:

Light Perpetual – Francis Spufford. Golden Hill was one of those standout reads that leaves you laughing at the sheer audacity of the tone and that ending. In this new story, Spufford is giving new stories to children killed in the Blitz, allowing them to grow up and live. It sounds like the sort of magic only stories can bestow and just the thing to read at the moment. It is out in February.

Hot Stew – Fiona Mozley. Also on my Top Ten reads in 2107 was Mozley’s debut novel, Elmet. It was my favourite to win the Booker that year, but it was a very strong year (Lincoln in the Bardo was a worthy winner – but to be honest, Ali Smith’s Autumn was extremely good too!). I still remember where I was whilst I read the final pages of Elmet – such as the impression it made on me – and I’ve been waiting for her next novel ever since. This one’s set in London – so will presumably be quite different – and is out in March.

The Women of Troy – Pat Barker. This is the sequel to The Silence of the Girls, which was shortlisted for the Costa Prize and which I had as one of my Top Ten reads for 2019. This picks up in the aftermath of the fall of Troy and continues the story of Briseis. I’m currently obsessed with the story of Troy, so I can’t wait to see what she does with it. The Women of Troy is out in August.

Silent Catastrophes: Essays on Literature – W. G. Sebald. Reading Austerlitz predates my blog and so I’ve never written about it. But it is amazing and original – as is his other writing – and so I’m a) going back to it this year and b) looking forward to this literary criticism collection coming out in November. There’s no one really like Sebald for his mix of narrative and image, and his early death means that anything being republished is to be grabbed.

The Thursday Murder Club 2 – Richard Osman. The sequel to the hugely successful The Thursday Murder Club, The Thursday Murder Club 2 is out in September, and I’m already looking forward to it. I loved the characters, particularly Elizabeth, and I have high hopes for this one. As, by the looks of the sales charts, will a lot of others.

I could list another 20 books – for heaven’s sake, we’ve got books by Ishiguro, Porter and Jane Harper coming out too, plus a Terry Pratchett biography – but I’ll stop there. No doubt, there’ll be other fantastic new (or republished) books I stumble across too. In this sense alone, 2021 is looking like a decent year!

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