Wondering what to read now? Here are all the hot new March 2021 book releases for you. I’ll let you know what I’ve read, what I can’t wait to read, and what’s getting all the attention this month.
In case you’re new to Booklist Queen, every month I cover all the hottest new book releases. I try to read as many new book releases as I can to give you an honest perspective on what to read and what to skip.
However, I realize that my to-read list might not exactly match yours. That’s why, this year, I’ve decided to also include some of the most popular March 2021 book releases from your favorite authors.
Enough from me. Let’s get on to the March 2021 book releases so you can fill up your to-read list.
The highlights of the month:
- A Nobel Prize Winner’s New Book
- Five Delicious Historical Fiction Reads
- Tons of Exciting Thrillers
Have I got you interested? Then keep scrolling to see our picks for the best of the March 2021 book releases.
Top March 2021 Book Releases
In his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro ponders the meaning of love through an unusual narrator. Klara is a robot, an Artificial Friend waiting to be bought and taken home to be a companion to a lonely child. Ishiguro’s brilliant writing brings Klara to life, with her keen observations about the world around her, forcing you to piece together complex situations as perceived through the lens of innocence. The story was just shy of being amazing like The Remains of the Day; it didn’t quite take the depth I wanted. However, if you want a thoughtful read, you can’t go wrong with Ishiguro’s March 2021 book release.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Knopf through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
During World War II, three women become unlikely friends while working as code breakers at Bletchley Park: Osla is desperate to prove she’s more than just a society girl; Mab is determined to rise above the poverty of her birth; and both encourage Beth, a shy local spinster, to step up and use her brilliant mind. Years after the war, the three women must come together one more time to help uncover a spy who was working in their midst.
In Kosawa, a small African village, an American oil company has ruined the farmland and polluted the drinking water, killing many of the children. Tired of receiving empty promises from the company and being ignored by the country’s dictator, the people of Kosawa are determined to fight back.
How Beautiful We Were is a stunning story told in the most boring fashion imaginable. Instead of writing in the same powerful style as Behold the Dreamers, Mbue decided to play with the narration. Chapters alternate between a collective “we” narration of the village children and first-person viewpoints from one particular family, both which tell the tale as dispassionately as possible. I struggled to stay awake reading this one, which is a shame because, with better delivery, this book could have knocked it out of the park.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Among the March 2021 book releases is the English edition of a recent Swedish bestseller. In 1959, a Swedish mining town mysteriously vanished. Police only found the body of a woman stoned to death in the town square and a crying baby. Now, filmmaker Alice Lindstedt sets out to make a documentary and hopefully solve the mystery of what happened to the village, and her grandmother’s family.
While The Lost Village wasn’t an edge-of-your-seat thriller like Riley Sager’s or Stephen King’s books, I enjoyed the mood the story sets. You’re enveloped in a sense of dread as the small group explores the abandoned village and feels like they are being watched. The big reveal was an interesting twist that worked well with the rest of the story making this a delightfully spooky read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Martha Hall Kelly
In a spin-off prequel of her bestseller, Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly tells the tale of Caroline’s ancestor, a story inspired by true accounts. During the Civil War, Georgeann Woolsey feels trapped in a life of luxury and boldly enlists to become a Union nurse. There she meets an enslaved girl who joined the Union Army to flee her cruel mistress. Together they must face the cruelties of war and the inhumanity of their day.
Sela is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. She’s possibly found the perfect match; but how do you turn someone else’s life upside down by revealing that you are her previously unknown half-sister, the product of her father’s affair? As Sela begins to connect with Caroline, she must decide which she wants more – a sister or a kidney.
Jessica Strawser’s family drama was my surprise favorite of the March 2021 book releases. I absolutely loved the complicated relationship between Sela and Caroline. Each woman was realistic and nuanced, trying her best to navigate an unexpected situation while dealing with the choices of their parents. If you love women’s fiction, you can’t miss this thought-provoking tearjerker.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Book of the Month – March 2021 Book Releases
Receiving my blue box from Book of the Month Club is a highlight of every month.
Here’s how it works – each month, they pick 5 books and you get to choose one book or skip until the next month. If you want to add any extra books, then you get them at a discounted price.
Each month is usually a mix of new releases and advance copies of unreleased books. If you are interested in joining, right now you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get your first book for $5!
The March Book of the Month selections are:
See the Complete List of Upcoming Releases!
Exciting New March 2021 Book Releases
Bestselling author Isabel Allende meditates on what it means to be a woman and how feminism has shaped her throughout her life. After witnessing her mother struggle to raise three children alone, Allende swore she’d have the life her mother couldn’t. Throughout her life and her three marriages, Allende has witnessed the changes in the feminist movement, how much it has accomplished, and what is left to be done.
Twenty years ago, a rich heiress was abducted. Although she escaped, her captors were never found or the family’s items recovered. When his suitcase is found at a murder scene, Windsor Horne Lockwood III, “Win” to his friends, becomes entangled in an investigation into two cold cases where the suspect may have also been involved in domestic terrorism.
Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But nothing is ordinary about his unnatural abilities to see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can know. When he is recruited by an NYPD detective to help solve a case, Jamie’s life is threatened by a killer from beyond the grave.
Abigail Baskin has hit the jackpot in her new marriage to the brilliant and kind millionaire Bruce Lamb. Until a one-night stand the night before her wedding comes back to haunt her, and the mystery man shows up on her honeymoon. Should she tell her perfect new husband or handle the psychopathic stalker on her own?
