2021 Reading List: Part II

It’s July 2021! What a year so far in life, work, and reading. Last year I read 46 books, just shy of my personal goal of 50. From historical fiction to self-help to fantasy, reading helps me unwind and explore new-to-me worlds and experiences. The below list includes all of the books I read between July 1 – December 31, 2021 (not including 4-10 children’s books that I enjoy reading with Jameson daily!) Here’s 2021’s Part I if you’re interested.

43. Little Bee by Chris Cleave. A second-hand bookshop find. This book reminds you that the world is a very different place for many — good and bad. “If I was telling this story to the girls from back home, I would have to explain to them how it was possible to be drowning in a river of people and also to feel so very, very alone. But truly, I do not think I would have the words.”

42. A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin. With scenes set in parts of Northern Michigan, this book was one of deep pain, high knowledge, and the thrill of the human mind and condition. It’s about striving for something and still being unable to fully grasp it. When failure outwits success every time, what do you do with your life? I enjoyed this read thoroughly. “Transire suum pecuts mundoque potiri – Rise Above Yourself and Grasp the World.”

41. Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black. So many twists and turns, some heartbreak, and a lot of she-power! “Either he’d recognize the sewer worker’s code or she’d have to move fast. In either case, he couldn’t be alone. If there was a naked man in a bed in the middle of the afternoon, there had to be a lover around.”

40. The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman. Feeling good about reading again thanks to read 39 and this one! I zoomed through this war-based, identity-based novel and jumped into the next read with ease. ‘”That is why a mother triumphs,” Bobeshi said. “All you have to do is survive and your mother lives through you.”‘

39. Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Crosby. Great read! After trying and failing for long to get through book 38, this was a much needed reading win. The story also brought me out of myself and forced me to view the world from a different perspective — always a good sign in a book. “Listen, when you’re a black man in America you live with the weight of people’s low expectations on your back every day.”

38. Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout. I just couldn’t get into this book, no matter how hard I tried. I didn’t finish but got nearly there (page 167 of 289) before I moved on to a different read. “But it’s never starting over, Cindy. It’s just continuing on.”

37. The Goodbye Cafe by Mariah Stewart. A cute novel loaned to me by a neighbor. I may have to read another work by Maraih, she’s published over 40 books! To write for a living…the dream. “I guess we’re all different things to different people. … Oh well. Different environment, difference influences.”

36. The Shades by Evgenia Citkowitz. A short novel with a deep look at family, trauma, and the way some things just unravel. “As his research was teaching him, photographs were framed to create impressions; often designed to obfuscate and lie.”

35. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. A powerful glimpse at upbringing, science, god, addiction, and the people who live through it all–or don’t. “We know right from wrong because we learn it, one way or another, we learn it.”

34. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. My first read by Hamid and definitely not my last. “… and so by making the promise he demanded she make she was in a sense killing him, but that is the way of things, for when we migrate, we murder from our lives those we leave behind.” And I also really liked this bit: “… which is to say that while the changes were jarring they were not the end, and life went on, and people found things to do and ways to be and people to be with, and plausible desirable futures began to emerge, unimaginable previously, but not unimaginable now, and the result was something not unlike relief.”

33. The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser. A lovely read about a woman going through a wake up call in life, and how fate seems to step in at some of our lowest moments. “And I’m sorry I said all those awful things. It’s frightening to have these feelings. And I know you don’t feel the same way, so probably I should have kept all this to myself. But I didn’t . . . I didn’t want you to think that we weren’t friends because I don’t like you. I do, I really like you.”

32. The Diamond Caper by Peter Mayle. A Little Free Library neighborhood find. Fun read, a bit predictable. “I haven’t met many celebrities, but the ones I have met were so pleased with themselves it kind of put me off the whole idea.”

31. If You Follow Me by Malena Watrous. A Bluestocking Bookshop buy and solid read. It was emotional, culturally new to me, and full of love, loss, and longing. “When I wake up, the whole world has been transformed.”

2 Comments on “2021 Reading List: Part II

  1. Pingback: 2021 Reading List: Part I – KatelynShae

  2. Pingback: 2022 Reading List – KatelynShae

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