2021 was a delightful reading year. I'm excited to share all my favorites of the year. For my December Daily® album this year I put a page together documenting what I read in 2021. It was so fun to see all those titles on one fold-out page. (Note: December Daily® is a scrapbooking, memory keeping, documenting project that I create every year. The photo above is the front cover of the 2-page layout I created to document what I read in 2021).
Of the 130 books I read, below are my favorite books of 2021 in categories. Some categories were easier to choose than others (because I read a lot of books).
Top 10 Fiction books.
Some of these titles easily slid into the top 10 list and a couple I hemmed and hawed over the remaining titles.
Anxious People, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Incredible Winston Browne, The Rose Code, The Blue Castle, Lovely War, Project Hail Mary, The Book Women of Troublesome Creek, Surviving Savannah, and Daisy Jones & The Six
Favorite Epistolary novel
Address Unknown. Though not for everyone, I am a fan of epistolary novels, those works in which the story is told through letters, mostly, and usually between 2 or more characters. Address Unknown is actually a novella and written by two characters. I'd only this year heard about Address Unknown, and as a fan of WWII historical fiction - and epistolary writing I had to read it. Blown away!
Favorite Science Fiction
Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir. I probably could add this to a favorite humor book, too. Not normally a fan of science fiction because for me they are hard to follow, Project Hail Mary was the perfect Sci-Fi book, easy to follow, clever, and humorous!
Favorite Book Club read
The Rose Code, Kate Quinn. We read some really great books this year, and a couple not so great. I love that we keep coming back together to discuss books! Our book club books this year where: I Was Anastasia, Transcendent Kingdom, Anxious People, Bel Canto, Malibu Rising, The Book Women of Troublesome Creek, The Midnight Library, and The Invisible Life of Addie Larue - another wonderful year of book club reads.
The Blue Castle, LM Montgomery
Well, The Blue Castle (although, I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for my book club and it was soo good!)
The Lazy Genius Way, Kendra Adachi (although Walking One Step at a Time, Erling Kagge is a close second). I truly enjoyed Adachi's style and the book was laid out perfectly. She did such a good job.
Favorite Spiritual Formation
Jeff and I read, aloud, only 5 spiritual formation books this year. Mostly because The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard took us many months to read through aloud. We also read Run With the Horses by Eugene Peterson, Don't Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Lou Giglio (my least favorite, and A.W. Tozer's, The Attributes of God, Volume 1 and Volume 2. My favorite of the year was definitely, without a doubt, A.W. Tozer's The Attributes of God, Volume 1.
Favorite Police Procedure
Forgotten in Death, J.D. Robb. I enjoyed Louise Penny's, Madness of Crowds, however, Robb took Forgotten in Death, book 53 of the In Death series, to new heights with a case within a case, and I was completed delighted. It was a difficult read in some aspects, fraught with triggers (for me), but it was one of her best in the series.
Favorite Book Cover
The Madness of Crowds, Louise Penny (the book was really good, too!)
Favorite author of the Year
Favorite author of the year goes to Taylor Jenkins Reid! I read three of her books this year and two of them made my Top 10 of the year, Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Malibu Rising was a book club read and we had really amazing discussion. Everyone felt the first half was phenomenal, and the second half lost its footing. If the second half of Malibu Rising had held on and read like the first part it would have been, easily, in my top 10 list.
Favorite Suspense / Thriller
I only read a couple this year because I am not a fan of suspense. Three that stood out, and that I enjoyed immensely, are The Survivors, Jane Harper; The Guest List, Lucy Foley; and, The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave. But, I am such a huge fan of Jane Harper and love everyone of her books even though they are border line too suspenseful for me, yet, somehow I keep coming back - for her writing and the stories. So, favorite suspense / thriller goes to The Survivors.
Favorite Read aloud
The Holy Bible. Jeff and I have been reading aloud together every work day morning and we finished reading through the entire Bible over the summer. We are following that up with reading through the New Testament before we tackle the entire Bible again, but that won't be until probably Spring of this year.
and last, but not least
Favorite Fiction Book of the Year
The Rose Code, Kate Quinn. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman one of my top 10 fiction books of the year and another book club book, held the number one spot solidly until I read The Rose Code, another book we read over the summer for book club. We had such a lively discussion of both books, however, The Rose Code was amazing! Both memorable books and highly recommend both.