What I’m Reading-2021 Wrap Up

A friend posted her reading list from the past year and it inspired me to do my own. Here are the books I finished (with one exception).  I’ve included notes. I may have forgotten a few and I ‘started’ many more, but this year I gave myself permission to move a book along if I’m not feeling it. Life is short, the library is huge.

The Moment of Lift – Melinda Gates
(Loved this. This woman is just coming into her own. Hide and watch…) 

Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
(An old book, eye-popping relevance now)

When Things Fall Apart – Pema Chodron
(A second read. I love this book)

The Body – Bill Bryson
(I listened to this and didn’t want it to end. I learned SO much)

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
(Really engaging. A new-to-me author)

What Now? – Ann Patchett
(I love her non-fiction as much as her novels. What now, indeed.)

The Overstory – Richard Powers
(A great story. This one will be a classic)

What It’s Like to Be a Bird – David Allen Sibley (Absolutely fascinating, one of my favorites)

Paradise in Plain Sight – Karen Maezen Miller (A third read of this. I love everything she writes)

Truth & Beauty – Ann Patchett 
( This was one of the best roadtrip books I listened to all year. This story is beautiful. Sad, but touching. Highly recommend)

Autobiography of a Face – Lucy Grealy 
(A heartbreakingly real story of a life. I wish I would have known her)

Greenlights – Matthew McConaughey 
(not a big fan, but I have to admit he is an engaging storyteller (albeit very full of himself). I listened to him narrate this and I liked it more than I want to admit)

Group – Christie Tate 
(Can’t remember how I heard about this, but it was a really good listen)

Welcoming the Unwelcome – Pema Chodron
(Sound ideas, but some part of me wasn’t ready to embrace all of this)

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
(Classic. That’s all. Toni Morrison’s work is just timeless)

The Feather Thief – Kirk Wallace Johnson
(This was given to me by a friend and I loved it)

Weather – Jenny Offill
( a unique refreshing voice. One of my favorites this year!)

A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
(Engaging storyteller and all of my hiking made this one even more special)

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer – Siddhartha Mukherjee 
( This took me four separate check-outs at the library but I finally finished. Absolutely fascinating if you have lots of time. Not sure I could have ‘read’ all of this, but listening was great. Loved it.)

Wintering – Katherine May *
(I tried this three times. Twice reading, once listening. Loved the beginning, but then it fell off a cliff for me. What am I missing here? If you’ve read it, please share …)

Short Cuts – Ray Carver
(I adore anything/everything by Ray Carver. Listened to this, as well. Brilliant) 

Last Chance Texaco – Rickie Lee Jones
(One of my favorite books of the year. Definitely listen to this. She’s a great storyteller, and well … I just love her.)

Normal People – Sally Rooney
(Came to me highly recommended. Saw the Netflix show and liked them both equally)

The Patron Saint of Liars – Ann Patchett
(An all-time favorite. A re-read and I’ll probably read it again this year)

Storycatcher – Christina Baldwin
(This is the quintessential book if you are considering memoir or some other form of telling your story. I also did an amazing workshop with Christina and now have some traction on my own book. Yes, my own book!)

Cathedral – Ray Carver
(Brilliant stuff)

Where I’m Calling From – Ray Carver
(My favorite collection of short stories)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love – Ray Carver
(Grab this book if you want to really get a sense of Raymond Carver. He is one of the masters of the short story)

Bewilderment -Richard Powers
(I grabbed this one without knowing what to expect and loved it! Surprising, touching and terrifying)

The Art of Dying Well – Katy Butler
(Amazing book chock-full of information that we can all use. This should be titled The Art of Living Well. Read this one!)

Dopesick – Beth Macy
( Dark stuff, tragic and infuriating. All about the global opioid crisis.There is a show by the same title about this too. Both are eye-opening)

Dusk, Night, Dawn – Anne Lamott
(Ann Lamott’s newest dive into life. Times are troubling, but there is always hope. Ann Lamott helped me not cringe when I heard the word Christian. She’s a uniquely powerful spirit)

Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
(A book on writing. And faith. And confidence. THIS writer’s, bible)

Wish You Were Here – Jodi Picoult
(Listening to this right now and I love it so far. It opens just as the world is shutting down from Covid …)

Deep Water Passage – Ann Linnea
( This is a spiritual journey and is my, by the bed, night time book. Stay tuned. Beautiful read so far)

6 Comments on “What I’m Reading-2021 Wrap Up

    • I love Lucy. She is just so raw and genuine. A sad story but an enduring light. I just started The Zen of Therapy. So far, so good!

  1. OMG! Your list is so close to mine! The kids and I just finished listening to What Now? It’s beautiful.

    • I have that in my library queue! (You ARE talking about the Ann Patchett book, right?) I’ve read some good ones the past couple years for sure. Glad we’re simpatico!

  2. Ohh, thank you so much for these. I love recommendations by the people I trust. As it is, I’m horrible at reading right now. So busy with my poems and blog and reading others etc. I’m saving your list most happily and when I read again, I’ll choose something from here. Some of these titles I have listed to read already. I may have gotten them from you. 🙂 And can’t wait for your own book!!!

    • I know the feeling. I have such a time with concentration. I absolutely love being read to, though. One of my greatest joys.

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