Fifteenth century Constantinople, the American Great Plains, Hollywood, 1960s Harlem, and war-torn Sri Lanka. A transgender woman, a couple on a train, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist and a Korean American indie rockstar. These are just a few of the places and people we meet in the best books of 2021.
Thirty titles - 20 fiction and 10 nonfiction - made the list, but the culling was not easy. Our top picks for the best books of the year include Pulitzer Prize winners (Anthony Doerr, Colson Whitehead, Richard Powers, Annette Gordon-Reed), a Nobel Prize winner (Kazuo Ishiguro), New York Times bestsellers, and winners and finalists of the year's big book awards including the Booker Prize, the National Book Award for Fiction and Nonfiction, and the Women's Prize for Fiction.
Of course, there are also a few personal favorites from the AbeBooks editors - I couldn't put down Abigail Dean's debut Girl A and highly recommend Ishiguro's futuristic Klara and the Sun, while Julie marks Michelle Zauner's memoir Crying in H Mart as her top title.