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January Top 5 Books

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2021 and I’m so glad you are here to check out my January Top 5 Books.

A Closer Look at the Top 5 Books January 2021

This month is packed with diverse reads that I hope you’ll be picking up and reading. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite. Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas. And We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal! Plus, check out Emma Lord’s You Have A Match, a fun twist of The Parent Trap meets 23 and Me.

What books I’m reading in January

My goal this year is to read more books on my backlist. I’m hoping to read at least two to three books off my backlist each month. I’ll also be including a new release sprinkled in too (I had to compromise). But the goal is reading more books off my shelf.

Each of these books on my Top Five are on my radar to read this year, my most anticipated pick is We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal. I fell in love with her captivating writing and world building in her debut novel We Hunt the Flame and can’t wait to see what happens next in the final book!

Remember, as we continue to read, make sure that we keep adding Own Voices, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ reads to our shelves. Keep the momentum friends of broadening our bookshelves to reflect the diverse topography of the world.

Need suggestions for your next read?

Sheaf & Ink has you covered.

Check out this months Top 5 book recommendations for January 2021 and add these reads to your book list.

Top 5 Books of January

Contemporary Fiction

One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite 

Seaf & Ink Book Review Read Here >>


For Every Pre-Order Submitted:

  • Inkyard Press will donate $1 to the Center for Black Equity

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

You Have A Match by Emma Lord

Seaf & Ink Book Review Read Here >>

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

Historical Fiction

Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink

Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. A passionate follower of WEB. Du Bois, he believes that black people should rise up to claim their place as equals.

Sixteen-year-old Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family’s financial situation is in turmoil. Also, as a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington, she believes, through education and tolerance, that black people should rise slowly and without forced conflict.

But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.


We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.

As the zumra plots to overthrow the kingdom’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power into a weapon, to wield not only against the Lion but against his father, trapped under the Lion’s control.

Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of the darkness enclosing ever faster, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out to achieve their ends, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

See any January 2021 YA books you can’t wait to read?

Share the books you’re looking forward to in the comments. We love hearing from you.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sue @beautybookcorner

    I haven’t read We Hunt the Flame but it’s on my tbr shelf. Im trying to focus on my backlist as well. Maybe that’s one to read this year!

    1. Cece Beckman

      It’s a really great read. The world building alone is fantastic.

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