Skip navigation
Skip content
Give credit bundles this holiday season and get a free audiobook! Shop now
New York Times Book Review: 100 Notable Books of 2021

New York Times Book Review: 100 Notable Books of 2021

2021’s notable fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.

Playlist Tags: new york times best of 2021 topic: best of

View all playlists

Appleseed

A Novel

By Matt Bell
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 15 hours 44 minutes

If you enjoyed The Overstory, then you’ll love Appleseed.

“One of the signs of a good book is when you find yourself thinking about it often, well after you finish it. Matt Bell’s Appleseed is one of those books. The novel steers the reader through three plots: a story of Johnny Appleseed set two hundred years ago, a tale of a civilization on the brink of ecological disaster fifty years from now, and a story of an inhospitable Earth one thousand years in the future. Each tale is a strange and riveting journey on its own, encompassing a vast swath of human narrative, from Greek myth, the Bible, and Grimm’s fairy tales to early American folklore, but the stories become even more fascinating as Bell starts to pull them together into one epic tale of humanity’s relationship with the planet. I loved Appleseed because it's a strange and beautiful book and it made me think about humanity's relationship to the Earth. Especially for people who like both sci-fi and literary fiction. ”

The Snail on the Wall image Elizabeth, The Snail on the Wall
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Afterparties

Stories

By Anthony Veasna So
Narrated by: Jason Sean
Length: 6 hours 56 minutes

If you enjoyed Swimming Back to Trout River, then you’ll love Afterparties.

“I enjoyed this book of short stories about the lives of Khmer refugees and their American born children in California’s central valley. Each story makes the reader feel like they are embedded in a particularly family--the tension between the American born children and their parents who escaped the genocide sets the backdrop to many, but the stories touch more broadly on trying to find one's path as an adult, how to define success, how to find love in both queer and heterosexual relationships. Anthony Veasna So died of a drug overdose before the book was published in 2021, so the brilliance of his work is bittersweet.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Amy, A Great Good Place for Books
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Razorblade Tears

A Novel

By S. A. Cosby
Narrated by: Adam Lazarre-White
Length: 12 hours

Razorblade Tears

“Fantastic book, my first S.A. Cosby book, but not my last. I enjoyed it on audio -fantastic narrating! It kept me tuning back in. ”

Oxford Exchange image Laura, Oxford Exchange
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account
Libro.fm app

The perfect gift:
Audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase. Plus, you’ll get a FREE seasonal audiobook with your credit bundle purchase!

Start gifting

The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 14 hours 52 minutes

The Prophets

“This was quite the stunning debut - I loved the meta quality of the narration and the overall lyrical writing style. A powerful and commanding story! ”

Curious Iguana image Lauren, Curious Iguana
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

The Plot

A Novel

By Jean Hanff Korelitz
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 10 hours 53 minutes

The Plot

“A novel within a novel, a plot within a plot, a very realistic and informative look at authors, how they write, how they think, and how they try to be faithful to what they believe: that a good story must be told, even if it is not really yours to tell. Jake Finch Bonner genuinely believes that a story idea can not be stolen–after all there are only so many plots and they have been told repeatedly by many authors. It is how you tell the story, the words you use and the feelings you bring forth that make it the authors. However, when Jake, after years of struggling to get another book published writes a huge bestseller there is someone out in the world who does not think an author has the right to write anyone else’s story. What starts out as a slow but methodical look at Jake’s approach to being an author, his dreams, his aspirations and his beliefs, turns into a fast-paced story about what a person will do to keep their secrets and to punish someone who they think stole a story that he had no right to write.”

