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December 29, 2021

Susan's 2021 Reading Wrap Up and 2022 Reading Goals

by Susan Roberts


2021 has been a year full of fantastic books and extra time to read since COVID-19 has kept us from travelling.  I had a tough time picking a top 10 so here are my top 15 books of the year (in no order of preference).

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The Reading List by Sara Adams

The Reading List
Goodreads

What could be better than a book about books and libraries! The Reading List has well-written characters, a great plot, and mentions some fantastic books that opened up new worlds for the two characters and helped them become friends. Read my full review.

Buy The Reading List at Amazon

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews

The Newcomer
Goodreads

This is a wonderful story about family - both the family that you are born into and the family that you create out of the people who love and take care of you. Read my full review.

Buy The Newcomer at Amazon

All That We Carried by Erin Bartels

All That We Carried
Goodreads

I have been a big fan of Erin Bartels since I read her first book. All That We Carried is her third book and she just keeps getting better and better.  This wonderful book made me laugh and cry and pray for a good outcome for the sisters. Read my full review.

Buy All That We Carried at Amazon
(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for FREE)

When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash

When Ghosts Come Home
Goodreads

When Ghosts Come Home is one of the best books that I've read in a long time - the writing is exquisite, the characters are real and the setting is perfect.  It takes place in 1984 in Oak Island, NC., and not only provides a page-turning plot full of suspense and mystery but also a vivid look at the racism and classism that existed in this small community. Read my full review.

Buy When Ghosts Come Home at Amazon

The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Dai Randel

The Last Rose of Shanghai
Goodreads

This was a beautifully written novel and it was apparent that the author did significant research.  The two main characters were so well written that I felt their pain during the war and their happiness at being together. Read my full review.

(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for FREE)

The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis

The Keeper of Happy Endings
Goodreads

This beautifully written book by Barbara Davis is one of my favorite World War II novels.  The two main characters were so believable that I felt their pain and happiness.  The plot was paced well and the story made me miss some sleep at night to find out how it ended. Read my full review.

(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for FREE)

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

The Nature of Small Birds
Goodreads

I have been a fan of Susie Finkbeiner since I read her first book and have read everything that she's written since.  She has a beautiful way of telling stories about families and writes characters that you feel like you know. Read my full review.


The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds
Goodreads

I have enjoyed Kristin Hannah's books in the past and just had to buy her new book.  I started The Four Winds as soon as UPS dropped it at my door and didn't do much else until I finished it.  It's one of the best books that I've read in a long long time. Read my full review.

Buy The Four Winds at Amazon

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

The Forest of Vanishing Stars
Goodreads

With her last several books, Kristin Harmel has become one of the top authors of WWII historical fiction.  She always writes well-researched books with strong and resilient women and leaves her readers with stories that they won't forget.  She has become one of the few authors that I buy her books without knowing anything about them because I know that I'll be getting a fantastic book. Read my full review.


Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

Surviving Savannah
Goodreads

I am a major fan of Patti Callahan and have read and enjoyed all of her novels.  This is absolutely her best novel yet and one of my favorite books of the year. Read my full review.

Buy Surviving Savannah at Amazon

The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff

The Woman with the Blue Star
Goodreads

I have read and loved all of Pam Jenoff's books and they all stay on my favorite book lists.  Her new book is one of the best books that I've read about friendship during World War II - the friendship of two very different girls in totally opposite lives - but a friendship that transcended what was going on in the world at this time. Read my full review.


The Sound Between the Notes by Barbara Probst

The Sound Between the Notes
Goodreads

It's difficult to describe The Sound Between the Notes beyond saying that it was one of the most beautifully written novels that I've read in a long time. Read my full review.


The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman

The Secret of Snow
Goodreads

I have read and loved all of Viola Shipman's books but this one is my new favorite. The main character is a mature woman of 50, all of the characters are very believable and remind me of people that I've known in my life and of course, the beautiful setting in snowy, cold Michigan in a town that I love. Read my full review.

Buy The Secret of Snow at Amazon

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines
Goodreads

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines
is one of those rare books that you want to read fast to find out how it ends but you also want to read it very slowly so that you don't miss any of the beautiful writing.  Believe me when I say that the writing is exquisite.  Not only are the characters well written and believable but the scenery is so well described that you feel like you are there -- sweating in the sun in the south and cold on the windswept island in Scotland. Read my full review.


Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Under the Southern Sky
Goodreads

Kristy Woodson Harvey never disappoints her readers and this is another fantastic book from her.  I've been a loyal fan since her first book and she is the #1 southern fiction author that I recommend to my friends.  She always tells a fantastic story from a southern perspective with lots of salty ocean air in the background. Read my full review.

Buy Under the Southern Sky at Amazon

Additional Information about my 2021 Reads:

  • My Goodreads goal for 2021 was 200 books and I read 210.  I still have time to add a few books to the total.
  • My top two genres (no surprise here) are Women's Fiction and Historical Fiction but this year I also read two books of Poetry and 15 Non-Fiction Books.
  • I didn't finish 7 books
  • I knew that I read more female than male authors so this year I added a column to my spreadsheet to keep up with it.  90% of the books that I read were by female authors.

2022 Reading Goals

  • Leave my Goodreads goal at 200 books.
  • Read more books set in areas other than the US and Europe.
  • I am going to use the reading challenge from Friends and Fiction (along with Goodreads). If you don't follow Friends and Fiction on Facebook, check it out.  This site is run by four of my favorite authors:    Kristy Woodson Harvey, Mary Kay Andrews, Patti Callahan Henry and Kristin Harmel.  Along with their Facebook and Instagram sites, they also do a Wednesday evening podcast and host other amazing authors every week.  Here is their reading challenge:


Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but has lived most of her life in North Carolina with her husband of 50+ years. They enjoy travelling and spending time with family.


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4 comments:

  1. This is a great list of books and really shows the trend of book covers showing the backs of women! I love seeing cover trends.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You did a great job on your reading this year!

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that cover of the Newcomer! And Shanghai sounds like a fabulous read also.

    I knew secret of Snow was set in Michigan but didn't realize it was actually set in Traverse City! Now I need to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greg - it's a fantastic book but the setting in Traverse City made it even more special for me.

      Delete

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