Top 10 Books I Read in 2021

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. This is my final post of 2021 and it is that moment where I finally reveal my top 10 books of the year!

While it perhaps has not been my best reading year in terms of five-star ratings, I have still been fortunate enough to read lots of excellent books, and narrowing the list down to 10 is always a tricky undertaking. As always, there were lots of genres and interesting voices to reflect on, some of which were uniquely captivating.

So here we go, my favourite novels of the year in no particular order!

Mrs England by Stacey Halls

I absolutely adore Stacey Halls’ writing, as she engagingly weaves together compelling historical stories that are also often quite moving. For me, this was her best book so far – full of atmosphere and mystery with intriguing characters. It had me asking all sorts of questions from start to finish, and I could hardly wait to find out what happened next.

My review

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

I have read both of Richard Osman’s bestselling novels this year. The Thursday Murder Club was very good, but this one was even better. It is a mystery with a lovely cosy feel and the most enjoyable group of characters, while there are plot twists in abundance. I felt very peaceful while reading this book.

My review

Deity by Matt Wesolowski

There are not many authors for whom you can guarantee that every new release is going to be brilliant, but Matt Wesolowski is one of them. His Six Stories is truly exceptional, with Deity continuing the format of telling a thriller through the lens of a true crime podcast along with a paranormal element. This one was good throughout, but reached new heights towards the end.

My review

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

I read a lot of Gothic novels in 2021, and this was my favourite of them all. It is primarily a ghost story, but there is so much more than that, with a delightfully spooky atmosphere and interesting themes complimenting a thrilling, twisty plot. I also liked the main characters a lot, as well as Anita Frank’s eloquent writing style.

My review

Daisy Jones And The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Despite seeing Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books plastered across book blogs and social media accompanied by extraordinary praise, I was unsure if they would be for me, so I entered Daisy Jones And The Six with a little trepidation. But I need not have worried. It was absolutely fantastic, and I loved it! The characters are so authentic that I found myself wanting to keep reading with them, and everything about it comes together just about perfectly to create a magnificent piece of work.

My review

The Silence Of Bones by June Hur

There was something uniquely immersive about this book that I really loved, with its powerful and poetic way of storytelling. It transports you to the South Korean setting through the eyes of a wonderful main character who is so easy to root for, while the mystery and exploration of familial relationships also had me hanging on to every word.

My review

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Another popular book which I did not read until this year, Six Of Crows really does set the standard for fantasy when it comes to characters and world building. I already knew the Grishaverse from the Shadow And Bone trilogy, but here Bardugo expands it and takes it into the stratosphere. The character development is phenomenal, and at the same time the plot is rather exciting too.

My review

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

This crime thriller is extremely dark, but for me it was just about as gripping as you could possibly get! The suspense and tension is palpable throughout a high stakes plot where the killer is frighteningly elusive. It may be 500 pages long, but can absolutely fly through it because of the short chapters, or just through sheer absorption.

My review

The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter

This was the fifth book in Cara Hunter’s terrific crime series, and it was definitely one of the best. Two plot strands run concurrently; both of them fascinatingly complex mysteries, and one in particular holds some amazing surprises. Furthermore, I always enjoy use of multimedia to tell the story, which this series does so well.

My review

The Confession by Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton is another one of my favourite authors, and I read this one right at the very start of the year. It used dual timelines to great effect and contained such captivating characters and themes, to the extent that I could hardly put it down.

My review

Honourable Mentions

Here are some of the books that did not quite make it into my top 10, but I really enjoyed all the same!

Let’s Chat

Have you read any of the books in my top 10? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading 🙂

17 thoughts on “Top 10 Books I Read in 2021

  1. Great list, Stephen! I absolutely adored Daisy Jones and I think Silence of the Bones is such an underrated gem. Quite a few of these are on my TBR so I’m even more excited to read them now 😃 I hope you have an amazing reading year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved seeing all your favourites. I almost picked up Mrs England this year but I didn’t in the end. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it though. My library now has it, so I’ll have to check it out. The Silence of the Bones also sounds like a great read. Hope you find lots of favourites in 2022 as well. 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the Man who died Twice too and think it is better than his first one. The Six of Crows is just brilliant too. I couldn’t get on with Mrs England though. I’m not sure why but I find her writing style quite difficult to get into.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Daisy Jones and the six is a book I’m hoping to reread this year! It’s been a while since I’ve read it and it was such a good book that a reread is due
    I am also hoping to get to SoC this year so hopefully I’ll be able to do that 🤞
    The rest of these books are on my TBR and I can’t wait to read them soon

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely list! I’m so happy you enjoyed Daisy Jones, it’s one of my favorite books of all times. I almost got a copy of Lies Like Wildfire the other day, I was SO intrigued, so seeing it on your list makes me want to pick it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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