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  • Writer's pictureEmily Rojas

What I Read in 2021

Hello + happy new year!


You know what's a great feeling? Actually accomplishing your new year's resolutions. It's a rare feat, at least for me, so the fact that I fully accomplished my only resolution in 2021 is a milestone I will celebrate.


My goal for 2021 was to read more, specifically, to read 50 books in one year. I went from reading maybe 10 books in 2020 to 53 in 2021. While I did a quick recap in my Instagram stories, I wanted to share a more in-depth look into the books I read in 2021 in this post.


To start, there's no way I could've accomplished this goal without the use of the Storygraph App. I switched in 2021 from Goodreads, and it changed my reading life. First of all, I love the graphs and data, which I'll share a little later in this post. I love how it details what I've read, and keeps track of trends in my reading. Second, I love the way they allow you to set up a reading challenge for yourself and encourage you to accomplish it. They'll let you know exactly how many books behind or ahead you are, how many pages you've read, and the percentage of your goal you've accomplished.


What I also love is that your reading challenge doesn't have to be a strict number of books. You could challenge yourself to read a certain amount of pages, certain types of books, books by certain authors or from certain parts of the world. There's so many variations on the challenges, it's more about having fun and stretching yourself to read in ways you wouldn't normally.


All that to say, I love Storygraph and I think you should consider using it to track your reading in 2022. Now, here's a breakdown of what I read in 2021.




Some Graphs


2021 was the year of realizing, I really love mysteries. Give me a dark and mysterious novel with a twist ending, and I will 100% love it.



Had a serious dip in the summer months, followed by a September recovery to make up for lost time. You can read more about that in this blog post.



I spent a lot of time in college/beyond reading nonfiction, but in the pandemic era I realized I needed more of an escape in my reading life. Fiction keeps me engaged and reading right now, and that's good enough for me.


All the Books I Read in 2021

🌟 = Other favorites I read this year that didn't make the best of the month


January

Best of the Month: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This was a very tough month to pick a favorite, and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a close second. However, I thought Such a Fun Age had a great concept and paced so well it kept you hooked in a way the other books of this month couldn't compete with. I liked how this book is simultaneously critical of and graceful with every character. It deals with race in an interesting way, and is so grounded in reality that you can almost picture the events happening in real life.


Other books I read this month:

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

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christine

  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power

February

Best of the Month: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This book is insanely popular, and for good reason. It's a murder mystery with the vibes of historical fiction/romance/Little House on the Prairie. Maybe that last one is just me, but I'm sticking to it. This book has a rich setting and a compelling protagonist, plus, add a little bit of spice with a murder mystery and shocking twist ending.



Other books I read this month:

  • Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

  • Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

  • What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling *a note, because JKR has been weird and problematic, and I do want to say I either already owned these books or purchased them second hand/from thrift stores and would not encourage supporting her.

March

Best of the Month: Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews

There was no legitimate competition for this month, but even if there was, this novel would've made the top of the list either way. This book is about a reclusive, best-selling author whose true identity is unknown, and the aspiring writer hired to be her assistant. There are so many twists and turns, you really will be asking yourself over and over, "Who is Maud Dixon??"


Other books I read this month:

  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

  • New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

April

Best of the Month: Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

Okay, obviously I was going through my Twilight re-read journey, so there wasn't much to choose from this month. But Eclipse is clearly the best novel in the Twilight saga, and I won't be taking any questions on the matter at this time. Sometimes you just have to read the books you loved when you were 12 in order to remember how much you love to read.


Other books I read this month:

  • Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

May

Best of the Month: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This month was extremely difficult to pick a favorite for, and that's because every single book I read in May could easily be a favorite, and are all some of the best I read this year. And I know I'm very behind the times on Gone Girl, which has already been a bestseller and a movie, but I absolutely loved it. I did not see the ending coming and I read this book as quickly as humanly possible to see what would happen next.


