Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2021

“The room was a shabby one to collect the intellectual brilliance of England.”

First line A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan

It’s finally time to share my favorite books of 2021! I’m doing it through Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and as per usual with my favorite books of the year list, it is ordered. I really like to have a definite top ten to look back on, and while I love all of these books, I definitely don’t love them the same amount, so it makes sense for me to put them in order. And it actually wasn’t that hard this year. I haven’t had that many 5-star reads this year, so there are actually a couple on this list that I didn’t rate a full 5 stars. But anyway, before I get started, I’ll say that if I’ve read multiple books within a series, only my favorite gets a spot on the list to avoid me repeating myself (one author is on here twice though, and that’s allowed). Here they are!


10
The Archive of the Forgotten by A. J. Hackwith

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A splendid continuation of The Library of the Unwritten that explored new worlds and areas of magic. The character relationships, however, were my favorite part of this book. They provided some lovely character development that was rooted in complex emotions, and it only made me love the characters more.

9
Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker

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Words cannot describe the pain I felt while reading this book. It was brutal in a way I couldn’t possibly have foreseen and I loved every second of it. Barker just writes the kind of characters you’d die for in an instant and they are ones that are going to stay with me for sure. Add some mind-blowing plot twists and this book secured itself a spot on my top ten of the year.

8
A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan

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The third book in this fascinating quartet ended up being my favorite. It was political but not as dry as its predecessor, and even included something as cool as faerie science. Brennan also has the ability to make me love all the new characters she keeps introducing, so it didn’t really matter that old characters were missing in this installment. It’s an underrated series that I’m going to keep shouting about.

7
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

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Say hello to the first ever non-fiction book in my top ten of the year. It’s a book that did a lot for me personally as it helped me understand myself better, but it’s also just a book that anyone should read. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the introvert/extrovert-spectrum because it just helps everyone understand each other better.

6
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

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I love a book that is just one long “WTF”-moment, and that is the best way I can describe Piranesi. The mystery kept me hooked all the way through, and it added a lot of my favorite literary tools as well, although I can’t tell you about those because this book is so easy to spoil.

5
The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

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I was a bit skeptical after the first book in this trilogy but The Mad Ship completely turned it around for me. The plot was given more direction and the characters made me feel all of the emotions very strongly. Things were almost thrown across the room when I read this and that just proves how amazing the writing is.

4
Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

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Okay, so this final book about Simon Snow is pure fan-service, but I’m a fan and I like to be serviced so I have absolutely no complaints about that. It’s still fantasy with a contemporary vibe because Rowell is so amazing at writing interactions between her characters. Most of this book is just people talking, but I was reading it while holding my breath for most of it and generally being unaware of my surroundings.

3
The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty

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This second book in the Daevabad trilogy is just perfection. The perfect mix of political intrigue and what is probably the best character development I’ve read this year. I had my favorite characters of course, but everyone had a lot of depth to them so I couldn’t help but be invested. And the book also included a lot of suffering which is a great way to make me love it.

2
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

The book that started my obsession with Robin Hobb and I can’t believe I ever considered not reading it. It’s political and emotional in just the right ways as we follow a struggling boy trying to find his place in the world. It’s beautiful and heartwrenching, and I wasn’t bored for one second of it.

1
The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

As much as I loved The Binding by Collins, this is still quite unexpected. I didn’t know what this book was before I started but its mystery and complex morally gray characters soon occupied every moment of my day. There was so much to analyze and figure out, and I just love a book that allows its reader to think for themselves. I’ve seen few examples of that as good as The Betrayals.

Those were the best books I read in 2021! I might not have loved very many books this year but a lot of these are still some of the best books I’ve ever read and I’m so grateful for finding them. If you’ve read any of these or plan to, I’d love to discuss them in the comments! What has been your favorite book of the year?

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2021

  1. I was pretty sure I knew what your favorite book of the year would be, but seeing The Betrayals all the way up there still made me so happy! πŸ₯° And that goes for the rest of your top three as well πŸ˜‰

    Also, seeing A Star Shall Fall ranked so highly really makes me feel bad about neglecting the Onyx Court after hating Deeds of Men… I guess I’ll just have to ignore that that boring mess of a novella exists and remember how great Midnight Never Come was, because if A Star Shall Fall is even better, I just know I’m going to love it! 😊

    Also, despite me not being overly blown away by Piranesi, ‘a long “WTF”-moment’ has got to me the most accurate reading experience description I’ve ever heard 🀣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to say that I’m quite excited to see if our number one is the same because I feel like you’ve loved so many books this year that I’m actually not sure anymore πŸ˜… But I’m glad you agree with my top three! I mean, you did put the Kingdom of Copper there yourself so I figured you would πŸ˜‰

      And yes, Deeds of Men was kind of a low point for that series so I think we should just agree that it doesn’t exist. A Star Shall Fall is just soooo good and really shouldn’t be in the same series as Deeds of Men or In Ashes Lie for that matter. It did hurt me a little, though, not to put Midnight Never Come on here because that really was great as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ll just have to wait and see πŸ˜‰ Though you’re not wrong about me having loved extravagantly many books this year… In fact, it’s making creating my own list an absolute pain; I finally had it narrowed down to ten, and now I’m reading Spinning Silver and loving it so much that I feel like keeping the list at ten books is impossible πŸ˜… Still, I suppose that’s a good problem to have and that I should thank you for being responsible for quite a big part of it! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It makes me very happy to hear that you’re loving Spinning Silver! Maybe that needs to be my next read. But I understand your struggle. I’m reading Ship of Destiny now but I also deliberately started that at a time when I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it this year, just so I wouldn’t have to choose between that and The Mad Ship πŸ˜… However, I have had my trouble narrowing down my list of disappointments 😬

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, read Spinning Silver next!! πŸ€—πŸ₯°πŸ€— I stayed up until 1 a.m. last night to finish it, and I’m absolutely, positively in love with it 😍 I don’t see how there is any possible way you wouldn’t love it when you loved the Winternight trilogy, so you really should just get it over with and go read it 😁
        And lol, I left starting Ship of Magic to today with that exact same reasoning, so I really hope those hundreds of pages will, in fact, keep me occupied until January πŸ˜‚ I’m very much looking forward to your worst books, though!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Quiet was so good at making the difference between introvert and extrovert clear. I always want extroverted people to read it…maybe especially hairdressers. 🀣 Please cut my hair in silence, it’s fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t hate Wayward Son, but I definitely think Any Way the Wind Blows will work better for people who liked Carry On. So I hope you like it if you get around to it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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