Affiliate links // After last years post We Need To Talk and the promise I made to myself that I would stop following the crowd and start posting more of the stuff that sets my soul on fire, we’re back with another bookish post. After the success of my Top 10 Reads of 2020 post at the end of last year, book related content is definitely something I’m bringing more of in 2021.

2021 Bookshelf TBR

And I guess there’s only one place to start, right? And that’s with my 2021 TBR. It’s been a longggg time since my book blogging days, where I would have a TBR list as long as my arm. I don’t really tend to keep TBR lists anymore but as I’m sure all book lovers will understand, there’s always a number of books sitting on your bookshelf waiting to be read!

Of course these won’t be the ONLY books I’ll be reading in 2021. I’m hoping to read around 30 books this year, after surpassing my Goodreads goal of 20 books in 2020 and reading 37 instead. Although I’m sure that was down to having more time to read because of the pandemic as well.

So after scanning my bookshelves, I’ve identified 8 books that I want to make the effort to read this year:

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Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend.

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six long days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favourite ever books, so when I saw that Stephen Chbosky had released Imaginary Friend, I ordered it straight away. HOWEVER, I haven’t read it yet and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf since. Partially because it’s quite a big book and I’m KINDAAAA intimidated by it and partially because I’m scared to read it because I want to love it so much.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures.

We all know I love a hyped up book. Anything that gains even the slightest bit of traction, I’m in. And I think Where the Crawdads Sing was one of the MOST hyped up and talked about books of 2020. I heard nothing but good things from every review I read. So I actually picked this up for Christmas and I’m very excited to finally get stuck into it in the New Year.

Recommended Read: Book Review – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Chapters of May)

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and surprisingly humorous, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

I gotta admit, I’m kinda mad at myself for not having read this before. Since I bought it in February 2020 on a visit to the Duxford Imperial War Museum, it’s sat on my shelf since. Similar to Imaginary Friend, it’s kinda intimidating. Not because of the length or the size of it but because of the subject matter. But I know it’s an important book to read and if 2020 taught me anything when it comes to reading it’s that it pays to step out of your comfort zone.

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

In her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back , New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein teaches readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life.

Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live.

Making the shift from fear to faith will give readers a sense of power in a world that all too often makes them feel utterly powerless. When the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, this book will help guide them back to their true power.

After delving into The Law of Attraction and all that woo-woo stuff in 2020 and finding it was exactly what I needed, I decided to pick up The Universe Has Your Back for my birthday as a little gift to myself. I’m really eager to read this one ASAP as I just want to grow and expand my knowledge of the Universe and myself within that space and Gabrielle Bernstein is the woman to do that.

Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi

There are rules for murder mysteries. There must be a victim. A suspect. A detective. The rest is just shuffling the sequence. Expanding the permutations.

Grant McAllister, a professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked them all out – calculating the different orders and possibilities of a mystery into seven perfect detective stories he quietly published. But that was thirty years ago. Now Grant lives in seclusion on a remote Mediterranean island, counting the rest of his days.

Until Julia Hart, a sharp, ambitious editor knocks on his door. Julia wishes to republish his book, and together they must revisit those old stories: an author hiding from his past, and an editor, keen to understand it.

But there are things in the stories that don’t add up. Inconsistencies left by Grant that a sharp-eyed editor begins to suspect are more than mistakes. They may be clues, and Julia finds herself with a mystery of her own to solve.

I received this book in a book box from My Chronicle Book Box, which I featured in one of my Christmas Gift Guides last year and although it hasn’t been high up on my list of books to read, I do really want to delve into this this year because it sounds fab and also something a bit different to your usual crime fiction.

The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen by Kari Hotakainen

Kimi Räikkönen is the Finnish superstar Formula One driver with a reputation for being fast on the track and silent off it – until now!

In this superb and authorised portrait of Räikkönen, Kari Hotakainen gets to reveal the side of the man that few beyond his close family and friends have ever seen. Enigmatic and private, Ferrari’s former world champion driver rarely opens up to outsiders, but he granted Hotakainen exclusive access to his world and to his way of thinking. It ensures that this will be a book that will delight all fans of motorsport, who have long revered the Finn.

Including never-previously-seen photographs from his own collection, The Unknown Kimi Räikkönen takes the reader into the heart of the action at grands prix around the world, behind the scenes as race strategies are planned, and opens up the private side of his life that he normally guards so carefully.

With all the cult appeal of I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the raw excitement of Formula One and the insight of the best biographies, this is a book every sports fan will want to treasure.

Formula 1 fans in the house, this one is for you. I’m not new to my Formula 1 autobiographies, having read one from Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Damon Hill to name a few. But Kimi Raikkonen, one of the most enigmatic figures in the sport is one I just haven’t got around to yet. It’s written a bit differently, in that it’s written from the POV of the author who was lucky enough to follow him around and interview him himself. But nonetheless, I’m sure it will be a fascinating read.

