EVERYTHING I READ IN 2021

Hello, my fellow book lovers! If you were around here this time last year you know that I love reading and I’ve started doing yearly roundups of everything I read in the year.

This year I read some truly incredible books and I’m so excited to share them with you.

  1. Us Against You – Us Against You is the sequel to Fredrik Backman’s Beartown, which was one of the last books I read in 2020 and LOVED. This book certainly did not disappoint. Like many of his books I found the beginning slow, but by halfway through the book I could not put it down. I absolutely love Backman’s writing style and this certainly did not disappoint. The perfect first read of the year which made me laugh, cry & often gave me chills. 
  2. I’ll See You In Paris – I LOVED this book. It’s been a long time since I sat down and read a full book in a day and I couldn’t put this one down. Michelle Gable always does an amazing job incorporating some history in her books and I loved that the book flips between two time periods. I’ve read one of her books before and I am absolutely going to pick up the rest of them now!
  3. Anxious People – As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love Fredrik Backman’s writing. This book is no exception, however, I will mention that I wasn’t as enveloped in this storyline as I have been with his past books. 
  4. Greenlights – I’ve never payed much attention to Matthew McConaughey before, but this was a great story! I decided to listen to the audiobook version of it because he is such a great storyteller. I didn’t love the book in the beginning, but the story definitely grew on me, gave me a few good laughs & I loved that the book ended with a reference to 2020. 
  5. The Vanishing Half – Let me tell you, I have not heard a single negative review about this book. In the beginning I thought it was a little slow, but once I got into the story I could not put it down. This book tackles some very difficult subjects, but does so very eloquently. 
  6. How to Fall In Love With Anyone – Mandy Len Catron tells the story of her relationships and the relationships of her family in short stories in this book. Intertwined are studies about love, how we fall in love, what influences love and more. While I didn’t find this the most interesting book as a whole, I thought parts of it were definitely really thought provoking and it definitely forced me to analyze relationships that I have seen or been a part of in the past. 
  7. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry – This book was surprisingly different from the other Fredrick Backman books I’ve read up to this point. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the story in the beginning but it ended up being a great story and I absolutely fell in love with the characters. I know “Britt-Marie Was Here” is a follow up to this book and I can’t wait to pick that one up too!
  8. The Paris Wife – I will start off by mentioning that I had some really high expectations for this book. I had just listened to a podcast about one of Ernest Hemmingway’s wives before reading this, so finding a book that was from a different wives perspective seemed really interesting to me. Unfortunately it ended up being quite a bit slower than I had anticipated. While it was a great story, I rarely felt that “I need to find out what happens next” feeling from this book. 
  9. The Summer I Met Jack – this is another Michelle Gable book, and while I did enjoy the story, it wasn’t as good as the others that I have read. While being a very interesting story, it was a much slower read than the others. 
  10. Red White and Royal Blue – I feel like I was seeing this book everywhere so I finally decided to pick it up. It was definitely a very creative storyline and made for the perfect light read that I was in need of, but it wasn’t a book I would go out of my way to recommend.
  11. Every Woman for Herself – I rarely find books that I want to give up on but unfortunately this was one of them. The writing style just was not for me and I didn’t find the storyline all that interesting either. I eventually decided to just push through it but unfortunately this is not one that I would recommend. 
  12. The Alice Network – this was one of the most incredible stories I’ve read (listened to) in a long time. Just like other favourite books of mine it told a story from two perspectives in two different time periods and both stories were equally captivating. I was constantly kept on my toes and could not recommend this more to any historical fiction lover. 
  13. Little Fires Everywhere – While I did enjoy this book, it was another one that was a little over-hyped for me. I definitely found it difficult to get in to but did enjoy the book by the end. 
  14. The Storyteller – This book was one of the quickest reads I’ve read in a long time. The story was told through a few different perspectives in a way that made it impossible to put down. This made it a perfect summer time read for me. 
  15. Brooklyn – I read this book years ago, but wanted to re-read prior to watching the movie. I didn’t enjoy it as much the second time around, however, I still do think its a great read. 
