Year in Review: Books of 2021

Hello, all! Welcome to 2022. It’s been a minute since I’ve updated (over two years to be more exact). I’m coming back with some fresh content and I thought, “What better way to restart blogging than talking about books?!” In the time since my last posting, I helped start a book club with a few close friends that involve a variety of genres, as well as copious amounts of alcohol and laughter. Each of us alternate book selections and reveal the next month’s read at the end of the meeting. We don’t have a generated list to choose from, so it’s always a surprise! The group has definitely upped my reading game and moved me away from the genres I tend to gravitate towards (fantasy, science fiction, horror/thriller). It has brought me so much joy and I can’t wait to see what new books this coming year brings.

In 2020, I recorded what I read over the year in a handwritten journal. I did the same this year (force of habit), but I also created a Goodreads account and joined the 2021 Reading Challenge. I initially had the goal of reading 30 books to surpass the prior year’s completion of 26 books. I not only reached that goal but surpassed it by 20, thus concluding the year with 50 books read!

I give the bump credit to having taken up listening to audiobooks. I hadn’t been one to go the audiobook route (I will always prefer reading a physical book), but have found it to be a great addition to my life. The app Libby was the prime motivator. I love new books, but they can get pretty pricey. Libby allows users to access ebooks and audiobooks for free if they have a library card. I recently started knitting and it’s a great companion for such a relaxing pastime (and I tend not to mess up my stitching when I listen to audiobooks rather than trying to simultaneously watch TV). I’m sure it will be great for road trips as well. If you use it, let me know!

Now, without further ado, my 2021 books in review:

1 West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge

2 The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell – A book club selection

3 A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

4 You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

5 Writers & Lovers by Lily King – A book club selection

6 Dune by Frank Herbert

7 Nothing You Don’t Already Know by Alexander Den Heijer

8 Spellmaker by Charlie N. Holmberg

9 The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec – A book club selection

10 The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

11 Infinite by Brian Freeman

12 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

13 The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – A book club selection

14 Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

15 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A book club selection

16 How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self by Nicole LePera

17 Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

18 I Am a Girl from Africa by Elizabeth Nyamayaro – A book club selection

19 Choose Me by Tess Gerritsen

20 Outlawed by Anna North – A book club

21 We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

22 Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian 

23 The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin – A book club selection

24 The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

25 Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

26 Educated by Tara Westover

27 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

28 The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman 

29 Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

30 Watching You by Lisa Jewell

31 This Book Will Make You Kinder: An Empathy Handbook by Henry James Garrett

32 Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

33 Normal People by Sally Rooney 

34 She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan – A book club selection

35 The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton 

36 Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

37 Elevation by Stephen King

38 Laurie by Stephen King

39 No Judgments by Meg Cabot

40 Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

41 The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware 

42 The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix – A book club selection

43 Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

44 Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

45 The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult 

46 Verity by Colleen Hoover – A book club selection

47 Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

48 Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent 

49 Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell 

50 The Perishing by Natashia Deón

Not listed is December’s book club selection, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. While I started before the end of the year, I did not finish reading until last week, so I cannot in good conscience include it in this year’s list. It’s the first one of 2022, though!

As far as my favorite books of 2021 from the list above, my top 3 were:

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea 
  2. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
  3. Once There Were Wolves

Did you read any of these books this year? I would love to hear from you. Share in the comments below, add me on Goodreads, or follow me on Instagram! I will be blogging quarterly about the books I’ve read and acquired throughout the year but will be more active on social media so if you want more current content, check those out!

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