My best reads of 2021

By the end of 2021, I will have read 102 books, a paltry total compared to many of you. Of that number, I rated one-third of them, 34, as five-star reads. It was a very good year for reading. 

Trying to whittle that number down to a manageable group that I can list as my year's best was not easy. I had to establish some guidelines. I decided that I would only include in my list books that were published this year or last. That eliminated six so only helped a little. I decided to choose one book from each month. That made the comparisons a tiny bit easier. Then I bit the bullet and made my choices.

So here it is - my best of the best for this year with links to my reviews should you care to read them. I feel compelled to add that I also had a great many books that I rated at four stars (I didn't actually count them.) and they only missed the cut by a little. As I said, it was a very good year for us readers. We had a lot of quality to choose from.

January - Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

February - The Survivors by Jane Harper

March - The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

April - Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

May - We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman

June - Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce

July - When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

August - The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw

September - Intimacies by Katie Kitamura

October - Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

November - The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

December - Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Comments

  1. It's hard choosing just twelve favorites, isn't it? My list could have been much longer, too. I love how widely you read! Several of these books are going on my TBR list for next year. :D

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    1. We are so fortunate to live in a time when books from right around the world are easily available. I like to take advantage of that.

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  2. Wow, nice list!! My best reads for 2021 is publishing soon. Happy reading to you 2022!!

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  3. i admire your eclectic list... i don't know much about books from other countries; i should look into that, tx for the reminder...

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    1. Eclecticism pretty well describes my style of reading. I do like to read from a lot of different sources and genres, rather than sticking to one area. It wasn't always so - several years ago I read mysteries and thrillers almost exclusively until I finally OD'd on them.

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  4. We have two books in common: Klara and the Sun (read several months ago) and Cloud Cuckoo Land (reading now). I don't read that many books anymore - I seem to be more and more easily distracted by television, magazines, and the Internet. Too many days I wake up wanting to read and the day slips away. Perhaps returning to books should be a New Years resolution.

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    1. I find books more rewarding than other forms of entertainment. I don't watch much television (about an hour and a half a day) or read magazines. I do spend a lot of time on the internet but I don't let it interfere with my reading time. So, yes, I would highly recommend books to you!

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  5. I like the way you picked a favorite a month. I narrowed my faves down to 15 and the then tried get to 10 but, I may stick with the 15 number when all is said and done.

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    1. It is really, really hard to decide which of five-star reads you liked better. I found that doing one for each month at least helped me narrow the choices, making it a little easier.

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  6. Good for you! I am missing my Goodreads goal of 100 by 6 books. I could rush it, but I just am not feeling it. I made it last year, and the libraries were even closed for months, so I don't know what my problem was this year. I like how you listed them by favorite of the month. I haven't read any of those. I think I'll borrow your idea for a Thursday 13, monthly with an annual favorite to make up the 13th! Thank you!

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    1. Reaching my goal is a rare feat for me, but I sometimes feel I didn't do much besides read this year! Of course, there are worse ways to spend one's time.

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  7. I have no doubt that Miriam will be scanning this list to see what she should read next!

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  8. Nice list, Dorothy. I've only read a couple of those, so you've left me with a lot of books to consider for early next year. I agree that 34 five-star books of 102 total is the mark of a very good reading year. Congratulations.

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  9. You had a large percentage of excellent reads...and that makes for an excellent year, I think. I'd love to see your complete list of all of your five-star reads. I like how you chose books published this year and then picked one per month.

    I will take a close look at those I haven't read. Thank you, Dorothy.

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    1. I would have liked to list all 34, but it would have made for a very, very long post.

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  10. Super list. Happy new year 🎈

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    1. Thank you, Rajani, and a very happy New Year to you.

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  11. A fantastic year for reading, indeed! I don't have all my stats done yet, I am waiting until the 31st to put it all together. Nothing like the last minute, right? But I am in the midst of a couple I think I will finish before then, and I have a feeling at least one may end up as another five-star.

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    1. I look forward to seeing your list.

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    2. It was a slog to get done, but I did it! 234 books total, and here are my five star ones:

      https://allthebookblognamesaretaken.blogspot.com/2021/12/best-of-best-my-five-star-reads-for-2021.html

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  12. I love these year-end best reads lists!

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  13. Oh this is a great list ! ... and I like how you put one per month. Many quality reads. I read 4 on your list and particularly liked Klara and the Sun and Intimacies. Excellent year of reading for you. Congrats.

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    1. It really was a great year. I had very few clunkers among my reading choices.

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  14. I love the idea of rating each month with the best read! Very good list!

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    1. That was my solution rather than listing all 34 five-star reads.

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  15. I remember your review for Apples Never Fall, I can't wait to read that book and hope to throw it in a Buddyread somewhere next year :)

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