I don’t know where I want to begin with this one because I’ll be honest, I’m a little disappointed with myself. In 2020, I read over 30 books (33 to be exact!) and in 2021, I only read 21?! There are a lot of reasons why I didn’t read as much last year but I thought I’d at least read the same amount, y’know? I could have at least stayed consistent! Unfortunately, I read 12 less books. Ugh, it hurts even more putting a number to it. I mean, it is what it is. I had a lot going on with Never Skip a Bead that didn’t allow me time to stop and read for as long as I would have liked. Julia and I also had the podcast going. I had a book club. We had to stop the podcast because we both got a little too busy so that prevented a higher book count as well. Part of me feels like these are excuses because if I really wanted to read, I would have made it happen. I sound like a broken record but life really does get in the way sometimes. And I’ve got to accept that sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want it.
But that’s what a new year is all about, right? A fresh start! I know what I want to prioritize this year, and reading is one of those things. I’ve been reading as much as I can on my commutes to and from work. I had some tough side effects after getting my booster this week that I had to call in sick to work for a couple days. I had a fever, chills, and body aches. I couldn’t really do much so I read my book. I’m currently reading the second book to “These Violent Delights” by Chloe Gong. I love this book (expect a book review on this duet soon!) so I don’t see a problem with momentum at the moment, but we’ll see!
Anyways, this post isn’t about current or future reads, but about past reads! It’s tough to pick out my “top ten” because that’s literally half the books I read. I don’t know about you but I don’t think that justifies a top ten, so I’m sharing with y’all this year a “Top 5 Books I Read In 2021”. They’re the titles highlighted in yellow and the pink are honourable mentions. Basically, I really want you to read the yellow and if you have extra time, read the pink ones!
TOP 5 BOOKS I READ IN 2021
1. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah – This was a book Julia and I read for the podcast. I would have never bothered with it if it hadn’t been picked up by Netflix and turned into a series. Honestly, I’m super happy I read it. It made me cry. If you haven’t heard our podcast, The Books Office Podcast, I mentioned that I think the book is way better than the Netflix series. You don’t get enough information from the show. The book had so much more depth and Kristin Hannah does a real good job at connecting you with her characters.
2. Crying In H Mart by Michelle Zauner – I saw this book all over social media. The cover is cute. There was a lot of hype and I was looking for something good, like really good. I needed something to get me reading again. This was the last book I read in 2021, and I loved it. It’s non-fiction/a memoir, so that made it even more interesting. Losing a parent to cancer is something I can relate to, and it made her story that much more special to me.
3. Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz – This was another memoir that we ended up reading in our book club last year. I think joining this book club really made me open up to books outside of teen fiction. This story opens your eyes and it makes you appreciate all that you have. I think it also helps you to better understand the minds of young women and young women of colour. Jaquira shares a lot that demonstrates what it takes to survive and make a better life for yourself. She definitely has courage to have written such a vulnerable and honest book like this. I absolutely recommend it.
4. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – Definitely deserving of this spot. It might be one of the best books I’ve read in years. I think this story had fantastic characters and it covers so much ground: race, identity, gender, belonging, as well as the relationship of twins and their daughters. It’s a very powerful read that I don’t think I am capable of explaining. I definitely can’t do as good of a job as it deserves. You’re just going to have to read it!
5. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – I’m pretty sure you’ve probably heard of this book. It’s really deserving of all the praise. I think it might be popular on TikTok? Matt Haig is an amazing writer. This is the first book that I’ve read that he’s written, but I’m definitely going to look into reading one of his other novels this year. How he came up with “The Midnight Library” is fascinating to me. It’s such a unique story and I think it has a great message. This is 100% a book that everyone should read.
I know I didn’t describe the books as well as I could have. If you’ve read my book reviews before, you know I struggle along the line of over sharing and not sharing enough. I just don’t want to ruin it for anyone that is dying to read one of these 5 books I’ve mentioned. They all deserve to be read and discovered for yourselves. I think you’ll love any one of them. Now that I’m looking back at this, although I only read 21 books last year, I think I read some pretty darn good ones! If you end up reading one of these, I want to know what you think! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
I also hope you’re all having a great week! I’m so glad that I’m no longer feeling poorly. That booster really took me out this week, but I’m feeling as good as new now! I’m super excited because my mom and sister are coming to visit me for the weekend. They’re going to help me with the apartment and come with me to IKEA! If anything exciting happens, I’ll be sure to share.
Until next time,
– Tiny ❤