Barnes & Noble announces its ten best books of 2021


Titles include literary masterpieces, a celebration of musical genius, a poignant book of poetry, a groundbreaking story, a one-of-a-kind guide to mental health and more

Barnes & Noble has announced its selection for the ten best books of 2021. The bookseller’s team of experts has selected these ten titles, plus a bonus title, from among the incredible new releases released this year. The list includes epic masterpieces, compelling memoirs, the must-see expansion of groundbreaking journalism work, and a plethora of what are sure to be instant classics.

?? 2021 has been an incredible year for publishing and an absolute treat for book lovers, ?? noted Jackie De Leo, Head of Merchandising, Barnes & Noble. The list of wonderfully curated books includes something for every type of reader: a hopeful masterpiece spanning centuries, a savage heist novel by an author best known for his literary Pulitzer Prizes. into fiction, a powerful exploration of the origins of America’s identity, a cookbook for every type of chef, a dive into the creative history of musical legend, Paul McCartney, and a highly anticipated collection of poetry from the poet Youth inaugural, Amanda Gorman, who literally brought the art of poetry to the world stage this year.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers connect readers with the best in publishing, with the goal of helping customers discover their next big book or new favorite author. The list of the best books of 2021 joins the Barnes & Noble book clubs, Discover Debut Authors, Monthly Picks, Children ?? s and YA Book Awards, and the Book of the Year program to highlight the titles most interesting to the Barnes & Noble booksellers.

Throughout 2021, Barnes & Noble has highlighted a range of diverse and talented authors from various genres and publishers who cover all kinds of topics. This list resurfaces some of these titles while also featuring new titles that readers may not have been introduced to before.

It has proven impossible to limit our Best Books of 2021 to ten titles this year without a little bloodshed. Each of these books has passionate advocates, and for the sake of peace this year we have eleven titles on the list. ?? noted Shannon DeVito, Director of Books, Barnes & Noble. This list has our favorite edition of the year. Any headline would make great holiday gifts or the perfect additions to any TBR reader. ??

Here are the best Barnes & Noble books of 2021:

The 1619 project, by Nikole Hannah-Jones
This captivating conversation between journalists, historians, poets, novelists, essayists and photographers brings Technicolor depth to our American history, opening up a kaleidoscopic historical perspective that lets us reflect on the voices and stories we only hear now. An exhilarating read, The 1619 Project responds to WEB DuBois ?? once asked the question: The nations stumble and stumble in their path; they make hideous mistakes; they commit terrible wrongs; they do great and beautiful things. And won’t we guide humanity as best we can by telling the truth about all of this, as long as the truth is verifiable ???

Burnt toast and other disasters, by Cal Peternell
After spending over 20 years as a chef at Chez Panisse, Cal Peternell decided to help readers learn from their mistakes with a cookbook featuring great ideas and tips for saving burnt, mushy, or overly-burned foods. cooked. His writing style is often humorous, but his ideas are perfect for everyone.

Call us what we transport, by Amanda Gorman
Young poet laureate Amanda Gorman ?? s inaugural poem from the 2021 inauguration helped set the tone for the year, so it’s only fitting that her poetry has its place on this list. What if light, beauty, and understanding washed over you as you read ?? The Hill We Climb, ?? then you are ready for total immersion. We’ll say it right away: the world is a better place for Amanda Gorman to work.

Cuckoo Earth Cloud, by Anthony Doerr
From beloved and award-winning author Anthony Doerr comes his first new novel in over six years: Cuckoo Earth Cloud. A welcome read that is a celebration of both resilience and hope told from the perspective of children who distinguish worlds (and times). An unforgettable epic from a master storyteller at the height of his art.

Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
Michelle Zauner, independent rockstar of Japanese Breakfast celebrity, is an incredible songwriter and her writing skills are fully on display in this often nostalgic memoir describing the life of a young rebel trying to reconcile her Asian heritage in a very white Eugene, Oregon.

Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
A sequel to his consecutive Pulitzer Prize-winning novels, Colson Whitehead returns with a lively and extremely entertaining heist novel that makes you feel like you’re walking down bustling 125th Street in 1960s Harlem. A true page turner from start to finish. the end.

Words, by Paul McCartney and Paul Muldoon (editor)
A historic publishing event featuring two volumes of lyrics by Paul McCartney ?? of his time before the Beatles, with the Beatles, Wings and his solo career ?? 154 songs in all. The book includes McCartney’s commentaries, unpublished photos, handwritten notes, artwork and ephemeral documents, all of which are in his personal collection and are being seen by the public for the first time. This two-volume set is a masterpiece inside and out with an attractive case and McCartney’s face on the spine. It’s the gift of the year and an essential addition to any fan’s library.

Pony, by RJ Palacio
Pony is the poignant story of a young boy in search of his beloved father on the 19th century American border. Accompanied by a mysterious pony and a ghost only he can see, Silas confronts his fears to embark on an epic quest fueled by the indomitable power of love. This richly imagined adventure story is undoubtedly worthy of a place on the shelf of every young reader.

The phrase, by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich’s inimitable and award-winning voice is back, and this time she kicks off a tumultuous year with the help of an adorable and quirky cast of characters. An unexpected ghost story that is both a topical novel with moments of laughter as well as a beautiful commentary on identity. Erdrich cemented himself as one of America’s greatest living authors.

Under the whispered door, by TJ Klune
Barnes & Noble booksellers love TJ Klune and his charming, big-hearted books like The house in the Cerulean sea, and waited, certainly impatiently, for his continuation, Under the whispered door, a delightful book about life with death as a character and a ghost that doesn’t want to move on. A little reassurance and a lot of hope goes a long way in a TJ Klune novel.

You will spend this night, by Daniel Howell
Daniel Howell is best known for two bestsellers (with his friend Phil Lester): The amazing book is not on fire and Dan and Phil go outside. He has amassed huge success on social media and understands the importance of the platform; he was touched by those who are going through difficult times … both emotionally and psychologically. So, with the help of a psychologist, he created this book to guide people through difficult times by getting them to focus on three key stages – get through tonight, get through tomorrow and the days after. With his characteristic humor, he shares his deeply thoughtful personal journey to empower his words.

The Barnes & Noble Buyers team also curated the Best New Releases of 2021 across several popular categories including Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller, Young Adult, Young Readers, and more. Readers can visit to learn more about the selected books.

Customers can find all of these titles at their local Barnes & Noble and on


About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest retail bookseller in the United States and a leading retailer of content, digital media, and educational products. The company operates more than 600 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, as well as the Nook Digital business and one of the Web’s leading e-commerce sites, (

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