May 2021 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses three good reads published in May 2021. Careless, Great Circle and Malibu Rising are all out in May.


Kirsty Capes’ emotionally charged debut Careless, shows us what happens when you fall between the cracks in twenty-first century Britain. Bess is young and motherless but she is also fearless. When she finds out about her pregnancy, in the summer of 1999, all she has is an absent ‘father’, a useless social worker and controlling foster parents.

This is not just a coming-of-age story about living on the edge of society – it really shows that young people, who has had a rough start in life, are bursting with hope, ambition and achievement. Benjamin Zephaniah reviewed it as “The literary equivalent of gold dust.”

Careless is published by Orion on 13 May and it’s anticipated to be the hottest fiction debut of 2021.

Great Circle

Maggie Shipstead won the Dylan Thomas Prize for writers under 30 with her debut, Seating Arrangements. She recently moved publishers, to Doubleday, for her new book Great Circle.

At the centre of Great Circle are Marian Graves and her twin brother Jamie. Their parents abandoned them, twice, and the twins become more comfortable with the Montana forests than with people. Many years later, in 1949, Marian is one of the bravest pilots of her time and she sets out to be the first to fly the Great Circle around the earth. Shortly after setting off, Marian’s plane goes missing and she is never seen again.

In present time, Hadley Baxter is offered to play the famous female pilot Marian Graves in a film. Hadley feels a connection with Marian and after the filming, she starts to wonder if Marian is still alive.

Great Circle is released on 27 May and will most definitely be many readers ‘novel of the year’.

Malibu Rising

Taylor Jenkins Reid, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six (soon a TV-series), is back with Malibu Rising – a novel set in the surfing community of Malibu. The story begins in August, in 1983, when it’s time for Nina Riva’s traditional end-of -summer party. Everyone admires the four, famous siblings known as the Rivas, especially as their father is the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The party turns into the wildest one ever and by midnight, it’s all out of control. The family that seemed to hold it together crashes down when secrets come bubbling to the surface. Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit all have to decide what they will leave behind.

Hutchinson, an imprint of Penguin, will publish this sparkling beach read on 27 May.

Annakarin Klerfalk

Anna is a literary agent based in Chiswick who is keen to hear from authors trying to get their books published. Contact her on She used to run the Waterstones bookshop in Chiswick. You can read more about her and Intersaga here.

See more of Anna’s book choices here

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.