book reading, book recommendations, book review, books

My 5 Favorite Books of 2021

While it’s been a difficult year for so many, one saving grace has definitely been our ability to read and to let our minds wander and explore. We may not have been able to travel to far flung places (or even to nearby ones) but books have taken us away to those unreachable locations.

I’ve included my 2021 comprehensive Goodreads list below both so that others can see what I’ve been reading and because it’s just so pretty to see all of these colorful and lovely book titles in one place! I’m going to discuss just a few books that stuck with me this year. I’d love to hear what moved you, as well. Here is to a MUCH better 2022 filled with family, health, travel and, of course, books.

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera: This beautifully written book is set in South Carolina in 1924 and follows three women as they navigate their post-slavery lives. The writing is breathtaking and the character development magnificent and heartbreaking.

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris: Another heart-stopping story about two freedmen. This story takes place in Georgia soon after the end of the Civil War and leaves the reader with a great deal to consider in the age of Reconstruction. The Sweetness of Water (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel (Audible Audio Edition): Nathan Harris, William DeMeritt, Little, Brown & Company: Audible Books & Originals

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah: This masterpiece focuses on farmers during the Great Depression and what life was like for those who went to California for a better life. You’ll feel the sand and grit in your eyes long after the novel is finished.

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali: I was surprised by how taken in I was by a story set in Tehran in 1953. The character development completely drew me in as did the themes of love, family and loss.

The Stationery Shop | Book by Marjan Kamali | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

An Unusual Boy by Fiona Higgins: As a parent (or a teacher, therapist, etc.) this is the type of book that could keep you up at night. How do we parent or teach children who see the world in a different way? How do we keep children safe? Where are some of the quiet dangers to our children? The book addresses incredibly timely and important issues that we all face in today’s technologically driven, ever-changing world.

I said that I was only going to discuss five books, but now I’m going to cheat a bit. As I wrote not long ago in another blog post about books, I highly recommend reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman if you haven’t already. I also think all of our teenagers and young adults should read it. I also recommend The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue. For really fun, light reading that touches the heart, I recommend Katherine Center’s books. They are all delicious, and she has a lovely presence on Facebook for anyone who wants to follow a fun author.

That’s a wrap for 2021. It’s always a joy to share book ideas with you and I look forward to continuing to do so in 2022!

In the Woods by Tana FrenchThe Dinner List by Rebecca SerleOur Country Friends by Gary ShteyngartA Million Reasons Why by Jessica StrawserThe Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis GravesThey Both Die at the End by Adam SilveraHow the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel PriorThe Lincoln Highway by Amor TowlesYou Were There Too by Colleen OakleyBewilderment by Richard PowersThe Mothers by Genevieve GannonReady Player One by Ernest ClineThe Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie BostwickApples Never Fall by Liane MoriartyDamnation Spring by Ash DavidsonWait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns GoodwinWe Begin at the End by Chris WhitakerThe Last Thing He Told Me by Laura DaveHow Lucky by Will LeitchMiss Benson's Beetle by Rachel JoyceHarlem Shuffle by Colson WhiteheadCall Your Daughter Home by Deb SperaThe Kitchen Front by Jennifer RyanThe Guilty Wife by Elle CroftThe Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley HellerThe Paris Library by Janet Skeslien CharlesThe Virgin Blue by Tracy ChevalierThe Man She Married by Cathy LambSo Long, See You Tomorrow by William MaxwellThe Music of Bees by Eileen GarvinMan Walks into a Room by Nicole KraussThe Chaperone by Laura MoriartyAlternate Side by Anna QuindlenLittle Friends by Jane ShemiltThe Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen OakleyThe Nature of Fragile Things by Susan MeissnerThe Disappearing Act by Catherine SteadmanThe Sweetness of Water by Nathan HarrisThe View From Here by Cindy MyersFlorence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel BeanlandOne Two Three by Laurie FrankelThe Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy ShearnGreat Circle by Maggie ShipsteadWhat Comes After by JoAnne TompkinsHappiness for Beginners by Katherine CenterThe Couple Next Door by Shari LapenaThe 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart TurtonDrive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga TokarczukThe Good Sister by Sally HepworthThe Searcher by Tana FrenchIn the Distance by Hernan DiazThe Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi DaréThe Push by Ashley AudrainThe Muse by Jessie BurtonRange Of Motion by Elizabeth BergMrs. Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise WaltersThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. SchwabThe Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue TownsendThe Lollipop Shoes by Joanne HarrisThe Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie SilverYou Remind Me of Me by Dan ChaonThe Stationery Shop by Marjan KamaliIn the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey RatnerThe Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

Early Morning Riser by Katherine HeinyThe Stolen Marriage by Diane ChamberlainThe Floating Feldmans by Elyssa FriedlandThe Dollhouse by Fiona DavisNantucket Nights by Elin HilderbrandBig Lies in a Small Town by Diane ChamberlainA Home On Bramble Hill by Holly MartinSea Wife by Amity GaigeBroken by Jenny LawsonFor My Daughters by Barbara DelinskyHow to Eat a Cupcake by Meg DonohueAn Unusual Boy by Fiona HigginsTruths I Never Told You by Kelly RimmerThe Distance by Zoë FolbiggThe Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan MalleryTrio by William BoydThe Switch by Beth O'LearyWhat the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm GladwellThe Little Village Bakery by Tilly TennantGet Lucky by Katherine CenterHouse on Fire by Bonnie KistlerGracelin O'Malley by Ann MooreAmanda Wakes Up by Alisyn CamerotaThe Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke EmeziThe Lost Husband by Katherine CenterThey May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen SchineThe Lost Apothecary by Sarah PennerA Spool of Blue Thread by Anne TylerGroup by Christie TateOne to Watch by Kate Stayman-LondonWest with Giraffes by Lynda RutledgeAn Unfinished Story by Boo WalkerThe Four Winds by Kristin HannahThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. KlunePicturing the Wreck by Dani ShapiroThis Tender Land by William Kent KruegerLilac Girls by Martha Hall KellyThe Gilded Years by Karin TanabeA Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank GreenIt's Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillanThe Pull of the Stars by Emma DonoghueStella Bain by Anita ShrevePerfect Happiness by Kristyn Kusek LewisMr Portobello's Morning Paper by Amanda ProwseThe Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona DavisThe Edge of Winter by Luanne RiceInterior Chinatown by Charles YuThe Probable Future by Alice HoffmanFifty Words for Rain by Asha LemmieHamnet by Maggie O'FarrellThe Girls by Lori LansensAlways the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins

1 thought on “My 5 Favorite Books of 2021

  1. I look forward to your insightful analysis every year. While I have read some of your recommendations, I have a long way to go. Reading is such a treat and allows me to “see the world” or look into the soul of others here at home. Thanks for your advice.

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