Other (amazing!) books I read this month:

  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (sensing a theme?)

  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 🌟

  • The Push by Ashley Audrain 🌟

June

Best of the Month: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

This is also a difficult month filled with incredible books, but this was by far my favorite book of the entire year. Project Hail Mary is tense, heartwarming, funny, lovely, adventurous, gripping - you name it. It follows an astronaut who wakes up on a spaceship with no memories to find the rest of the crew dead. Slowly, he recovers his memories, and begins to understand his mission and the reason why he's deep into space. It is so good, you are not ready for any of it. I highly recommend this read to anyone and everyone this year.


Other books I read this month:

  • The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan 🌟

  • A Person of Interest by Susan Choi

  • All Things Reconsidered by Knox McCoy

  • The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave

July

Best of the Month: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Nora Seed finds herself in a library somewhere between life and death. In the library, she has the opportunity to experience different versions of her life. I loved this book, it was so cozy and gut-wrenching and heartwarming all at the same time. If you've ever wondered if your life would've turned out differently if you'd made different decisions, this book is for you. It's beautiful and the perfect read for the beginning of a new year.


Other books I read this month:

  • A Study in Scarlett Women by Sherry Thomas 🌟


August

The only book I read this month was Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer, and I will not dignify it with a "Best of the Month" designation. It was not well written in any way, but it was a delight for the Twilight superfan that lives in my heart. I would not recommend it to anyone unless you too are a superfan like myself.


September

Best of the Month: The Guncle by Steven Rowley

This was another month packed with great books! But The Guncle wins for me. In the past two years, so many of us have experienced grief and loss in one way or another. Steven Rowley perfectly captures what it feels like to grieve. He also writes children better than maybe anyone I've ever read before. This book is laugh-out-loud funny, and poignant. I loved it.



Other books I read this month:

  • The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson 🌟

  • A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

  • The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas

  • The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

  • The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

  • The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris 🌟

October

Best of the Month: Recursion by Blake Crouch

Recursion is a re-read that I originally read in 2020, but it still won the best of this month. I remembered loving this book, but couldn't exactly remember the specifics, and it was even better the second time around. All I can say is, you should go into this book with no knowledge of its plot or expectations. It is sci-fi and suspense mixed with love and heart, and will make you question the very nature of reality. Highly recommend.


Other books I read this month:

  • Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas

  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren 🌟

  • Cackle by Rachel Harrison 🌟

  • Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

November

Best of the Month: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

When I saw that this book was being turned into a limited series on HBO Max, I decided to give it a read. It's an eerie choice to read this book in the midst of a global pandemic, and one of two mystery illness/pandemic-inspired novels I chose this month, but it was incredible nonetheless. This book is about a pandemic that wipes out most of the global population, but it's not a typical disaster novel. Instead of focusing on the immediate aftermath or the disaster itself, it deals more with what happens after the immediacy of an apocalypse. How humanity rebuilds, how people continue to exist and what it means to be human when so much of life is stripped away. It is so good, filled with a cast of interesting characters. I couldn't put it down.


Other books I read this month:

  • Payback's a Witch by Lana Harper

  • The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker 🌟

  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

December

Best of the Month: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

This is just a cute and cheesy romance novel with a splash of science and research for the nerdy folks out there. The Love Hypothesis follows a PhD candidate who ends up in a fake-dating relationship with a professor. Hijinks ensue, they obviously fall in love, and it's a great fun, lighthearted romance to wrap up the year. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel, who were complex and multi-dimensional, which can sometimes be missing from books like this.


Other books I read this month:

  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides 🌟

  • Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand 🌟

  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

  • What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

  • Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

  • Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty


 

And that's a wrap on 2021! What was the best book you read this year? And what should I put on my TBR for 2022? Leave a comment and let me know!


As always, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook. You can also subscribe to my mailing list for the very occasional newsletter + notifications when I post something new. Thanks for reading!



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