Books of 2021
I'm on Goodreads! And The Story Graph! I rarely write reviews, and they're more like thumbs up, thumbs down kinda reviews. But I love seeing what folks are reading and god knows I need more social networks in my life to keep track of (jkjkjk).
This year, same drill as last. I resolved to read 100 books in one year. This year, however, I tried to finish books I didn't like, hated, or just 'couldn't get into.' Some of these books were really just wrong place, wrong time, and some were truly terrible. I trudged my way through with no great sense of masochism or duty. I was more trying to discover why I didn't vibe with certain books. I wanted to capture language and plot structures I was drawn to, recognize why one Rommy Commy I read was excellent and why a similar one was trash, the subtle differences between them.
Ultimately, I was trying to think critically about what I was consuming and why — was I looking for comfort, stimulation, escape? — but I was also hoping to challenge my own creative process, contemplate the stories I was writing and how I was writing them.
Sometimes it was wildly obvious why I hated a book — terrible writing, boring characters or an author that makes everyone suffer over and over and over again — but there were a few I just couldn't pinpoint what it was that make me cringe.
If you want to read my juicy* ramblings on books, go read my reviews on Goodreads. Here, I've just an asterisk to books I wasn't much fond of. Read at your own risk.
*jk, they aren't juicy, but they do ramble!
Made to Love
The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
The Death of Vivek Oji
Convenience Store Woman
No One is Talking About This
To Be Taught, If Fortunate
Norma Jean Baker of Troy
Sex & Rage
The Unreality of Memory
1. American Gods 2. Want 3. On Writing 4. The Star is Also a Sun 5. The Witch Hunter 6. Song of Blood & Stone 7. Whispers of Shadow & Flame 8. Wow no thank you 9. Space Opera* 10. Autonomous 11. Daughter From the Dark 12. The Night Sister 13. Becoming 14. Made to Love 15. The Harpy 16. The Eartheater 17. Court of Silver Flames 18. The Last Crossing of the Lusitania 19. Afterland 20. From Blood and Ash 21. A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire 22. Magic for Liars 23. The Death of Vivek Oji 24. The Buried Giant 25. A Desolation Called Peace 26. Future Home of the Living God 27. Such a Fun Age 28. The Once and Future Witches 29. Starflight 30. Starfall 31. Something to Talk About 32. The City of Brass 33. Kingdom of Copper 34. Convenience Store Woman 35. The Loosening Skin 36. Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2020 37. Mist Born 38. Girl, Woman, Other 39. Crown of Gilded Bones 40. The Dreamers 41. Story of your Life and Others 42. Cry of Metal and Bone 43. In the Dream House 44. Educated 45. The Night Circus* 46. Notorious 47. The Sympathizer 48. The House in the Cerulean Sea 49. Howl's Moving Castle 50. Dreadnought 51. No One is Talking About This 52. Florida 53. For the Wolf 54. The Deep* 55. The Lost Queen 56. To Be Taught, If Fortunate 57. Artificial Condition 58. Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents 59. Founded in Goodbye 60. Packing for Mars 61. Girls of Paper and Fire 62. Girls of Storm and Shadow 63. My Sister, the Serial Killer 64. The Body is not an Apology 65. Ember in the Ashes 66. Reaper at the Gates 67. Torch Against the Night 68. Sky Beyond the Storm 69. I Should have Honor 70. Middlegame 71. Bestiary 72. My Brilliant Friend 73. The Echo Wife 74. Exit Strategy 75. Inland 77. Flyaway 78. Geek Love* 79. I Feel Bad About My Neck 80. The Sanitarium 81. The Truth Will Set You Free 82. Nightbitch 83. Exploring Diabetes with Owls* 84. Norma Jean Baker of Troy 85. Orange World & Other Stories 86. Dawn 87. The Proposal 88. Adulthood Rites 89. Imago 90. The World Gives Way 91. The Overstory* 92. Purple Hearts* 93. Dark Lover 94. Eileen 95. Strike Me Down 96. The Ex Talk 97. The Deal 98. The Score 99. The Mistake 100. Fire 101. Animal 102. Sweet Filthy Boy 103. The Story of a New Name 104. Those who Leave and Those Who Stay 105. Sex & Rage 106. Lore 107. The Hating Game 108. The Unreality of Memory 109. The Love Hypothesis 110. These Violent Delights* 111. Negative Space* 112. Somebody’s Daughter 113. It Happened One Summer