Search This Blog

Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:


2022 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona
- Arkansas
- California (1)
- Colorado
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii
- Idaho
- Illinois
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky
- Louisiana
- Maine
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (1)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas
- Utah
- Vermont (1)
- Virginia
- Washington (1)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.*

International:

Australia (1)

My Progress:


6 / 51 states. 12% done!

2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:


4 / 50 books. 8% done!

2022 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:


1 / 25 books. 4% done!

2022 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

My Progress:


6 / 56 books. 11% done!

Booklist Queen's 2022 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


8 / 52 books. 15% done!

Aussie Author Reading Challenge 2022


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge


1 / 20 books. 5% done!

2022 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

My Progress:


8 / 50 books. 16% done!

2022 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:


8 / 50 books. 16% done!

2022 Support Book Bloggers Challenge

2022 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: My Best Books of 2021


I don't know about you, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that 2021 is almost over. It's been a good year for my family with lots of fun memories made. We're gearing up for an eventful 2022, so I'm excited to ring in the new year! 

The end of the year is also a good time in book blogger land. I always enjoy reading people's wrap-up posts and best-of lists. Today's TTT prompt goes right along with that: Top Ten Best Books I Read in 2021. Of the 202 books I've read so far this year (I'll probably still get through another one or two before Saturday), I marked 33 as favorites. It was a little tough to whittle that list down to the ten best, even after I disqualified re-reads. Even then, I couldn't decide what order they should go in, so I didn't rank them. 

I'd love to see your list of faves, so please join in the TTT fun. All you have to do is head on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details, make your own list, then click around to other people's blogs. It's a great way to spread the love around our wonderful book blogosphere and get some great reading recommendations while you're at it!

Top Ten Best Books I Read in 2021


1. Atomic Habits by James Clear—If you're determined to make your goals into realities this year, you want to get your hands on a copy of this book. It's motivating, helpful, and very readable. I enjoyed it when I read it earlier this year. It's so inspiring that I might re-read it this week to jump-start my goal-reaching in 2022.


2. The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm—I loved this uplifting middle-grade sci-fi novel. It's a space adventure, but it's really more of a family/community drama. It just made me smile.


3. Bluebird by Sharon Cameron—I'm a big Cameron fan and this YA World War II novel is a perfect example of why I love the author so much. It's a riveting story filled with page-turning action, interesting historical details, and sympathetic characters. 


4. The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner—Meissner is another hist-fic author whose books I really enjoy. This novel, set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, tells the story of a mail-order bride with a secret past. It's super compelling.


5. The Answer Is... by Alex Trebek—This memoir was a delight to listen to. It's not as serious or melancholy as I thought it would be. In fact, it's funny, inspiring, and life-affirming. The chapters narrated by Trebek (most are read by Ken Jennings) are especially enjoyable. 


6. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny—Like many mystery lovers, I can't get enough of Penny's popular series starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. I read three installments this year, of which A Great Reckoning is my favorite. It has an intriguing premise, which makes for a compelling and thought-provoking novel. I loved it.


7. How to Get Away With Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce—I discovered the Myrtle Hardcastle mystery series this year and it is all kinds of charming! I've listened to all three of the books that are out and had the most fun with this, the second one. It tells an exciting story that has plenty of twists, humor, and action. 


8. A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus—Another middle-grade novel, this one features three recently orphaned siblings who are sent to the English countryside while London is being bombed in World War II. As they search their new village for a family to call their own, they find refuge in the town library and its unconventional librarian. Funny, poignant, and hopeful, this is a truly lovely book!


9. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty—Not everyone loved Moriarty's newest, but I adored it. It's different from her others...in a good way. 


10. The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman—I found this non-fiction book about the many people who go missing in North America's federal land every year absolutely fascinating. 

There you have it, my ten favorite reads of the year. What do you think? Do we have any in common? What are the best books you read in 2021? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

71 comments:

  1. Atomic Habits is one I should probably read. I have a lot of goals and no plans for how to achieve them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. ATOMIC HABITS will be a really helpful read for you then! It's very straightforward and motivating.

      Thanks for popping in, Aj!

      Delete
  2. I haven't any of these books but I did read the first Myrtle book but I might try the second book (#7 on your list), maybe I'll like that better.

    Have a lovely day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the Myrtle books! Do you like audiobooks? I've listened to all of them on audio and really enjoyed the experience.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lissa!

      Delete
  3. I just got Apples Never Fall from my library. I'm excited to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it as it's gotten very mixed reviews. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kami!

      Delete
  4. I want to read, or at least check into, Apples Never Fall. It's time for a good mystery. My 2021 Favorites

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. I'm always up for a good mystery!

