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20 Hot New January 2021 Book Releases

With a new year comes some of the best new book releases. The January 2021 book releases won’t disappoint, and we’ve already dived into at least four new January books.

Most notable January upcoming book releases: Your Story, My Story by Connie Palmen shares the fiery relationship between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.

Enjoy The View by Sarah Morganthaler transports you to the mountains of Alaska for one heartwarming romance and adventure.

If you want to enter the life of an Instagram influencer, you have to pick up People Like Her. You’ll detest every character.

With that said, what other upcoming January 2021 book releases are we most-anticipating here at TUL?

Keep on reading for diverse January 2021 upcoming book releases in historical fiction, translated literature, thrillers, YA, WW2 romance, and books sure to take you around the world. Let’s get started!

Don’t forget to visit our Ultimate Guide To 2021’s Newest Books.

Upcoming New January 2021 Book Releases with book covers for People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd, Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski, Waiting For The Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton, Nick by Michael Farris Smith, Lore by Alexandra Bracken, The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, and Enjoy The View by Sarah MorgenthalerPin
Are you wondering what January 2021 book releases are worth a read? See which new January books we loved, what we think you’ll enjoy, and what upcoming books you might want to skip.

Don’t forget to look for some of January 2021’s new books here:

  • Audible Plus: From Amazon, listen to Amazon Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks. They add new titles every week.
  • Book of the Month: Get the month’s hottest new and upcoming titles from Book of the Month. You might snag an early release or debut author. Along with selecting a book a month, find terrific add-ons, both trendy and lesser-known titles.
  • Amazon Prime Video – Stream thousands of ad-free movies and TV series on demand with Prime Video.
  • Express VPN – Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allows you to view movies worldwide – and they help keep your information safe. Our writers couldn’t have such diverse film reviews without using a VPN.

January 2021 Book Releases We’re Reading

January 2021 New Book Releases Pinterest Pin with book covers for Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson, Faye, Faraway by Helen Fisher, Lore by Alexandra Bracken, and The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone & Translated by Clarissa BotsfordPin
Stoked for the January 2021 book releases? Save this post for later, and never be without a few new books to read.

*Books marked with an asterisk are upcoming January 2021 book releases and ARCs that we requested in exchange for a fair and honest review or were freely gifted/offered by the author or publisher. Please know that dates of publication are subject to change.

January 2021 book releases in biographical fiction, Your Story, My Story by Connie Palmen (Translated by Eileen J. Stevens & Anna Asbury) book cover with blue foxes and red birdsPin

Your Story, My Story by Connie Palmen (Translated by Eileen J. Stevens & Anna Asbury)

Biographical Fiction | Set Across Europe and MA
Expected Publication: January 1, 2021

I grabbed a copy of My Story, Your Story from Amazon’s December First Reads. Palmen tells a fictionalized story of Ted Hughes’s relationship with Sylvia Plath through his eyes, drawing from their letters, poems, and notes.

Your Story, My Story is fiery, manic, slightly dangerous as well as obsessive, and full of passion. Well-written and thought-provoking, Palmen will engulf literature lovers with this tragic love story. And when I say love story, I also mean two people overly in love with their reputations and fame. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More→

January 2021 new books releasing like People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd book cover with picture of mom and child on broken phonePin

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

Social Media Thriller Set In London
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021*

One of the first January 2021 book releases I’ve read, People Like Her will creep you out if you are a blogger and Instagrammer like me. Thrilling and terrifying, this is one of the most #relevant books about social media so far.

InstaMom Emmy Jackson is a popular mom influencer. Her popularity isn’t always good, though, and she seems to have a revenge-seeking stalker. Is it because she gives out vomit-worthy, fake advice? Doesn’t practice what she preaches? Is caught making her house look messy to be more ‘relatable?’

Who cares, though; right? Emmy is bringing in 6 to 7-figures and transforming moms’ lives.

Told in three perspectives — Emmy’s author-y husband, a creeptastic stalker, and her own — you’ll wonder how much sympathy you even have for Emmy as everyone in this story is quite detestable. I’m pretty sure you will hate-love People Like Her and will crack up at the hysterical Instagram references.

