Anticipated Books for 2021

I have been through all of the 2021 publishers catalogues that could lay my hands on (21 so far and still a few missing too). I have extracted all the books that I really like the look of. Most are non-fiction, as you have probably come to expect by now, but there are a smattering of fiction, sci-fi and the odd poetry in there.

Allen Lane
Mission Economy – Mariana Mazzucato
Math Without Numbers – Milo Beckman
Finding the Mother Tree – Suzanne Simard
Worn – Sofi Thanhauser
Ice Rivers – Jemma Wadham
Shape – Jordan Ellenberg

Male Tears – Benjamin Myers
A Still Life – Josie George
The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing – Mark Kurlansky
The Glitter in the Green – Jon Dunn
When America Stopped Being Great – Nick Bryant
I Belong Here – Anita Sethi
About Britain – Tim Cole
Kintsugi – Bonnie Kemske
Shedding the Shackles – Lynne Stein
Cuba – Mike Gonzalez
Going Dark – Julia Ebner
The Trick – William Leith
Sardinia – Edward Burman
Tangier – Richard Hamilton
Handmade – Anna Ploszajski
The Brilliant Abyss – Helen Scales
Much Ado About Mothing – James Lowen
Forecast – Joe Shute
Heathland – Clive Chatters
Treasured Islands – Peter Naldrett

Bodley Head
Under A White Sky – Elizabeth Kolbert
A Most Remarkable Creature – Jonathan Meiburg
The Day The World Stops Shopping – J. B. MacKinnon

British Library
The Book Lover’s Bucket List – Caroline Taggart
Spaceworlds – Edited by Mike Ashley
Future Crimes – Edited by Mike Ashley

Thin Places – Kerri ní Dochartaigh
The Secret History of Here – Alistair Moffat

Chatto & Windus
Heavy Light – Horatio Clare
Snakes And Ladders – Selina Todd
Letters To Camondo – Edmund de Waal

Borderlines – Charles Nicholl
Somebody Else – Charles Nicholl
Letters from Egypt – Lucie Duff Gordon
The Turkish Embassy Letters – Mary Wortley Montagu
Three Cities of Morocco – Jerome and Louis Tharaud

Elliott & Thompson
The Future of You – Tracey Follows
Earthed A Memoir – Rebecca Schiller
The Pay Off – Gottfried Leibbrandt and Natasha De Terán
Lobby Life – Carole Walker
Beside the Seaside – Ian Walker

Faber & Faber
Britain Alone – Philip Stephens

What Abigail Did That Summer – Ben Aaronovitch

Harvill Secker
Seed to Dust – Marc Hamer
99 Green Maps To Change The World –

Head of Zeus
Languages Are Good For Us – Sophie Hardach
Voyagers – Nicholas Thomas
The Gardens of Mars Madagascar – John Gimlette
How Britain Ends English Nationalism and the Rebirth of Four Nations – Gavin Esler
The Physics of Climate Change – Lawrence Krauss
The Wild Isles – Patrick Barkham (ed.)

The Circling Sky – Neil Ansell

Icon Books
Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars – Kate Greene
Shearwater – Roger Morgan-Grenville
Sealand – Dylan Taylor-Lehman
Imperial Mud – James Boyce
Half Lives – Lucy Jane Santos

John Murray
Hot Stew – Fiona Mozley
Extraterrestrial – Avi Loeb
Futureproof – Kevin Roose
Super Senses – Emma Young
The Hunt For Mount Everest – Craig Storti
Outlandish – Nick Hunt
Checkmate In Berlin – Giles Milton
A Length Of Road – Robert Hamberger

Jonathan Ball
Hitler’S Spies – Evert Kleynhans

Jonathan Cape
Ransom – Michael Symmons Roberts
Waypoints – Robert Martineau

Little Toller

They are planning on releasing ten books in 2021, I have only been told about these so far:

Swifts – Charles Foster
Long Field – Pamela Petro
Millstone Grit

Michael Joseph
A Walk from the Wild Edge – Jake Tyler
A History of What Comes Next – Sylvain Neuvel
Peter 2.0 – Peter Scott-Morgan
A New History of Britain – Philip Parker
Latitude – Nick Crane
12 Birds to Save Your Life – Charlie Corbett

Weirdest Maths At the Frontiers of Reason – David Darling and Agnijo Banerjee
Why You Won’t Get Rich – Robert Verkaik
Some Assembly Required – Neil Shubin
The Art of Patience – Sylvain Tesson, Tr. Frank Wynne
Social Warming – Charles Arthur
The Last Stargazers – Emily Levesque

Pan Macmillan
Hunter Killer Spy – James E Mack

Particular Books
Slow Rise – Robert Penn
Birdsong in a Time of Silence – Steven Lovatt
Lev’s Violin – Helena Attlee

The Quiet Americans – Scott Anderson
The System – Robert B. Reich
The Book Collectors of Daraya – Delphine Minoui
A World on the Wing – Scott Weidensaul
The Stone Age – Jen Hadfield
The Book of Difficult Fruit – Kate Lebo
Revolt – Nadav Eyal
Everybody – Olivia Laing
A Place For Everything – Judith Flanders
Wayfinding – Michael Bond

Profile Books
Notes From Deep Time – Helen Gordon
Field Work – Bella Bathurst
The Greywacke – Nick Davidson
Mountain Tales – Saumya Roy
How to Spend a Trillion Dollars – Rowan Hooper

Sad Songs – Laura Barton
A history of the universe in 100 stars – Florian Freistetter
The Plant Hunter’s Atlas – Ambra Edwards

