So it’s gonna be a relatively short list this year! I read some absolute bangers of books, but I also read quite a few that sat firmly in the middle of my radar and didn’t leave much of an impact on me. They do say the more you read, the pickier you get, but I’m starting to think I’m going overboard with how unimpressed I generally am… :’D
Either way, I do have a few to throw out, so let’s get right into it!
(Hm. Crusty image, sorry about that.) First on the very short list is A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher! This hilarious story took a bunch of turns I wasn’t expecting from a story about a girl with magic that only effects her ability to bake, and I really loved how vast Kingfisher was able to make it with what seemed like such a precise ability that didn’t seem to lend itself much elsewhere. It DID seem a little outlandish at times, but maybe that’s the point in a world full of magic. It was a lot of fun to read, and I’ll definitely be reading more of Kingfisher ASAP.
Next up we have what is actually the entire quartet of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I’m still thinking about this series CONSTANTLY, to the point where I almost deadass decided to screw the rest of my books this year and just reread this. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the world, characters, and absolute PAIN Tahir managed to give me in four books, and I am definitely going to get right back into it as soon as I’ll allow myself. Which, knowing me, is likely going to be in this upcoming year. I need to feel the hurt again. I need to.
(I also need to buy the books. My current ones don’t match! And as much as I LOVE this cover, I want matching ones. Woe is the bookworm.)
And finally we have what I think I can safely say is my favorite book I’ve read all year (though Ashes is an incredibly close second): The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann. I don’t have the words to explain how much I loved reading this story. Y’all know I’m the biggest sucker for historical fiction, ESPECIALLY set in the 1920s because of the wild differences in class and the way people handled the now-historical events, so this was so up my alley it’s a wonder I didn’t buy it on release day. It’s a wonder I didn’t know if existed until I was in the bookstore going on a cover-buy binge. I’m off my game, clearly! But, yeah. If, like me, you love historical fiction, the late 20s, lesbians, and/or what I’ve read (so far, anyway) to be a good representation of a character with Down Syndrome, then I recommend this book so highly you can’t even see me as I zip through the stratosphere with it firmly clasped in my grubby little hands.
(On that note, though, please read the content warnings for this one. What the girls go through in the book is based on real medical reports, according to the author, and she doesn’t skimp on the terrible things they endured at the time. It’s not pretty.)
And that’s that! Onto another year of books!
Thanks for reading!
2 thoughts on “Nova’s Book Recommendations of 2021”
I *love* the first hardcover of Ember. I’m so mad they didn’t carry it through. And they’ve changed it TWICE more since then! So irritating! My copies are: Ember is the original gold, Torch is the wall one where they’re sneaking through the tunnel, and Reaper and Sky match with Laia, Helene, and Elias and Laia and Elias. I have not read the other 2 books you recced but they are on my TBR.
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YES!! It’s such a nice cover! I get why they changed it and all, but I’ll forever mourn what could have been if they all kept the theme. Maybe I’ll just sit around and wait to see if I can get matching collector’s editions or something… I hope you enjoy the other two! They’re VERY different in theme and style :’D
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