The pandemic has led many people to adopt new skills and pick up new hobbies. A year ago, I spent my summer with weekly breadmaking, crochet tutorials, and reading, which left me with a personal library that’s almost doubled. Soon, the time to read and bask in the sun will be among us. To get a head start, here are The Medium’s most anticipated reads for 2021. Each book is sure to keep you busy this summer.
Permission to Dream by Chris Gardner (April 13)
Set to publish in a few weeks, Chris Gardner’s Permission to Dream is the perfect inspirational read to kickstart your summer. The book follows Gardner and his granddaughter, Brooke, as they search for a harmonica. Along the way, they get lost and board a bus. Gardner recounts to his granddaughter his past struggles with darkness and the lessons he’s learned to find success. Permission to Dream is a timely fable about realizing one’s desires during times of uncertainty.
Other works by Garner include the self-help book Start Where You Are (2009) and another autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness (2003), which was a New York Times Best Seller and became a feature film starring Will Smith.
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (May 25)
If you enjoy a political mystery, Stacey Abrams’ While Justice Sleeps is the summer read for you. Expected to release in late May, this thriller tells the story of a junior law clerk, Avery Keene, who must become the power of attorney after her mentor, Justice Howard Wynn, falls into a coma. Keene discovers that Wynn had been meddling in a controversial case, leaving Keene to wonder if Wynn’s sudden coma was a coincidence or a consequence of discovering a dangerous secret.
The story takes place in the U.S. Supreme Court, which has some readers wondering about connections between Wynn’s investigation and the real-world corruption of the U.S. government.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (June 1)
The 2019 young adult romance, Red, White & Royal Blue, made readers swoon, and nothing less is expected from Casey McQuiston’s highly anticipated LGBTQ+ novel, One Last Stop. This novel follows August, a cynical 23-year-old, having just moved to New York City. August doesn’t believe in magic, true love, or fate, but that changes after she meets a beautiful girl named Jane on the subway. Soon, August must determine whether love is real, and whether a life with Jane is truly for her. This is a novel for hopeless romantics and New York City lovers.
Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch by Rivka Galchen (June 8)
If you enjoy historical fiction, witches, drama, or all three combined, look out for Canada author Rivka Galchen’snewest novel, Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch. Set in 17th century Germany, this tale follows Katharina, an illiterate widow known for her herbal remedies, during a time based in which women were accused and sentenced to death for witchcraft.
Katharina suffers this accusation by a deranged neighbour and is forced to tell her side of the story to save her life. With the help of her secretive neighbour, Simon, and her scientist son, Katharina works to prove herself innocent. Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch should be equal parts entertaining and provoking, serving a dark, witty story while illuminating the hypocrisy of the ruling Holy Roman Empire.
Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung (July 13)
Pik-Shuen Fung’s debut novel presents the haunting and unforeseen humorous story of a Chinese Canadian family. After immigrating to Canada with her mother and grandmother, and leaving her father behind in China, the unnamed protagonist grieves and remembers her father after his death. She’s left to ponder on how her family should grieve when they don’t discuss emotions or why her father was left behind in the first place. Although a fictional novel, Fung’s poetic storytelling illustrates the life experiences of many migrant Chinese Canadian families in the early 1990s.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix (July 13)
Horror fans will know there’s always one person left standing to tell the tale of what happened that dark and scary night, and Grady Hendrix’s next anticipated read is about just that: the final girl.
This novel follows Lynnette, the only survivor of an unthinkable massacre who joins a support group of five other women survivors. After 10 years of group meetings and the formation of an unbreakable bond, one of the “final girls” misses a meeting, leaving the rest of the group worried about her disappearance. They now must work together to solve the mystery, each unravelling secrets from their past.