2021 was a wild year. Pandemic life became normal, I got married and now have a puppy! Somehow through all the chaos I was able to read plenty of books. Now I’ll attempt to decide which five books were my favorite reads of the year (spoiler: all were published before 2021).
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir: This is the second book in the Locked Tomb Series, which features necromancers in space. Harrow the Ninth is a challenging read, but it’s a fun challenge! The shifting narratives and writing styles were disorienting, which made solving the mysteries extremely rewarding. Muir has smartly crafted this novel and the characters and magic are so much fun! I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the Locked Tomb Series and will most likely treat myself to a reread of the first two before its release.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw: This excellent collection of 9 short stories has great writing and authentic characters. The stories feature black women trying to fulfill desires and passions that are at odds with their Christian beliefs and standards. There are many delicious descriptions of food in this collection as well. Peach Cobbler is the best short story I read this year!
Know My Name by Chanel Miller: Easily the most important book on this list. If there was a book that was required reading for all adult humans, I would choose this. Chanel’s memoir detailing her sexual assault and its aftermath is heartbreaking. Chanel’s excellent writing tells the traumatic story beautifully.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuistion: Is this why straight people love romantic comedies? This was my biggest reading surprise of the year. Less than halfway through the book I was fully invested. My husband had to endure me rambling on about Alex and Henry’s dramatic romance and how amazing the book was.
The Troop by Nick Cutter: The Troop is possibly my favorite horror book. If your stomach is strong enough to handle the disgusting carnage contained in The Troop’s pages, then this is a must-read. The story combines Boy Scouts and body horror; two things that are near and dear to my heart.