Even if I don't post all year long, I have to post my favorite books each year! I know that I like reading about and getting inspiration from other people's favorite book lists each year, so I thought I would keep the tradition alive myself as well.
This year, I did not read as many books as last year, but I wasn't stuck in the house/backyard as much and I had to study more. However, many of the ones I did read were good! And without further ado, my favorite 11 books for the year (because it was too hard to just choose 10).
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel: I guess I always have a WWII book (or two) on my list! This was about a woman who helped forge papers for the Resistance for people trying to flee the Nazis during WWII. Many of them were children and in order to preserve their real identity, the names are put into a book using a code. There are a few twists along the way and I really enjoyed the pace and the subject matter of this book.
Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon: As promised, another WWII book... this book is about an Australian woman who becomes a spy for the British and the Resistance throughout the war. The Germans are looking for her but she keep evading them as she smuggles weapons and people into and out of France. I love stories of the Resistance and especially the strong women who played roles in the organization, so this book was right up my alley. To top it off, it was based on a real person!
Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: This book was first published in the 60s and I read this book when I was young and really enjoyed it, although it is sad. I decided to reread it this year and although it was a little young for me, I still enjoyed it the second time around. If you have not read this children's book, it is about a boy who acquires two hound dogs and teaches them how to hunt racoons. Its a classic boy and his pet(s) story that it is very touching.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: I am not normally a huge fan of fantasy, but this book was different. It is about a girl in the 1700s who gives up her mortality and has to live out her days in eternity with people who do not remember her as soon as she leaves the room. 300 years later, someone does remember her and she has to deal with the issues and emotions that this new development bring about.
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz: A struggling writer hears a fabulous plot from one of his students who is writing a book. Next thing he knows the student has died without writing the book. So the writer writes a new book using the student's plot and he becomes famous. Everything is great until he realizes that someone knows that he stole the plot. In trying to find out who is harassing him, he looks deeper into the student's life and finds out some amazing things. This one kept me entertained and on my toes and I could not put it down!
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: Yes, it is another WWII book. This one is about three ladies who work at Bletchley Park, a super secret British operation, where the most creative minds help to crack codes sent from the Nazis. After a while, it is noticed that someone in their midst is betraying them and they try to find out who it is, but things don't always go so well.
The Four Winds by Kristian Hannah: It's the dust bowl and the drought has dried up Elsa's family's farm in the Great Plains. She does what many others are forced to do, she heads west with her two children looking for a better life, and work so that she can feed her kids. She struggles to find both in a dog eat dog world of farming in California, where the owners exploit them and the townspeople shun them. She shows resilience and bravery in a less than perfect world.
The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas: This a book about a woman who does not want kids, or maybe she does, or maybe she has them after all, or maybe she doesn't...it is her life, told in several scenarios, and how things go if she chooses one thing over the other.
Admission by Julie Buxbaum: We all heard about the admission scandals a while back, where the rich actress pays for her kid's records to be fudged to get into a good college? This book is a fictional recap of this scenario. Told from the view of the kid, who does not know this is going on but still gets ostracized because of it, it is entertaining, infuriating and heartbreaking at the same time.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir: The Earth is going to die and our main character, a mild mannered science professor, has to save it...by going into space. After a long journey, he awakens from a coma and finds his shipmates have all perished. Now he is alone and time is running out!! Once again, Andy Weir is ingenious, creative and fun.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I have to say, I am impressed by the ease at which I can read books written by TJR. She is entertaining and funny and her characters are annoying but likable. She does a good job making you see people as human, warts and all. I have enjoyed the books I have read so far by her and this one was no exception. This is about some kids in Malibu who throw a party that people will never forget.
It really was not easy to choose this year. Here are a few more good ones that almost made the cut: The Book of Longings, A Good Neighborhood, The Book of Lost Friends, A Promised Land, The Paris Library, The Best of Me, The Great Influenza, The Last Bookshop in London, The Light of Days, The Secrets We Kept, Between Two Kingdoms, Count The Ways.
Have you read any of my favorites? What was your favorite book of 2021? And why?