2021 Books of The Year

Our to-be-read pile was stacked high in 2021 with many great new releases -- from new titles from best-selling authors to inventive debuts. These are the books that we stayed up late reading, the ones we talked about and recommended, and the ones our customers loved. Here are Tattered Cover's Books of the Year, 2021.

Drumroll, please....

 

 

 

Cloud Cuckoo Land
By Anthony Doerr

I was completely absorbed in this beautiful novel. Several characters, centuries apart, with a shared connection to a mythical Greek story. Magical and mesmerizing, Cloud Cuckoo Land was my favorite book this year. - Kathy B. 

 

 

 

 

 

Crying In H Mart
By Michelle Zauner

Michelle Zauner’s memoir of her relationship with her Korean mother speaks painfully and intimately of its turbulence: “There was no one in the world that was ever as critical or could make me feel as hideous as my mother, but there was no one . . . who ever made me feel as beautiful.” As Zauner reconsiders that relationship in view of her mother’s terminal cancer and the void her death left, there emerges an eloquent picture of a more steadfast, privately shared connection that was expressed rather indirectly, largely in the language of foods they loved. Vividly detailed, this memoir shares a realization with its reader of how deeply and fiercely love can imprint itself on the heart. - Gerald D. 

 

 

Detransition Baby 
By Torrey Peters

This is a book about trans and cisgendered people in a love triangle of sorts. It’s a provocative story about how we come together when we’re lonely and the consequences we face when emotions run high. Torrey Peters offers an incredibly smart novel about the future of sex and gender. - Adam V. 

 

 

 

 

The Holly
By Julian Rubinstein

I’m excited about this book for many reasons but let’s start with just three. First it’s the compelling tale of the complex, charismatic gang leader turned activist Terrence Roberts. Next, this is a fascinating history of the neglected Black Northeast Denver which just became hot again when it’s value was “rediscovered”. Last, it works as a nuanced chronicle of a city dealing with the rise of gang violence and the often flawed attempts, by everyone, to make things better. - Derek H.

 

 

Intimacies
By Katie Kitamura

Quiet stories about brutal violence, romantic discord and the power of translation, told in stunningly beautiful language. Kitamura’s writing is a testament to the delicate yet powerful nature of words and how we use them for clarity or obfuscation. This novel is quiet, mysterious and will linger in your imagination. - Jeremy P.

 

 


 

Let The Record Show
By Sarah Schulman

A substantial portrait and history of the crucial years of  the New York chapter of ACT UP, a movement that broke the silence, experienced failures but succeeded to a remarkable extent in changing the world for those with HIV/AIDS. A minority of a minority, mainly unknown, spoke for the dying, sometimes while dying, and made themselves heard in a way that shattered the established silence. Heart-breaking at times, ultimately inspiring. - Gerald D. 

 

 

 

Milk Blood Heat
By Dantiel W. Moniz

Dantiel W. Moniz is one of the most exciting voices in literature. Her stories in this collection are a searing portrait of girlhood and womanhood set against the sultry backdrop of hot Florida days. Each story is a sharp, intelligent, and heartwarming portrait of a character that’ll leave you completely satisfied. - Kathy B. 

 

 

 

 

My Heart Is A Chainsaw
By Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart is a Chainsaw pays tribute to the slasher genre by featuring a main character, Jade, who is an authority on the subject. Plenty of frights, gore, and other slasher tropes are splendidly utilized. While there's plenty of horror, there is also no shortage of heart as the author pulls at your emotions amidst the terror. - Josh C. 

 

 

 

 

On Juneteenth
By Annette Gordon-Reed

Part memoir, part history, ‘On Juneteenth’ is a beautiful combination of personal and cultural - and serves as a thoughtful commentary on the national relevance of a Texas-specific date. - Jennifer M. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrong End of the Telescope
By Rabih Alameddine

Set on the island of Lesbos during the Syrian refugee crisis, Alameddine beautifully, poignantly blurs the lines between insider and outsider, responsibility and helplessness, good intentions and good actions. Mina and those around her are so incredibly rich and compelling that the story just makes a home inside your head. This book is so incredibly good. - Jennifer M. 