I hope 2021 is full of more #blessed social media fiction. Gahaha. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More→

January 2021 contemporary book releases, Waiting For The Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton book cover with pink and purple lake at nightPin

Waiting For The Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

Contemporary Forestry Fiction Set In New Hampshire | Immigration (El Salvador) | Climate Change
January 12, 2021*

One of the January 2021 book releases that I’ve had on my desk since the fall, Waiting For The Night Song has been compared to Where The Crawdads Sing. I can definitely see this since Cadie has an intuitive relationship with the atmospheric forest. The story is in large part a murder mystery and cover-up.

Cadie Kessler must face a dark childhood secret while trying to protect the people and places that she loves. While picking blueberries with Daniela and flirting with a mysterious boy on the dock, she witnesses a murder. Did her young eyes see things correctly, though?

Readers will find intense, timely, and important issues about immigration, farming, and climate change. Some have criticized Waiting For The Night Song for being overly preachy. Honestly, I just thought we could do without the repetitive 75-pages in the middle.

I absolutely loved watching Cadie and Daniela grow up, but the pace felt unbalanced. With a little refining, I’d champion this new January book even more. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More→

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Beauty Among Ruins by Jnell Ciesielski book cover with white blonde woman in purple dress looking out at a castlePin

Beauty Among Ruins by J’nell Ciesielski

Historical Romance Set In Scotland
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021*

Last year, we read Ciesielski’s WW2 historical romance set in Paris, The Socialite. Beauty Among Ruins is even better and one of our most-anticipated January 2021 book releases in romance.

Jetset to a crumbling castle in Scotland during WW1. Brooding Alec MacGregor avoided heading to war due to an old injury. As penance, he opens his home to help the wounded.

Alec falls for gentle and beautiful socialite, Lily, who is helping nurse the soldiers back to health. An escapist and sweet Beauty and the Beast retelling, if you love historical romance, this one is for you. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More

Enjoy The View by Sarah Morgenthaler book cover with cartoon mountain, red truck, and peoplePin

Enjoy The View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Rom-Com Set In Alaska | Book 3
Expected Publication: January 19, 2021*

Last year, I fell in love with Morgenthaler’s Moose Springs series, The Tourist Attraction and Mistletoe & Mr. Right. While you should consider reading the entire series, you don’t have to in order to pick up any of her novels. These are all feel-good romances with happy endings perfect for the holiday season.

River Lane is set to film a documentary in Moose Springs, Alaska. Of course, this is Moose Springs and locals vs tourists have always been a thing.

Since the locals won’t let River film in town, she decides to summit Old Man (Mount Veil) — an unforgiving and deadly mountain — with her slightly inexperienced but loyal team. When River starts falling for one of the LARGE locals, yup, this is Easton’s story, there is even more at stake for this project.

Whereas Mistletoe was hilarious, Enjoy The View is more about finding yourself and your soulmate. I loved the chemistry between River and Easton, and you’ll get all of the Alaska vibes here. What a fantastic way to start the January 2021 book releases. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More→

Don’t miss all of the Upcoming 2021 Book Releases we are anticipating.

WW2 & Historical Fiction

What are some of the hottest new book releases in historical fiction? These are a few January 2021 book releases we are eyeing:

January 2021 book releases in historical fiction like Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson book cover with man and woman in each other's arms watching the skyPin

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson

WWII Historical Fiction Set In Italy
Expected Release Date: January 5, 2021

Antonina Mazin has only one chance to survive when the Nazis invade Italy. She leaves her home in Venice to hide in the countryside with Nico Gerardi — who was studying to become a priest. They pretend that they are married to survive, but is it convincing enough to save them? Plus, are they hiding secrets from each other? Who can you trust? AmazonGoodreads

Nick by Michael Farris Smith blue book cover with eyesPin

Nick by Michael Farris Smith

World War 1 Pre-Classic Gatsby ‘Retelling’
Expected Release Date: January 5, 2021

Before moving to Gatsby’s West Egg, Nick Carraway fights in World War 1. Returning home, he heads to Paris and New Orleans where he finds alcohol, romance, and heartbreak. Amazon | Goodreads

Love books about WW2? Head over to see the hottest new releases in WWII fiction this 2021.

