One of my favorite things to do at the end of each calendar year is to think back on what I’ve read. I choose favorites, consider books I didn’t love, and note titles that I know are deserving of a re-read.

My 2021 Year in Reading

In the RAR Premium Forum, we’re doing a “My 2021 Year in Reading” reflection, and it’s so fun!

We’ve got about 20 prompts to help you think through your best, worst, and most thought-provoking reading (and reading aloud) over the year.

If you’d like a PDF of those prompts, pop your email in below:

    If you’re an RAR Premium member, you can share your answers in the forum. And do check those out, because I’ve already gotten some ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ book recommendations from there.

    In fact, I started reading The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin because I saw it on so many reflections (with high praise!) and I’m love-love-loving it.

    (If you’re a Susan Meissner or Patti Callahan fan, go ahead and just add it to your TBR stack. You’re gonna want to read it. You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‰)

    Here are some of my favorite reads from 2021, in broader categories. (Note: these aren’t all books published in 2021; I just read them in 2021.)

    Picture Books

    Around here, we’re big on reading picture books to all ages. If you’d like to find out how (and why!) to read picture books with older kids and teens, I recommend RAR #180: Reading a Book a Day with Older Kids and Teens.

    And parents of all ages will find inspiration to read a picture book a day with their kids in RAR #178: Why Read a Book a Day? (Yep, you can!)

    These were my favorite picture books from 2021. Click the covers for more about each title.

    Maud and Grand-Maud
    The Cat on the Dovrefell: A Christmas Tale
    The Story of God with Us
    Kiyoshi’s Walk
    The Little Blue Cottage
    Hector Fox and the Giant Quest

    Middle Grade Novels

    I prefer to share middle grade novels with my kids these days through audio books. We spread out a big puzzle on the back side of a lightweight bulletin board (so we can put it up out of the puppies’ reach when we’re ready for a break!) and listen to our heart’s content. This is an evening ritual I adore.

    If you’ve got questions about how to use audio books with your kids, check out RAR #156: Answering Your Q’s About Audio Books for Kids.

    These were my favorite middle grade novels from 2021. Click the covers for more about each title.

    The Year of Miss Agnes
    A Place to Hang the Moon
    The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish
    Sweet Home Alaska
    Skylark
    More Perfect than the Moon
    Lightfall: The Girl and the Galdurian
    Caleb’s Story

    Adult/YA Fiction & Nonfiction

    You know one of the perks of being a parent is having a blatant excuse to read to your heart’s content, right? ๐Ÿ˜ Our kids need to see us reading for pleasure, and if you don’t know where to start, be sure to check out my Booklist for Mama. There are recommendations there, yes, and also tips for finding time to read when you’ve got so. much. else. to tend to on the daily.

    You can also find out why I tend to group Young Adult books with Adult books in RAR #132: Books for Teens, and Why YA is a Genre (Not a Reading Level).

    These were my favorite adult and YA picks from 2021. Click the covers for more about each title.

    Lovely War
    The Downstairs Girl
    Fountains of Silence
    Once Upon a Wardrobe
    The Last Train to Key West
    Steeped in Stories
    Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
    How to Write One Song