 
     
     

 

 

 

The Genius Under The Table
Written and Illustrated By Eugene Yelchin

Yelchin tells of growing up behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War and his story has it all - art, poetry, ballet, family, hilarity and lots of love.

 

 

 

 

 

A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi
Written and Illustrated by James Yang

This imagining of Noguchi (a Japanese-American artist) as a young boy who preferred solitude, revelling in the wonders and shapes of nature, is tender and beautiful.

 

 

The Night Walk
Written and Illustrated by Marie Dorleans

A family of four walks through the night and the village to a stunning dawn.

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody in The Red Brick Building
Written by Anne Wynter, Illustrated by Oge Mora
A baby wakes and sets off a chain reaction of loud noises in the apartments but then the noises of the community and the city brings the chaos back to peaceful quiet.

 

 

 

Change Sings
Written by Amanda Gorman, Illustrated by Loren Long

A young girl takes a cast of characters on a musical journey in this beautifully-illustrated tribute to change and community.

 

 

 

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
Written by Traci N. Todd, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Nina Simone was a gorgeous African American musician and civil rights activist - a fitting candidate for this gorgeous picture book biography.

 

 

 

 

 

Merci Suarez Can’t Dance
By Meg Medina

Merci has lots of responsibilities in her sprawling Cuban-American family and she has to navigate seventh grade.  Her story is told with much heart and humor.

 

 

 

 

 

Amber & Clay
By Laura Amy Schlitz

Part historical fiction, part performance piece, this tale quite poetically tells the story of an unlikely pair - invoking the Greek gods, Socrates and modern ideas of gender and love.

 

 

 

 

A Snake Falls to Earth
By Darcie Little Badger

Using Lipan Apache storytelling, Little Badger weaves a futuristic tale of magic, monsters and family - original and not to be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

Blackout
By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon

When the lights go out, love blossoms.  Six beloved authors bring us stories of Black teen love.

 
     
     

 




 

Staff Pick Badge
Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781982168438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 28th, 2021
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Staff Pick Badge
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525657743
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - April 20th, 2021
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Detransition, Baby: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593133378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - January 12th, 2021
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The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374168919
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 11th, 2021
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Intimacies: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399576164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - July 20th, 2021
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Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780374185138
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 18th, 2021
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Milk Blood Heat Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802158154
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - February 2nd, 2021
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My Heart Is a Chainsaw Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982137632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - August 31st, 2021
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On Juneteenth Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631498831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - May 4th, 2021
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The Wrong End of the Telescope Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802157805
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 21st, 2021
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The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain Cover Image
By Eugene Yelchin, Eugene Yelchin (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781536215526
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - October 12th, 2021
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A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593203446
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 15th, 2021
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The Night Walk: New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781782506393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Floris Books - April 20th, 2021
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Everybody in the Red Brick Building Cover Image
By Anne Wynter, Oge Mora (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062865762
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 19th, 2021
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Change Sings: A Children's Anthem Cover Image
By Amanda Gorman, Loren Long (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593203224
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - September 21st, 2021
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Nina: A Story of Nina Simone Cover Image
By Traci N. Todd, Christian Robinson (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781524737283
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 28th, 2021
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Lotería Cover Image
By Karla Arenas Valenti, Dana SanMar (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593176962
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 7th, 2021
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Amber and Clay Cover Image
By Laura Amy Schlitz, Julia Iredale (Illustrator)
$22.99
ISBN: 9781536201222
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - March 9th, 2021
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A Snake Falls to Earth Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781646140923
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Levine Querido - November 23rd, 2021
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Blackout: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063088092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - June 22nd, 2021
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