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The best books of the year 2021

BBC – “From award-winning fiction to moving memoir, here are BBC Culture’s top reading picks of 2021. Following two acclaimed, heavyweight (and Pulitzer Prize-winning) novels, 2016’s The Underground Railroad, made into a TV series this year, and 2019’s The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead’s latest is a crime caper, set partly against the backdrop of race riots in 1960s Harlem. Its protagonist is Ray Carney, a young furniture-seller caught up in a jewel heist. London’s Evening Standard praised the novel’s entertainment value, writing, “A more purely enjoyable novel is unlikely to emerge this year.” Harlem Shuffle also subverts the crime genre to explore ideas of property and theft, The Atlantic writes, “to expose the hypocrisies of the justice system, the false moral dictates set by capitalism, and the very fact that America itself was born of a theft that we are all complicit in.”

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