Books To Read In 2021:
One thing I want to make more time for in 2021 is reading. I love stories and have a bookshelf with books I’ve said “I’ll read that next week” to, for about a year or two. Well, it looks like today is the week I’m cracking down and diving into the stack I have acquired. Below are the books I plan on reading throughout 2021.
The Someday Jar by Allison morgan
Fans of Sophie Kinsella and the Shopaholic series will fall in love with Lanie Howard—young, fabulous, and desperate to transform her life—in this funny, quirky, and endearing story about finding perfect happiness in life’s most imperfect moments.
Real-estate broker Lanie Howard figures she has the perfect man, the perfect job, and the perfect life. Then she stumbles across her old Someday Jar, the forgotten glass relic where she stashed all the childhood wishes—no matter how crazy—that her father encouraged her to write down on the backs of Chinese restaurant fortunes. She used to be fun once! What happened to her?
When Dimple Met Rishi by sandhya menon
Now that Dimple Shah has graduated, she’s ready for a break from her family – especially from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. Ugh. But Dimple knows that her mother must respect that she isn’t interested in doing that right now – otherwise she wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic, so when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him – during which he’ll have to woo her – he’s totally onboard. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. Although their parents hadn’t planned suggesting the arrangement so soon, when their kids signed up for the same summer program, they figured why not?
Kind Of A Big Deal by Shannon Hale
There’s nothing worse than peaking in high school. Nobody knows that better than Josie Pie. She was kind of a big deal – she dropped out of high school to be a star! But the bigger you are, the harder you fall. And Josie fell. Hard. Ouch. Broadway dream: dead. Meanwhile, her life keeps imploding. Best friend: distant. Boyfriend: busy. Mom: not playing with a full deck? Desperate to escape, Josie gets into reading. Literally. She reads a book and suddenly she’s inside it. And with each book, she’s a different character: a post-apocalyptic heroine, the lead in a YA rom-com, a 17th-century wench in a corset. It’s alarming. But also…kind of amazing? It’s the perfect way to live out her fantasies. Book after book, Josie the failed star finds a new way to shine. But the longer she stays in a story, the harder it becomes to escape. Will Josie find a story so good that she just stays forever?
Confessions of a Shopaholic By Sophie Kinsella
Becky has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is that she can’t actually afford it—not any of it.
Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read—and they’re getting ever harder to ignore.
She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky’s only consolation is to buy herself something … just a little something….
Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.
Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times—and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky’s hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her “confessions” are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine By Gail Honeyman
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open your heart.
The Duke And I By Julia Quinn
Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town’s marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn’t as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry – though there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon’s heart beating a bit faster.
And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!
The Cactus By Sarah Hayward
Even the prickliest cactus has its flower….
For Susan Green, messy emotions don’t fit into the equation of her perfectly ordered life. She has a flat that is ideal for one, a job that suits her passion for logic, and an “interpersonal arrangement” that provides cultural and other more intimate benefits. But suddenly confronted with the loss of her mother and the news that she is about to become a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is realized. She is losing control.
When she learns that her mother’s will inexplicably favors her indolent brother, Edward, Susan’s already dismantled world is sent flying into a tailspin. As Susan’s due date draws near and her family problems become increasingly difficult to ignore, Susan finds help and self-discovery in the most unlikely of places. Featuring an endearing cast of characters and tremendous heart, The Cactus is a poignant debut and a delightful reminder that some things can’t be explained by logic alone.
A Very large Expanse of Sea By Tahereh Mafi
It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a 16-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments – even the physical violence – she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her – they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds – and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.
The Winemakers Wife By Kristen Harmel
At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah.
But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe – least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help.
Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents – and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Cham
pagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about – and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save.
In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job – and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive – and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network, The Winemaker’s Wife is an evocative and gorgeously wrought novel that examines how the choices we make in our darkest hours can profoundly change our lives – and how hope can come from the places we least expect.
The house of tudors by alison plowden
The Tudors ruled England for little more than a century, but no other dynasty has so impressed itself on the popular consciousness. This history examines the origins of this astonishing family that appeared out of nowhere in 1485, blazed briefly, and then vanished, leaving a slowly fading trail of glory behind it. The astute statesmanship of the first Henry Tudor, the enterprising marital career of the second and the tragedy of the son he labored so murderously to get, the unhappy reign of Mary, and finally the flowering of Elizabeth in whom the family genius reached its apotheosis, all find their place in this chronicle of five turbulent, passionate, tragic, and prodigious generations of Tudors.
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
Escaping from an abusive marriage, 17-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There, she becomes the most highly requested henna artist – and confidante – to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own….
Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow – a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.
The last wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil, and not everything fair is good…and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth. The international hit that inspired the video game The Witcher and the Netflix Original Series.
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now, Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar’s Winter Palace, the famous ballet.
But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend.
From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.
The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith
To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose; it is summer in Scotland Street (as it always is) and for the habitués of Edinburgh’s favourite street, some extraordinary adventures lie in waiting.
For the impossibly vain Bruce Anderson – he of the clove-scented hair gel – it may finally be time to settle down, and surely it can only be a question of picking the lucky winner from the hordes of his admirers. The Duke of Johannesburg is keen to take his flight of fancy, a microlite seaplane, from the drawing board to the skies. Big Lou is delighted to discover that her young foster son has a surprising gift for dance but she is faced with big decisions to make on his and her futures. And with Irene now away to pursue her research in Aberdeen, her husband, Stuart, and infinitely long-suffering son, Bertie, are free to play. Stuart rekindles an old friendship over peppermint tea whilst Bertie and his friend Ranald Braveheart Macpherson get more than they bargained for from their trip to the circus. And that’s just the start….
Take a few minutes to relax with a cup of tea of your favourite tea and savour the affairs of the world in microcosm, teeming with life’s loves and challenges. Little dramas writ large by the master chronicler of modern life and manners.
Utopia By Sir Thomas Moore
Utopia By Sir Thomas More is a work of political philosophy primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs. A really influential and highly regarded mind, Thomas More is known for being controversial and highly intelligent. A wonderful work, and a great addition to any collection.
I’ve Got Your Number By Sophie Kinsella
Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents… she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.
All book descriptions are pulled from Amazon’s book listing.