This post contains affiliate links.  In 2021 I set a modest goal to read 26 books.  That’s lower than my reading goals over the last several years, but I really didn’t know what 2021 would bring.  (Didn’t we all feel that way?!)  The year was calmer than I thought, so I was able to read 35 books.  These are the 8 best books I read in 2021. (Please leave your favorite books for the year in the comments.  I am always looking for great books to read!)

#1 The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Ironically, I almost stopped reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue after the first chapter because I didn’t feel it was my style.  I’m so glad I kept reading, though, because this became my favorite book of the year!  In 1714, Addie LaRue makes a deal with a dark spirit so she can get out of marrying a man she doesn’t love.  In return, she will live forever, but anytime she meets someone, when either of them walk out of a room that person forgets her.  This book made me think about things I didn’t think possible.  Even now, writing this up, I find myself wanting to reread this book.  It’s that good!

#2 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini

A Thousand Splended Suns by Khaled Hosseini is set in Afghanistan and tells the story of two women a generation apart and in vastly different circumstances.  Yet, their lives intersect, and they both profoundly change one another.  This is one of those books that opens my eyes to the injustices in the world and makes me so glad that I am a woman born where I was born and not somewhere else.


#3 Kindred by Octavia Butler

Kindred by Olivia Butler

Kindred is a book like no other I’ve read.  Dana is an African-American woman living in modern times with her white husband.  Then, when they’re unpacking in their new house, she feels dizzy and suddenly disappears only to reappear a few minutes later.  Dana had been transported back in time to 1815 where she saved a young white boy from drowning.  When she looks up, she’s staring down the muzzle of a shot gun.  Then, she returns back to her own home.  This is just the first of many dangerous time travel journeys Dana will involuntarily make.

Kindred is an eye-opening book that brings history to life as the reader travels through time with Dana.

#4 The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

My full review is coming next week, but The Warsaw Orphan was an exceptional fiction book about the Holocaust based on the life of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who saved hundreds of Jewish children.

#5 A Higher Call

A Higher Call by Adam Makos

I never would have read A Higher Call if it wasn’t assigned to my book club.  This is the story of Franz Sigler, a German fighter pilot in WWII, who, on December 20, 1943, intends to shoot down a heavily battered American plane.  But then, Sigler does the unexpected.  This is an excellent non-fiction World War II book.

#6 On the Horizon by Lois Lowry

On the Horizon by Lois Lowry

I read this book aloud to the girls, but I think it’s suitable for everyone.  On the Horizon is a little book of poetry that details the American side of the bombing of Pearl Harbor as well as the Japanese side of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Don’t be surprised if this beautiful book makes you cry as it did me.

#7 Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood Review

Rust & Stardust haunted me!  This story is a fictionalized account of the 1948 kidnapping of Sally Horner, who was abducted by a pedophile.  Greenwood takes the facts of Horner’s story and weaves this heartbreaking story of what her abduction might have been like.

#8 The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

And, rounding out the list is a humorous book, The Rosie Project.  This is a story about a professor with autism who tries to find a woman to marry.  However, his clinical way of doing so doesn’t work.  Luckily, fate intervenes.

Read More

If you enjoyed reading about the 8 best books I read in 2021, check out the 10 Best Books I Read in 2020 and the 8 Best Books I Read This Year for a recap of the favorite books I read in 2019.


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