Booooks of 2021

When you read 100+ books a year, how do you pick just a few favorites? I do not know. And then there’s the whole thing where I sometimes can’t for the life of me remember what a book is about. This happens even to some of the ones I LOVED while reading them. I can’t connect the title to the story… Anyway, I am gonna try to list a few that fit the nebulous category “colorful”. I’m not even quiiite sure what I mean by that, at least I can’t put it into words. Definitely not all of these books evoke a lot of colors. More like big books with lots of stuff going on but also easily readable. Does that make sense? These are not all high-falutin’ classic literature, but mostly not trite either (like Gone Girl, which I HATED or chick-lit in general, which I don’t *think* Gone Girl is…). Here goes, not in any particular order:

Sirens of Titan: This was a re-read. I probably read this in high school. I remembered soooo little of it but loved every bit.

The Firebrand: Also a re-read and a re-telling of the Iliad from Cassandra’s point of view. Not high-class literature but decent writing and thoughtfully done. A GREAT BIG FUN read. I love Cassandra and during a certain period of my life, I identified with her but that is a long story 🐸

Valentine: Not an easy read (rape and violence) but a good one. Set in Texas.

The Echo Wife: Definitely not everyone’s cuppa but I was fascinated by it. I would suggest not reading it without doing some serious googling.

Moloka’i and Daughter of Moloka’i: Not high literature but good writing and *fascinating* portrayal of life in Hawai’i and its leprosy colonies before (and after) leprosy could be controlled by antibiotics.

Firekeeper’s Daughter: Overall a great book and set in and around MY HOMETOWN, Sault Ste. Siberia. The city description didn’t *exactly* match my memories of the town, which I know inside and out, but that was okay with me.

Ivory Shoals: Orphaned boy makes his way across the swamps of Florida to find his father, who doesn’t know he exists.

Hamnet: I don’t think this needs any commentary.

Careers for Women: Included in the cast of characters are the NY Port Authority and the element aluminum among many human characters.

Cloud Cuckoo Land: I don’t have the “chops” tonight to describe this, just loved it. The ending knocked my socks off!

Project Hail Mary: What can I say?

March: A *fictional* imagination of Mr. March, father of the gals in Little Women. I read this a while back but various details continue to pick at me.

Great Circle: WOW! Fictional female pilot. Barnstorming, bootlegging, bush pilot, “ferrying” planes in WWII England, circumnavigating the world through both poles. Did she survive this last adventure? Like Amelia Earhart, her plane was never found.

I had planned to stop at 10 but it seems I have 13 (14 because I liked the Moloka’i sequel enough to include it). I read other VERY good books and almost NO bad ones. I’m pretty careful about my choices and I usually download a “preview” before committing, which weeds out some static.

If you are a reader, what did you read in 2021? What did you like? Or dislike? I set up my 2022 challenge first thing this morning. (This is Goodreads BTW.)

One Response to “Booooks of 2021”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I’ve read “Valentine,” “Hamnet,” and “Moloka’i” for Book Club and they all elicited excellent discussion. We read “March” a long time ago and I remember liking it very much. I’ve read a couple others by Geraldine Brooks that were also very good. “Project Hail Mary” was absorbing and fascinating; I was sad when it was over.