Fiction Addiction image Nancy, Fiction Addiction
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Our Country Friends

A Novel

By Gary Shteyngart
Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
Length: 12 hours 14 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, Financial Times, The Washington Post, Time, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, Town & Country, Good Housekeeping, Kirkus Reviews

Finalist for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction • “A perfect novel... Read more »

Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

One Last Stop

By Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
Length: 12 hours 10 minutes

One Last Stop

Red, White, and Royal Blue fans rejoice: Casey McQuiston is back and better than ever! This book has everything I wanted and more. We've got time warps, we've got a found family dynamic, we've got a diner to save, and, of course, we've got Casey's delightfully funny writing style. What more is there to ask for? If you're looking for a fun sapphic rom-com with a bit of a sci-fi twist, this book is a fantastic way to kick off your summer.”

Brilliant Books Audio image Kendall, Brilliant Books Audio
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Oh William!

A Novel

By Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
Length: 7 hours

Oh William!

“As intimate and affecting as anything Elizabeth Strout has written — a beautiful new perspective in the ongoing story of Lucy Barton, but one that easily stands alone. Kimberly Farr’s narration makes for an outstanding audiobook experience as well. ”

East City Bookshop image Emilie, East City Bookshop
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

No One Is Talking About This

A Novel

By Patricia Lockwood
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 4 hours 43 minutes

No One Is Talking About This

“Patricia Lackwood's Priestdaddy is one of my favorite memoirs of all time, so I knew I just HAD to get my hands on her debut novel. As expected it's weird and quirky as hell, a tad inappropriate but makes you literally LOL. She creates a plot through a constellation of nebulous observations and witticisms that, as I said, is expected from her. And the narrator's voice drips with that certain sarcasm that is perfectly in line with Lockwood's. What I did NOT expect, however, is for these drifting sentiments and sediments to suddenly unify as one sharp needle point at the book's climax and rip out my still-beating heart. The audacity of Patricia Lockwood! After I was done ugly crying, I was able to take a step back and truly appreciate how marvelous this book really is. Do yourself a favor and just read it.”

BookBar image Conner, BookBar
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

The Netanyahus

An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family

By Joshua Cohen
Narrated by: Joshua Cohen, David Duchovny & Ethan Herschenfeld
Length: 8 hours 31 minutes

2022 Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction and named one of the notable books of 2021 by The New York Times

Corbin College, not quite upstate New York, winter 1959–1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian—but not an historian of the Jews—is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the...

Read more »

Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

My Year Abroad

A Novel

By Chang-rae Lee
Narrated by: Lawrence Kao
Length: 16 hours 34 minutes

INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A New York Times Notable Book * Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue, TIME, and Marie Claire

“A manifesto to happiness—the one found when you stop running from who you are.” –New York Times Book Review

“An extraordinary book, acrobatic on the level of the sentence, symphonic across its many movements—and...
Read more »

Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

My Monticello

Fiction

By Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Narrated by: Aja Naomi King, January LaVoy, Landon Woodson, LeVar Burton, Ngozi Anyanwu & Tomiwa Edun
Length: 7 hours 35 minutes

My Monticello

“A dynamic, and timely, debut by a new voice in fiction, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson. This collection is comprised of five short stories and one novella all set in the state of Virginia. As you read these stories, you will experience, and feel, the gamut of human emotion as the voices and themes in each are different. The author explores race, identity, and an imagining of the future in the novella "My Monticello". Thought-provoking.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Melanie, Bookstore1Sarasota
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

The Morning Star

By Karl Ove Knausgaard
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Mia Barron, Michael Braun, Alyssa Bresnahan, Hannah Cabell, Michael Crouch, Leah Horowitz, Elisabeth Rodgers & Graham Winton
Length: 23 hours 11 minutes

The Morning Star

“Knausgaard’s keen realism meets the dark impulses of Steven King’s fiction in this beginning-of-the-end-days, absorbing novel.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Nora, Bookstore1Sarasota
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

The Magician

A Novel

By Colm Toibin
Narrated by: Gunnar Cauthery
Length: 16 hours 37 minutes

The Magician

“Toíbín’s brilliant imagining of the life of Thomas Mann follows his superb 2004 novel The Master, about Henry James, and does not disappoint in the least. Feast on this intelligently, profoundly felt novel about the author of The Magic Mountain, Death in Venice, Buddenbrooks and many others.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Nora, Bookstore1Sarasota
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

An Oprah’s Book Club Novel

By Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo, Karen Chilton & Prentice Onayemi
Length: 29 hours 48 minutes

If you enjoyed The Underground Railroad (Television Tie-in), then you’ll love The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois.

