2021 Book Recap: The Books I Read This Past Year

Happy New Year! Hello, 2022. Goodbye, 2021.

Per my normal tradition, I like to share a recap of all the books I read over the year. In 2021, I read 52 books and as always, I try to span a diversity of authors in background, gender, genre, and identity.

I’ll share my Top 5 Fiction and Top 5 Non-Fiction (with a bonus Top 3 Poetry collections). Below that, you can see a list of all the books I read each month.

Since I worked heavily on the dialogue in my novel this year, I wanted to re-read a bunch of my favorite Hemingway books and I kicked the year off and ended 2021 with two of my faves…

Top 5 Fiction:

Normal People – Sally Rooney

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

Agua Viva – Clarice Lispector

Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

Top 5 Non-Fiction

Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography – Enid Starkie

The Bitcoin Standard – Saifedean Ammous

The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative – Thomas King

Bhagavad Gita: Books 1-6 – Baba Hari Dass

The Dream and the Underworld — James Hillman

Poetry Shoutout

Post Colonial Love Poem – Natalie Diaz

To Bless the Space Between Us – John O’ Donohue

Night Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong


The 52 Books I Read This Year:


Jan 2021

The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway

Wilding – Isabella Tree

The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett

The ABCs of Socialism – Jacobin

Agua Viva – Clarice Lispector

Feb 2021

The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories – Ernest Hemingway

The Spirit Level – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

March 2021

Mama Day – Gloria Naylor

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John C. Bogle

The Bitcoin Standard – Saifedean Ammous

April 2021

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative – Thomas King

May 2021

The (Mis)behavior of Markets – Benoit Mandlebrot

Women Who Run With the Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Vegetarian – Han Kang

The Obesity Code – Jason Fung

Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel

June 2021

The Ascent of Money – Niall Ferguson

The Leftovers – Tom Perrota

Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography – Enid Starkie

July 2021

Illuminations – Arthur Rimbaud

The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

Nighty Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong

Sacred Economics – Charles Eisenstein

August 2021

Six Memos for the Next Millennium – Italo Calvino

The Mastery of Love – Don Miguel Ruiz

Queen City – Karl Christian Krumpholz

Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

Sept 2021

Gold, Fame, Citrus – Claire Vaye Watkins

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

Who Not How – Dan Sullivan

Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Books 1-6 – Baba Hari Dass

All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders

Oct 2021

Normal People – Sally Rooney

The Art of Time in Fiction – Joan Silber

The Dream and the Underworld – James Hillman

The Widower’s Notebook – Jonathon Santlofer

The Art of Subtext in Fiction – Charles Baxter

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

Nov 2021

Pan and the Nightmare – James Hillman

Pretty Monsters – Kelly Link

The Ethical Slut – Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton

How To Walk – Thich Nhat Hanh

Algorithms to Live By – Brian Christians and Tom Griffiths

His Life and His Path: Rumi — Osman Behcet

The City We Became – N.K. Jemisin

Dec 2021

Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney

Postcolonial Love Poem – Natalie Diaz

Attached – Amir Levine MD and Rachel SF Heller

Save The Cat – Blake Snyder

To Bless the Space Between Us – John O’ Donohue

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway


Onward to 2022…

Kicking the year off with “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling” by James Hillman and “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders. See you in a year!

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