      Thanks for stopping by, Anne!

      Delete
  5. Ooh, Atomic Habits does sound good! I’ll see if my local library has it.

    Thanks for stopping by earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good one! None of the information is really new or revolutionary, but the way it's all put together just resonated with me. I hope you can find a copy.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

      Delete
  6. A Place to Hang the Moon sounds good! I've also had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that we have so little time left in 2021. Oh well—here's to a good 2022, with lots of good books!

    My TTT: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2021/12/28/top-ten-tuesday-best-books-i-read-in-2021/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? It's always so surreal when we get to this time of year. It's like, "Where did the year go??" LOL. 2021 was actually pretty good to me and my family, so I'm hoping for more of the same in 2022. If the state of the world could calm down a little bit, that would also be excellent. I think we're all due for a break!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
  7. I have yet to read any of these, so it's nice to know they made your top ten for the year. I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Deanna! Same to you. And thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting. I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  8. Love Louise Penny! A great reckoning is one of my faves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't she great? I've enjoyed all the books I've read in the Gamache series, but some of them definitely stand out for me more than others. A GREAT RECKONING was one. I'm still thinking about it months later!

      Thanks for stopping in, Lynne!

      Delete
  9. I've only read one of these books (Bluebird, which I loved). I also really enjoy seeing everyone's lists at this time of year. Of course, it means I add more to my TBR list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the only "bad" thing about reading everyone's lists! My TBR mountain chain is already enormous. *Sigh*

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

      Delete
  10. I actually guessed that The Cold Vanish might make your list this year! You've always been so glowing about it. Atomic Habits sounds great, I will look into that. And I will have to try Bluebird next time I'm in a WWII mood.

    I remain very impressed that you pulled a strict top-10 selection from your tower, lending each of these recommendations that much more weight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THE COLD VANISH really was kind of a sleeper hit for me. I hadn't heard of it until Lark reviewed it. I knew I would find it interesting, but it REALLY drew me in and I'm still thinking about it all these months later. So, yeah, it was definitely a favorite read of the year.

      I honestly had a pretty firm Top 20 list, but I didn't want my post to be too long so I just picked 10 to talk about. Five of them are my MOST favorite books of the year and the others are among them, if that makes sense. Ranking is just HARD for me. LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, RS!

      Delete
  11. I want to revisit A Place to Hang the Moon. I got busy with a work project and never finished it but was loving it.

    Kate @ bitchbookshelf.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's SUCH a good read! I wasn't all that interested based on the cover and blurb, but once I got started, I just loved it SO much. I hope you have the same reaction when you get back to it :)

      Thanks for popping by, Kate!

      Delete
  12. Dang, having read so many books this year, yeah, I too would find it hard to do a best of and keep it to just 10. And there are some corking books here that I need to get reading. Maybe 2022 will be my year! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely could have done a Top 20 list. Maybe I should have broken it up into two parts, but I was trying to be succinct (always a difficult thing for me).

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alex!

      Delete
  13. Glad to know the Trebek bio is worth reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! It's actually a really fun read. I was expecting something much more serious, all considered. I hope you enjoy it if you read it.

      Thanks for popping in, Stephen!

      Delete
  14. I want to read Susan Meissner, it's on my TBR. Happy New Year! https://cindysbookcorner.blogspot.com/2021/12/top-ten-tuesday-cover-love.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've enjoyed all the books I've read by Meissner. Some are better than others, of course, and I do think THE NATURE OF FRAGILE THINGS is her best. I hope you enjoy it if you read it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

      Delete
  15. I still need to read Atomic Habits! And the Alex Trebek bio, too. Great list of favorites, Susan. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're both fast reads. I especially enjoyed listening to the Trebek book. It was fun to hear his voice again :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

      Delete
  16. What an interesting list. I'm only completely familiar with two of the books, but I see two or three others that will require a closer look in 2022. I loved the Louise Penny book on your list...but I always do love hers, so no surprise there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same. I've liked all of the books I've read so far in the Gamache series, but there are definitely some that stand out more than others. HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN is one. THE GREAT RECKONING is another.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  17. I didn't read any of these, but Moriarty is on my TBR. I have read and loved all her other books. Pretty sure this will be a hit as well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't loved Moriarty's last few books, so I was very pleasantly surprised by her newest. It's trademark Moriarty, but also different. I'll be interested to see what you think of it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  18. I have Atomic Habits in my cart right now! I'm going to have to take the plunge! Thanks! haha.

