Books Read in 2021
I read a total of 40 books in 2021, up 10 from last year with more memoir and romances than in years past. The upswing in my romance reading is largely due to the fatigue of living in a pandemic resulting in a desire to read books with happy endings. That and the fact that several of my coworkers are fans of the genre and had many recommendations for me. I was happy to give more romances a try – because happy endings!
At Content Bookstore, we have several monthly themes for our staff picks like Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month and Pride Month. Knowing that we had these monthly themes had me reading books that fit within these feature categories which resulted in an increase in my reading books by diverse authors. I am grateful to Content for helping me expand my reading in this way. I’ve added an * next to the titles by diverse authors in my list below.
Here is my complete list of books read in 2021:
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
- All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot
- This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
- From Field & Forest by Anna Koska
- The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
- The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn
- Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light by Helen Ellis
- London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall
- Transcendent Kingdom * by Yaa Gyasi
- Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
- Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
- The Invisible Woman by Erika Roebuck
- Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman
- The Body in Question by Jill Ciment
- Matrix by Lauren Groff
- Indian Horse * by Richard Wagamese
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Releases April 5, 2022 )
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
- Love & Saffron by Kim Fay (Published February 8, 2022)
Fiction – Romance
- People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
- Red, White & Royal Blue * by Casey McQuiston
- Seven Days in June * by Tia Williams
- The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
- Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Releases May 2, 2022)
- A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss
- If the Shoe Fits * by Julie Murphy
Fiction – Murder & Mayhem
- The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett
- Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
- An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Torsten
Fiction – Fantasy
- House in the Cerulean Sea * by TJ Klune
Children’s Books (picture, early reader & mid grade)
I typically don’t include picture books on my Books Read list because they are so short and I read them in a few minutes. That said, I included We Are Water Protectors on this list as it was my Staff Pick at Content for National Native American Heritage Month.
- The Littlest Voyager by Margi Preus
- Amina’s Voice * by Hena Khan
- Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend * by Dawn Quigley
- We Are Water Protectors * by Carole Lindstrom
Uff, it looks like I could expand my non-fiction reading in 2022! Only one Science book? No books from the History, Political Science or Sociology sections? Hmm, I have work to do in 2022!
Also of note, I read several cookbooks throughout the year but don’t typically include them on my list because I don’t read them from cover to cover. But I included The Great Minnesota Cookie Book on my list because I baked so many recipes from it and it was one of my Staff Picks at Content.
- Why Fish Don’t Exist * by Lulu Miller – Science
- Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson & Jay Cooper – Humor
- The Great Minnesota Cookie Book by Lee Svitak Dean & Rick Nelson – Cookbook: Baking
- How to Love the World – edited by James Crews. Forward by Ross Gay – Poetry
Which Were My Favorite books of 2021?
Now that’s a tough question to answer and I refuse to name just one favorite book of 2021! It’s worth pointing out that I’ve gotten to the point with my reading that I don’t finish a book if I don’t like it a lot which means I pretty much love all of the books I read so it’s extra difficult to choose favorites!
Here are six top picks:
- From Field to Forest – gorgeous illustrations and the gentle day to day life of an artist surrounded by nature. And dogs. Reading this book was good for my body and my soul!
- London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency – One of the most enjoyable memoirs I’ve ever read, this book is filled with a cast of quirky human and canine characters and made me feel better about life and this world we live in.
- Lessons in Chemistry – Laugh-out-loud funny, infuriating, smart, surprising, heartbreaking and hopeful. This is a book about being taken seriously and how good people (and one extraordinary dog) can build each other up.
- Indian Horse – a story about a boy who finds he has a gift for hockey, a sport he plays for the love of the game and, we discover, to forget. Horrific at times an heartbreaking throughout, Indian Horse is ultimately hopeful. It was, for me, a life changing read.
- Book Lovers – A romance for book lovers featuring a steely book agent, a grumpy book editor, a high maintenance writer, and an independent book shop that needs saving. What’s not to love? Only the fact that the book isn’t out yet! Book Lovers is due to hit the shelves on May 3, 2022.
- Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village – this was my favorite gift book suggestion for the holiday season. It’s a perfect little laugh out loud book for people who love British mysteries!
I’m already wishing I listed more favorite books of 2021 like Miss Benson’s Beetle (here’s my review!) and Barry Squires, Full Tilt, and Love & Saffron and…and…oh well, I’d better just call it quits.