What I Read in 2021

This year, my reading goal was to read 24 books and all of them new to me. I'm a habitual re-reader. There's nothing nicer than starting a book I already know I'll love and if it's the second or maybe third time, I'll probably notice something new in it. I'll also make a case for re-reading something that was read long ago. I read The Poisonwood Bible in high school, and then picked it up a year or so ago and it was completely different. The first time, I identified so strongly with a daughter character. At my second read, I was a mother, and I read the book as the mother character. So much different.

But anyway, I started the year reading a perennial favorite for probably the zillionth time and didn't enjoy it, which sucked. So in that moment, I decided to only read new things. Here's my favorites -

Oh but first, here's everything I read this year

Now my favorites.

My Favorite Reads in 2021 | www.biblio-style.com

Daisy Jones and the Six | A fictional account of a 70's band that reads like a non-fiction interview. Daisy Jones gets linked up with a band led by Billy Dunne and together they make the kind of magic that was legendary of 60's and 70's era rock bands. Lots of sex and drugs, naturally. It is written in a rather unique story telling format, but I really enjoyed it. Also, when I'm really in love with a book, I can't stop googling it, and I saw that Amazon Prime started filming a movie adaption of this in late 2021. I will be obsessively looking for updates on that! 

Sorrow and Bliss | I couldn't put this book down, it's just written so wonderfully. Really, the story line is mundane and there's not a huge amount of plot. Martha is just going about her life, battling an unnamed mental illness that went off like a bomb when she was 17. The magic here is Meg Mason's writing. It's a delight. 

I Feel Bad About My Neck | Nora Ephron is so cheerfully self-deprecating. She talks about motherhood, marriages, divorces, and aging and makes the various rites of passage all feel so humorous. And inclusive. Somethings aren't necessarily the "human" experience, but this felt very much like the "female" experience. 

The Glass Castle | An oldie, but a goodie, and I'd never read it before so my socks were knocked clean off my feet. The minute I finished it, I texted a handful of my reader friends and encouraged them to pick this up right the eff away. Non-fiction, so even better, Jeannette Walls discusses her childhood growing up with a dreaming, alcoholic father and (no other word describes it) interesting mother, as they dodge bill collectors and amble across the country in various broken down vehicles. These people are negligent at the very least, and reading about someone rising out of that was inspiring. 

The Year of Magical Thinking | RIP in Joan Didion, who sadly passed just a few weeks ago. This book is sad. I gave it to my Oma, thinking she'd enjoy it as much as I did (we have similar taste in books) but she couldn't read it. Too sad, she said and I suppose that's probably because my Oma, like Joan,  has survived her husband. Joan's husband dies suddenly at the kitchen table, just hours after they visit their adult daughter who lays in a coma at the hospital. This book details the following year. It is not weepy, but there is grief of course. It is sad, but it's also a lovely example of Didion's sharp writing style and picking up the pieces. 

On a related note, beautiful quote from the late Joan Didion that I just love. 

Upstairs at the White House | This is the book that kicked off a year of obsessively reading things written by various members of White House staff. I got so into it. J.B White worked in the White House as an usher from FDR to Nixon, and chiefly under the direction of the First Ladies. It's not salacious at all, but gives a fun and interesting peek into the lives of the people who live in the executive mansion. This is definitely on my re-read list for the future. 

PS - this one is free on Amazon Prime if you're a Kindle reader! 


Looking forward to reading all the way through 2022. No goals yet, but you can be sure I'll be perched up somewhere (probably a beach) with a book! Happy reading! 

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