Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro: This is Ishiguro's latest offering, due to be released in March 2021. The blurb says it's about Klara, an Artificial Friend, who is sitting on the shelf waiting to be chosen. Sounds like perfect fodder for the kind of weird musings Ishiguro weaves through his novels: I read Never Let Me Go a few years ago and I think I've recovered enough from the bewilderment to try another one.
Severance by Ling Ma: One of those strangely prophetic books with plague as a central plot device (published in 2018, pre-COVID). According to our catalogue, it also contains "black humour" - one of my personal favourite ways to deal with the fact that I won't be reading it from beside the pool in some tropical beachy location. In all seriousness though, I've heard this is a good read and I've been meaning to read it for the last year.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel: Okay, I'll admit it: long books scare me. They require a level of commitment I'm never sure I can give. But I have never heard anyone say they didn't enjoy this book. Mantel follows the shady Thomas Cromwell, adviser to Henry VIII, throughout this trilogy (all up, about 1950 pages) which by all accounts is one of the most accomplished historical fiction series in existence, two of the books having been nominated for the Booker Prize (and Wolf Hall won it).
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell: Yes, I'm one of the last remaining people on Earth not to have read Hamnet. This book came out last year and was touted as a favourite for the Man Booker Prize longlist (which unfortunately it did not make). It's a fictional re-imagining of the short life of Shakespeare's son and apparently is quite dark in parts (not ideal for escapist readers).