Reaktion Books
An Inky Business – Matthew J. Shaw
Nature Fast and Nature Slow – Nicholas P. Money
Ash – Edward Parker
Cherry – Constance L. Kirker and Mary Newman

Sandstone Press
The Actuality – Paul Braddon
The Weekend Fix – Craig Weldon

Westering – Laurence Mitchell
The Mahogany Pod – Jill Hopper

Scribe Books
The Ghost in the Garden – Jude Piesse
The Rare Metals War – Guillaume Pitron
Waters of the World – Sarah Dry

September Publishing
Two Lights – James Roberts

Serpent’s Tail
The Disconnect – Roisin Kiberd

Square Peg
Gardening For Bumblebees – Dave Goulson

The Wild Track – Margaret Reynolds
Red Line – Joby Warrick
Elegy For a River – Tom Moorhouse
Woodston – John Lewis-Stempel
The Age of Unpeace – Mark Leonard
Taking on Gravity – Richard Browning
The Spy who was left out in the Cold – Tim Tate

Two Roads
Back To nature – Chris Packham & Megan McCubbin
The Lip – Charlie Carroll
Windswept – Annabel Abbs

Kim and Jim – Michael Holzman
The Life Scientific – Anna Buckley
How to Read Numbers – Tom Chivers and David Chivers

White Rabbit
The Foghorn’s Lament – Jennifer Lucy Allan


Salt Publishing

White Spines – Nicholas Royle



Deeper Into The Wood        Ruth Pavey


Chelsea Green

From What Is to What If – Rob Hopkins

Barn Club – Robert Somerville

Wild Nights Out – Chris Salisbury


William Collins

The Black Ridge – Simon Ingram

Islands of Abandonment – Cal Flyn

Land – Simon Winchester

River Kings – Cat Jarman

The Wood Age – Roland Ennos

A Curious Boy – Richard Fortey

The Fragile Earth – Ed. David Remnick & Henry Finder

Restoring the Wild – Roy Dennis

Einstein’s Fridge – Paul Sen

Truth is Beautiful – David McCandless

Beak, Tooth and Claw – Mary Colwell

Swifts and Us – Sarah Gibson

Bat, Ball and Field – Jon Hotten

Noise – Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony & Cass R. Sunstein

Phosphorescence – Julia Baird

Mother of Invention – Katrine Marçal


4th Estate

What If We Stopped Pretending? – Jonathan Franzen

Sea State – Tabitha Lasley

Albert and the Whale – Philip Hoare

How to be Sad – Helen Russell

Hummingbird Salamander – Jeff VanderMeer

Thinking Better – Marcus du Sautoy



The Language of Thieves – Martin Puchner

Wars of the Interior – Joseph Zárate Tr Annie McDermott

Karachi Vice – Samira Shackle

Comic Timing – Holly Pester

Undreamed Shores – Frances Larson

Had I Known – Barbara Ehrenreich

The End of Bias – Jessica Nordell

Comrade Aeon’s Field – Emma Larkin


Any that take you fancy? And are there any that you know about that you think that I should know too?

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  1. Rebecca Foster

    Wow, so much work must have gone into making this list! I never look at catalogues, just relying on word of mouth and seeing new books via Twitter, Instagram, publisher newsletters, etc. You’ve alerted me to a few I’m interested in and didn’t know about — Bathurst, Dunn, Hardach. I’m also keen on the Laing and Mozley, and I have proof copies of Kerri ní Dochartaigh and Josie George’s books.

    • Paul

      It is not so much work. I have a pre-prepared list of publishers that I work through and pick the ones that I fancy.

  2. Liz Dexter

    I’m trying not to look too closely! I’ll be interested to see what you review as usual, though!

    • Paul

      There are some good looking books on the list, Liz.

  3. Jessica Norrie

    It’s a great list and there are some on there that appeal to me too. At the risk of opening a can of worms, I’m wondering if you ever consider independently published books as well/instead?

    • Paul

      Thanks, Jessica. When you say independently published books, do you mean those published by independent publishers, or self published books?

      • Jessica Norrie

        Self published – but would you also make a distinction between small independent publishers and the big guns?

        • Paul

          I do read the odd self-published book but tend to avoid now after a run-in with an author and the aggressive pushing of their book a number of years ago. I read a lot from independent publishers in fact eight of the top ten publishers were from independent publishers this year. My stats are on this link

          • Jessica Norrie

            I understand – didn’t mean to get at you personally (and have had the same problem after giving certain sp books “only” 3 star reviews). But some of us self publish high quality books and are at best diffident and at worst useless about pushing them. the result is that we do get depressed sometimes by how invisible our work remains. So every now and then I take the opportunity to remind bloggers we exist, and are sometimes quite good writers…

          • Paul

            I didn’t take it personally at all, Jessica. I have one self-published book lined up that is by a non-fiction writer for February / March. It can’t be easy as writing is a solitary profession and most authors are not necessarily disposed to self-promotion, so I can understand why you get down about it. I did have a look at your books on good reads, but I really only read a little fiction nowadays.

  4. James Urquhart

    Thank you- that’s a great list! I have found a few books I didn’t know about!!

    I have a couple that look interesting from William Collins that may be of interest- A Curious Boy: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Fortey and The Black Ridge: A Journey Amongst Skye’s Cuillin Ridge by Simon Ingram

    • Paul

      Thanks, James. Glad it was useful. Trying to find anything about the new books that William Collins are bringing out is almost impossible, so thanks for those.

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