Thursday 23 December 2021

My favourite books of 2021

These 'best reads' lists are ubiquitous but I make no apology for adding to them. Mine isn't based on the books that I think might look good in my list, those prize winning tomes that pop up in so many literary top 10s. There will be some of course but sometimes I see books that have had great publicity but I thought nothing special and wonder whether people selecting them as their best reads really liked them! For me there's a difference between good reads and favourite reads. Some books, that I can see are worthy literary specimens, aren't necessarily ones I enjoyed reading although I appreciated their merit while others may not be brilliant literature but are thoroughly enjoyable. This list is about enjoyment. 

Owing to further lockdowns I read more books than most years - even beating last year but that was because last year's books included A Suitable Boy. I've read 74 so far this year with another couple to be added before the year is out.

Here are my favourites. 

The Dutch House - Ann Patchett. One of my out-of-last-year's-lockdown purchases.

Transcription - Kate Atkinson. A library loan because I've liked previous books of hers.

Winter in Tabriz - Shelia Llewellyn. A library loan picked simply because I've been to Tabriz. 

The Freedom Circus - Sue Smethurst. A non-fiction purchase after hearing Sue talk about it. 

Wimmera  - Mark Brandi, another library loan as I'd had this one recommended. 

Shuggie Bain - Douglas Stuart. A purchase, and while it hit my top reads, I did have to read another couple of frothy books at the same time because of the endless bleakness.

Honeybee - Craig Silvey. A library loan because I'd heard good things about it

The White Girl - Tony Birch. Library loan, ditto.

The Tea Ladies of St Jude's Hospital - Joanna Nell. A purchase because I love Joanna Nell's books.

The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett. A loan from my local street bookshelf.

The School - Brendan James Murray. A non-fiction giveaway from the author which I wrote about here.

At The End of the Day - Liz Byrski. A click and collect lockdown purchase because I've enjoyed a number of her books.