The end of the year is near and I am so ready for it. This year has had some amazing reads and some truly magnificent reads. I also went through quite a lot of mini reading slumps? I am just glad that they were mini slumps and not month long slumps though. So, without any babbling, let’s get into the top reads of the year, shall we? There’s not a lot of standalone books in this list and the reason for that is simple. I kept trying to read series or started a new series. So, yeah. These are a few gems I found this year.
Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell
This is one of the tropiest books I have read and I loved every moment of it. I wish this was a series because there’s room for so much political intrigue in this world. The main characters were lovable and they were fairly adult about everything that came their way. The science fiction part of it might have been just the setting but it did have its moments. It is not hardcore science fiction, it’s a love story set in space with interplanetary/galactic politics and intrigue sprinkled in, as a treat. I think the author had a very clear idea as to what she wanted from this story and she set out to write it. It worked incredibly well in her favour, I should think. At least, it worked for me.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
I think the thing that I enjoy the most about Andy Weir’s books is that despite having a healthy dose of science-y stuff going on in the book, both plot wise and just in general, there’s always something that doesn’t seem like it should or would work in real life and then it sort of does? And this time with that, the author added a buddy to the whole experience which was my favourite thing to read about if I am being perfectly honest. I think Andy Weir’s strength lies in making science sound fun while keeping the stakes high enough to move the book forward.
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
I think I went into it with the expectation that it will be a slice of life and it was just that. I just forgot that there would be moments where it would make me cry a little bit, simply because of how lovely the writing was and how it was written. It was a quick read and I think I finished it one sitting or something close to it and perhaps that’s why I felt like I had spent decades with these characters by the time I reached the end. It made me emotional and in the best way possible. I am hoping to read more of this author’s works.
Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson
I have loved Tade Thompson’s writing and the interesting things that happened in his previous books. The story itself is like a space opera version of the locked room mystery and a little bit of the movie Passengers. The pacing is great, the tension is so well built throughout that I couldn’t stop reading the book. The mystery part is so good, the tiny bots turning on the humans on the ship was such a good trope and so well used too! The way characters behave under pressure and how each one is differently built was so obvious and well done. The parts about realistic space travel and how human bodies will be reacting to such things is also another plus factor. Let’s just say that I will always keep an eye out for Tade Thompson’s books.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
What a weird little book and what an introduction to the author! Piranesi is absolutely confusing for at least half of the book and I know that it has bothered a lot of people but for me, the writing and the pacing was just enough that I kept on going because I had to see what sort of wild shenanigans I was gonna read about next. I can’t really talk much about the book without spoiling it so, I’ll just say, give it a try. Because of this book, I am now eager to read the tome that is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
This was my introduction to this author and it went incredibly well. I really enjoyed reading this one and so many things were happening throughout the book that I was a bit confused about who to trust and I actually count myself accomplished that at least one of the theories about certain plot points and characters came true.
So, this is it. The top standalone books of 2021 for me, what do you think? Have you read any of them? Do you plan to if you haven’t already? Do you agree with them or do you have your own to add to the list? Tell me all about it in the comments!