Fave Books of 2021

I’ve been a voracious reader all my life. But when my first book came out, the pressure to be on social media came with it. And for years I didn’t realize just how much that perpetual online presence cost me. I think most introverts can relate. (I’ve since pared back a lot, and I’m okay.)

One of the things that I paid with was reading time. I didn’t keep a log and I suck at entering stuff into Goodreads (if my phone isn’t right beside me when I start or finish a book, it ain’t happening), but my best guess is that I averaged only about twenty books a year between 2012 and 2019. Abysmal.

2020 was a little better, but I didn’t start counting until this past January, when I stumbled on Ryder Carroll’s The Bullet Journal Method and started a bujo. (IKR?)

I set up a Books Read spread for 95 books (100 seemed like tempting fate after such a long drought), and as of today I’ve filled 91 of the slots. It’s been a good mix from popcorn books to very chewy reads that needed a bit more time settling in.

Calling these my top 5 is a bit of a cheat, because there’s a trilogy in here, but who’s going to sue me:

  • 5. The Vanishing Half  by Brit Bennett: This had by far my favourite trans character of the year in it, and my only gripe with Reese is that I wanted more of him in the book. (Which, yeah, I know it wasn’t his book, but I fell hard. What can I say?)
  • 4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Prose that lights fireworks along all the senses. And a character I really rooted for.
  • 3. Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots: Brilliantly twisted, hella punchy, wickedly hilarious, and surprisingly deep. I already want to read it again.
  • 2. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll: A bit of an outlier in here, because non-fiction, and because I’m not judging it on the writing. But it deserves to be here, because setting up a bullet journal made such an amazing impact on the ease with which I keep all the different reins of my life in my hands and under control.
  • 1. The Broken Earth Trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky) by N.K. Jemisin: Y’all, I screamed at these books so many times, I lost count. The planning that went into the structure, the heartbreaking character journeys, the prose … The PROSE! I can’t even. I highly recommend these. I know, I’m but a tiny speck in that particular choir. But in this case the hype is so not overblown. Go, read these. Don’t forget to breathe.



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