    I hope you have an amazing New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do it, do it, do it! It really is a good book and it's one I think I'll probably re-read every year just because I found it so motivating.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

      Delete
  19. I really wanted to get to The Nature of Fragile Things but it did not work out. Definitely this coming year. The Cold Vanish does sound interesting. I will have to check that one out. This is a great list, Susan! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a wonderful 2022 in books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel you. There are always books I plan to get to in a year and just never do. There's always next year!

      Thanks for stopping in, Literary Feline!

      Delete
  20. I still need to read Alex Trebek's book. And I've gotta try a Susan Meissner book one of these days. I always hear great things about them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Trebek book is a fast read (or listen). Susan Meissner is a great author! I have liked all the books I've read by her, but THE NATURE OF FRAGILE THINGS is my favorite. I also really liked A FALL OF MARIGOLDS.

      Thanks for coming by, Ashley!

      Delete
  21. Great list! I've got Apples Never Fall on my TBR. I tried the audiobook, but it's just one of those books where the audiobook won't work for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had that happen with several audiobooks over the last few months. Once was just too confusing to listen to on audio and the other had too much detail. Some books I just have to read. I hope you enjoy APPLES NEVER FALL when you get back to it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

      Delete
  22. I'm so annoyed with myself that I forgot to put Meissner's book on my list. That one was truly fantastic. I just got a copy of that Liane Moriarty book too so I'm excited to see that made your best of list. Happy Holidays, Susan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! I enjoyed it for a lot of different reasons. I've liked all the books I've read by Meissner, but THE NATURE OF FRAGILE THINGS is my favorite. I hope you also love the Moriarty book.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

      Delete
  23. A Place to Hang the Moon looks very charming. I love warm-hearted middle grade books. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then you'll love A PLACE TO HANG THE MOON. It's funny and heart-warming but it's also got substance and books! I hope you enjoy it if you read it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alicia!

      Delete
  24. Atomic Habits is on my list to read in 2022!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good! I hope you enjoy it. I found it really helpful and inspiring.

      Thanks for popping in, Shanna!

      Delete
  25. I've enjoyed Liane Moriarty in the past but haven't got to her newest yet. Great list here and thanks for visiting my TTT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it! I loved it.

      Thanks for coming by, Rachel!

      Delete
  26. I had hoped to read the new Liane Moriarty but never managed to pick it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I know how that goes! There's always next year...

      Thanks for popping in, Jennifer!

      Delete
  27. The Alex Trebek book sounds fascinating! Happy Reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good one. Much lighter than I thought it would be given it was written by a dying man.

      Thanks for coming by, Danielle!

      Delete
  28. So glad you found some good books to enjoy in 2021, and that the year was good for your family! All the best for your family and in your reading life for 2022. :) Bunches of thanks for the visit to Finding Wonderland. I appreciate this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Rissi! We've had our ups and downs this year, of course, but we've had more joy than sorry so I count that as a win. Happy New Year!

      Delete
  29. We're reading Louise Penny's Still Life in my book club. I've heard her stories are great. I'm waiting for a copy from my library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like her books. They're compelling and wise and entertaining. I hope you enjoy STILL LIFE!

      Thanks for popping in, Cheri!

      Delete
  30. I added The Cold Vanish to my TBR because of you! It sounds fascinating. This is such a great mix of books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good! I hope you enjoy it. I'll keep an eye out for your review.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

      Delete
  31. 'A Place to Hang the Moon' sounds lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is! It's funny, heart-warming, touching, etcetera, etcetera. Just an all-around wonderful read.

      Thanks for popping in, Catherine!

      Delete
  32. I LOVED Nature of Fragile Things and it made my top 10 list, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's SUCH a good read! I thoroughly enjoyed it.'

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

      Delete
  33. I haven't read any of these, but those mystery series sound very interesting, especially Louise Penny's books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're popular books for a reason! The characters are fun, the setting is cozy, and the writing is skilled. I also feel like there's more wisdom to them than in the typical mystery novel.

      Thanks for stopping in, Mervi!

      Delete
  34. I need to read Sharon Cameron off of this list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's a great author! I've enjoyed all of her books. BLUEBIRD is my favorite, though.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marg!

      Delete
  35. Aww man, The Lion of Mars is definitely going on my TBR! That sounds like a winner. Looks like you read a bunch of fantastic books last year. Here's to hoping you fall in love with just as many reads this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THE LION OF MARS is a great book! It's an easy, uplifting read, perfect for starting the new year. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

      Thanks for popping in, Sammie!

      Delete
  36. Great list Susan. I am listening to Apples Never Fall, right now and am enjoying it. I have only read on Myrtle Hardcastle book but I did enjoy it. I will be adding a few of these to my TBR.

    ReplyDelete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes



Followin' with Bloglovin'

Follow

Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly



Grab my Button!


Blog Design by:


Blog Archive