Best Books of 2021

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Who doesn’t love those “Best Books of the Year” lists?! What is amazing is that the lists are each so very different. There are a few books that made mulitple lists. Making more than one best-of-2021 list might just be a sign it is a title not to miss! See these books below, along with the GoodReads and Amazon "Best of" lists. 

Top 5 Books Making Multiple Lists:

How the Word is Passed, opens a new window by Clint Smith
New York Times List | Amazon List
Non-Fiction (History / Society and Culture)
Examines the legacy of slavery by highlighting the continued preservation of monuments and landmarks that hold violent and racist symbolism.

The Four Winds, opens a new window by Kristin Hannah
Amazon List | GoodReads List
Fiction (Historical / Dramatic)
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

Empire of Pain, opens a new window by Patrick Keefe
Smithsonian List | Amazon List
Non-Fiction (Economics / True Crime)
The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Project Hail Mary, opens a new window by Andy Weir
Amazon List | GoodReads List
Fiction (Science Fiction / Thriller)
The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space when he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

Klara and the Sun, opens a new window by Kazuo Ishiguro
Amazon List | GoodReads List
Fiction (Science Fiction / Literary Fiction)
From her place in the store that sells artificial friends, Klara–an artificial friend with outstanding observational qualities–watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside.

GoodReads Most Popular:

At the time of researching, GoodReads had not quite concluded their annual awards but they did have a list of the most popular books on their site.

People We Meet on Vacation, opens a new window by Emily Henry
Fiction – Romance
As a hilariously disastrous week unfolds and tensions rise, Poppy and Alex are forced to confront what drove them apart–and decide what they’re willing to risk for the chance to be together.

Malibu Rising, opens a new window by Taylor Reid
Fiction
Set against the backdrop of the Malibu surf culture of the 1980s [this book] follows the daughter of a famous singer who, once she finds fame, must grapple with the fact that her father abandoned her and her siblings when they were young.

The Four Winds, opens a new window by Kristin Hannah
See description above.

The Last Thing He Told Me, opens a new window by Laura Dave
Fiction – Mystery
When her husband of a year disappears, Hannah quickly learns he is not who he said he was and is left to sort out the truth with just one ally- her husband’s teenage daughter, who hates her.

The Lost Apothecary, opens a new window by Sarah Penner
Fiction
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives.

The Love Hypothesis, opens a new window by Ali Hazelwood
Fiction – Romance
When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

Project Hail Mary, opens a new window by Andy Weir
See description above.

The Maidens, opens a new window by Alex Michaelides
Fiction – Mystery
Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister.

Klara and the Sun, opens a new window by Kazuo Ishiguro
See description above.

The Push, opens a new window by Ashley Audrain
Fiction
When life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth. Here, we see the making and breaking of a family in crystalline detail, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

Amazon.com Selections:

These are the Amazon editor's picks for best books of 2021.

The Lincoln Highway, opens a new window by Amor Towles
Historical Fiction
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter.

Crying in H Mart, opens a new window by Michelle Zauner
Non-Fiction (Biography)
From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.

The Plot, opens a new window by Jean Korelitz
Fiction – Mystery
Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written–let alone published–anything decent in years.

How the Word is Passed, opens a new window by Clint Smith
See description above.

The Four Winds, opens a new window by Kristin Hannah
See description above.

Empire of Pain, opens a new window by Patrick Keefe
See description above.

Harlem Shuffle, opens a new window by Colson Whitehead
Fiction – Mystery
Harlem Shuffle is driven by an ingeniously intricate plot that plays out in a beautifully recreated Harlem of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.

Great Circle, opens a new window by Maggie Shipstead
Historical Fiction
In a present-day narrative, film star Hadley Baxter, herself orphaned by a plane crash, is cast to portray Marian, an ambitious move for Hadley after having been known for her role in a Twilight-esque fantasy series. Shipstead manages to portray both Marian’s and Hadley’s expanded sense of consciousness as they push the boundaries inscribed around them–Marian’s through flight and Hadley’s through creative inspiration.

Project Hail Mary, opens a new window by Andy Weir
See description above.

Klara and the Sun, opens a new window by Kazuo Ishiguro
See description above.

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