Book Bloggers Share Their Favourite Books of 2021 So Far
Can you believe we’re already halfway through 2021?!
Whether you feel like the first part of the year has dragged on or flown by, I’m sure we can all agree that so far it has been an excellent year in the world of books.
We revelled in excitement at the release of many a highly anticipated read from such celebrated authors as; Angie Thomas, Brandon Taylor, Kazuo Ishiguro and Taylor Jenkins Reid, among others. We’ve also been reading more widely, seeking out diverse narratives and in so doing discovering some fantastic books to gush about.
Speaking of which, I wrote a detailed discussion post on my views about reading diversely vs. performative reading and virtue-signalling, click here to read more!
For today’s post, I teamed up with some fellow bloggers in the book community to share with you our Top 3 books of 2021 So Far! I’m so excited to be sharing my first ever collaborative post with you all and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of all the lovely bloggers featured below. I hope you enjoy reading their recommendations! x
Erika – And On She Reads
Erika from And On She Reads always writes such well thought-out reviews as well as engaging weekly updates in which she connects openly with her audience. Here are her Top 3 books of 2021 so far and why she chose them;
Click each cover to read Erika’s full reviews!
Malice by Heather Walters
“This is a dark Sapphic retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the Wicked fairy, Alyce. Searching for answers about her past leads to her thinking about her future, and it all come crashing together in this beautiful magical book. It’s the first part of a duology and I’m already waiting for the second book to be published! It’s a story of power, both good and bad, and how wielding it can flip the scales in either direction.”
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
“I have only started venturing into fantasy properly in the last two years, and this series has utterly captivated me. I could easily list the three books out so far as my three choices because even now a little part of my brain is still stuck in Poppy’s world. I loved the world building, deliberately gradual and withholding information to keep the reader gripped, and it just kept getting better. Perfect for people who hate being forced into boxes and just want to be who they are.”
The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid
“Based on Jewish folklore and Hungarian myths, this book is a journey that takes us through magical forests as well as through a whole host of emotions. I absolutely fell in love with bristly Évike and gruff Gáspár, watching their differences become less important than their similarities. It made me cry multiple times for multiple reasons. Powerful, beautiful, utterly wonderful.”
Tabrizia – Cup Of Tea With That Book, Please
Tabrizia’s quirkily named blog, Cup Of Tea With That Book, Please has a diverse range of attention-grabbing posts that evoke an outspoken and inclusive voice. Here are her Top 3 books of 2021 so far and why she chose them;
Click each cover to read Tabrizia’s full reviews!
The Crossing by Manjeet Mann
“After devouring Mann’s debut novel, Run Rebel, I was so excited to get my hands on her next book, The Crossing, and it was definitely worth the wait! Manjeet Mann has delivered another emotional juggernaut that will stay with readers for many years to come. I sat in awe and amazement after I finished the book. Mann has done a wonderful job telling a powerful story in verse with two realistic characters. If you are looking for the most emotional and most relevant book of 2021, then this is the book for you!”
Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and Light by Nikita Gill
“This delightful book may be small, but it packs an emotional impact tenfold. I knew that this book would be one of my favourites reads of 2021 from the first poem. Filled with inspiration, hope and love, this poetry collection is one that readers will return to over and over again. If you enjoy this collection (and you definitely will) I also recommend reading The Girl and the Goddess, another compelling and beautiful read.”
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
“Although this book came out last year, this was the first book I read in 2021 and it was a great way to start a new year, especially coming out of a pandemic. I was just completely blown away at how poignant, inspirational, emotional and well written this contemporary novel is. All the ideas that are portrayed in this book will be relevant to any reader. I found myself highlighting so many sentences but they were amazing words that just hit all the right places. This is one of those books that is unforgettable and will stay with you always.”
Rosalie – Novels And Teacups
Rosalie from Novels & Teacups is a tea-loving reader who writes perfectly eloquent, meticulous reviews! Her Top Ten Tuesday posts are always something to look forward to and will appeal to all types of readers. Here are her Top 3 books of 2021 so far and why she chose them;
Click each cover to read Rosalie’s full reviews!
Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
“I’m going to be bold here and say this is maybe the best short story collection I’ve ever read. I don’t necessarily gravitate towards short stories, and have no idea how this got on my radar – but it’s just brilliant. It’s full of caustic humour and emotional devastation – and so attuned to the intricacies of love in all of its many incarnations. There’s also surrealism in different degrees – in one of my favourite stories, a man falls in love with a woman he sits across from on the Brooklyn Q train in New York, and whilst working up the courage to talk to her, the years melt into decades, and still they ride the train back and forth on the same line – neither ever summoning the strength to speak. Funny and sad and bonkers – there’s something for everyone.”
