The Authenticity Project
When a lonely, eccentric artist decides to write the truth about his life in a green notebook, he couldn’t have imagined the chain of events he sets into motion. The Authenticity Project follows the lives of six strangers who are brought together by that notebook, each sharing their own truths, who all find expected friendship and community. It’s a feel-good novel that’s sure to lift your spirits!
The Better Liar
The Better Liar is a dark, addictive psychological thriller featuring three women with horribly dangerous secrets and an inheritance on the line. I was blown away from the first sentence (“Like most of the dead, I want to be remembered.”) and couldn’t stop reading until the very last (which I won’t spoil). I’ve been telling my friends it’s like Gone Girl, but with three Amys…
Deacon King Kong
Deacon King Kong was one of the biggest books of 2020—and for good reason. An Oprah’s Book Club pick and one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year, this novel is about a cranky church deacon who shoots a drug dealer in broad daylight, and no one knows why. Darkly funny, this novel contains multitudes and is a testament to the power of hope and compassion. So, if you haven’t read it yet, stop making excuses and pick up this paperback ASAP.
I was a little hesitant to read a novel about a young boy who survives the plane crash that kills the rest of his family. Sounds depressing, right? And while Dear Edward did break my heart, it also put it back together. This novel is instantly compelling, emotionally intelligent, and ultimately hopeful—and great for book clubs.
I’ll be honest—I haven’t actually read Interior Chinatown yet. It’s on my TBR list though, and I’ve seen so many rave reviews. The Washington Post calls it a “delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire” and NPR says it “plays with how we internalize stereotypes in the movies in this sometimes devastating, sometimes hilarious, but always captivating novel.” Maybe we can read it together?
It's Not All Downhill From Here
If you’re looking for a really fun novel featuring strong, intelligent women, pick up It’s Not All Downhill From Here immediately. In her late sixties, Loretha is not one of those women who think her best days are behind her—and she’s determined to prove it. But then an unexpected loss turns her world upside down and she’s going to need help from her loyal group of friends as she tries to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.
Long Bright River
Part thriller, part police procedural, and part family saga, Long Bright River is wholly brilliant. This novel is about two sisters—one is a police officer and one is addicted to heroin and is suddenly missing—but it’s also about the nature of family, addiction, and a city in crisis. I read all 500 pages in two days because I couldn’t stop reading!
Technically this book isn’t new in paperback. . . but Jhumpa Lahiri has a new novel coming later this spring and I’m going to re-read The Lowland—one of my favorite books ever—in anticipation. An exquisite family saga about two different brothers bound by tragedy, The Lowland is vivid storytelling at its finest. Moving from the 1960s to the present and from India to America, my mind often drifts through the various and beautifully described settings as I’m falling asleep at night. It’s one of those books that I read years ago, but haven’t stopped thinking about since.
Recipe for a Perfect Wife
The recipe for a perfect winter night is a hot beverage, a warm chocolate chip cookie, and a good book. I thoroughly enjoyed Recipe for a Perfect Wife—a captivating novel about a modern-day woman who finds inspiration in hidden notes from a 1950s housewife. I made the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the book and was shocked to learn that ground cloves are the perfect secret ingredient!
The Water Dancer
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Gorgeous, fantastical, evocative, and astonishing, The Water Dancer follows the life of a uniquely gifted slave and his relentless fight for freedom. It’s a magnificent story of history, memory, and creation. If you read any novel this winter, read this one.
Escape your winter blues with a few new 2021 paperback books . . . or five . . . or ten! If you’re anything like me, you rely heavily on books to get you through the cold days and long nights. I do my best reading during the winter, curled up on the couch or in my bed with a lit candle nearby and a pile of books all around me. These incredible books—now available in paperback—are definitely worth a read. From heartwarming novels to bone-chilling thrillers to literary award winners, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Featured Image: @Florin/Twenty20