I read 86 books in 2021. Here are my favorites.

And everything else I read!

Another year of major ups and downs (for me personally and the world). We got vaccinated and boosted so we could travel a little and see friends and family, at least until the new variants came through. We also had a small wedding ceremony with just our families since we pushed our big wedding to next year. It was beautiful and fun.

But, this year I also went through one of the toughest times of my life when I lost one of my closest friends to suicide. Elise and I always talked about books and shared recommendations, so after she passed, I tried to throw myself even more into reading as a way to honor her. It didn’t really work, but I tried.

I still read 86 books this year, which I think is a pretty healthy number. You might remember that I read 130 books in 2019 and then I slowed down to 78 in 2020 because I overdid it the year before.

Like I’ve done the past few years, I’m going to list my top 10 fiction and non-fiction books as well as everything else I’ve read this year. I hope you get inspired for your 2022 bookshelf. Feel free to share your recommendations as well!

Top 10 non-fiction books I read in 2021 (in the order they were read)

Plus a bonus because there were too many good ones!

  1. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  2. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century by Alice Wong
  3. Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris
  4. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  5. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
  6. What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon
  7. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
  8. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
  9. Don’t Call It a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM by Sarah Berman
  10. Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman
  11. Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

Top 10 fiction books I read in 2021 (in the order they were read)

  1. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
  2. Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark
  3. No Heaven for Good Boys by Keisha Bush
  4. Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur
  5. Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
  6. Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So
  7. A Burning by Megha Majumdar
  8. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  9. The Removed by Brandon Hobson
  10. Bunny by Mona Awad

Full list of everything I read in 2021 with ratings

And even though we lived in Brooklyn for all of 2021, I’ve still been borrowing all of my e-books from the San Francisco Public Library so shout out to the SFPL for supplying the goods.

January

  1. Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline — 3 stars
  2. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin — 2 stars
  3. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors — 5 stars
  4. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez — 5 stars
  5. One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of this Will Matter by Scaachi Koul — 5 stars
  6. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi — 4 stars
  7. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones — 3 stars
  8. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century by Alice Wong — 5 stars
  9. When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole — 2 stars

February

  1. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood — 4 stars
  2. Black Futures by Kimberly Drew — 5 stars
  3. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson — 5 stars
  4. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware — 3 stars
  5. Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris — 5 stars

March

  1. Conjure Women by Afia Atakora — 3 stars
  2. The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard — 4 stars
  3. Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark — 5 stars
  4. No Heaven for Good Boys by Keisha Bush — 5 stars
  5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia — 3 stars
  6. Girl A by Abigail Dean — 4 stars
  7. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs — 4 stars

April

  1. The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. — 4 stars
  2. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler — 4 stars
  3. The Guest List by Lucy Foley — 4 stars
  4. Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers — 5 stars
  5. Machine by Susan Steinberg — 4 stars
  6. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  7. Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman — 2 stars
  8. Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur — 5 stars
  9. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters — 4 stars
  10. Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story by Oliver La Farge — 2 stars

May

  1. Lurkers by Sandi Tan — 4 stars
  2. Outline by Rachel Cusk — 3 stars
  3. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder — 5 stars
  4. What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon — 5 stars
  5. Infinite Country by Patricia Engel — 5 stars
  6. Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz — 5 stars
  7. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia — 5 stars
  8. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson — 4 stars

June

  1. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado — 4 stars
  2. Mean by Myriam Gurba — 5 stars
  3. Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich — 4 stars
  4. When We Rise: My Life in the Movement by Cleve Jones — 4 stars
  5. Luster by Raven Leilani — 4 stars
  6. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner — 5 stars

July

  1. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong — 5 stars
  2. I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid — 4 stars
  3. Don’t Call It a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM by Sarah Berman — 5 stars
  4. Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman — 5 stars
  5. Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez — 4 stars
  6. 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell — 3 stars

August

  1. The Overstory by Richard Powers — 3 stars
  2. Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So — 5 stars
  3. Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee — 3 stars
  4. Trust Exercise by Susan Choi — 3 stars
  5. Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford — 5 stars
  6. Tiger Girl by Pascale Petit — 5 stars
  7. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Nevin — 4 stars
  8. Dark Paradise by Lono Waiwaiole — 4 stars
  9. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Daila Harris — 3 stars

September

  1. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley — 5 stars
  2. Animal by Lisa Taddeo — 5 stars
  3. What Comes After by Joanne Tompkins — 4 stars
  4. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Garcia Moreno — 4 stars
  5. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood — 3 stars

October

  1. A Burning by Megha Majumdar — 5 stars
  2. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro — 5 stars
  3. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick — 4 stars
  4. The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs by Tyler Hamilton — 4 stars
  5. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig — 3 stars
  6. In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan — 3 stars

November

  1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt — 3 stars
  2. Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q Sultanto — 4 stars
  3. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida — 3 stars
  4. The Removed by Brandon Hobson — 5 stars
  5. The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State by Declan Walsh — 3 stars

December

  1. Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford — 3 stars
  2. I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer — 5 stars
  3. Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — 5 stars
  4. Bunny by Mona Awad — 5 stars
  5. The Push by Ashley Audrain
  6. Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby — 4 stars
  7. Later by Stephen King — 4 stars
  8. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix — 5 stars
  9. Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from an Enron Insider by Brian Cruver — 1 star
  10. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave — 3 stars

Thanks for following along! Let me know your favorites so I can read them in 2022. And feel free to check out my Goodreads to follow along.

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