“At 29 hours this one might seem like quite a commitment, but after traveling the century with them, you’ll deeply miss the echoes of the voices of Ailey and Belle and even good old Uncle Root.”

The Country Bookshop image Angie, The Country Bookshop
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account
Librofm App

Special offer

Free audiobook with membership

For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

Claim special offer

The Lincoln Highway

A Novel

By Amor Towles
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Marin Ireland & Dion Graham
Length: 16 hours 38 minutes

If you enjoyed This Tender Land, then you’ll love The Lincoln Highway.

“THIS BOOK EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS! As a huge fan of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, The Lincoln Highway had a lot of pressure and holy cow did it surpass anything I could have hoped for. From the first page, I was immediately drawn into Towles' magical writing and superb characters. This felt like a modern classic, the new and updated version of Huckleberry Finn that I actually wanted to read in high school. You cannot beat the quirkiness of Towles' characters. You feel so deeply about every single one of them and it feels like they leap off the page with specificities with which they are written. Duchess and Woolly, the stowaways, felt like a modern day George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men with Woolly's gentle giant innocence and Duchess' take-the-lead wile. Emmett is the stoic, do-right midwesterner who always fixes the messes. And Billy is the smartest, sweetest kid who inspires those around him. You fall in love with them and are left with all the feels. A glorious five out of five stars for me, The Lincoln Highway will be my go-to recommendation this fall.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Light Perpetual

A Novel

By Francis Spufford
Narrated by: Imogen Church
Length: 12 hours 37 minutes

Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, NPR, Slate, Lit Hub, Fresh Air, and more

From the critically acclaimed and award‑winning author of Golden Hill, an “extraordinary…symphonic…casually stunning” (The Wall Street Journal) novel tracing the infinite possibilities of five lives in the bustling neighborhoods of 20th-century... Read more »

Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

By Peter Ho Davies
Narrated by: Christopher Ryan Grant
Length: 4 hours 33 minutes

“There are some stories that require as much courage to write as they do art. Peter Ho Davies’s achingly honest, searingly comic portrait of fatherhood is just such a story...The world needs more stories like this one, more of this kind of courage, more of this kind of love.” —Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award-winning author of The Friend

A... Read more »

Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Libertie

By Kaitlyn Greenidge
Narrated by: Channie Waites
Length: 12 hours 12 minutes

Libertie

“This fascinating story of Libertie is set in and around the Civil War in Brooklyn, NY. Libertie, the daughter of a free black doctor, feels obligated to live up to her mothers’ expectations for her, all the while attempting to forge for herself her own path through the world. Themes of racism, colorism, and gender are all grappled with. Though historical in its setting the ideas we confront in Libertie feel like they are still relevant and timely.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Molly, A Great Good Place for Books
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Klara and the Sun

A Novel

By Kazuo Ishiguro
Narrated by: Sura Siu
Length: 10 hours 16 minutes

Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun from Nobel-winner Kazuo Ishiguro is a radiant new novel about the bond between Klara, an Artificial Friend, and Josie, her human companion. The setting, a dystopian realm of genetic editing and stark class divisions, is not surprising given the author’s previous work, yet Ishiguro’s immense, unwavering portrayal of kindness is astonishing and revitalizing. Classic Ishiguro themes of loyalty, friendship, and sacrifice weave through the novel, but the thread of love runs deep, giving the book warmth and hope so that the earned twist feels more like a dawn than a sunset. Whether you’re returning to Ishiguro or discovering his voice for the first time, I’m excited for you. This is a chance to bask in the brilliance of one the greatest writers of our time.”

Books & Books image Caroline McGregor, Books & Books
Audiobook details   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account
Give credit bundles this holiday season and get a free audiobook! Shop now