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.
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:
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!