Did 2021 really happen or did 2020 just continue for an extra 12 months? Either way, we have marked the end of something and that means it’s time to do a reading wrap-up. I can’t tell you exactly how many books I read this year because at some point I decided to stop tracking them. I also DNF’d more books in 2021 than I think I ever have. Because I am a firm believer that not all books are for everyone and life is too short to read books that don’t bring you joy.
(That’s my word for 2022 by the way. Joy. Because couldn’t we all use more of that?)
Even though I didn’t love every book I started, I did love a lot of them. Enough that it was very difficult to choose favourites. Each of the books I’m sharing below connected with me in a way that was unexpected or comforting. Each of them also taught me something about writing that helped me finish two full manuscripts of my own.
My preferred genres have always been contemporary women’s fiction and thrillers, but in 2021 I found myself embracing romance. I know I’m not alone in this and I was grateful to lose myself in love and hope in the months that felt hopeless.
Here, in no particular order, are my favourite fiction reads from 2021:
- The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams
- The Rehearsals by Annette Christie (review)
- The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley
- The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding (review)
- Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez
- I Don’t Forgive You by Aggie Blum Thompson (review)
- Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
- Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer (review)
- Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher
- The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox (review)
- Girls with Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier & Wendy Katzman
- Are We There Yet? by Kathleen West (review)
- Dial “A” for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
My love for audiobooks has always run deep and that love grew much deeper when my debut novel came out in audio-only format. As we faced another year of lockdowns and restrictions, I relied on audiobooks to keep me sane. They once again accompanied me on walks, helped me solve countless jigsaw puzzles and made cooking & housework much more bearable:
- The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
- The Tribes by Mari Howes (review)
- The Stand-In by Lily Chu
- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
- The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
- Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
- Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
- The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons
PS – Honourable Mention to my own book. Yes, I listened to Can’t Take It Back again. But in my defence, I did so as part of my preparation to write the sequel.
Thank you to these authors, and the many others I read and enjoyed over the year, for lending me your words and your worlds as a means of escape. ❤️