Looking for a compelling and meaningful read to start your new year? Karma Luminary Philip Blackwell’s hotlist for 2021 is out. From the long-awaited new novel, ‘The Committed’ by Thanh Mguyen to ‘How Beautiful We were’ set in an African village told through the eyes of a generation of children and ‘Run to Win’ by Stephanie Schriock and Christina Reynolds, these are 5 books that will inspire and transform.
1. No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull
One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it. As creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, seeking safety through visibility, their emergence sets off a chain of seemingly unrelated events.
2. Run to Win by Stephanie Schriock and Christina Reynolds
For the last thirty-five years EMILY’s List has helped the campaigns of thousands of pro-choice Democratic women, but the hardest part has always been convincing more women to run. Then Donald Trump was elected, and something shifted into place. American women who were furious and frustrated were looking for a way to channel their outrage into action.
3. How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, this is a story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Told through the perspective of a generation of children, this is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit comes up against one community’s determination to hold onto its land.
4. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. His crew mates are dead and as his memories fuzzily return, he realises that an impossible task confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship, hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
5. The Committed by Viet Thanh Mguyen
The long-awaited new novel from one of America’s most highly regarded writers, The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, this is a blistering portrayal of both commitment and betrayal.