Top 10 most popular books in 2021

I did a summary of the 10 most popular ebooks that were trending on Kobo during the holiday break. This list will give you an idea of the titles people were clicking on during the Christmas and Kwanzaa break.

Ten of the most sought-after books this year were prized bestsellers that tackled real life stories, fed our need for adventure with fantasy, our curiosity with mystery, gave us some comedic relief as they made their way onto popular bookclub reading lists, top newspaper and magazine bestseller lists — among millions of other books — and landed in front of former presidents, film producers, and everyday pyjama-wearing people all over the world to be enjoyed during the holidays.

1

What Strange Paradise
by Omar El Akkad

This novel was the winner of the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize, a national bestseller and the most popular. From the author of American War, What Strange Paradise follows nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy and sole survivor of the journey on a migrant ship that shores on a small island where he meets a teenage girl named Vanna. The two children find their way through life, giving us glimpses of the hardship of the real world. Click the image for full details about the book.

2

The Other Black Girl
by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Life can be distressing when you’re the only Black girl in the office. The Other Black Girl was an instant New York Times bestseller, a Good Morning America and Read with Marie Claire Book Club Pick, and a People Best Book of Summer. Editorial assistant Nella Rogers starts to get notes telling her to leave the company after her new officemate Hazel is elevated in the company and leaves her behind. This debut novel looks at isolation and microaggression turned into hostile threats in the publishing world. It was named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Parade, Goodreads, Fortune, and the BBC. It was named a Best Book of 2021 by TimeThe Washington PostEsquireVogueEntertainment WeeklyThe Boston GlobeHarper’s Bazaar, and NPR.

3

Somebody’s Daughter
by Ashley C. Ford

In her memoir, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for advice about her troubled relationships. When she is sexually assaulted by her boyfriend she keeps it a secret from her family. Her world is fractured when she finds out why her father is in jail. Somebody’s Daughter examines the world of a poor Black girl living a complex and isolating life in Indiana, U.S., who embarks on a journey to find out who she really is.

4

The Paper Palace
by Miranda Cowley Heller

The Paper Palace life may be torn apart by secrets and lies in this #1 New York Times bestseller. Over the course of one day in Cape Cod, Elle, a fifty-year-old married mother of three has a backdoor indiscretion with her childhood friend while both their spouses are inside the summer house, and now has to decide between desire and dignity. Reese Witherspoon, known for turning books into screen gems chose this book for Reese’s Book Club in July.

5

Malibu Rising
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

From the author of the bestselling book Daisy Jones & The Six comes Malibu Rising, another national bestseller and a New York Times #1 bestselling novel. It takes place in Malibu in 1983. Four talented and famous siblings from the Riva family of musicians, models, surfers, and photographers, throw their annual epic end-of-summer bash, but this time it will truly be unforgettable. Their lives will change forever.

6

The Crown of Gilded Bones
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes book three in her Blood and Ash series. The Crown of Gilded Bones is a 777-page fantasy adventure. Poppy is the true ruler of Atlantia by blood but must battle dangerous forces, even the Queen of Blood and Ash — who threaten to destroy everything that she and Prince Casteel have fought for — before she can wear the crown and rule the kingdom that is her birthright.

7

Klara and the Sun
by Kazuo Ishiguro

From Nobel laureate, author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day, this New York Times bestseller was long-listed for the 2021 Booker Prize. Klara and the Sun was named Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Globe & Mail, The Guardian, Esquire, Vogue, Time, The Washington Post, The Times (UK), Vulture, The Economist, NPR, and Book Riot, and was on President Obama’s 2021 summer reading list. A narrator tells us about Klara, an Artificial Friend with hopes of being chosen by human customers who browse the store and those who pass by outside, but is then warned not to invest too much in human promises.

8

Yearbook
by Seth Rogen

This is a set of personal essays from the actor-comedian, a writer of SuperbadPineapple Express and a producer of the films The Disaster Artist, Neighbors, and The Boys. Yearbook is a collection of true stories about the author’s “grandparents, doing stand-up comedy as a teenager, bar mitzvahs, and Jewish summer camp … more stories about doing drugs than my mother would like. I also talk about some of my adventures in Los Angeles, and surely say things about other famous people that will create a wildly awkward conversation for me at a party one day.” It’s #3 in Nonfiction, Entertainment, Humour & Comedy, General Humour and #19 in Biography & Memoir.

9

Firekeeper’s Daughter
by Angeline Boulley

Chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and Hello Sunshine’s young adult (YA) book club, this book was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, a Time magazine Best YA Book of All Time selection, Amazon’s Best YA Book of 2021 back in June, a 2021 Kids’ Indie Next List pick, one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Books of 2021, a PopSugar Best March 2021 YA Book selection and is soon to be made into a Netflix production for TV in collaboration with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground. Métis teenager Daunis Fontaine doesn’t fit in on the nearby Ojibwa reservation or in her hometown. She gave up her chance for a fresh start by returning home from college to look after her sick mother. After witnessing an incident, she’s reluctant to go undercover to help the FBI. But she ends up using her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to try and trace the source of a lethal drug in her community. Daunis must learn to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) even if it tears her world apart.

10

Velvet Was the Night
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York Public Library, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, BookPage, Library Journal — all saw Velvet Was the Night as one of the best books of the year, says The Washington Post. A Good Morning America Buzz pick from the bestselling author of Mexican Gothic, this noir-style story about a daydreaming secretary involved in a mystery case in 1970s Mexico City. Despite the political unrest, Maite’s focus is on the latest issue of Secret Romance, until her intriguing art student neighbour disappears under suspicious circumstances. Maite suddenly finds herself escaping dangerous hitmen, government agents, and spies, as does Elvis, a violence-hating criminal with a love of old movies and rock ’n’ roll — who is also looking for Leonora.

Many thanks to Kobo.

Declaration: We may earn a commission when you use an image link to make a purchase.


by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird

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