  16. The Second Home – I wasn’t very into this book for the first hundred or so pages, but as the story developed I could not put it down! Another book told through a couple different peoples perspectives and I really enjoyed it by the end! 
  17. The Perfume Collector – This was such a beautifully written book that I found oh so captivating. I truly couldn’t put it down once I started it. It has the historical element I love, and tells stories in two different timelines.
  18. The History of Love – This is a book I wanted to give up on in the beginning, I found it hard to follow originally but after sticking with it, it got so good. I had chills by the last few pages! 
  19. Sleeping With the Enemy – I’ll admit that I did have really high expectations for this book, however I was really disappointed. It felt less like reading a story and more like reading a history book. 
  20. Beautiful Ruins – despite being slow at times and occasionally confusing this was one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. At times making me laugh out loud, and making tears roll down my face in the final pages. The story of how all the characters lives connect is told over the span of 50 years from all their perspectives. 
  21. The Book of Summer – in case it wasn’t clear by now I absolutely LOVE Michelle Gable. This book certainly did not disappoint, I could not put it down. The story was about a summer  house in Nantucket passed down through a family and the guest book that was kept throughout all those summers. This book made me laugh, cry and I didn’t want it to end. 
  22. All The Light We Cannot See – I heard nothing but incredible things about this book prior to reading it, even from people who aren’t huge readers. In the beginning I enjoyed it without really seeing what all the hype was about. By the end it all made sense. This is truly one of the most beautifully written books. 
  23. Birds of a Feather – This is the second book in the Maisie Dobbs series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone book (that’s what I did), however after reading it I’m definitely going to read more from the series. I loved that it was a detective novel, but wasn’t so creepy that I didn’t want to read it at night. It was a light read that I flew through, I didn’t want to put it down!
  24. The Casual Vacancy – I thought this book was very well written, and I really liked the style of short chapters being told from different members of the community because I felt like it made me not want to put the book down. With that being said though, there was a lot of really heavy subjects in the book that made it a challenging read for that reason.
  25. Girls In Trucks – I have actually picked up this book at bookstores a number of times, and was so excited when I finally bought it. While there wasn’t anything in particular that bothered me about this book, there wasn’t much I enjoyed about it either. It was a pretty easy and short read, but wasn’t a favourite.
  26. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – I had heard so many incredible things about this book and it certainly did not disappoint. I loved how the book was written in chapters of her husbands, and it was impossible to put down. I’m absolutely going to pick up the other book by this author now. 
  27. The Age of Light – I thought this book was incredibly well written, and very interesting but much more of a slow read. The storyline was interesting to follow but also didn’t constantly have me wondering what was going to happen next, which made me less inclined to read it quickly. I did however love that the story was based off of real people and it was telling a pretty incredible story. 
  28. The Paper Palace – I truly couldn’t tell you what about this book I loved so much, but it was incredible. I didn’t want to put it down and it completely swept me away. Highly recommend! 
  29. Meet Me In London – This book is like a hallmark movie in a book, in the best possible way. It was the perfect winter, romantic read that I just could not put down. 
  30. The Little Paris Bookshop – I found this book slow to start and then all of a sudden couldn’t put it down. As someone who also feels the need to escape in books during times of heartbreak this book felt very fitting to read. This book was beautifully written and told a magical story of love, books and a love of books. 
  31. Invested – I’ll start by saying that Danielle Town does a great job making this book digestible, I thought it was really interesting that the books was broken up into monthly segments based on what she was learning at the time. With that being said it wasn’t a book I always felt inclined to pick up and read and since I read it over such a long time period I felt like I didn’t learn as much as I could’ve from this book. All in all I thought this was a fantastic book and I fully intend on reading it again next year because there is so much more I think I can learn from it. 

As always, I would love to hear about any amazing books you read this year or if you loved any of the same books as me. Until next time…

XO Cassidy Hannah

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