Books I Read In 2021 (and my fave five)

On occasion, people will ask me for book recommendations & while I’m willing to oblige, it’s not without slight reservation. To me, books fall into the same categories as food & music. What I like, piques my interest, or resonates within me can be vastly different than what another would find deeply satisfying & fulfilling. It’s also no different than when someone has avidly recommended a book to me, which I read only to be left wondering what was so great about that? It’s neither right or wrong & just symbolizes our differences.

This can occur within ourselves, as well. Sometimes while rereading a book I once considered life changing & profound, I’m left wanting more & missing the sense of awe & wonder, like I first experienced. Similar to trying to recreate a memory in that it simply doesn’t hold the same wonder-filled significance. Conversely, there are books that didn’t impact me so much whilst reading them, but months & sometimes years later, I find myself surprised at how often I revisit it in my thoughts.

  1. Open House, Katie Sise
  2. Like Brothers, Mark Duplass & Jay Duplass
  3. Antiracist Baby, Ibram X Kindi
  4. The Last of the Moon Girls, Barbara Davis
  5. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
  6. Hadley & Grace, Suzanne Redfearn
  7. A Widow’s Story: A Memoir, Joyce Carol Oates
  8. Love’s Executioner, Irvin Yalom
  9. Hallelujah Anyway, Anne Lamott
  10. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deesha Philyaw
  11. After Alice Fell, Kim Taylor Blakemore
  12. Best Friends Forever, Jennifer Weiner
  13. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, Emily Nagoski, PhD & Amelia Nagoski, DMA
  14. The State of Affairs, Esther Perel
  15. Shrill, Lindy West
  16. Inheritance, Dani Shapiro
  17. What Happened To You? Conversations On Trauma, Resilience, & Healing, Bruce Perry, MD, PhD & Oprah Winfrey
  18. Tears of Amber, Sofia Segovia
  19. Last Couple Standing, Matthew Norman
  20. The Problem of Alzheimer’s, Jason Karlawish, MD
  21. Mating In Captivity, Esther Perel
  22. The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
  23. Stories To Tell, Richard Marx
  24. Mercy, Jodi Picoult
  25. Fire Shut Up In My Bones, Charles M. Blow
  26. The Housekeeper, Natalie Barelli
  27. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  28. Plenty: A Memoir of Food & Family, Hannah Howard
  29. The Weight of Ink, Rachel Kadish
  30. Beneath Devil’s Bridge, Loreth Anne White
  31. Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho
  32. Night Road, Kristin Hannah
  33. The Seven Day Switch, Kelly Harms
  34. Apples Never Fall, Liane Moriarty
  35. Unbound, Tarana Burke
  36. Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle
  37. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  38. The Menopause Manifesto, Dr. Jen Gunter
  39. The Four Seasons of Marriage, Gary Chapman
  40. The Storyteller: Tales of Life & Music, Dave Grohl
  41. The Dutch House, Ann Patchett
  42. Somebody’s Daughter, Ashley C. Ford
  43. No Cure For Being Human: And Other Truths I Need To Hear, Kate Bowler
  44. A Familiar Sight, Brianna Labuskes

My favorite five: (In no order of favorites, but read chronologically)

Fiction: “The timing of of the thing had to be just so in order for me to become the person I am. Delay the act by an hour & you change the gene selection.”

Collection of short stories: “How do you make love to a physicist? With your whole self, quivering, lush, unafraid.”

Nonfiction: “Even if you’ve accumulated a house full of nice things & the picture of your life fits in a beautiful frame, if you’ve experienced trauma, but haven’t excavated it, the wounded parts of you will affect everything you’ve managed to build.”

Memoir: “That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people & they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.”

Memoir: “Everybody pretends that you only die once, but that’s not true. You can die to a thousand possible futures in the course of a single, stupid life.”

“It takes great courage to live. Period. There are fears and disappointments and failures every day and, in the end, the hero dies. It must be cinematic to watch us from above.”
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