Copycat by Alex Lake 

Your stalker is everywhere. Your stalker knows everything. But the real problem is that your stalker is you.

Sarah Havenant discovers–when an old friend points it out–that there are two Facebook profiles in her name.

One, she recognizes: it is hers. The other, she has never seen. But everything in it is accurate. Recent photos of her and her friends, her and her husband, her and her kids. Even of her new kitchen. A photo taken inside her house.

She is bemused, angry, and worried. Who was able to do this? Any why?

But this, it soon turns out, is just the beginning. It is only now–almost as though someone has been watching, waiting for her to find the profile–that her problems really start…

I picked this one up in a charity shop last year on a whim. Although the cover and title instantly caught my eye. Copycat is exactly my sort of book. I love a good Thriller, so I can’t wait to read stuck into this one. And I think based on the blurb above, you’ll understand why. Anything to do with creepy Facebook stalkers and I am HERE for it!

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer 

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born.

But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

I am SO EXCITED to dive back into the Twilight Universe and read Midnight Sun this year. My Mum bought me this for Christmas and it’s such a beast. But I’m buzzing to read it. Even as a 28 year old woman, I can’t resist the pull into the world of Edward and Bella and the Twilight story!

Have you read any of these? What did you think? I’d love to hear what you’re hoping to read this year as well!

127 Comments

  1. I love this post. There were so many moments when reading this where I thought, yup that’s me. I would love to hear what you think about Midnight Sun, because as a 29 year old, Bella and Edward still draw me in! But I also agree with you on The Diary of Anne Frank. I know a lot of people read it in school, but I didn’t. I have no doubt that it is an incredible read, but the seriousness and the reality of the subject matter make me so hesitant. When you finish it, I’d love to see a review hearing your thoughts!

  2. I’m in awe that you were able to narrow it down, but maybe that says more about the state of my TBR list!! I love the sound of Copycat and Eight Detectives, they definitely sound like good reads. Loving the variety of titles you’ve got here!

  3. Where the Crawdads Sing is one of my FAVORITE books! I recommend everyone to read this book. It’s a book once you start you can’t put it down until you are done.

  4. Although I haven’t done it in a few years, I used to read Anne Frank every summer since I was around 12 or 13. It’s certainly a powerful read, and I think you’ll find it moving. Best of luck with these reads!! x

  5. Where the Crawdads Sing has been on my list for a while, so many people seemed to love it last year! I read Midnight Sun just before Christmas and really enjoyed it, it took me a while to get through but I loved being a teenager again haha. Can’t wait to hear what you think about all of these! xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  6. I highly suggest you read Capital Vol 1 A critique of political economy. The penguin version that was edited and translated by Ben Fowkes. It’s like 1150 pages long try to understand it. Barnes & Nobles has it. I think this will be the most important book you will have ever read.

  7. The Diary of Anne Frank is such an important but difficult read – I read it back in school and it made such an impact on me and I find the period in history fascinating. Where the Crawdads Sing is also one I’d like to read soon as I’ve heard so many good things!

    Tash – A Girl with a View

  8. All of these books sound incredible. I loved reading Midnight Sun and delving back into a world of Vampires and Werewolf’s it really took me back to my teenage years. Copycat sounds like such a great book too as does Eight Detectives I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on them.

  9. Loving the list you’ve got. There are some there that actually sound really appealing. I bought Midnight Sun the day it came out, I just couldn’t wait to get it but it sits on the shelf still unread, I’m hoping to get stuck into it this year. Twilight is one of my favourite books so I can’t believe I haven’t actually read Midnight Sun yet.

  10. I love your list! I read Anne Frank a couple of years ago and it really is a must read, you will enjoy it. Midnight Sun and Copycat thou look really good. Copycat seems like it will be an engrossing read, I hope it does not disappoint. I look forward to your reviews 🙂

  11. I haven’t read any of these. Eight Detectives sounds like something I’d enjoy. I also keep considering reading Midnight Sun. I was a huge Twilight fan back in the day but I’ve long since grown out of it. But there’s something about ‘finishing what I started’ that’s drawing me to it. Never say never x

  12. We have similar tastes in books!! The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favourite books too and I didn’t know that Stephen Chbosky wrote another book. I’m going to have to read that!! I also enjoyed The Law of Attraction books. Have you tried reading The Magic? That one really changed my life. I also want to read The Universe Has Your Back after you mentioned it. And yes, I also want to read Midnight Sun. I enjoyed the Twilight books as a teen. 😂

  13. I genuinely really enjoyed midnight sun! It was such a great edition to the other books. But honestly everything on this list sounds fabulous to be honest. And your photography looks incredible here x

  14. As someone who also enjoy reading, this will help me to add some more books to my TBR list this year. I’ve read all Twilight books and I love it more than the movies xD Thank you for sharing this, Jen x