My year in reading: 2021

2021 was another wild year, the events of which don’t bear repeating here, because maybe if I don’t mention them, we’ll all forget they happened. (That’s how trauma works, right?) But what I WILL mention here are a few of the books I read in 2021, because some of them were great! And even a pandemic and a fragile democracy can’t stop me from sharing great books.

First, my stats! I finished 66 books this year, for a total of about 21,000 pages. I started 81 books. Some of these I intentionally Did Not Finish because I was not enjoying them, others I just didn’t get around to finishing, for… reasons. Speaking of which, I am sorry to report that 2021, despite my best intentions, was NOT the year I finished that Alexander Hamilton book. 2022 will DEFINITELY be the year. (Right?)

Over half of the books I read were borrowed from the library. The Libby app really is a game-changer (if you don’t have it, get it)! Almost 80% of the books I read were written by women. This was not intentional, but I’m not mad about it. 74% of the books I read were fiction, and 26% were non-fiction. Given that I am a fiction writer and gravitate heavily towards fiction, I feel okay about this ratio, although next year I would like to read even more non-fiction. (I’ve just started a NF book about Mt. Everest, The Third Pole, so I’m already starting 2022 with some exciting non-fiction. If anyone has any other great NF recs to kickstart my reading year, please let me know.)

Okay, so let’s get into some of these books! Here are a few of the stand-outs.

Best Parenting Book

Simple Happy Parenting, Denaye Barahona

Best Memoir

Notes on a Silencing, Lacy Crawford

The Wreckage of My Presence, Casey Wilson

Best Speculative Fiction

Severance, Ling Ma

Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro

Best True Crime

We Keep The Dead Close, Becky Cooper

Best Short Story Collection

People Like You, Margaret Malone

Best General Literary Fiction

We Run The Tides, Vendela Vida

Writers & Lovers, Lily King

Best Romance

Dear Emmie Blue, Lia Louis

Best Thriller

Dream Girl, Laura Lippman

What were the best books you read in 2021? What are you reading in 2022?

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