The Children's Train by Viola Ardone book cover with young boy walkingPin

The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone & Translated by Clarissa Botsford

World War 2 Historical Fiction Set In Italy & Inspired By True Events
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021

Inspired by true events, this upcoming January 2021 WW2 book release shares the story of children sent from poverty-stricken southern Italy in the harsh winter to the north. With a chance at a better future, Amerigo decides to become a permanent part of his new adoptive family even though his biological mother is still alive. Amazon | Goodreads

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson book cover with Black woman in yellow dressPin

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

Historical Fiction Set In Virginia
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021

If you are looking for more January 2021 book releases in historical fiction, we’ve been eyeing Yellow Wife. Born and raised on a plantation in Virginia, Pheby is set apart from the others because of her mother’s position as a medicine woman. Instead of her promised freedom, though, Pheby finds herself in a cruel jail trying to survive. Amazon | Goodreads

More January 2021 New Book Releases In Historical Fiction

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin – January 12, 2021 – Based on survivors’ oral stories of a fast-moving blizzard that struck the Great Plains in 1888, relive their accounts as well as learn more about European immigration to such empty and harsh land.

If you love new books, don’t forget to check out the 35 Best Books Of 2020 that we devoured.

Women’s Fiction & Romance

January 2021 rom-com book releases, Shipped by Angie Hockman blue book cover with guy and girl floating in the water on an islandPin

Shipped by Angie Hockman

Book Set In Galapagos Islands
Expected Publication: January 19, 2021

For upcoming book releases in rom-com, head to the Galapagos Islands in Shipped. This new book sounds fitting for our July 2021 Uncorked Reading Challenge theme, too: a book set on an island. Henley must go on a cruise to the Galapagos with her rival as she fights to win a company promotion. Of course, Graeme might not be so bad after all… I need to try to snag a last-minute ARC. Amazon | Goodreads

Upcoming January new books in women's fiction like Faye, Faraway by Helen Fisher black book cover with young white girl in white top with hair floatingPin

Faye, Faraway by Helen Fisher

Women’s Fiction & Time Travel
Expected Release Date: January 26, 2021

Faye heads back in time to 1977 to revisit her mother the year before she dies. Her mother doesn’t recognize her, and they ignite a friendship that has the potential to keep Faye in the past. Will she return home to her family? Amazon | Goodreads

See what February 2021 New Book Releases we are reading.

Thrillers & Mysteries

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins book cover with stairs and blue wallpaper with pink flowersPin

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Gothic Southern Thriller & Women’s Fiction | Book Set In Alabama
Expected Release Date: January 5, 2021

One of the December Book Of The Month selections, Jane pursues the wealthy and recently widowed Eddie Rochester. His wife mysteriously died in a boating accident, and Jane’s after his money and status. However, the police never recovered his wife’s body, and she just won’t stay buried. Jane is also worried that she won’t measure up. If you are looking for southern gothic January 2021 book releases, this is it. Amazon | Goodreads

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner turquoise book cover with arms and hair floating in waterPin

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

Thriller Set In Boston
Expected Release Date: January 19th, 2021

Frankie Elkin heads to Boston in search of a missing Haitian teenager. Frankie spends her days searching for missing people that the police have given up on. This current search might put her life in danger, but nothing scares Frankie off from a case. Amazon | Goodreads

We are incredibly excited for these New March Books.

More New Thrilling January 2021 Book Releases

Bloodline by Jess Lourey – January 1, 2021 – Head to Minnesota where Joan Harken, a pregnant journalist, is hoping to settle down with her fiancé. Everyone here seems a little too friendly, though, and Joan can’t kick the feeling that someone is watching her.

Fantasy & Science Fiction Upcoming January New Book Releases

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor – January 19, 2021 – Set in futuristic Ghana, learn how Fatima became Sankofa, an adopted daughter of Death.

Upcoming New January 2020 book releases Pinterest pin with book covers for Nick by Michael Farris Smith, Lore by Alexandra Bracken, Waiting For The Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton, Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson, Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson, My Story, Your Story by Connie Palmen, and Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell CiesielskiPin
Did you find a few new and upcoming books to read? Save these January 2021 book releases for later and come back to them when you are ready.

