Have you ever been more excited for a year to end? Seriously, the last time I was this happy was in 2016 when it was finally time to kick my fake ID to the curb. (For legal purposes this is just a joke).
Let’s be real though, we can’t expect the clock to strike midnight and everything in the world to magically be better. This ain’t no fairytale. But we can welcome the new year with open arms.
The world’s storyline may be a bit off balance right now — like, where exactly did those murder hornets go? But that’s exactly why it’s the perfect time to lose yourself in an actual story.
Whether you’re reading to educate yourself, reading to escape reality, or reading to snag that totally cute mysterious boy you see all the time with his face hidden in a book, here are some reads you’ll definitely want to pick up this year.
1. Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman
When I tell you this book made me want to pack my bags and book a flight to the Italian Riviera in search of my well-deserved summer romance I’m not kidding. Seriously, check my Google history.
No, but really. This book is, in my opinion, beautifully written and not your typical love story. It follows a boy’s blossoming love for a guest staying at his parent’s summer house. The perfect romance novel to get lost in for a few days (or hours because, like me, you will not be able to put this book down).
2. Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America – Ijeoma Oluo
I’ve learned that if the title of a book makes you uncomfortable, that’s a pretty good indicator that you should probably read it. During quarantine, I read So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and I was not disappointed. So, naturally, I’m very excited about this read.
In this book, Oluo points out white men’s efforts to subvert women, people of color, and the disenfranchised, investigating the backstory of America’s growth. Reading will lead you to the question of “how did we get here?”
3. Stray – Stephanie Danler
I first heard of Stephanie Danler when I read her novel Sweetbitter and instantly fell in love with her style of writing. Stray has been on my radar since I found out she was releasing another book.
Stray is a memoir about growing up in a shattered family and a woman’s attempts to live a life devoid of her past. It toys with the fact that we inherit things we may not always want to from our past. It also points out how we have to face those things in order to move forward and find peace.
4. Whole Beauty – Shiva Rose
After the mess that 2020 was, 2021 should be all about self-care — bubble baths, face masks, and a permanently topped off wine glass. (Let’s be real, this is how I feel about every year). Whole Beauty is the book that makes this possible.
Whole Beauty is a guide on how to practice whole beauty practices right at home. Rose includes recipes for DIY face masks, explains the art of Ayurveda, and pushes us to be more spiritual through the use of essential oils and crystals, and that’s not even half of it.
I found one of my favorite smoothies through this book, something Rose likes to call the Cacao Maca Cloud Smoothie, and you’re just going to have to give this book a read to find out what it is for yourself! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
5. Film for Her – Orion Carloto
I’m a huge Orion Carloto fan. From her poetry to her photography I love how she romanticizes everything she experiences leaving us all to swim around in a pool of nostalgia. I was not disappointed with Carloto’s first book Flux, and I’m looking forward to reading Film for Her even more.
In Film for Her, Carloto takes us through her past, present, and future through photographs, poetry, and prose. It’s essentially a visual diary and I’m sure will tug on all our heartstrings.
There are no guarantees that 2021 will be better than 2020, but the least we can do is hope, pray, and if all else fails, pretend reality doesn’t exist and get lost in a sea of books instead.