This post may include Amazon links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
As June comes to an end, life is finally beginning to look a little more normal for us all. Despite that, the first six months have felt very long to me. You’d think that might mean that I’d read more books than usual, but that’s not the case. I’ve had a lot going on that has taken up some of my reading time. As of this post, I’ve read 53 books, versus 60 at the same time last year. (See, there were some benefits to full on quarantine!)
Putting together this list of 2021’s favorite books so far was a bit of a struggle. Five were easy choices, but narrowing down the other four took some work! Last year 7 books from this list made my Best Books of 2020, so we’ll see how well these hold up by the end of the year.
The Push by Ashley Audrain (debut)
Pamela Dorman Books (1/5/21) – 320 pages
– Uncomfortable vibe throughout.
– Audrain never let her readers feel truly sure.
– The ending was spectacular!
The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood (debut)
Doubleday (2/2/21) – 368 pages
– This is a different take on the immigrant experience.
– Lots of irreverent humor.
– Stellar writing with lots of really great characters.
Landslide by Susan Conley
Knopf (2/2/21) – 288 pages
– Susan Conley GETS being a boy mom.
– Not your typical setting of set up.
– Connection with the main character on such a personal level.
When I Ran Away by Ilona Bannister (debut)
Doubleday (3/30/21) – 336 pages
– Bannister takes an powerful look at postpartum depression.
– An intense character-driven novel, with heart & humor.
– Gigi is a character that is hard to let go of.
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins (debut)
Riverhead Books (4/13/21) – 432 pages
– Slow layering in of characters, then suddenly takes off!
– So many pieces that shouldn’t fit and yet they do…beautifully.
– Local, Puget Sound, setting made it extra special to me.
When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
Ballantine (4/13/21) – 384 pages
– Appreciate that McClain took on a very literary suspense story.
– I loved the slow reveal of the many layers making up Anna.
– A story full of traumas, but each makes perfect sense.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Simon & Schuster (5/4/21) – 320 pages
– Rebecca Lowman narrated one of my top audiobooks of 2021
– A domestic thriller that required NO eye rolling.
– Both fun and engaging making for great summer reading!
Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen (debut)
Knopf (5/4/21) – 3o4 pages
– Strong writing from start to finish.
– Haunting story of a Vietnamese Woman set on building a new life.
– Told from multiple perspectives, especially loved the younger son’s.
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
Tin House Books (5/18/21) – 330 pages
– This book has a completely original, unforgettable set up.
– It was such a rich, odd, uncomfortable, character-driven story.
– Reminded me of her debut, Our Endless Numbered Days.
What have been your favorite books of 2021 (so far)?
PIN THIS POST ⇓
Great list, I’ve read 3 of these and enjoyed them: The Push, What Comes After and The Last Thing He Told Me and really liked them – I have 3 more on my TBR list. Hope the second half of 2021 is good as well.
I recently finished The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller and that would definitely bump one of these books off my favorites list!
I got Landslide and The Last Thing He Told Me last week as Kindle Daily Deals! My library never had them as ebooks, so this was great. Glad to hear that they were your favorites!
I really need to start paying better attention to those Kindle deals! Hope you like Landslide. It’s right up there at the top for me.
booker talk says
I have Unsettled Ground on my watchlist so its good to see it on your list of favourites. I like your bullet point summary of why each book was selected – thats a really good way of doing it
Les in OR says
So many of these are on my TBR list. I just hope I get my reading mojo back after we get home from our road trip. I need to get moving if I want to have ONE book on my monthly summary! 🙂
Believe me, I get how it’s hard to get much reading done on vacation. Oh well, you’ll find time eventually.
Linda S. says
I have read “Landslide” and agree…it really was a good book. I have purchased several of the others on your list and am adding “The Last Thing He Told Me.” Thank you for a great list.
I hope you enjoy them, Linda and am always happy to find another Landslide fan. It’s one of my very favorites this year.
Great list. I also have listened to the Push and midway into the Laura Dave audio … liking it so far. I hope to get to a few more on your list. 2nd half of the year I plan to do better on the reading
It has been an iffy year. Hopefully that’s been broken as I just finished Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. Best fiction I’ve read in 3 years.
Also read The Premonition by Michael Lewis. 5 big *.
In light of these two I’m going to have to re-evaluate my other reads this year. I think I was being generous.