I’ve always loved to read, but being a busy mom, I haven’t made enough time for it in the past. I set a goal for myself to read more in 2021 and I’ve really enjoyed it! Keeping track in my bullet journal was really helpful for me to stay on track and remember what I’ve read.
A note: I’m not overly critical about the books I’ve read because I really just love to read, so these aren’t really “reviews” as much as just some thoughts after reading each book.
The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate
This book was such a sweet read. My son encouraged me to read it after he finished it in a day. This is a great book to help kids develop empathy!
Bear Town – Fredrick Backman
I read A Man Called Ove at the end of 2020 and knew right away I wanted to read everything by Fredrick Backman. It turns out that the story in Bear Town is pretty different from A Man Called Ove, but the writing is still excellent. The story was gripping from the beginning.
Us Against You – Fredrick Backman
Naturally, I needed to read this sequel to Bear Town, and this did not disappoint. I could see myself reading these two books again in the future.
Anxious People – Fredrick Backman
This book was such a great read. It was different from any book I’ve ever read, but it was such a joy to read. Funny, heartwarming, mysterious, and full of likeable characters. I loved this one!
The Dutch House – Ann Patchett
This book was so enjoyable to read, but I think the key was that I didn’t actually read it. I listened to the audiobook. It’s narrated by Tom Hanks, so how could I not?! It’s not an exciting story, but I don’t mean that as an insult. It’s captivating, and not because of manufactured drama. It’s just the story of a man and his sister and the house they grew up in. It is beautifully written and I still think about the details in the book. If I had to use one word to describe it, I would say “cozy.” It’s like if sitting down with a fuzzy blanket and cup of coffee was a book, it would be this book.
Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
This book was well-written and a great chance to step into someone else’s experiences that are so different from my own. I loved this book and highly recommend for anyone looking for a story so relevant to today’s conversations around white privilege, implicit bias, and how we need to listen to the experience of others to help our own perspectives grow.
The Woman in the Window – A.J. Finn
As a fan of mystery, I knew I wanted to read this as soon as I learned it was going to be turned into a movie. This book is very Hitchcock-ian and the story was gripping the entire time.
A note: I learned after reading this book that the author has a problematic past and the story may not be completely original. I probably would have skipped this one had I learned that information beforehand.
One by One – Ruth Ware
This book took me a sec to really get into it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. It was such a great, original story, and yet could have been written by Agatha Christie.
Pretty Things – Janelle Brown
I had a hard time with this book. It was difficult to connect with the main characters because they were kind of anti-heroes, but in the end, the story wrapped up nicely.
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes – Xio Axelrod
Loved this book! As a musician, I enjoyed reading about another musician’s journey and this one was a page-turner. I loved the main character from the first page and couldn’t wait to see where her story went.
I Remember Nothing – Nora Ephron
Is there anything better than a book by Nora Ephron? I think not. I loved reading this collection of essays about her life. She’s such an excellent writer and there were many times where I laughed out loud at her stories. This book is another easy, cozy read.
The Dutch House – Ann Patchett
Yes, I listened to this one twice. It’s just that good!
Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty
Cody and I started watching this show on Hulu before I realized it was a book. Once I figured it out, I grabbed it from the library and finished it before we finished the show. My honest opinion? It was just okay. The show was pretty different, and I thought it was a little better than the book, surprisingly. However, I LOVE Melissa McCarthy and I think she shows such great range in the show that I feel like I missed in the book.
Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir
I grabbed this book off the shelf at the library without having read any of Weir’s books or understanding anything about what the story was. The Martian is definitely high on my list of movies so I thought I’d take a chance on this book. I’m so glad I did! Andy Weir is an incredible writer and even though this book is very science-y, he writes in such a way that the reader can understand everything without feeling like a dummy. Highly, highly recommend this one.
Artemis – Andy Weir
Another book with an anti-hero main character, this was a super interesting story of a girl who lived on the moon. I think I’ve learned that anti-hero books aren’t my favorite, but I liked this main character and wanted things to work out for her. This was a short, easy read!
Taste: My Life Through Food – Stanley Tucci
I love autobiographies and this glimpse into Stanley Tucci’s life was fascinating. I learned so much about his and it was written in such a way that I could hear him reading it.
The Four Winds – Kristin Hannah
This book was recommended over and over and honestly, I can’t see why. It was an emotionally hard and sad read. It was well-written, but it was a heavy and probably realistic look into the post-depression era. I found this one hard to pick up because I just didn’t see any hope.
Waiting for Tom Hanks – Kerry Winfrey
After reading The Four Winds, I definitely needed an easy, feel-good read. This was exactly that! A charming rom-com in book form! Highly recommend this one if you need a light read!
And that concludes my reads for 2021! I read more this year than previous years (19 books!) and really enjoyed it. My goal is to read more books next year. (I’m not putting a number on it, so it may only be 20, but more is more, right?)
And now, for my fave book of the year:
Now I’m building my read list for next year. I snagged the Court of Thorns and Roses series in a kindle sale last week, so I’m looking forward to those. What other books should I read?? I like just about any genre so drop some suggestions in the comments!
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