From the author of Still Alice, comes a look at how memories are made. Neuroscientist Lisa Genova explains why we remember some things and why we forget others. You’ll learn the science of how memories work, what you can reasonably expect from your memory as you age, and how to help protect your memory.
In 1791, Nella uses her London apothecary shop to sell poisons for women to use against abusive men. The only rules are that the poisons cannot be used against another woman and that you must leave a record in the apothecary’s register. When she befriends a 12-year-old girl, the consequences will last generations.
In the 1970s, Sitara Zamani lives a privileged life in Kabul as the daughter of one of the President’s right-hand men. When the communist coup results in the murder of her entire family, Sitara escapes and is adopted by an American diplomat. Now a renowned surgeon, her world is rocked when the man who rescued her appears in her operating room, sending her on a search for answers.
Intriguing New Books Out
With the strange ability to detect emotions left behind on objects, Ev has always kept herself apart from those around her worried she will fall to the same horrific end as her father. When she meets Harriet, an older woman with the same ability, Ev decides that might be able to help each other, Ev will help Harriet sort through her hoards of treasures and Harriet will help Ev learn to control her ability. When Ev’s sister returns pushing for answers to their past, Ev learns that Harriet suspects Harriet might have a connection to her family.
With one of the most unique premises I’ve seen in a while – a mix of contemporary fiction and magical realism, The Memory Collectors draws you in with its engaging storytelling. Ev, a modern-day Elsa struggling with her powers, is an easy character to cheer for as she begins to discover herself. If you want a dash of magic in a character-driven story, The Memory Collectors is a great choice to read this spring.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
In April 1917, a charismatic alumna gives an impassioned speech at Smith College urging the women to go to France to help with relief efforts. Kate Moran has no plans to go, but when a girl drops out, Kate’s best friend Emmeline begs her to fill the slot. Based on a true story, Band of Sisters tells of these brave women coping with the hardships of the war while navigating old rivalries and betrayals.
After a mistake threatens her career, CIA Agent Lyndsey Duncan is excited to prove herself by heading an internal investigation into the Russian Division. Lyndsey worked in the Russian division for years and was known as a human lie detector. Working with the infamous Red Widow, Lyndsey must search for the mole in the department before more assets are killed.
While battling addiction, Jeannette decides to learn more about her family history. She questions her mother Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, about her life but is unsatisfied with Carmen’s answers. Instead, Jeannette travels to Cuba to visit her grandmother and reckon with family secrets from three generations of strong women.
With no interest in love, software engineer Daisy Patel decides that the easiest way to get her family off her back is to arrange a fake engagement to her childhood crush. With his inheritance dependent on his marriage, Liam Murphy finds Daisy’s proposal a win-win scenario. However, history and chemistry threaten to derail their meticulous plan.
Alice has always strived for the perfect life, but everything starts falling apart at the same time. Her daughter is falling behind on her reading, her son has become a middle school bully, and her mom tells her that Alice has a long-lost sister. Following a group of suburban moms and their teenage children, Are We There Yet? poses the question, what do you do when your child is suddenly the problem child?
It took me over a month to finish Kathleen West’s family drama, which if you don’t know me, is insanely long. While the drama is highly realistic (secret Instagram accounts and judgemental moms), I just struggled to want to read about it. To make matters worse, I don’t feel like the moms learned much from their experiences. They still seemed rather judgemental by the end of the book. To be honest, stories like this make me dread the teenage years and swear I’ll never give my kids’ cell phones.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Berkley through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Charlie N. Holmberg
Just six months after publishing Spellbreaker, Charlie Holmberg is back with the sequel in her Victorian Fantasy series. After discovering the mastermind behind the deaths of spellmakers around London, Elsie Camden is thrown into prison for illegal spellbreaking. To get her out, Bacchus must pretend they are engaged. This super cute Victorian Fantasy series would be perfect for teens or any reader who enjoys an adorable little story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from 47North through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
When Larissa Pearl returns home to sell her late aunt’s estate, she doesn’t realize that randomly trying on a wedding dress will lead to the whole town planning her wedding … with no groom in sight. Recently dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job, Larissa has been acting out as she struggles with her mother’s growing dementia. As Larissa prepares the house for sale, she enlists the help of the estate’s caretaker Jack, a childhood friend who was the one who might have been.
Dupee’s cute novel takes a turn for the worse when she introduces Jack as the love interest. Apparently, Jack has just cheated on his wife of fifteen years. When she throws him out, he stays at the estate with Larissa, spending the time moaning about how much easier things are with Larissa than his wife. His biggest complaints are that his house is full of toddlers since his wife runs an at-home daycare (necessary given his low earnings) and that his Saturdays are spent running between soccer games for their triplet sons.
I have no idea why Dupee opted for the worst possible romantic lead, but it killed the story for me and will probably be my most-hated book of the year.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Mitchell James Kaplan
One evening in 1924, Kay Swift witnesses George Gershwin playing “Rhapsody in Blue” at a concert. Thus begins a love affair between a society wife who longs for her own musical career and a young brilliant musician. Kaplan’s novel details the tangled bond between the two composers through the ups and downs of their careers, her loyalty to her husband, and his eventual death from brain cancer.
Popular Upcoming Releases
What March 2021 book releases are you most excited to read?