My Favorite Books of 2021 – Part 2!

Hello and welcome to part 2 of my favorite books of 2021 blog post! I split this into two parts because there are about 25 books on the list. The first part went up on Sunday. You can read it here: Favorite Books of 2021 – Part 1.

Since I don’t like to keep things hanging, here we go with part 2. There are 11 books in here, and some of these are just *chef’s kiss*. If you haven’t read them already, I’d highly recommend you do because they’re some of the most amazing books I’ve read in 2021 as well as of all time! Let’s go!

The video for this went up on my YouTube channel last Saturday. If you’d like to go check it out, here’s the link: Favorite Books of 2021.

11. Quiet by Susan Cain

Susan Cain’s nonfiction Quiet, talks about the power of introverts in a world that considers us to be drab just because we prefer quiet. She gives examples about how the world needs to see the stuff introverts are made of, the advantages of working with introverts, and how introverts and extroverts and ambiverts can work together to make the world a better place. It’s powerful as heck and throughout, made me feel so seen and validated that I could feel her words settling down within me, like an anchor to myself and my reality. And for that, thank you, Susan Cain!

12. Loveless by Alice Oseman

Alice Oseman’s stories have a resonating quality that very few authors have been able to do so far. You tend to find yourself in them, even though there’s not much in common with you and the main character. That’s what happened with me and Georgia from Loveless. Georgia is trying to figure out her sexuality as she goes off to college, but the way she finds herself and the importance of friendships in life is something touched a chord somewhere within me. It is just so raw, so angsty, so evocative, so beautiful – all this, despite have a bit of a draggy narrative. Platonic love wins out. And HOW!

13. The Last Nomad by Shugri Said Salh

This is Shugri Said Salh’s memoir about being the last nomad of her Somalian family. She talks about her early life, her relationship with the desert, where she lived a nomadic life with her ayeeyo (grandmother), her equation with her parents and siblings and with the people around her, how she saw the world and how the world saw her, the rules that the nomadic society lives by, her move to a city and how she dealt with city life, her watching nomadic clans warring around her, her life in a politically turbulent country, and her eventual flight from it as civil war erupted; everything is detailed in here in a way that will pull you in and transport you into a world that you probably didn’t hear of because of other political events (America bombing Iraq) happening during the same time.

The author tells us all of this without sugarcoating anything and that’s what makes this memoir such a raw, great one.

14. Manto: Selected Short Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto, translated into English by Aatish Taseer

Here’s what I posted on Instagram for this book:

Manto’s stories – be it Toba Tek Singh or Khol Do or The Dog of Tithwal – will shatter something within you. He will shake and nudge your world and tell you things about yourself, things that you begin to look back on and ponder upon and reevaluate. His stories may not change the world, but they will change you and how you see yourself. The topics he handles in his stories are so simple yet those that nobody but Manto could observe! He looks in places you wouldn’t think to look and pulls out spool upon spool of words and feelings and truths that will wrap around you in the form of the sometimes-warm, sometimes-cold truth. He moulds life into a tangible thing you can hold in your hands and look at it from all ends.

And then when you least expect it, much like life itself, he will gently let the intensity of what he is talking about flow over your mind. Like a waterfall, which as the river flows, could be calm and serene, but when tipped over the edge, crashes and crashes with ferocity.

15. The Stationery Shop of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

This book was a Bookbound Club pick in 2021 and we had an amazing, amazing discussion about the book, the plot, and the characters. Do go watch it if possible? 😀

This is the story of Roya and Bahman, who have their own personal relationships with a stationery shop in 1953 Tehran. They meet there and fall in love, but are soon ripped apart among the political and familial turmoil. Decades later, Roya gets the chance to meet Bahman and find out why he left. What truth is going to be unearthed? This forms the story that is such a raw, painful account of love and loss and playing God over others’ lives. It will wrench your heart and make you feel every nerve inside of you.

16. Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

TJ Klune brings humanity, kindness, sympathy, and most importantly, empathy to the characters, and as a result, to the human experience as a whole. He lets his words settle down deep in your heart, as if embracing you. Under the Whispering Door is the story of Wallace Price, who is a condescending a-hole. But he suddenly dies one day and is told that he has 7 days to put his affairs in order before he’s going to be taken away. Now, he has to weigh everything that came before him and everything he came from, in order to realize things about life that will make death bearable, if not good. This book is a good, healthy, warm, empathetic reminder of what life is and what death must be seen as. An out-of-body experience in itself!

17. The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Another heartwarming book about how books can have a deep impact on one’s life! Mukesh is an old widower who, in order to connect with his granddaughter, begins to start reading after he finds a reading list. Aleisha is a teenager working a summer job at the library and finds this same reading list. She decides to take up the list and read through the books, forming an unlikely book club with Mukesh. How these two deal with their feelings, grief, and troubles forms this entire story. This book is a stark example of how different people see the same book in different ways. It’s such a beautiful story of community and human connection that settles down in your heart and warms you from within. I now want to go and read everything in that reading list!

18. Atomic Habits by James Clear

James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a nonfiction book in which he talks about how making small changes to your habits can show big changes in your life. To be honest, it talks about things that many of us already know. But sometimes all we need is someone to remind us of what we already know. Which is why I felt this book to be really, really important, and it had such an impact on my way of thinking: because it reinforced what was already subconsciously there. For those of you looking for a book to help you make those changes, let this be the one that you pick!

19. Remnants of a Separation by Aanchal Malhotra

Aanchal Malhotra’s nonfiction book, Remnants of a Separation, is an account of the Partition of India told through tangible things refugees carried with them as they fled the homes they knew to places across the border. She shows how material objects can trigger memory, and in this case, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking ones that have the power to make you examine your own past and go find answers in your own life. It’s a raw, powerful account of the Partition that needs to be made required reading across the country and the world.

20. Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translated into English by Geoffrey Trousselot

This book is set in a little café where you can go back in time, but with certain caveats. You can travel back while sitting in just the one seat. Your time will start when the cup is filled. If you don’t finish the coffee before it gets cold, there will be consequences. And you can’t meet anyone who hasn’t visited the café before. All valid caveats, in my opinion, and what a fantabulous book this was! Combine it with the audiobook narrated by Arina Ii, and it makes for an even better experience. There’s something in it for everyone, be it for a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lover, a husband, a wife – you’ve got some emotion that everyone feels at every time. LOVE!

21. The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Clare Pooley’s The Authenticity Project is a story that tells you, through the stories of multiple characters, that being your true, authentic self, without bearing ill-will or playing God over others’ lives, is what life is all about. Acknowledging and accepting who you are, where you’ve come from, what you’ve done, and what has happened to you, is an important part of being authentic. It might not all be rosy, but even acknowledging it will go a long way in shaping your life to come. I know that there are different ways of staying true to yourself and this book tells you to that it’s okay to find your own path towards your own personal truth. Ah, what an experience!

So those were my favorite books of 2021. Which of these have you read? Which ones do you want to read? Which ones did you add to your TBRs or wishlists? Which books were your favorites of 2021? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Also, if you’d like to watch a video of me talking about my favorite 2021 books, here’s the link: Favorite Books of 2021. And if you’d like to keep up with more of my video content, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.

I’ll be back soon with a new blog post.

Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 🙂

5 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of 2021 – Part 2!

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