January 2021 Book Releases In YA

Lore by Alexandra Bracken book cover with white head filled with snakesPin

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

YA Greek & Roman Fantasy Set In NYC
Expected Release: January 5, 2021

One of the January 2021 new book releases that looks amazing in mythological fantasy includes Bracken’s Lore. Nine Greek gods are banished to earth as mortals. This is punishment for their rebellion. Descendants hunt the gods hoping to gain their powers. Lore Perseous left this world behind after the slaughter of her family but decides to join with Athena against their mutual enemy.  Amazon | Goodreads

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas red book cover with young black man in a red shirtPin

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

YA 20th Century Historical Fiction Set In Fictional Jackson Heights, Mississippi
Expected Release Date: January 12, 2021

One of the YA 2021 new book releases that I am most excited about is Thomas’s Concrete Rose. Set 17 years prior to the events in The Hate U Give, Maverick Carter deals drugs for the King Lords to support his family. At 17 and now with a child of his own on the way, he decides that he wants to forge a new path. Amazon | Goodreads

More January 2021 New Books In YA

You Have A Match by Emma Lord – January 12, 2021 – From the author of Tweet Cute, Abby learns that she has a sister who was given up for adoption. Savannah just happens to be an Instagram star, and the two girls couldn’t be any more different. They meet up at camp to uncover family secrets, find romance, and find each other.

One Of The Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite – January 5, 2021 – Kezi Smith is killed while attending a social justice rally. Her sisters Happi and Genny set out to honor her memory while uncovering a twist to Kezi’s story.

Don’t leave without joining our 2021 reading challenge.

Which of these January 2021 new book releases are you most looking forward to?

What upcoming January 2021 book releases are you most excited about? Which new books will you skip? Are you eyeing out a few that TUL missed? Please let us know in the comments.

You May Also Enjoy All Of Our 2021 Reading Lists:

2021’s Hot New Books
Books For The Summer: June 2021 Releases
Hot Books Releasing This May 2021
April 2021 Book Releases
March 2021 Book Releases We Loved
Best (And Worst) February 2021 New Books
2021’s Most-Anticipated WW2 Books
35 Best Books Of 2020
December 2020 Books You Might Have Missed

Christine Owner The Uncorked Librarian LLC with white brunette female in pink dress sitting in chair with glass of white wine and open bookPin
Christine Frascarelli

Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.

With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.


Friday 1st of January 2021

The Wife Upstairs and People Like Her are both on my TBR list!


Sunday 3rd of January 2021

People Like Her is sooooo on point for IG. lol

Lauren Elena

Saturday 19th of December 2020

So many great books coming out, so little time! Your Story, My Story sounds incredible. I can see how it made it to the top of your list. Definitely intrigued by that one. People Like Her sounds crazy. You still enjoyed it even though there are no likable characters? I like the sound of Beauty Among Ruins but that’s not surprising since I love anything with a little romance. Faye, Faraway makes me teary just reading what it’s about. That one sounds great. I’m sure I would love it. Okay..,but The Wife Upstairs? Who the hell in their right mind would pursue a man whose wife just died under mysterious circumstances!? Hellll no!! I’d run! And there’s no body?! No thank you. I’d definitely swipe LEFT and change my number! And go into hiding. I’d probably post on social media a bunch of places I am not at to throw him off my trail.? I have to shake that off! Now Bloodline’s premise is making me think of the movie Get Out, which was so creepy but so good. So I could get into Bloodline.

Thank you for sharing this list!! I have SO much to read!


Monday 28th of December 2020

Your Story, My Story was really good! It was an extremely passionate literary read.

People Like Her was so IG-gy...and creepy. Even though all of the characters are hideous people, they kind of make the story in their awfulness. It's also pretty funny

Happy reading in 2021! I hope you get to read some great books -- and write your own!

Hazel @ Places + Peonies

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

I literally resubbed to BOTM just for the new Rachel Hawkins book. I haven't read it yet though lol but I'm absolutely looking forward to it!


Friday 18th of December 2020

I was so torn with my BOTM this month! I ended up with In A Holidaze instead...for some Christmas cheer.