10 Great Books for 2021

I haven't done a reading round-up in a while and I've been fortunate to read really good books this year. David Sedaris and Ann Patchett are two of my favorite authors, so anything I read by them is likely to make my favorites list, but I was excited that some other books actually delivered on the fanfare. There's nothing worse than when a book doesn't live up to the hype (ahem, Leave the World Behind), so I was thrilled by how good The Midnight Library and Black Buck were. They've been all over my social media feed for the last few months and when it was my turn in line at the library, I wasn't disappointed. 

I would have put The Rose Code by Kate Quinn on the list, but I mentioned it in my last post. So technically, I'm giving you 11 books to read so far this year. You're welcome. 

The Best of Me - David Sedaris 
A collection of his essays, with a never-before-published one about his father. Even if you've read all of his books, this is so worth it. I'd highly recommend the audiobook so you can pretend you're at one of his readings.

Punching the Air - Ibi Zoboi
From Goodreads: "...a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both." Again, I'd recommend the audiobook; the book is poetry and the narrator does a brilliant job.

Migrations - Charlotte McConaghy
I don't know how this book got on my radar, but I'm so glad it did. Set in the not-too-far future where climate change has ravaged the environment, a woman is on a quest to track the migration of the last Arctic terns. It's powerful without being preachy and beautifully written.

Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
This book will break your heart, but it's such an important read. Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to defending the poor, the incarcerated, and the wrongly condemned, and this book is a behind-the-scenes of what's wrong with our "justice" system.

The Searcher - Tana French
A retired Chicago cop moves to rural Ireland to retire and gets caught up in a missing person case. This wasn't a fast paced thriller, but I enjoyed the scenic descriptions of Ireland and the character development. It's what I listened to during my gum graft procedure, so the fact that the story kept my attention over my crippling fear of what was going in inside my mouth is pretty high praise.

The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
After a failed suicide attempt, Nora Seed is given the rare opportunity to see what else her life could have been. A more philosophical (and less Christmas-y) version of "It's A Wonderful Life." 
This was a fast read since you're just so curious what will happen next. Strong writing and open discussions of mental health made this a win for me. 

The Magician's Assistant - Ann Patchett
A widow is surprised that her late husband had a family he lied about (not a seedy, secret family; literally the family he grew up with). She goes to Nebraska and both the family and she learn things about each other and the deceased they never imagined. It's a book about ordinary people and their everyday challenges.

A Promised Land - Barrack Obama
Obama narrates this one, so you definitely want to get the audiobook. Sure, I tuned out at times (mostly the foreign affairs, there was a lot about Russia), but it was overall a great book. I love any peak into his "normal" family life and his relationship with Michelle.

Black Buck - Mateo Askaripour
From Goodreads: "...satirical debut novel about a young man given a shot at stardom as the lone Black salesman at a mysterious, cult-like, and wildly successful startup where nothing is as it seems." This is another one you don't want to put down because you're constantly like did that really just happen?

The Lost Apothecary - Sarah Penner
Multiple storylines toggling between the 1700's and present day London make for an intriguing read right off the bat. It dragged at times and wrapped up a little too neatly IMO, but overall I really liked the characters and enjoyed their storylines. I'll never be mad at strong female protagonists.


Stephanie said…
I have read absolutely none of these so I have quite a list to make!
Brigid said…
You're in for some real treats =D