TTT: Best Books of 2021
It's the last Top Ten Tuesday of the year (hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl) which means it's time for our best books of 2021! I've not read loads this year - I've hardly done any re-reading at all, which is very unlike me and I've been in a few slumps - but I've probably read more new authors than normal and a little bit more diversely I think. I've read a lot of good recommendations and a couple of fun book series' too. So it's not all bad! Also, in other milestones of the year, I got my own place and some freelance writing work, which is exciting! Anyway, back to the books. I made up my own categories because I couldn't find a tag that quite fit what I was after:
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Best Impulse Read:
Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo
Favourite New Characters:
The Crows - especially Kaz and Inej
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Made Me Laugh The Most:
Chinglish by Sue Cheung
Made Me Cry The Most:
Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute or Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Hamnet (not a spoiler, I think you're supposed to know going in) is about the death of Shakespeare's child and the effect it has on the family. Another very morbid subject and it took me a long time to get into because I'm not a big reader of literary fiction. (I usually hate it, to be honest. So much waffle.) But there was something really lovely about this book once I got used to the rhythm of it. The characters were really interesting and I got sucked right into the world.
Maurice by E.M Forster
'Daine Loses Her Temper '
The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters
Book of the Year
This was just plain good - a proper epic adventure story, great world-building, likeable characters, exciting and dark. Yes, I know it;s about Rabbits.
Quotes of the year:
“My Chief Rabbit has told me to stay and defend this run, and until he says otherwise, I shall stay here."
- Watership Down, Richard Adams
"I was yours once 'till death if you'd cared to keep me, but I'm someone else's now - I can't hang about whining forever - and he's mine in a way that shocks you, but why don't you stop being shocked, and attend to your own happiness?"
- Maurice, E.M Forster
"No Mourners. No Funerals."
- Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
“Life is sometimes sad and often dull, but there are currants in the cake, and here is one of them.”
- The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford
“By now it was clear that Howl was in a mood to produce green slime any second. Sophie hurriedly put her sewing away. "I'll make some hot buttered toast," she said. "Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy??" Howl asked. "Make toast!”
- Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne-Jones
“Even into this quiet place the war had reached like the tentacle of an octopus and had touched this girl and brought about her death. Like some infernal monster, still venomous in death, a war can go on killing people for a long time after it’s all over.”
- Requiem for a Wren, Nevil Shute
“There is so much to do in an family this size, so much to see, so many people needing so many different things. How easy is it, Agnes thinks, as she lifts the plates, to miss the pain and anguish of one person, if that person keeps quiet, if he keeps it all in, like a bottle stoppered too tightly, the pressure inside building and building, until - what? Agnes doesn't know.”
- Hamnet, Maggie O' Farrell
"For all my talk of vows and honour, what I really want is to put you up against that wall and kiss you until you forget you ever knew another man's name"
-Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo
“At that moment, in the sunset on Watership Down, there was offered to General Woundwort the opportunity to show whether he was really the leader of vision and genius which he believed himself to be, or whether he was no more than a tyrant with the courage and cunning of a pirate. For one beat of his pulse the lame rabbit's idea shone clearly before him. He grasped it and realized what it meant. The next, he had pushed it away from him.”
- Watership Down, Richard Adams
“Ruins stood for what was lost, and yet they were beautiful-peaceful, historic, intellectual. Not tragic or regrettable. Lena tried to keep hers that way too, and she succeeded to some extent. Why not celebrate what you had rather than spend your time mourning its passing? There could be joy in things that ended. ”
- Forever in Blue, Ann Brashares
“I am very strong. Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.”
- Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
What was your best book of the year?