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  • Olivia Swindler

Top 21 of '21



I have a really hard time picking favorites. I have the tendency to genuinely love whatever is in front of me. This made picking my top books of 2021 especially challenging.


A quick 2021 reading wrap-up...

  • I read 140 books

  • 62 Fiction

  • 65 Non-Fiction

  • 13 Young Adult

I doubt I will ever read that many books in one year ever again. I was largely aided by a 7 pm curfew for most of the year, which left me with little to do but read. I also discovered audiobooks this year, thanks to my local library I was able to listen to them for free on Libby!


If you want to see the full list of everything I read this year, scroll all the way to the bottom, but if you just want my favs (not really in order), here they are:


  1. Ghosts - Dolly Alderton

  2. Interior Chinatown - Charles Yu

  3. The Nix - Nathan Hill

  4. Dark Matter -Blake Crouch

  5. Finlay Donovan is Killing It - Elle Cosimano

  6. Crying in H Mart - Michelle Zauner

  7. What Happened to You? - Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

  8. Taste - Stanley Tucci

  9. Disappointment With God - Philip Yancey

  10. Nobody Will Tell You This But Me - Bess Kalb

  11. Rock Paper Scissors - Alice Feeney

  12. The Lincoln Highway - Amor Towles

  13. A Very Punchable Face - Colin Jost

  14. Wintering - Katherine May

  15. The Body Keeps the Score - Bessel van der Kolk

  16. Catch and Kill - Ronan Farrow

  17. The Inheritance Games - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  18. Clap When You Land - Elizabeth Acevedo

  19. The Best of Me - David Sedaris

  20. Caste - Isabel Wilkerson

  21. The Four Winds - Kristin Hannah


Fiction

  1. This Time Next Year 4/5

  2. The Paris Secret 4/5

  3. The Flight Attendant 4/5

  4. The Vanishing Half 4/5

  5. The Midnight Library 5/5

  6. Delayed Rays of a Star 2/5

  7. The Flatshare 4/5

  8. The Emperor’s Babe 3/5

  9. The Duke and I 2/5

  10. The Idiot 3/5

  11. Such a Fun Age 4/5

  12. High Fidelity 4/5

  13. Interior Chinatown 5/5

  14. A Breath of Snow and Ashes 3/5

  15. Murder on the Orient Express ⅘

  16. The Unhoneymooners 4/5

  17. The Full Cupboard of Life 3/5

  18. The Ocean at the End of the Lane 4/5

  19. An Echo in the Darkness 3/5

  20. The Couple Next Door 4/5

  21. The Four Winds 5/5

  22. Whisper Network 4/5

  23. Luster 2/5

  24. One Two Three 5/5

  25. Malibu Rising 5/5

  26. Northern Spy 4/5

  27. Finlay Donovan is Killing It 5/5

  28. Good Company 3/5

  29. Voices of the Lost 4/5

  30. The Paper Palace 4/5

  31. People We Meet on Vacation 4/5

  32. Searching for Sylvie Lee 3/5

  33. The Guest List 5/5

  34. The Mercies 4/5

  35. The Maidens 4/5

  36. Rebecca 4/5

  37. Infinite Country 5/5

  38. The Guncle 4/5

  39. An Echo in the Bone 3/5

  40. The Office of Historical Corrections 4/5

  41. The Last Bookshop in London 3/5

  42. Ghosts 5/5

  43. The Silent Patient 5/5

  44. Thursday Murder Club 3/5

  45. Dark Matter 5/5

  46. The Switch 3/5

  47. The Nix 5/5

  48. Bullet Train 4/5

  49. All Adults Here 4/5

  50. Beautiful World, Where Are You? 4/5

  51. An Unwanted Guest 4/5

  52. The Nickel Boys 5/5

  53. Middle England 3/5

  54. The Husbands 4/5

  55. And Then There Were None 4/5

  56. Rock Paper Scissors 5/5

  57. The World That We Knew 3/5

  58. The Sentence 4/5

  59. The Matzah Ball 4/5

  60. The Lincoln Highway 5/5

  61. A Sky Painted Gold 3/5

  62. Leave the World Behind 2/5

  63. Just Haven’t Met You Yet 4/5


Non-Fiction

  1. Answering God 5/5

  2. A Very Punchable Face 5/5

  3. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction 4/5

  4. That Sounds Fun 4/5

  5. Alexander Hamilton 5/5

  6. 84 Charing Cross Road 5/5

  7. Paul and Gender 4/5

  8. What Kind of Woman 5/5

  9. Becoming 4/5

  10. Wintering 5/5

  11. Jesus and John Wayne 4/5

  12. Here For It 3/5

  13. Laugh Again 4/5

  14. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States 5/5

  15. Caste 5/5

  16. Every Step an Arrival 4/5

  17. A Promised Land 3/5

  18. Hillbilly Elegy 3/5

  19. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You 4/5

  20. Greenlights 4/5

  21. Reading Romans Backwards 4/5

  22. 12 Rules for Life 3/5

  23. Intimations 4/5

  24. Talking Back to Purity Culture 5/5

  25. Open Book 4/5

  26. We Are Displaced 5/5

  27. The Partly Cloudy Patriot 3/5

  28. The Tipping Point 5/5

  29. Conditional Citizens 5/5

  30. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? 4/5

  31. The Best of Me 5/5

  32. Somebody’s Daughter 4/5

  33. She Will Soar 4/5

  34. Say Nothing 4/5

  35. The Body Keeps the Score 5/5

  36. The Bomber Mafia 4/5

  37. The Ungrateful Refugee 4/5

  38. Beastie Boys Book 4/5

  39. Group 2/5

  40. Dangerous Prayers 4/5

  41. Eat a Peach 4/5

  42. Crying in H Mart 5/5

  43. We’re Going to Need More Wine 3/5

  44. The Lost Art of Disciple Making 4/5

  45. The Taliban Shuffle 3/5

  46. Know My Name 5/5

  47. Untamed 3/5

  48. Wildflower 3/5

  49. Catch and Kill 5/5

  50. The Sum of Us 5/5

  51. The Education of an Idealist 3/5

  52. Nobody Will Tell You This But Me 5/5

  53. Disappointment with God 5/5

  54. Heartburn 3/5

  55. What Happened to You 5/5

  56. Stories I Only Tell My Friends 4/5

  57. Where the Light Fell 4/5

  58. Taste 5/5

  59. The Boys 4/5

  60. Lean In 3/5

  61. The Wreckage of My Presence 3/5

  62. Invitation to Solitude and Silence 5/5

  63. Truman 5/5

  64. Lost Women of the Bible 3/5

  65. This Will All Be Over Soon 4/5


Young Adult

  1. The Inheritance Games 5/5

  2. Clap When You Land 5/5

  3. Ickabog 3/5

  4. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder 4/5

  5. The Trails of Morrigan Crow 4/5

  6. Dear Martin 4/5

  7. The Night Circus 4/5

  8. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks 3/5

  9. Majesty 3/5

  10. The Space Between Worlds 3/5

  11. East 4/5

  12. The Hawthorne Legacy 4/5

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