The 20 Books I Read in 2021

The 20 Books I Read in 2021

I made it a priority to start reading more towards the end of 2018, and I’ve kept to it! I do the vast majority of my reading in bed because I find that it really has helped me to fall asleep. Something about making my eyes tired, and getting lost in other people’s worlds really does the trick! Some nights I’m so knocked out that I can barely finish a chapter, other nights I’m reading several chapters. I also find that if I wake up in the middle of the night unable to fall asleep, rather than tossing and turning, I’ll start reading and it often helps.

I used to be one of those people that thought they had to have the weight of a book in their hands to enjoy reading, but that’s definitely no longer the case. I had to make the switch because my husband had to wake up really early for work, so I didn’t want to bother him with the light, but I’ve stuck to reading with an iPad (in dark mode!) since and I actually prefer it now. 

I get all my books from It’s a site that offers flash sales on a whole bunch of books, so I think the most I spent this year was $2.99/book which is a fantastic deal. If you sign up, you get daily email lists, and you can also visit their site for even more. There’s only been a small handful of books that I purchased that I didn’t love, and they offer a bunch of best-selling books too. I highly recommend it if you’d like to get into reading more!

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Thriller

This book has a pretty heavy premise: an accidental death of a teenager. The book bounces between past and present, as the main characters are dealing with the guilt of what happened. This was the book I first read back in January, and I still recall a lot of the details because it was so well done. It’s definitely a page-turner with a really standout ending.

Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

My Rating: 3 Stars | Category: Historical Fiction

This book is set in 1800’s Maine, where a woman is deemed a witch by the townspeople. There are some eerie things that happen in the book, and it does end up having a pretty good ending, but I had trouble getting into it. I did stick it out and finished it, so it wasn’t terrible, but not my favorite.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

My Rating: 4 Stars | Category: Fiction

This one is a pretty well-known story of a doctor whose wife gives birth to twins, one with Down’s Syndrome. He decides to send this twin away, telling his wife that she has died. His nurse ends up raising her, and the doctor has to live the rest of his life dealing with the guilt of his decision. It’s both heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time.

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Thriller

Oh, this one’s a good one! Basically, a new woman moves to town with her son, and the main character knows immediately not to trust her. She ends up getting blackmailed and this whole sordid relationship forms between them. It’s diabolical in all the right ways and the ending really blew me away!

The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison

My Rating: 3 Stars | Category: Thriller

If I’m being honest, I don’t really remember much about this book! I know that the husband is cheating, and the wife plans revenge, but that’s about all I got…

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Fiction

This is my second Jodi Picoult book, and it did not disappoint! This book focuses on racial issues and revolves around a nurse whose life turns upside down when an infant dies on her watch. It explores race, empathy, justice, privilege, the whole gamut. And I just saw that Julia Roberts and Viola Davis are going to star in the movie adaptation! 

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

My Rating: 3 Stars | Category: Mystery

Unfortunately, this is another one that I honestly don’t remember much about. There’s a hotel off some island, there’s a mysterious threatening message, and a ponzi scheme involved. 

Every Now and Then by Lesley Kagen

My Rating: 4 Stars | Category: Fiction

This one was a nice coming-of-age story about a group of friends during the summer. They got involved with a mental institution in town, and some of its patients, and uncover a pretty sinister crime occurring there. 

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

My Rating: 3 Stars | Category: Thriller

I really liked the premise of this one: a woman spending a summer working in a dilapidated mansion in Europe. Unfortunately, I had trouble following the storyline. There is another couple staying at the mansion, and she gets entangled in their life, but their relationship is really odd.

Into the Waters by Paula Hawkins

My Rating: 4 Stars | Category: Thriller

I snagged this one up when I saw it was the same author as The Girl on the Train. It wasn’t quite to that level, but I did enjoy it. The story revolves around a river in town where a lot of weird deaths have happened. There are definitely some good twists to keep you intrigued.

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Memoir

This one will stick with you, especially since it’s a true story. Ruth grew up in a polygamist Morman family in rural Mexico, with several siblings, many of them with severe ailments. She experiences more hardships, traumas, and loss of innocence in her young years than most of us will experience in a lifetime. 

There’s Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell

My Rating: 4 Stars | Category: Thriller

This is another one I grabbed because of the author, she also wrote A Simple Favor. It follows an overprotective mother who becomes very suspicious of her brother’s new girlfriend. Her daughter ends up being kidnapped and the main suspect in her mind is clearly this woman. I also liked that it was very fast-paced.

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Thriller

This book has one of my favorite endings! It’s basically a monster-in-law story with a twist. The main character is planning her wedding, but the mother-in-law continues to sabotage it, but she does it in such a way that no one can see it except the main character. Such a good one!

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Thriller

I started reading this book on a long day of air travel, which may or may not have added to the creepiness 😉. It follows a flight attendant who is faced with the choice of either saving the plane she is on, or her five-year-old daughter at home. This will definitely get your heart racing.

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Thriller

So, I’m not usually one to read spinoff books based on shows, but I decided to give this one a try. It’s based on what happened to Eleven’s mother back in the late ’60s. This really gave an added glimpse to how the Hawkins lab and Dr. Brenner got started and made you fall in love with characters, even when you knew their eventual demise. I really enjoyed it.

Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Thriller

This one has a very interesting way of telling the story of a basic “he-said, she-said”. This changes in part two, and with it, the entire story that you were just following. The main premise is that a woman’s marriage is falling apart, so she has a one-night stand, and then he becomes obsessed with her.

If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier

My Rating: 4 Stars | Category: Thriller

The main character is a super fan of a true-crime podcast, but then the host mysteriously goes missing, so she decides to do some of her own detective work to find out what happened. I liked it, but I had a hard time liking the main character.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

My Rating: 5 Stars | Category: Mystery

This one ended up being more of a mystery than I had originally thought it would be, which was a good thing! It follows the aftermath of an explosion of a hyperbaric chamber treatment center and who set the explosion. Multiple people are suspected and the author did a good job of not revealing the true culprit until the end.

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

My Rating: 4 Stars | Category: Mystery

A woman, whose father mysteriously died and sister went missing as a child, is now the main suspect in what appears to be a random double homicide. Her one-time best friend, now a reporter, tries to find the truth of what happened. Really good storyline and kept me intrigued!

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Scottoline

My Rating: 4 Stars | Category: Thriller

Well, I started the year with Lisa Scottoline, so I might as well finish it! This one has an interesting premise: A lawyer is asked to defend a client in a murder trial, but the defendant looks like she could be her twin. If you’re into a good courtroom drama, you’d like this one!

My Goals for 2022

I actually think 20 books in a year is a great number for me, especially because I usually only read at night, so I’ll likely keep that number. I currently have 5 books in my Apple library (each costing between $1.99-2.99 thanks to flash sale notifications!) that I haven’t started yet, so I’m excited to get rolling.

Do you set any reading goals? Let me know what your favorite book was this year!

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