My Favorite Books of 2021

This year marked a return to my normal reading style after a major shift during the pandemic. I dove back into my serious, heart wrenching, deeply emotional stories that I love. There were so many good books this year! Here are my favorites.

The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

Charles Martin books always make me cry, but this one took it to a new level. I sobbed my way through the ending of this one as it earned its way onto my list of books everyone should read. It’s main character became one of my favorite fictional characters ever. This book touches so many emotions and dives into a topic everyone should be aware of—human trafficking. Don’t let the tears stop you, though—while it’s deeply emotional, it’s also full of hope.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

This falls under the “truth is stranger than fiction” category. I first heard about the Osage murders on my favorite podcast, American Shadows. I was drawn to the story because it all happened not too far from where we live. This is sad and fascinating. It’s being made into a movie coming out later this year, so read the book first.

Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee

Set during the Great Depression, this book touches on a program I knew nothing about—the WPA Federal Writers Project. When Rena accepts a job interviewing a former slave, the women form a bond, and Rena is forced to face painful truths about her family.

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson

Two of my favorite things combine for this book: mystery and Regency. This was the first Abigail Wilson book I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be my last. I plan on reading all of her books in 2022.

Unoffendable by Brant Hansen

I don’t often refer to a book as life changing, but this book is definitely one that fits. It’s challenging and sometimes painful because it hits home so much. If you’re worn out from a world where everyone is offended by everything, this is a must read.

Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham

A mystery that revolves around a bookstore—it’s the perfect setup. This split time novel is part of the Doors to the Past series from Barbour. I loved it!

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

Anything Jaime Jo Wright does is likely going to end up on my favorites list. I love her books so much! Her split time mysteries that have the perfect “ghost story” feels, minus any actual ghosts. If you love a good mystery with a Gothic feel, you have to read this one!

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

Last year I took a chance on a debut author and signed up for her launch team, and I’m so glad I did! Amanda Cox jumped onto my list of must read authors with her debut novel, and she sealed the deal wither second book. This beautiful story of three generations of women deals with so many difficult topics with grace and hope.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

This middle grade book was such a unique WWII story. The sequel is also a fantastic book. Just a note—don’t let the “middle grade” label fool you. These were recommended to me by an adult patient, and I’ve recommended them to many others. They are well worth your time.

When We Were Young and Brave by Hazel Gaynor

I normally recommend Christian fiction, so let me give a disclaimer: this is not CF and there is some minor language. However, this incredibly well written novel tells a WWII story I’d never even heard of and it’s well worth reading.

The Lady Darby Mysteries by Anna Lee Huber

Don’t ask me to pick a favorite. They’re all amazing. I’ve binged almost the entire series since September. These historical mysteries are made even better by the audiobook narrator. She nails the accents and adds so much to the stories. Again, these are not CF, but they are clean.

What were your favorite books this year?


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