My 2021 started with a lot of reading and ticking off a lot of books. This is probably because I spent four months in Sweden where I had a lot of time to read in the evenings and taking turns reading books with my mum.
After this period, my reading slowed down a bit and stayed pretty low for the rest of the year. I did however manage to read 24 books, including some really great ones that I will recommend to everyone asking.
Here they are in order and with my Goodreads ratings:
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – 5 stars. Loved it. Perfect first book of the year.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 4 stars. Entertaining, interesting, easy going.
- The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – 4 stars. Sweet, heart warming, tear jerking.
- Nattsångaren by Johanna Mo – 4 stars. I love reading books about areas I know really well, and this one is all about where my family live – Öland
- Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior – 3 stars. Cute and quirky.
- Märkta för livet by Emelie Schlepp – 3 stars. Intense and thrilling. Good Swedish Crime.
- My Sister, the Serial Killer – 4 stars. I am thinking about bumping this up to 5 stars, because I keep recommending it to people. Loved the language, the setting, the characters, and the way it described food.
- Husdjuret by Camilla Grebe – 3 stars. Pretty good story. Good characters.
- Skuggjägaren by Camilla Grebe – 3 stars. Similar to the one above, but the story was a bit better.
- Heartburn by Nora Ephron – 4 stars. It was one of the first books I read after returning to the UK in April last year, and I got it from my book bestie Steph. Such a cute, clever, and funny book with a bunch of good recipes.
- Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior – 3 stars. When I look back, 3 stars feels generous. It was cute, just like Away with the Penguins which was written by the same author, but the story wasn’t at all as good.
- And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman – 5 stars. Fredrik Backman is my favourite author, and of course this story made me sob like a baby. Beautiful, heart warming, brilliant, sad.
- Hamnet by Maggie O´farrell – 5 stars. Brilliant story. Beautifully written and I loved learning more about Shakespeare’s life.
- Skyddsängeln by Sofie Sarenbrant – 3 stars. Interesting thriller with good characters.
- Vila i Frid by Sofie Sarenbrant – 3 stars. Same characters but slightly better story.
- Andra Andningen by Sofie Sarenbrant – 3 stars. Sometimes I get into a crime story run, and all I do is listen to or read Swedish crime novels. At this time, I got into Sofie Sarenbrants books about Emma Sköld. Andra andningen was a pretty good read, too.
- The Union of Synchronised Swimmers by Cristina Sandu – 3 stars. Very interesting read. Very different from what I’ve read before, but not amazing.
- Ghosts by Dolly Alderton – 4 stars. Not quite as brilliant as her first book Everything I know About Love, but a great story with great characters. Funny, quirky and relatable.
- All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle – 4 stars. Wonderful characters and a heart warming story which made me cry on the tube. A great description of loneliness and how damaging it can be. And how easy it can be to help.
- The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman – 5 stars. Funny, clever, exciting. I loved the first one and was so excited to read this one too!
- Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Taylor – 4 stars. Lowkey, clever, mellow and amazing. I actually love this kind of books, and know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s probably because it’s how I often write – no action, just thoughts and words and observations.
- The Switch by Beth O´leary – 3 stars. Cute, funny, heart warming. Didn’t cut too deep and wasn’t too cliché. Just a little cliché.
- Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers – 4 stars. Interesting story with some great characters. The story pulled me along and I couldn’t wait to hear how it’d ended. And then, the ending disappointed.
- Benvittring by Johan Theorin – 4 stars. Again, I love reading books about places I know, and this book is also all about Öland. Exciting and well written thriller.
Top 3 books of 2021 must be Where the Crawdads Sing, Hamnet, and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, with The Man Who Died Twice just outside the podium.
Swedish crime books tend to generate a 3 star rating – good but not great, unless they are based around Öland which usually bumps them up to 4 stars. (I promise it’s not only because of the setting, I have enjoyed these books more, too.)
Which was your top 3 books of 2021?