Hi! Charlie here.
So I tried to read a lot this year. I realized at some point that I’ve been adding books to my wishlist but not buying them and if I’m not buying them I’m not reading them so what’s the point of spending the time adding them to me list?
So, in order…
The Books I read in 2021
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
So I read this book years ago but I wanted to read it again this year. I’m thinking of making it a yearly tradition. I love this book. It’s probably the most entertaining read ever. This re-read I did was an audiobook and it was great to listen to.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Dude. I started this maybe 2 or 3 years earlier on a plane ride but it was such a bummer. I set it aside but picked it up again this year. I kind of wished I had restarted it but I did finish it and wow what a journey. I think I’d like to read it again but make sure I try to finish it pretty quick.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This is the book to read if you want to take on the dark academia vibe. It seems a bit divisive and I can totally get why people wouldn’t like it. I liked it myself and I wouldn’t mind reading it again some day but I’m not in a hurry. I have a problem with books that hit slow patches and for me this got really slow and drawn out somewhere in the second half.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book wasn’t bad. It wasn’t nearly as sad as I thought it would be. You’d think kids with cancer would do it for me but it didn’t? I listened to it as an audiobook and it was pretty nicely read. I don’t think it really left a lasting impression on me but I recall enjoying the story well enough. I don’t think I’d read it again.
Security by Gina Wohlsdorf
This was another audiobook for me. It was a thriller, I loved it! I’m surprised I liked it so much. The pacing was really good. It got a little gory. There is an element of the story that unfolds overtime that was pretty awesome. I’d like a physical copy to read it again.
Let’s Pretend this Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
This was a really fun read! Fast paced. Super whacky. Very nice to pick up just whenever because the chapters are bite sized and they’re just little stories. I can totally see how people find her annoying but she reminds me of me and I annoy me. I was rolling my eyes and cringing. But in a very understanding “me too, man, me too” way.
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
This was another audiobook. This old timey-wimey style of writing is really hard for me to follow and digest and this book was no exception. So eh… I can’t say too much about it.
Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye
OK so this was another audio book and I feel bad but I can’t remember any of it. I’m sure it was delightful though. Because… Bill Bye the science guy!
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
So I tried breaking into Murakami’s books a few years ago with 1Q84 but I had to give up on it. It was interesting but painfully slow. This book was also slow. Not much happened. It got very dull in some parts. I’ll admit I skipped several pages of a story that a character told. A story so long she had to tell it in 2 parts. I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t love it. It was kind of interesting. I had a hard time understanding the main character. There seemed to be a disconnect between what he thinking and what he was saying. Meh.
Far Beyond the Stars by Hans Beimler, Steven Barnes
This was such a fantastic read! It had great pacing, wasn’t too long. Was the perfect length. I don’t know how to talk about it without spoiling anything but if you like scifi you should check it out. I might want to read it again sometime in the far future.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This was another fantastic read! I read it so quickly. And it was the first time I annotated a book. I wish I had learned to take notes on a book sooner, it’s a total game changer. I very often forget who characters are and what has happened since I last read and it’s just really hard ok. Anyway, this book was pretty fun to read. It was unique and interesting and maybe I’d read it again.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
omg. This book was so good but it was so sad. It’s about a family after their daughter mysteriously died. And for me it wasn’t sad because of the daughter’s death (though that didn’t help at all) it was mostly about the family dynamic afterwards. I don’t really want to get into it here, it’s probably best brought up with a therapist. But yeah, fantastic book. Great writing. Amazing similies. I think my only complaint about this book was the perspective/head jumping. I’d like to read it again but it sure got me in a funk for a few days after I finished.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Another audiobook. This was an interesting one! But very strange. I’d love to get a physical copy of it and give it another go.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
omg. Again. This book was even sadder than Everything I Never Told You. I had to put the book down a few times just so I could cry. I’M NOT A CRIER. It takes a lot to make me cry. I may joke a sometimes that “omg I cried/almost cried” but no seriously I CRIED. LIKE UGLY CRIED. There was actual sobbing. It took me a couple days to shake this book off me. I can’t wait to read it again.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
I managed to squeeze one last book in for the year! 2.5/5 stars. It was entertaining and different and a breath of fresh air after all the other books I read.
So that’s it! I have tons of books laying around that I need to read next year. I might try to squeeze one more in this year but I don’t think it’ll happen (edit: it did!). Let me know some of your favorite reads from this year in the comments!