The Most Anticipated Reads of 2021

The start of the new year brings the promises of new stories and new books to adore. I have a few on my list that I plan on reading this year that I am super excited about. Of course, this list would better be titled the books I’m most excited to read in the first quarter of 2021, but that doesn’t make for as good of a title.

Some of these are classics, some were released in 2020 and all of them should eventually have reviews on this site, so stay tuned.

What are you most excited to read this year?

#5 The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

I’ll admit, this one is a bit of a cheat since I’ve already finished this book. But I started it in 2021 and just so happened to read it all in a matter of a few days. So I’m going to write this as if I haven’t read it, but we’ll all know that’s a lie and just have to live with it I guess.

I read the first two books of the Mistborn trilogy towards the end of last year. I loved book one, had lukewarm feelings about book two, but, of course, I’m super invested and I want to know how the story ends. Book two ended on a massive cliffhanger, so there’s no chance of me putting down the series.

This feels like an obvious addition to this list. Of course the last book in a trilogy is going to be an anticipated read, I’m not shocking anyone with that. But this is also my first foray into the Cosmere or Brandon Sanderson books in general. This world that he has created is so interesting I’m sure this is the start of a long journey into his universe and his stories. I’m excited to take that trip.

#4 – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Review: The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - The Literary Edit
Photo courtesy of The literary Edit

Everyone at least knows about this book, right? Ever since I read the Three Musketeers series, Dumas has been one of my favorite writers, but I’ve never gotten around to reading The Count, which is widely regarded as his best novel. So, during my last trip to a local bookstore, I found a copy of it and it’s been sitting on my shelf for about a month, waiting on me to finally crack that spine. Which I plan on doing soon, but…

Guys, it’s long. Very long. And I’m no newbie when it comes to long novels. I mean, one of my favorite novels of all time is War and Peace. I’ve read my fair share of thousand page books. But you have to be ready for it. Something like that isn’t a book you pick up on a whim and parse through, its a commitment. Chances are most people have had relationships that lasted a shorter amount of time than it will take to read this book. That’s not something to do lightly.

So I have a few things that I wanted to knock out first, a few books that couldn’t wait, and then it’s on to the Count. I just started one book (that is, incidentally, the next entry on this list) which should be an easy read, and then I’m on to this one.

I’m so excited. I’ve been wanting to read this novel for years and I have high expectations. I hope it doesn’t let me down.

#3 – The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington

The Literate Quilter: Covid-19 Life: Jitters, TBR shelf, The Fur-grandkids
Photo courtesy of The Literate Quilter

This entry may be a bit of a surprise to some readers. At the very least, it might be a novel that some people haven’t heard of. It’s a new release, I actually think it came out in 2021, by Ed Tarkington, who is a Nashville author. I live in Nashville, so he is a part of my local writing scene.

I’ll admit, I’m not super plugged into the local Nashville writing scene. And I want that to change. So reading The Fortunate Ones is a start towards that. I want to be familiar with the work of authors who live near me (which means, if you’re a Nashville writer, hit me up. I’d love to connect). More so than the actual novel itself, I’ve been dying to read this book because it is a Nashville book.

Having said that, the actual story does sound really interesting. I’m about thirty pages into it right now and I’m fascinated by it. I’m sure there will be things I like and things I don’t like, expect to see that in the coming review, but for now I’m enjoying the story and interested to see where it goes.

#2 – Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1) by Nicholas Eames – meltotheany
Photo courtesy of Mel to the Any

I love fantasy, but the kind of fantasy that I typically enjoy the most is a light-hearted fun romp through a magical realm. That, at least from what I’ve heard, sounds exactly like what this book is.

I watched an interview Eames did with a popular book YouTuber and I really enjoyed the things he said about this book. Though I have heard negative reviews – people seem to be split down the middle – what they have said didn’t sound like negatives to me. It sounds like a nice, refreshing take on fantasy.

Of course, I haven’t looked into it very much and I could be completely wrong. If you’ve already read it, you might be sitting there smirking at me and saying I have no idea what I’m in for. But I’m down to give it a try, regardless.

#1 – Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Paperback only book review | Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know  about the People We Don't Know – Mental Doodad
Photo courtesy of Mental Doodad

This is, I believe Gladwell’s most recent book. I’ve long been a fan of Gladwell, but I hadn’t read his books until last year when I picked up Outliers. Safe to say I was absolutely blown away and completely thing everything this guy writes is going to blow my mind and change my life. This book is no exception.

More than that, Talking to Strangers feels like a powerfully relevant book for this current cultural moment. I mean, talking to people and understanding their story and their ideas? Sounds crazy right?

I love nonfiction almost as much as I love fiction and I can’t wait to give this one a read.

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