Friday 31 December 2021

My Top Reads of 2021 #AmReading #TopReads2021 #FavouriteBooks2021 #BookBlogger


My Top Reads of 2021

I remember writing my Top Reads of 2020 post and saying that I hoped that we would never ever live though another year like 2020.

My hopes did not come true. For me, my family and my friends, this year has been one of utter devastation. We have been rocked to the core by losing loved ones and seeing those closest to us suffer. Sadly, for my little family, it is inevitable that the coming year will bring more pain and sadness.

Despite the often overwhelming feeling of despair, I have continued to read and shout about the books that I love. I have been able to grow my Blog Tour organising business and once again, I have been fortunate enough to work with some truly amazing books, authors, publishers and fellow bloggers. 

I read around 170 books this year, this includes the submitted books for the CWA International Dagger for which I am a judge. I have already reviewed most of these, either here on my blog, or for the Express.

A few statistics :

I've posted 148 book reviews on the blog this year

107 of these were by female authors, 38 by male authors and 3 were by various authors

Of these reviews, nine were non-fiction titles, 28 were debut books and 16 were translated into English from another language

As always, I rarely finish a book that I'm not enjoying, so to pick my top books out of so many that I've really enjoyed has, once more, been very difficult. 

As always, my list is split into three sections; I start with some of the 2021 books that I read in 2020. I mentioned them last year and hoped that they would be huge.

The second part is my list of  Top Books of 2021

Finally, I'll give a mention to some 2022 publications that I've read early.

I really think that 2022 is going to be another fabulous book year!


2021 books that I predicted would do well

At the end of last year, I'd read these 2021 books pre-publication, and predicted that they would do well. I'm still recommending them, twelve months later.  (click on the title for my full review).

The Push by Ashley Audrain - 7 January 2021 from Michael Joseph

The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean - 7 January 2021 from Hodder & Stoughton

Daughters Of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson - 18 February 2021 from Mantle/Pan Macmillan

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles - 9 February 2021 from Two Roads

Everything Happens For a Reason by Katie Allen - 10 April (digital), 10 June (paperback) from Orenda Books 

My Top Reads of 2021

My Top Reads of the year are listed in order of reading. The list contains some favourite authors who pop up year after year, and also some debuts. I think it's a great list, with something for everyone. I heartily recommend all of these books.  (click on the title for my full review)

The Source by Sarah Sultoon published (ebook) 15 February (print) 15 April by Orenda Books
Gripping, emotional, eye-opening and so brilliantly written. Highly recommended by me.

You Me And The Sea by Elizabeth Haynes published 11 February by Myriad Editions
It transported me to a place that felt so much safer than our existing world. It's beautiful and wonderful and I recommend it highly

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin published 18 February by Doubleday
An utter and total delight. Wonderful characters who worm their way into your life and leave little traces on your heart.

How To Survive Everything by Ewan Morrison published 1 March by Saraband
A terrifying and harrowing novel, yet is is also deeply touching

Bound by Vanda Symon published 18 March by Orenda Books
Do not miss this, it's edge-of-the-seat drama that will satisfy any fan of crime fiction. Highly recommended.

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller published on 25 March by Fig Tree
Clever, sharp and irresistible, this is a novel that has to be savoured

Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz published 4 March by Orenda Books
Addictive, extremely hard to put down. Another fabulous chapter in what has become a favourite series of mine

Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly published 1 April by Hodder
 It is so intricate, so tightly plotted and in my opinion, the author's best book to date. 
When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins published 5 April by Pan Macmillan
This is an accomplished, brutal and moving story, and comes highly recommended by me.

Boys Don't Cry by Fiona Scarlett published 6 May by Faber
This book is one that will evoke every emotion from anger, to compassion, despair and hope

Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins published 29 April by Harper360 UK
It's a complex and intricately woven story with hints of magical realism that reminded me at times of Alice Hoffman's work

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox published 17 June by Doubleday
It is masterfully created and it's a story that will stay with me for a very long time

Dead Ground by MW Craven published 3 June by Constable
Breath-taking, fascinating and gripping

This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech published 10 June by Orenda Books 
Wonderfully moving, emotional and very thought provoking. A book to savour and love. Highly recommended. 

Fragile by Sarah Hilary published 10 June by Pan Macmillan 
It is a superb mix of gothic tension, obsession, young love and disappointment, woven together masterfully

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau published 27 May by Harper360 UK
Full of sunshine, love, music and utter joy, Mary Jane is a stunning read that I would highly recommend. 

No Honour by Awais Khan published 19 August by Orenda Books 
This is a very special book. One that will stay with me forever, and one that I will re-read, for sure.

Love And Missed by Susie Boyt published 26 August by Virgo
An utter joy to read. A book that touched me deeply and one that I highly recommend. 

The Sound of Sirens by Ewan Gault published 28 October by Leamington Books
This is Ewan Gault's debut novel and it is stunning. Highly recommended from me, one of the best books I've read this year.

The Shadowing by Rhiannan Ward published 16 September by Trapeze
This is an excellent gothic mystery, with a hint of the supernatural

The Woman In The Middle by Milly Johnson published 14 October by Simon and Schuster
It's a warm, touching read and you'll be longing for Shay to find her own happy ending

The Leftovers by Cassandra Parkin published 1 October by Legend Press
A really stunning piece of writing, nuanced, uncomfortable at times but incredibly powerful. Highly recommended. 

The Red Monarch by Bella Ellis published 18 November by Hodder
It's intricately detailed, full of vibrant and vividly created characters and has such heart. 

The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen published 28 October from Orenda Books 
Death, a touch of violence, fraud and a tender emerging romance all combine to create the most magical story

The Quiet People by Paul Cleave published 25 November by Orenda Books
So very very intense, so dark and utterly compelling

Fall by West Camel published 9 December by Orenda Books
An author who uses words like an instrument, creating a symphony that will thrill any reader. 

Books to look out for in 2022 ....

I've already made a start on the 2022 books, and if the ones that I've read already are anything to go by, we are in for another outstanding book year.
Here are a few tips; books that I think will be huge next year. 

Some of these reviews have not  been published yet but I can assure you that I enjoyed every one of them. 

Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell - 20 January 2022 from Headline


The Impulse Purchase by Veronica Henry - 3 February 2022 from Orion

How To Find Your Way Home by Katy Regan - 3 February 2022 from Mantle

Other Parents by Sarah Stovell - 20 January from HQ Stories 

Wahala by Nikki May - 6 January from Doubleday 

Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes - 17 February from Michael Joseph

That's 2021 over and done with. Thank goodness!

It's been a fabulous year for books, but honestly, not for much else!

I want to wish everyone the VERY BEST for next year and I really hope to see lots of lovely book friends soon.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who reads my reviews and puts up with my book shouting.

No comments:

Post a Comment