Enticing reads for 2021. Image: Ryan McEachern/Penguin
If 2020 showed us anything, it was how much we need our independent booksellers. As the country locked down, these community hubs and beloved book shops adapted in the most trying of times to keep us stocked up with reading material.
It’s a new year, and we’re still in lockdown, but i
ndependent bookshops are still delivering us with brilliant new books. Up and down the country, we asked those who run them which titles they’re most looking to selling in 2021. Molly at The Portobello Bookshop, Edinburgh
by Open Water Caleb Azumah Nelson
This short novel is rightfully receiving a lot of hype as Nelson's writing is vibrant and emotive, following two Black British artists falling in and out of love in London, and exploring race, masculinity and sexuality with a deft hand.
by Checkout 19 Claire-Louise Bennett
Pond - a collection of short stories linked in their eccentricities - Bennett's writing proved itself to be fresh and inventive, and Checkout 19, about a young female writer and exploring similar themes of class and artistic freedom, will appeal to readers of Deborah Levy and Rachel Cusk.
theportobellobookshop.com Emma at The Hungerford Bookshop, Hungerford
I’m a big fan of
Claire Fuller’s novels ( was a big seller for us last Summer): she’s such a great storyteller. So I am very excited that Bitter Orange Unsettled Ground is due to be published in March (it’s set near us too!). This promises to be a story of resilience and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized but remarkable people take centre stage. I can’t wait to read it – I know I will be totally immersed in her characters’ lives.
hungerfordbookshop.co.uk William at Stillwater Books, Felixstowe
by Transcendent Kingdom Yaa Gyasi
is a best seller in the shop and a staff favourite. I’m looking forward to another moving and thoughtful novel that deals with important social and emotional issues. Homegoing
stillwaterfelixstowe.co.uk Sheridan at Aardvark Books, Bucknell
by A New History of Britain Philip Parker
We have organised a number of really large antique map shows here over the last decade and maps are really important to us. This looks like a really new and original take on history.
by Three Summers Margarita Liberaki
Liberaki is not an author that any of us have come across before but this looked really intriguing – sort of in the Elena Ferrante wheelhouse, and just at the moment anything set in Greece seems appealing.
aardvark-books.com Isobel and Caitlin at City Books, Hove
Empireland by Sathnam Sanghera
Considering how popular titles concerning race and empire were following the murder of George Floyd last year, I think
Empireland will follow suit. Having read a bit about it, it looks like the perfect book for our customers who have read books on the topic (such as by White Fragility Robin DiAngelo and Natives by Akala) but now want to delve more into the details and the history behind it.
by Malibu Rising Taylor Jenkins Reid
I've read previous titles by Taylor Jenkins Reid that I really enjoyed so
Malibu Rising is one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. I read a proof a couple of months ago and think it will really appeal to our customers.
city-books.co.uk Louise at Reads Bookshop, Holmfirth