My Top Ten Books of 2021

My Top Ten Books of 2021

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Top Ten Tuesday

Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts Top Ten Tuesday. The official prompt this week is “Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022.” I’ve been MIA for a month or so though so I’m going to share my top ten books of 2021.

I read 180 books last year, beating my previous record by 51 books! I’m usually really stingy with my 4.5 & 5-star ratings but I actually have enough this year to fill out my list. I’m also surprised to find that I’ve chosen five nonfiction books. You’d never know that as recently as 2010, I didn’t read nonfiction at all, would you? Links go to my review if I’ve written one or to the Malaprop’s website.

My Top Ten Books of 2021

How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, written and read by Clint Smith–I had a feeling this would be my number one pick of the year, even while I was still listening to it, and I was right.

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston, read by Imani Parks

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, read by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, illustrated by Fumi Nakamura

Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day by Clemency Burton-Hill–Routines are hard for me to establish for a few different reasons, so I didn’t actually read all of this. I did thoroughly enjoy the essays and songs I did read and listen to though, so I’m starting over again this year.

I’m not really a picture book reviewer so I’m giving myself a couple of extra entries:

Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

That’s my list! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Link up every Tuesday at That Artsy Reader Girl!

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  1. It’s great you had a good reading year (despite all the pandemic ups and downs)! I’ve read your posts before on most of these books and had added many of these to my own TBR as well. I’m particularly liking the sound of Year of Wonder. Thanks for the recs, and hope your 2022 is off to a good start!

    1. Year of Wonder was a great way to start my day–when I remembered to look at it. I missed a lot of days so I’m starting over this year. I was about to write that I wish she would release another volume but I see that she just did. It’s called–wait for it–Another Year of Wonder! I just added it to my wish list.

  2. I see some of my past favorites on your top books list! What a great reading year you had.

  3. I’ve been wondering how you’re doing and was glad to see your post today! You had quite an amazing year of reading. I’ve only read one of your favorites (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe), which I think would be fun to reread it on audio since Lin-Manuel Miranda is the reader. I’ll bet that was a remarkable performance.

    Looking forward to see where your husband’s job takes you next. 🙂

    1. Lin-Manuel Miranda was the perfect narrator for Aristotle and Dante!

      My husband signed a 6-month contract in Charleston this time, instead of his usual 3 months, so we’ll be here until April. We’ve learned the hard way that it’s hard to find a job AND a campground in warm states around Christmas, which is one of our usual transition periods. It seemed easier to find somewhere to park for the entire winter. I have to admit that we’re starting to get the travel bug already though!

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