Best Books of 2021

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This is one of my favorite posts to write every year! This year I’m going to share with you the best books of 2021 in my opinion. I was 5 books shy of my goal of reading 30 books, ending the year at a whopping 25 books read.

a stack of books on a table looking at the pages, not the spine of the books

I’m still pretty proud of that number and I really enjoyed some of the books I’m going to share with you! I love getting the majority of my books from the local library or I use the app to listen to audiobooks.

You definitely don’t need to buy all your books, though I do like to do so sometimes because I think that is important as well to support authors and bookstores. PS- When you use it supports the local bookstore of your choice which I think is really cool.

Best Books of 2021

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

This was the first book I listed to this year and oh my goodness, I loved it so much. This is a book I will likely read again someday because it was beautifully written and it made me miss my Grandmother. It was thought provoking and heartbreaking and beautiful. A true gift of a book.
(Amazon Link)

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

I absolutely loved this book. The author tied everything together so beautifully and it gave me so much to think about. It kept my attention the entire time and made me realize how connected we can become to people based on shared experiences. Highly recommend this one, especially if you are a fan of Fredrik Backman.
(Amazon Link)

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

I learned a lot in this book that I didn’t know before, but it also was heartbreaking. So much happens in this book and it’s hard to put down! I am also a huge fan of her other book, Orphan Train, so check that one out if you haven’t already.
(Amazon Link)

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Why in the world was this on my bookshelf for so many years unread?!? I’m kicking myself about that still! AH! It’s so good. And if you watched the Netflix series please do not judge the book based on that because the book is 100x better!!! If you haven’t read Firefly Lane, get it now! You won’t regret it.
(Amazon Link)

a woman looking over the spine of the book firefly lane

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Listen to this one. Especially if Mr. McConaughey’s voice gets you like it does me 🙂 While it did take me a little while to get used to listening to him read, once I did, I devoured it. This man has lived a pretty incredible, and totally interesting, life. I had no idea some of the experiences he’s had, and I will warn you… he doesn’t hold back. Not gonna lie I blushed a few times cause I was like, “WHOA.”

The ending of this book brought me to tears. Legit tears while listening to it in my car. I even re-listened to the ending because it was so amazing.
(Amazon Link)

The Tatooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Giving a rating for a book about the Holocaust always feels incredibly wrong to me, but this book was eye-opening and while written simplistically, it was a wonderful read.

The trauma and heartbreak that these people experienced is horrific. I pray we never forget what happened, and that we will learn from it and never allow anything like this to ever happen again.
(Amazon Link)

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

This is the 2nd book in the Tattooist of Auschwitz series about a woman named Cilka. Trigger warnings for abuse. Once again traumatic, yet important that we understand the kinds of things that happened during this time.
(Amazon link)

the book Cilka's Journey on a stack of open books

Is It Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh

A simple, beautiful and clean romance. This book was just a feel good story that I have come to appreciate from Courtney Walsh! This book made me want to visit Nantucket someday… I just have to see where all these romance novels have taken place!!!
(Amazon Link)

the book is it any wonder standing up with a plant behind it.

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

I devoured this book. I’ll admit I felt a bit on the edge of my seat because it does deal with infidelity which is a hard topic for me to be honest. While I didn’t love that part of the book, and yes, it’s a large portion, I couldn’t help but feel very invested in their story and the character development. Pretty sure I ended this one in tears, too.
(Amazon Link)

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

It’s official. I’m a Colleen Hoover fan FOR LIFE. This woman does not write a bad book. I devoured 4 of her books this year and plan to read many more in 2022.

Regretting You was impossible to put down and is about a relationship between a mother and teen daughter after a family tragedy.
(Amazon Link)

the book regretting you with a shiplap background

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

This book had me from the start. I was invested and listening to it at every free moment I had. It’s a mystery and one I assure you you will be invested in the whole way through.
(Amazon Link)

Verity by Colleen Hoover

What. The. Hell. I just don’t even know if I can properly warn you about this book. It is twisted and dark and juicy and I quite literally, could not put it down. I was disturbed and I still couldn’t put it down. It’s about a husband and wife who is injured and cannot finish the books she started so the husband hires another woman to finish the series. That’s all I can say, there are just no words to describe it!

It’s a roller coaster that’s for sure. Nothing like the other Colleen Hoover books I’d read either, so be prepared for this one. It’s crazy!
(Amazon Link)

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

After reading Verity I dove into another CoHo book, and this one was more her fashion. This book was a little steamy, so consider yourself warned if that’s not your thing.

It’s about two broken people trying hard not to find love, yet they just can’t seem to be without one another.
(Amazon Link)

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

I loved it! It was a murder mystery but it made me laugh too. This storyline was fresh and different than anything else I’d read before and I can’t wait for the second book to come out in 2022! It’s about a stressed out single Mom of two who gets herself into a bit of a pickle and ends up in the middle of a murder investigation!
(Amazon Link)

the book finlay donovan is killing it being held in front of a pool

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I love reading TJR. This woman knows how to tell a story. And Malibu Rising was about as juicy as it gets. Trigger warnings for sex, drugs and rock and roll. But, if you are into that, this is totally your jam and you’d better read it asap.
(Amazon Link)

Beach Read by Emily Henry

This is such a fun love story. It has some parts that will pull on your heartstrings because the way that we can all relate to love lost and regrets, but it’s a beautiful tale of two authors who help one another and may just fall in love.
(Amazon Link)

the book beach read being held up in front of a green background

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

If you are a fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, this is a fun book. I had several friends recommend it to me and I’m glad I picked I read it. I will say, I don’t know how well I would have liked this as an audiobook based on how it was written so I’d recommend getting the physical book for this one.
(Amazon Link)

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

This book is about two people that meet on the same day each year after their first initial meeting the day before she moves away. It takes you on a wild ride and could be equally frustrating at times, but I enjoyed it!
(Amazon Link)

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

This book gave me great perspective. It’s about two kids who spend a summer living with their gay uncle after their Mom died and their Dad goes into rehab. It was sad at times, but it also was a beautiful story about how quickly life can change and who is willing to be there to help pick up the pieces.
(Amazon Link)

A Cross-Country Christmas by Courtney Walsh

I LOVED this book. And just because it’s about Christmas doesn’t mean you only read it at Christmas time. I promise you this book will make you feel good inside all year round. I literally just shut the book a few nights ago and said out loud to my hubby, “Oh, such a great book!” Plus, Courtney Walsh self-published this book and I think that is really amazing and admirable!
(Amazon Link)

The book cross country christmas with a plant in the background

I read so many wonderful books this year, but there were a few I didn’t love to be honest. I’ll list them below just to share the others that didn’t make it on my best books of 2021 list. All of these books got 3 stars or below on my Goodreads.

  • Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah
  • A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah Maas
  • One by One by Ruth Ware
  • Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey
  • Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray

Curious what I read in 2020? Check out that post here.

I’m already excited to get started on my 2022 reading list! I’d love to know what books you read in 2021 and what you’d recommend! Please share with me in the comments! Happy reading!

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