Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in 2021

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

An e-reader lying on top a stack of hardback novels.I deeply enjoyed going back through my records of 2021 to find the best books I read all year. My first six answers are of science fiction and fantasy books I reviewed for my site, so click on their titles to read my full reviews. The rest of them are library books from a variety of genres, and I’m including links to their Goodreads pages so you can read more about them, too.

I’ll also briefly gush about my reasons for loving all of these books!

1) Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Why I Loved It: This was the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy themes. It makes me so happy to see authors mix those genres together so effortlessly, especially when they’re about a protagonist as young and powerful as Sankofa.


2) Boo and the Boy – A Ghost Story by Wayne Barrett

Why I Loved It: Most paranormal stories will hint at this sort of ending before veering off into other directions, but Barrett was creative and brave enough to bring all of his foreshadowing to fruition!


3) The Teddy Bear’s War by Alex Cross

Why I Loved It: I had several beloved stuffed animals as a child. It warms my heart to think of a world in which they love their children as much, and maybe even more, than their children love them.


4) Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Why I Loved It: Weir excels at making hard science fiction accessible to readers who have little to no science background as well. I also love the way he pushes current scientific principals to their limits while still creating believable stories.


5) The Storm by Alex Cross

Why I Loved It: The author has a vivid imagination that makes his stories a delight to read. I first discovered his work this year, and I can’t wait to read more.


6) Safer at Home – A Ghost Story by Zoe Cannon

Why I Loved It: I’ve just barely begun dipping my toes into fiction that references Covid-19. This short story did an excellent job of capturing the fear and uncertainty we all felt during the first wave of the pandemic without incorporating the disease itself into the plot. I may never be able to read about the medical side of  pandemics again, but I did resonate with the main character’s restlessness as he was trapped in his house.


Photo of antique books standing next to a vase filled with dry flowers. 7) “A Psalm for the Wild-Built” by Becky Chambers (Goodreads)

Why I Loved It: This novella felt like a full-length novel due to the excellent character development and world building in it. The hopeful vision of the future it held brought a tear to my eye, too. My only reason for not officially reviewing it is that I don’t want to spoil any plot twists for anyone, and it’s hard to discuss the plot without doing just that because of it’s short length and how quickly exciting things begin to happen in it.


8) “You Bet Your Life: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, the Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation” by Paul A Offit (Goodreads)

Why I Loved It: I’m fascinated by the history of medicine in general. We’ve learned so much about how the human body works, and I appreciated the author’s balanced look at how new medical innovations both positively and negatively affected the lives of the people who were first exposed to them. The epilogue is well worth checking out as well.


9) “Waves” by Ingrid Chabbert (Goodreads)

Why I Loved It: The author had a hauntingly beautiful writing style that made it effortless for me to see the world through her and her wife’s eyes for a brief moment.  I should note that this graphic novel tells the story of their journey through infertility and a late term miscarriage, so be warned if those topics are sensitive ones for you.


Filed under Blog Hops

56 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in 2021

  1. I still have Remote Control to read, it’s definitely going on the 2022 pile. I loved A Psalm for the Wild-Built too, am.looking forward to the next one.

  2. I’ve heard only great things about Hail Mary, I hope to read it soon as well!

  3. I still need to read Becky Chambers! Great list.

  4. Great list! I’ve seen Nnedi Okorafor books all over social media, maybe it’s time to pick one up finally.

  5. Great list 😀 Hail Mary is on my 2022 TBR!

  6. I haven’t read any of these yet, but I’m glad they brought you joy this year. Happy New Year!

  7. I think I’m the only person who didn’t love Project Hail Mary. It just didn’t connect with me the way it has for others. But I’m glad to see so many people enjoyed it.

  8. I also loved PROJECT HAIL MARY. Such a creative writer making space travel seem very possible. My 2021 Favorites

  9. Great list, as always. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Remote Control is on my TBR too — need to get to it soon!

  11. Hail Mary was GREAT. I’d forgotten about it….I may have to edit my list!

  12. These are all new to me. I am so glad you enjoyed them.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Wishing you a new year filled with good health, happiness, and wonderful books.

  13. I love going through my reads of the year for favourites, and I’m glad you enjoyed it too! Happy 2022 reading 🙂

  14. A Psalm for the Wild-Built is next on my list! I love all of Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers books, especially the last one, and her novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate

    • Ooh, I hope you like it!

      I’ve heard good things about To Be Taught, If Fortunate. My local library doesn’t have it, but I’m hoping they’ll get it in sometime.

  15. Project Hail Mary made my list today too. I’ve been recommending that book to pretty much everyone I know. 🙂

  16. RS

    Safer at Home sounds awesome, actually. Going to check it out!

  17. These all looks so good. I’m intrigued by “You Bet Your Life: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, the Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation”

    • Thank you. Yeah, that was a fantastic read for sure. It’s amazing to learn about how slowly some medical advancements were discovered and how doctors discovered certain treatments before they knew why they worked.

  18. I do need to catch up on Chambers.

  19. Alex Cross will be pleased at appearing twice on your list!

  20. Remote Control looks really interesting! Glad you liked it 🙂 Happy New Year!

  21. I’m also intrigued by the medical history one. As a Type 1 diabetic, I’m kept alive every day through medical innovation!

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!


  22. Pretty sure EVERYONE had a better reading year than I did. 😉 Sounds like you really enjoyed some of these, and that’s awesome! Don’t think I know many or any of them. Hope you have another great reading year in 2022 and thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland this week.

  23. I have seen Hail Mary on multiple lists, not just today but throughout the year. What I find very interesting is it seems to be enjoyed by book bloggers of all types, from those who love Science Fiction to Romance readers to Contemporary Fiction die hards.

  24. I’ve heard so many great things about Project Hail Mary! I really hope to read that and A Psalm for the Wild-Built next year. Great list, Lydia! I hope you have a great reading year in 2022 😊

  25. I always love that I discover new books when I check out your book lists! I’ve only heard of about half of these books (which means I need to check out the other half now!). I somehow didn’t get a chance to read Remote Control yet, but I think I need to bump that up my TBR. I was so looking forward to it! I also loved Hail Mary, and I’m hoping to listen to the audiobook this year, since someone said it was a really great, different experience to reading it.

  26. Psalm is so good. I’ve been a bit hit and miss with Okorafor but I still want to give some of her other work a try.

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