Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021


Am I wrong to think there is something unethical in the publishing world about all these oh-so-coincidentally timed dueling books? I see this over and over again. It must be very irritating to the authors.

The Doctors Blackwell by Janice P. Nimura

The Excellent Doctor Blackwell by Julia Boyd author of Travelers in the Third Reich

[I’m counting this pair as ONE book.]


Troubled: The Failed Promise of America’s Behavioral Treatment Programs by Kenneth R. Rosen. This one appeals to me as one of my own had a very troubled adolescence. Had I been able to afford Outward Bound, let alone one of these programs I am still not sure what my decision would have been (for Outward Bound–a resounding yes, for the others, I’m not sure). A couple of former bosses sent sons to these programs. It seems to have only caused lasting resentment, but we’ll see what the book says.


The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free by Paulina Bren. This is my mother’s era–she would have loved living there and going to a fashion design school. Plus, Grace Kelly lived there. This one arrives in March.


Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story by Rachel Louise Martin. I first heard of Hot Chicken when friends in Australia tried it in Melborne (as in Victoria, Australia–not Florida). That tells you how backward the place is where I live! Last year my son and I fell in love with these Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers from Mason Woodruff of Kinda Healthy Recipes. Make sure you have an exhaust fan, and, no matter how cold or hot it is out, open a window. It’s so worth it! I’m giving the mixture as a belated Christmas gift to a few people this month (with the Kinda Healthy Recipes and Mason Woodruff acknowledged).


The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. The Morgan Library is on my bucket list and I joke with friends that I am their personal librarian.


Windsor Diaries, 1940-45 by Alathea Fitzalan Howard is now available for pre-order in the USA. It arrives on May 4th.



There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura is due out in late March.


Nick: A Novel by Michael Farris Smith is a take on Gatsby. It is out today.

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin and

The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone (author) and Clarissa Botsford (Translator)

show another pet peeve of mine with publishing industry: Thinking we are all so stupid we’ll buy the wrong book if the covers are similar. The colors, the boy in the cap–come on, we aren’t so dumb we fall for this- are we? Yet this lazy marketing trick is everywhere today.

[I’m counting this pair as ONE book.]

Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton. I can’t get enough of her books! Chanel Cleeton and Elizabeth Acevedo are two rock stars of the decade for me! This one arrives early in May.

Why not join the fun next week? You can read the rules here.

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021

  1. I tried for an ARC of Beautiful Girl but was declined. The only Cleeton book I’ve read is Key West.
    Would Book Woman and Giver of Stars be considered dueling books?


  2. Windsor Diaries is my winner from the list! Re. your comments at my place — yes, I is taking classes next sem. to get a minor (and to postpone “real life”??). Sophie redid the memoir cover; I like it too. I will have to consider an insta pot. I hear tons about them …


    1. A friend, watching here son sit and play video games for a year after graduating from college asked me how I got mine to go to work. She wouldn’t throw him out (his Dad is all for it) so I suggested this and she’s devouring it. A co-worker’s 35 year-old daughter is still with them–they’ve thrown her out twice, nicely, by getting her an apt and helping pay.


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