5 Books That I Loved in 2021

stack of booksNo matter what else happened in 2021, I read some great books. Whether you promised yourself you’d read more this year or need a new book club recommendation to sink your teeth into, my top five list has you covered.
 
5
by T.J. Klune
The House in the Cerulean Seas was my first read in 2021 and has stayed in my top 5 all year.
Linus Bakers is a tightly wound caseworker who leads a quiet, solitary life. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. He is pushed out of his comfort zone when his job requires him to observe a remote orphanage for magical children. But soon, his assignment turns into the adventure of a lifetime, one that will touch his heart and irrevocably change who he is.
 
I fell in love with this book on the very first page. At its heart, this is a story about acceptance and seeing someone for who they are on the inside. I carried this message in my heart all year long.
4
by John Boyne
The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a moving, epic tale and a must-read.
It is the life story of Cyril Avery from conception to old age. He is a gay man born into a highly conservative Ireland. His personal experiences are set against two harrowing histories – the modern history of Ireland, the IRA, and terrorist bombings and the long, complex history of LGBT rights. It is rife with the sexism and homophobia typical of the era.
 
Cyril will speak to you whether you are straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual. He is just like all of us, looking for acceptance and love. You’ll be rooting for him to succeed.
3
by Stephen King
 
Stephen King is a brilliant storyteller, and this is a great story, but it’s not your typical King novel. It’s a crime novel.
 
Billy Summers is a former Iraq war sniper turned hitman, doing one last job before retirement. He’s justified his choice of freelance employment to himself by only accepting jobs that will have him target what he considers to be “bad guys.” As he gets deeper into the assignment, it becomes clear that something about this particular hit is hinky, and it’s too late to back out.
If you love a good suspenseful, thriller kind of book, look no further.
2
by S.A. Cosby
Razorblade Tears is a story of fatherhood, family, race, and homophobia, and an unlikely friendship forged in the rage that follows a tragedy accompanied by the prospect of no justice.
Ike Randolph and Buddy Lee Jenkins are two ex-cons whose paths would never have crossed if it wasn’t for the fact that their gay sons, Isiah and Derek, were married and have been shot dead. With nothing in common but their grief, they will not stop until they get answers and payback.
To say that I loved this book is an understatement. While a story of revenge is at its heart, this is also a story of hope, personal growth, change, and possibly even redemption.
And finally, my number 1 book.
 
by Chris Whitaker
 
We Begin at the End is an intense, beautifully written, character-driven novel that gives us the unforgettable and fierce character of 13-year-old Duchess Day Radley.
 
This story begins in this small town on the California coast, where Duchess Day Radley has seen a lot in her thirteen years. She is the feisty, determined protector of her younger brother, Robin. Their mother, Star, is a beautiful woman who is damaged. She has never been able to accept the death of Sissy, her sister. To dull the pain, Star has turned to drugs. Their lives are in chaos, and Walker, or Walk as he goes by, is the local police chief, has a soft spot for their mother, Duchess, and Robin, and tries to help them out as much as he possibly can, but eventually, it is out of his hands.
But when Star is found dead, everything is put to the test.
It’s a story about love and the sacrifices people make for those they love as they make their way through lives filled with tough breaks and pitfalls. Savor this one; much of its strength comes from letting things unfold without much knowledge of what’s to come.
 
 
Happy Reading in 2022!

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