2021 in Books

Total: 60. Comparable to last year’s record-breaking year, likely due to the two P’s, pandemic and pregnancy. Woohoo.

Fiction Favorites:

  • Crossbows and Crucifixes: A Novel of the Priest Hunters and the Brave Young Men Who Fought Them (Henry Garnett): what a subtitle, right? Despite the hokiness of the title, this was a fun one to read aloud to Pip — genuinely engaging and not overly didactic. I don’t know if I’d recommend it broadly to adults and I doubt I’ll read it aloud to Scout, but I’m glad we found it for him.
  • St Patrick’s Summer: A Children’s Adventure Catechism (Marigold Hunt): I promise not to choose only sectarian children’s books!!
  • Once Upon a River (Diane Sitterfield): See? A delightful audiobook centered around a pub on the Thames
  • None Other Gods (Robert Hugh Benson): OK, another Catholic thing but for adults! An engaging story of one young man’s self-abnegation — funny and challenging by turns.
  • The Midnight Library (Matt Haig): just a really fun audiobook
  • Very Sincerely Yours (Kerry Winfrey): just likable people falling in love. The sort of thing you want in a rom com but I (for one) can rarely find.

Nonfiction Favorites:

  • The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom (Corrie ten Boom). I talk about this one, which everyone except me has read, back here.

Notes & Trends:

I was all over the place; you can see the different threads of aloud-with-kids, passing morning sickness time, pre-pregnancy, etc.

  1. Crossbows and Crucifixes: A Novel of the Priest Hunters and the Brave Young Men Who Fought Them (Henry Garnett): aloud for Pippin’s school as a sub for an AO choice.
  2. Home (Marilynne Robinson): re-read
  3. Beach Read (Emily Henry): recommendation from my sister
  4. Burning for Revenge (John Marsden): comfort re-read
  5. A Killing Frost (John Marsden): comfort re-read
  6. The Dead of Night (John Marsden): comfort re-read
  7. Tomorrow When the War Began (John Marsden): comfort re-read
  8. Harriet the Spy (Louise Fitzhugh): re-read, aloud to Pip for fun
  9. Evvie Drake Starts Over (Linda Holmes)
  10. The Switch (Beth O’Leary)
  11. Still Life (Louise Penny)
  12. The Atlas of Love (Laurie Frankel)
  13. Dragons in a Bag (Zetta Elliott): aloud with Pip
  14. Barren Among the Fruitful: Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom and Patience (Amanda Hope Haley): loaner from my friend Lindsay
  15. The Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  16. A Thousand Acres (Jane Smiley)
  17. First Frost (Sarah Addison Allen); audiobook
  18. Garden Spells (Sarah Addison Allen); audiobook
  19. The Light Invisible (Robert Hugh Benson)
  20. None Other Gods (Robert Hugh Benson)
  21. The Moonlight School (Suzanne Woods Fisher); audiobook
  22. The Bride Test (Helen Hoang); audiobook
  23. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (Barbara Kingsolver); re-read, audiobook
  24. The Modern Cottage Garden: A Fresh Approach to a Classic Style (Greg Loades)
  25. Lemons (Melissa Savage); audiobook, recommendation from Pip
  26. The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom (Corrie ten Boom)
  27. Patron Saint of First Communicants: The Story of Blessed Imelda Lambertini (Mary Fabyan Windeatt); aloud to the kids for school
  28. The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Sitterfield); audiobook
  29. You Have a Match (Emma Lord)
  30. The Vanishing Half (Brit Bennett); audiobook, recommendation by Beca
  31. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman); audiobook
  32. The Midnight Library (Matt Haig); audiobook
  33. The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building and Gardening (Lloyd Kahn)
  34. In the Time of the Butterflies (Julia Alvarez)
  35. Mandy (Julie Andrews Edwards); re-read, read aloud to Scout for school
  36. St Patrick’s Summer: A Children’s Adventure Catechism (Marigold Hunt); aloud to the kids for school
  37. The Long Winter (Laura Ingalls Wilder); aloud to the kids
  38. Once Upon a River (Diane Sitterfield); audiobook
  39. On to Oregon (Honoré Willsie-Morrow): audiobook with kids
  40. The Little Duke (Charlotte Yonge); aloud with Pip for school
  41. The Bone Clocks (David Mitchell); audiobook
  42. Real Learning Revisted (Elizabeth Foss)
  43. An Indigenous People’s History of the United States (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz); audiobook
  44. By the Book (Amanda Sellett); audiobook
  45. Even as We Breathe (Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle)
  46. The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry (Wendell Berry); audiobook
  47. Musical Chairs (Amy Poeppel)
  48. Green Dolphin Street (Elizabeth Goudge)
  49. The Abolition of Man (C.S. Lewis); re-read
  50. Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years (Catherine Newman)
  51. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky); re-read
  52. Jayber Crow (Wendell Berry); re-read
  53. Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace (Sarah Mackenzie); re-read
  54. Anne of the Island (L.M. Montgomery): audiobook, re-read
  55. The Life Intended (Kristen Harmel)
  56. Anne’s House of Dreams (L.M. Montgomery): audiobook, re-read
  57. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee): re-read
  58. The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame): re-read, aloud to Pip for school
  59. Yours Very Sincerely (Kerry Winfrey): gift from my sister
  60. The Guest List (Lucy Foley): audiobook

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