A Year in Books (so far…): 2021

Previously: Women’s Prize Wrap-Up | Coming Soon: September Wrap-Up

Hello. Hello. Hello. In somewhat shocking turn of events it is already the October, and I have yet to tell you about the contenders for my favourites of the year.

If you’re new here then I usually post twelve favourite books– one from every month– at the end of the year, and twelve books– two from every month– that might be on that list around July. I could not let the opportunity pass me by, so today I will tell you about two (or maybe three) of my monthly favourites from the first six months of the year.

It’s also worth mentioning that the only contenders are books which I read for the first time this year.


All the Light We Cannot See

I promised you some contenders for my favourite books, but nothing could contend with this book. The story on a blind French girl, and a smart German boy growing up admits the turmoil of the Second World War, it is truly a stunning story. I’m very aware that I promised a review, and I do still intend to deliver but I’m also eager to reread the book before I do that. This is very much so a book that will stay with you for a long time.


The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited or A Court of Silver Flames

Murder on the Rockport Limited is the second in The Adventure Zone, a series which adapts the popular podcast of the same name. This one in particular holds a special place in my heart because it riffs on Murder on the Orient Express, and the golden age Murder mystery traditions. On the other hand we have the fourth book in Sarah J. Maas’ fantasy romance series. It’s the first in the series which follows a different pair of protagonists and though I went in hesitantly, it took me by surprise how much I enjoyed it.


My Cousin Rachel or Les Miserables or The Dawn Chorus

When the first book you read from an author is fantastic, you begin to think that nothing could possibly top it. Such was the case with Rebecca. However, My Cousin Rachel was such a gloriously gothic atmosphere that I needed six stars to rate it. Secondly, I read Les Mis with an awesome group of people over the course of the first three months of the year. I enjoyed it, but since then it has been the kind of book which I keep thinking about. At over 1,000 pages I’ve never considered rereading it. How did this happen? On the other end of the page count comes the novella The Dawn Chorus. I’m not generally a big fan of mid-series novellas (this one takes place between books 3 and 4 of The Bone Season) but the simplicity and focus on trauma was refreshing, and made it worth your time,


Kings of the Wyld or Transcendent Kingdom

Some book you expect to be a favourite. Kings of the Wyld is one such book. It’s been on my radar for a very long time, I predicted it as a 5-star book, and lo an behold it really was. The brand of humour that the author employees was perfect to be giving a great balance to the fantasy romp following aged mercenaries on one last (reluctant) adventure. Other books come out of nowhere. I don’t tho ally read ‘women’s fiction’ (a phrase which I loathe, but that’s a story for another time) but I like to read from The Women’s Prize lists to read books outside of my comfort zone. It’s a bonus when one of those books becomes a favourite. Transcendent Kingdom examines science and religion is such a heartfelt way that you cannot help but become invested int he lives of its characters.


Wives and Daughters or Hush or Swimming in the Dark

Another month, another book club pick. I’ve had great experiences with Elizabeth Gaskell before, and Wives and Daughters, despite being unfinished, was no different. Here is another author whose sense of humour was just spot on, and another books that I’m eager to reread despite the size. Secondly, we have Batman: Hush which is an incredibly popular graphic novel. What I loved most about this was was the twists and turns that the mystery took. It really leaned into the detective side of Batman, which really is at the core of the character. It also acts as a prelude to one of my all time favourites, Batman: Under the Red Hood. One of my all time favourites is Call Me By Your Name, and I’m forever looking for similar books. Unfortunately I hold that book in such it’s regard than I’m forever being disappointed. Until I read Swimming in the Dark, What was extra special about this one in particular is that it shone a light on 1980s Poland, which I had never considered before.


Emerald Blaze or The Devil all the Time or Fix Her Up

Being the fifth book in a series Emerald Blaze had a lot to live up to, especially because I was reading and re-reading the series relatively close together. or maybe because of this very reason I could see just how much the writers had grown and honed their craft. This is the first time I’ve had to wait for a book in this series, and I’m desperate for the next release. In contrast to the paranormal-romance, comes The Devil all the Time, a strange Southern Gothic novel which follows a group of characters in a small town. The way the author discusses religion, and the many forms in can take, was brilliant. I’d originally given the book 4-stars but I’ve been so enamoured with it that on this rare occasion I just had to change it and finally we return to romance, though this time contemporary, with Fix Her Up. This is the book that reignited. Y love for contemporary romance with its beautifully written character, than both have some lovely growth both in their relationship, and as individuals.

If you enjoyed this, then why not check out my absolute favourite of the year in A Year in Books 2020, and 2019.

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