Book Corner

Best/Least Liked Books of 2021

Did you make your reading goal for 2021? I did. I read 55 books and plan on reading another 55 books this year. (You can follow me on Goodreads here). I can handle one book per week, right? (I usually read a lot more on vacations so that’s why my goal is 55 books, not 52).

Below is a list of my five-star books for this year. Out of 55 books, I ranked 20 of them five stars. I don’t rank books five stars very often but when I do, it’s because:

  1. The story was excellent
  2. The story pulled some sort of emotion out of me
  3. It left a lasting impression

Most of the books I read were four-star books, which is good, and I still recommend them if you want to check out my list, but for whatever reasons, they weren’t “worthy”, at least in my opinion, of five stars.

Obviously, you’re free to think whatever you like.

I also included my three-star, or lower books, as well. Actually, I don’t think I ranked anything lower than three stars this year. These books were okay – I didn’t hate them but I certainly didn’t love them, either.

Here is a list of my five-star books first:

I discovered Andrew Mayne this year. And as you can see from the list, I rated quite a few of his books five stars. I enjoy his humor and his non-stop action without sacrificing character development. Could he develop his characters more deeply? Yes. But then that would take away from the made-dash around the plotline that I’ve come to appreciate from him and I I quite enjoy his writing style. I also really love how he puts his characters in seemingly impossible situations and then finds creative ways to get them out of said impossible situation. A great example of that is Orbital and Station Breaker. It almost makes you dizzy how crazy fast the plot goes in those books but they are highly entertaining and a few parts actually made me laugh out loud – recommend.

I’ve also read quite a few Loreth Anne White and I don’t recall not liking any of her books so far. Her mysteries are quite compelling and she keeps me guessing until the end, and sometimes beyond.

LOVE Colleen Hoover. Her books pull a lot of emotion out of me and I’m often squinting to read through the tears in my eyes. She has a talent for really making readers care about her characters, also recommend.

Mary Stone is also another author that consistently churns out really solid mysteries and I enjoy her work a lot, too.

Mariana Zapata – *sigh* – her work makes me swoon. She is probably one of my all-time favorite authors. Her slow burn romance, and her ability to insert real-life situations, are deeply satisfying and she spends a lot of time showing readers who her characters are so that by the end of her stories, you can’t help but be deeply invested in what happens to them. I still think of “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” to this day. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Here is a list of my three-star books:

None of these books were bad, they just weren’t my cup of tea. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them, but reading them wouldn’t be a waste of your time, either.

I don’t know if you ever watch BookTubers on YouTube, but I really dig Chandler Ainsley’s channel. She is sharp and articulate in her book reviews and I like the quickness that she covers each story. I would really like to try something similar. So here is what I’m going to try this year:

I’ve started a reading journal. And in this reading journal, I’m jotting down thoughts about books I’m reading – impressions, character notes, story points, etc. and I am going film myself talking about these various books throughout the month, piece them together and post a video at the end of the month of my impressions of these stories. I’m going to keep it super chill, meaning, you’ll see me dressed up, dressed down, in my car, on my couch, in my office, wherever the mood strikes because it’s about the amazing stories that I read, not whether I look good or am wearing lipstick.

Anyway. I thought it would be fun to record my thoughts thinking it would make it easier for me to remember the books at the end of the month and choose my favorite book each month because my goal is to pick my favorite book for 2022.

Have a comment? Join me at my Goodreads Dear Reader Group. I would love to hear your thoughts!