5 Books to Add to Your 2021 Reading List

January 12, 2021
Holly Rice
Hello Knix babes! My name is Holly, I’m a book publicist and bookstagrammer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. For reasons you might have guessed, 2020 was not my best year for reading, and despite our prolonged time at home, it was difficult to focus on self-care and book-related goals while my body held so much mourning for the world. Now, while I am firmly not in the “new year, new me” camp of thought, I am a Virgo, which means that goal setting and list writing are less lifestyle overhauls and more fun and frequent hobbies. (I do both every weekend).  

So, on the doorstep of this bright new year, I made some reading resolutions and promises I plan to keep for myself, and I’m thrilled to be sharing some books to kick off 2021! From romantic comedies, to essay collections, there are a wide-range of entry points here, no matter your tastes. My main reading resolution of 2021 was to adventure into genres I wouldn’t normally try, and I invite you to let one of these selections surprise you. If you’re as devout a reader as I am (or not!), feel free to follow along with my reading journey on Instagram. I’ll be there (probably in my Knix Waffle Robe) chronicling the slog through my never ending TBR pile. 

HOOD FEMINISM by Mikki Kendall

This brilliant and unflinching debut essay collection spotlights the shortcomings of the modern feminist movement and how white feminism’s blindness to other marginalized identities (such as race, class, physical ability, and queerness) continues the oppression of women. Along with her scorching, albeit fair, critique of an ever changing movement, Kendall also offers pathways forward for readers to practice a feminism that is inclusive of all. Hood Feminism is a must-read for everyone, but especially for white women who have co-opted the benefits of feminism for themselves. Don’t leave your anti-racist education in 2020.

Hood Feminism

SPOILER ALERT by Olivia Dade

Marcus Caster-Rupp, the hunky star of a successful fantasy television series takes hardcore fan, April Whittier, on a date after trolls flood the comments of her viral plus-size cosplay. Unbeknownst to April, they are both prolific fanfiction writers of the books the television show is based on—and they’ve known each other by their screen names for ages. Marcus can’t deny his quickly developing feelings for April, but he isn’t quite ready to risk his career to cop to this online persona. A fun, escapist celebration of plus-size bodies and dedicated fandoms everywhere, Spoiler Alert is a single-sitting read, regardless if you meant to or not!

Spoiler Alert

THE COSMIC CALENDAR by Christopher Renstrom

Expert astrologer and horoscope writer Christopher Renstrom provides practical guidance for applying our personal astrology to real-life action and decision making. He encourages readers to think of their birth charts as individualized maps to lead them through the seasons of life, whether it be for personal development, romance, or their careers. For those who are using 2021 as a fresh start, Renstrom’s useful final chapter breaks down each planet and placement to help readers create an optimal plan for the year ahead. Here’s to finally being prepared for anything!

Cosmic Calendar

THE DIVINES by Ellie Eaton 

St. John the Divine, an elite all-girls boarding school in Britain, was forced to close in the 90s after a violent scandal. Josephine has not spoken to her classmates since the school’s dissolution, but a visit to the former grounds prompts ghostly, hazy memories of teenagerhood. Cruel, disloyal, and overtly sexual, the girls of Divine once thought themselves invincible, but Josephine now grapples with the history of her formative experiences and the consequences the Divine never faced for their most dire transgressions. Eaton’s coming-of-age debut is a provocative and spine-tingling portrait of class division and the high-school cool girl, and if you’re a die-hard fan of the dark academia trend you can’t miss this evocative entry.

The Divines

HONEY GIRL by Morgan Rogers

Grace Porter has a PhD in astronomy, celebrating her newly minted doctorate with an out-of-character girl’s trip to Vegas and a drunken marriage to a stranger. This staggering divergence from her usual behavior has Grace questioning her ex-military father’s best laid plans for her career, especially in a field dominated by white men. With the summer stretching ahead, Grace uproots her life in Portland to follow her new wife, radio storyteller Yuki Yamamoto, to New York. This delightful debut shines in its gauzy, lyrical prose, offering a safe place for readers to land in their first books of 2021.

Honey Girl

 I hope 2021 brings you some new favorite reads. Happy New Year!