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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Swindler

Mid-Year Reading Superlatives

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

6 months and 50 books into 2021, here are my top books of the year so far!

My 2021 reading year started in one of my favorite reading spots -- on an airplane. There is something about reading a book on a plane that brings me such comfort and peace.

Six months and 51 books later (and only one airplane book, whomp, whomp), here are my mid-year reading superlatives:

Best Young Adult

The Inheritance Games: This book was such a page-turner. If you are a fan of the film Knives Out then this might be the book for you. The plot follows Avery Grambs, who is surprised as the family, to learn that she has inherited billionaire Tobias Hawthorn’s fortune. This book is hard to put down. I loved the writing, the YA tropes, and I CANNOT WAIT for the sequel!

Best Historical Fiction

The Vanishing Half: I did not know much about this book going into it, and that made it even more enjoyable! The back and forth narration made it hard to put this book down. I highly recommend this book. Not only was it a good read, but it is one that I keep coming back to and pondering. The writing is completing and the character development is amazing!

Best Armchair Travel

The Flight Attendant: Not only was this book amazing, but the HBO show is INCREDIBLE as well. This book is a quick read and had me dreaming of the day when I can travel again. This book is a thriller but is just the right amount of scary. It is a great book to pull you out of a book slump!

Best Non-Fiction

Caste: Read this book. That is really all I can say. There are few books that I would say should be required reading, but this is one of them. I think about this book every day and it has challenged me and my view of my privilege. It is heartbreaking, it is challenging, it calls for change. Read this book.

Best Gloomy Day Read

The Midnight Library: I picked this book up while trying to find a book to cure my January blues. The plot is wonderful and filled with hope without being cheesy. Read with tissues.

Best Poetry

What Kind of Woman: I don’t read as much poetry as I would like but I was so excited to read this book. I wanted to read it slowly, but once I picked it up, it was impossible to put down. The author, Kate Baer is also an amazing follow on Instagram.

Best Page-Turner

Clap When You Land: This was another book that I had heard a lot about, but didn’t know much about before reading. It is YA but is really for readers of all ages. The story deals beautifully with grief and loss and how it brings a family together. This story will break your heart. It is told by two narrators which makes it almost impossible to put down -- plus it is written in verse which makes it faster pace.

Best Audiobook

Greenlights: Matthew McConaughey reading this book is what makes it great. I love celebrity memoirs, but the way he narrated set this one apart for me. I laughed out loud, teared up, and reflected on my own life. It was everything I wanted and more. Plus, again, Matthew Mcconaughey’s voice reading to you for 14 hours is a wonderful joy.

Best Mystery Thriller

The Couple Next Door: I could have read this in one sitting. The writing was so fast-paced and I was on the edge of my seat for the whole book. I highly recommend it, especially if graphic or gory thrillers are not your cup of tea (I love thrillers, but I am a wimp).

Best Beach Read

The Flatshare: This book was just lovely. It felt very You’ve Got Mail-y which is my favorite rom-com/beach read vibe. The story is told by Leon and Tiffy as they share a flat, but have never met. I laughed out loud. The characters are people you want to root for. It is also surprisingly deep and touching. Highly recommend this book!

Best Laugh Out Loud

A Very Punchable Face: I liked Colin Jost before reading this book, but I LOVE him after. I don’t think you need to be an SNL fan to enjoy this book. These essays had me laughing out loud on almost every page. If you need a good laugh, this is the book for you! (Can not be afraid of a chapter devoted to pooping your pants…)

Best OhmygoshwhatdidIjustread

Interior Chinatown: This book is honestly the most confusingly wonderful book I have read in a long time. It felt like a much darker version of the Truman show. It was challenging and compelling while being humorous. The writing is absolutely amazing. It is another one that I have thought of almost daily since I finished it. It will be one of my top reads of the year, and I think it is a must-read for Americans.

What have been your top reads of 2021?

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