My Top 10 Reads of 2021

Hello and happy last day of 2021!

This year felt like it went by so fast, but I still managed to read more books than ever before!

I’m closing out 2021 with 65 new reads completed, and I’m psyched about it.

As you all know, I’ve been posting reviews throughout the year, but I wanted to focus on my 10 favorite books from the past year.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 reads of 2021. You can find my previous reviews, which include more details on the books below, here.

You can also click any of the images or titles below for a link to purchase the book; I can make a small commission if you buy through these links, which helps support the blog!

10. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This was my very first read of 2021 and it got my year off to a great start. It’s a self-help book/memoir about a woman who uprooted her whole life to be true to herself and what was in her heart.

Along with an inspiring voice and valuable insights, this book takes a lot of the underlying stresses and pressures that women deal with and puts them into a new perspective. I’ve since followed the author on Instagram and she is just as wonderful there.

9. Normal People by Sally Rooney

This book, like its characters, is clunky and imperfect, but that’s what I liked so much about it. My favorite thing about this book was how realistic it was, though the writing style is also great.

At times, I didn’t like the characters and I was a bit annoyed by the ending, but somehow this irritation made it all the more believable for me. Real people have deep-seated issues—real endings are often not tied up neatly with a bow. I’m looking forward to reading more Rooney this upcoming year.

8. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I love books that bring me into other cultures and experiences, and this was one of the best I read this year. It takes place in Nigeria and part of the book focuses on the political tensions there.

The main character was so interesting and I loved her voice. The author did a great job of revealing things to the reader only as the main character herself began to understand them, which worked perfectly to bring it all together at the end. This was one of those stories that sticks with you long after you put it back onto the shelf.

7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed

This was such a great escape from reality! It’s got Hollywood glamour and scandal, family drama and hardship, and a bold main character who’s as lovable as she is flawed.

I truly felt like I was transported to a different world with this one. I read that this was partially based on the life of Elizabeth Taylor, which made it all the more interesting to me. Regardless of whether it’s a true story or not, it touches on some really important issues regarding women, love, and the public eye.

6. Know My Name by Chanel Miller

This was a recent read for me and such a powerful book. I’ll get into more detail in my Nov/Dec book review post, but this was so much more than Chanel’s side to the Brock Turner case.

It details the struggles that sexually abused women go through, the many and massive shortfalls of our justice system, and the prejudice that can be placed on innocent women. But, above all else, this book focuses on the kind strangers and friends who helped along the way, and serves as a reminder that we all can play a part in helping victims of abuse find their way out.

5. Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

This was possibly my most anticipated release of 2021 and it still managed to exceed my expectations. It’s another one I’ll discuss further on my year end review post, but clearly it’s going to get a very good review.

Bursting with beautiful language and complex yet important topics, Amanda documents the pandemic, racial tensions, and political disaster of 2020…but she takes it even a step further. She calls us us to action, dares us to turn the pointed finger inward, and, above all, pushes us to have hope for the future.

4. Tell Me Lies by JP Pomare

This was the first year I had an Audible subscription, and it really helped me discover some amazing books. One was Tell Me Lies, which I’ve since purchased a hard copy of, along with two other books by JP Pomare.

The description of this psychological thriller drew me in, but the masterful writing and carefully constructed plot twists are what set it apart for me. I read a lot of similar books this yer, but Tell Me Lies was the one I’d most recommend from that genre.

3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The back of this book boasts it is the #1 novel of the century. HUGE shoes to fill, but the book is deserving. I love reading pieces set in the 1920s-1930s and this one was great.

I was expecting this to be more of a romance, so the subtly creepy parts and underlying tension were great surprises as I read. The author did such a good job of weaving a dark mystery throughout, keeping it just below the surface and distracting with other events and details of the story, until you suddenly realized what had been sneaking up on you all along.

2. The Whisper Man by Alex North

I loved this one from the very first page. It’s a classic murder mystery with supernatural elements thrown in, which is right up my alley.

There were tons of spooky details and spine-tingling moments throughout this story, which I really enjoyed. I loved the ghost aspect, the ending, everything. I fully recommend this book and already have my next Alex North read planned.

1. The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

I knew while I was reading this book that it was a special one. You are plopped right into the middle of the action when the book starts, which is great because sometimes I tire of slow, gradual ramp-ups.

There’s a specific twist towards the middle that just knocked me to my feet, but the surprises do’t stop there. This book really kept me guessing and was such a fun read! I’m excited to read more Tarryn Fisher in 2022.

Thanks for checking out my favorite books of 2021! I’ll be back later today with some more end-of-year posts, featuring my favorite outfits and purchases of the year.

Happy New Year, everyone, and have a wonderful 2022 ❤️

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