The Divines by Ellie Eaton
“I’m a magnet for a book like this: a nineties British girlhood at an elite boarding school that haunts our narrator, Josephine, decades into her later life. There is such astute psychological insight in the way Eaton lays bare the female teenage experience (almost TOO relatable at times) – the unease of being in your own skin, the dynamics of female friendship, the desperation to fit in. There’s a haze of 90s nostalgia, but it’s intermingled with a growing tension – we know that something terrible happened during Josephine’s last summer at the school. In a sense it is a mystery, but very much a slow burn – and the perfect lazy summer read.”
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
“Jessamine Chan’s debut is set in a dystopian universe – but one that’s only slightly removed from our own. When protagonist Frida Liu leaves her crying daughter at home alone – just briefly – her life spirals out of control. Determined an unfit mother, she’s sent to a residential program for a year. This program – the school for good mothers – presents the women with AI dolls, designed to resemble their own flesh-and-blood children, and they are placed under 24-hour surveillance. It’s a chilling book, one that simmers with a quiet yet powerful rage. Chan explores the second-generation immigrant experience, and the terrifying possibilities of greater patriarchal control over our lives.”
Laura – Yipee ki-yay, motherbooker
Laura’s straight-talking blog, Motherbooker, critiques books and film with witty honesty and rigour. Her Rant posts are so topical, I would strongly encourage everyone to read them! Here are her Top 3 books of 2021 so far and why she chose them;
Click each cover to read Laura’s full reviews!
All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
“This was my first-time reading Andrew Kaufman and I was blown away by the originality. It’s such a fun and quirky book that is like nothing I’ve ever read before. This is book that is mainly concerned with love and relationships though there is a lot to enjoy beyond that. The superheroes you meet here can tell you more about self-awareness than about fighting bad guys. This is a book that celebrates differences and what makes a person unique. This is a love story for people who don’t necessarily enjoy love stories. It’s silly and has a lot of fun with the concept. A perfect quick read for everyone to enjoy.”
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
“This is my all-time favourite Ishiguro and one of the most tragic love stories that I’ve ever read. It really sums up a specific type of Britishness and captures a full human life. You learn so much about one man without every really finding anything out. You need to wade through layers of class and that British stiff upper lip to get any kind of glimpse at the man narrating this novel. We mostly see the façade that he has created through years of service and what happens when he realises that his years of loyalty has been misplaced. It really is one of the most heart-breaking books I’ve ever read and it’s so beautifully written.”
Crooked House by Agatha Christie
“I read this as part of my big Christie re-read and it only reminded me of how good she is as a writer. This is one of my top 3 Christie novels and I think it is one of her most brilliant narratives. It’s unsettling and dark compared to a lot of her crime novels. I would also say the twist ending is surprising though not as ground-breaking as some of her others. Christie has always been a writer who excels at creating believable characters and this is one of the best examples of that. This standalone digs deep into a family history and explores all sorts of familial connections. If you still needed proof of Christie’s brilliance, this would be the novel to do it.”
Clair – Always Need More Books
Clair from Always Need More Books is a technical librarian whose compelling reviews are always a joy to read. Her wide reading range and personable charm make her a valued member of the book blogger community. Here are her Top 3 books of 2021 so far and why she chose them;
Click each cover to read Clair’s full reviews!
Last One at The Party by Bethany Clift
“I’ve been all over the pandemic books this year and I really enjoyed this story of one woman who alone survived a devastating pandemic. Her story feels real: it is moving and she is an amusing narrator and it is just a fabulous read.”
A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago
“I love historical fiction but rarely read really old historical fiction, instead basing my choices around the 20th Century. This book takes us back to the 17th century and Jacobian England and is a true story about two remarkable and strong women from very different backgrounds.”
Boys Don’t Cry by Fiona Scarlett
“The moving story of two young Irish boys is a short yet emotional read that moved me to tears. The story of those boys will stay with me.”
My Top 3 Picks! – LochanReads
Click each cover to read my full reviews!
How many of the books featured in today’s post have you read? Are you looking forward to reading any of them in particular? Let me know your thoughts! x
You Might Also Like:
As it’s currently Bisexual Visibility or Awareness week, an international celebration that is observed annually from 16 – 23 September, I’ve compiled a line-up of books with bi characters that I’m hoping to finish by the end of this month.
From essays about revolutionising the way we perceive masculinity to Carnival to Caribbean food to creating spaces for Black people to enjoy cultural expression … these essays discuss how Black Joy can either be a deeply personal or collective experience.
To claim victimhood for simply having an opinion is a wilful act of ignorance that completely disregards the detrimental impact those opinions have on society’s most vulnerable people.