Books I read in 2021: My Favorites.


I read a lot of books this year. Thankfully, I liked all the books I read with varying degrees obviously, but I liked them enough to finish them. I finished all my reading goals for the year, which is amazing. I read a lot of short stories too, but I won’t be adding them to this list; they will get their own list. Picking my favorite books was a lot harder this year; there were no misses as such nevertheless, here are my favorite books of 2021.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a sci-fi anti-war novel. It took a while to get into the story but slowly everything start making sense and then I wanted to keep reading it. The style of writing and the characters is something based on real experiences in World War II; there is an authenticity to it and it pulls you into this world. I am not sure if I’ll read it again anytime soon, it is pretty heavy, but I loved it.

I picked up Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte as a romance novel mainly, but it is not just a love story. This gothic story is dark and twisted with pretty unlikeable characters. Yet it keeps you hooked to the story. The way it is written, especially the descriptions make it easier to visualize everything while reading. Everything in the story has a purpose, no matter how twisted. I really enjoyed reading it.

The first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I was a teen. I liked the novel then too, but re-reading it now made me realize how much I didn’t understand back then. The story, the characters, and the social issues are dealt with a certain delicate touch yet it puts across a strong message. It is a must-read.

After reading A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, I was eager to read another play. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is very different, but it is engaging and beautifully written. It touches on so many issues without ever becoming preachy. It sets a strong pace and tone right from the start. I finished it over a weekend because I wanted to know how things turn out. It is an amazing play to read.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway is set during World War I. The story is pretty straightforward and almost character-driven. The writing style of Hemingway is simple and engaging with complicated characters. It incorporates the setting so well into its narrative that, for me, it’s one of the winning points of this novel. I love this book.

I enjoy reading romance novels, and this one ticked most of the boxes. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning is a simple love story with complicated and realistic characters. It’s the characters that made me like this book so much. Two people who have their share of insecurities and flaws find a way to be together. It is as simple as that but written beautifully.

I started exploring NetGalley early this year, and A New York Secret by Ella Carey is the first book I received for a review. I am fond of reading historical fiction so, this one stood out for me from the start. Set during World War II, it tells Lily’s story and her struggle to keep going on despite challenging circumstances. The character arcs and the story come to a full circle in an emotional and engrossing way. I loved reading this novel.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens had been on my reading list for years. I am so happy that I finally read it. This story is fascinating. The favorite part for me, was the trips to the past, present, and future for Scrooge. It focuses on the impact of choices made which is a very universal thing. Since it’s a novella, it is much more manageable to read, even if it is heavy language-wise. I enjoyed reading this one.

I was surprised after reading What Might Have Been by Holly Miller. Honestly, I expected a simple romantic comedy type of a novel, but it is deeper and more layered than that. I think we all ponder the what-ifs when it comes to our decisions; it is something that intrigued me about the story. The two timelines running parallel to each other are executed perfectly. It is beautifully written, has great characters, and is unexpectedly emotional. It is one of my favorite romance novels.

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Author: Aarti Athavle

Daydreamer - Writer - Bibliophile

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