Best Books of 2021 – Cleveland’s Recommended Reads for 2021 #BookDrops

SO many lists at the end of the year! How do you decide what’s notable, best, award-winning, Top 10, or Top 100 list? List-making is inherently fraught with caveats and disappointments! “Why wasn’t XYZ on there!” 

Genre books don’t necessarily make it on the “Best Books” of the year unless you’re specifically looking at “The Best Sci-Fi…” or “The Best Romance Titles of…” even bestsellers! On Amazon, “Best Sellers 2021” has over 30,000 results!

Here are some of our favorite books published in the last year 😊. As well as suggest some lists you might want to explore to come up with your OWN list of the “BEST” books of 2021. 

Sarah’s Picks

Sarah’s Favorites of the 2021

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert  

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir  

Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins  

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Sarah’s Noteworthy Titles

A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette (CLE writer, three in series) 

Al’Dente’s Inferno by Stephanie Cole (CLE writer, three in series)

Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien (CLE writer, seven titles in series)

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Won Edgar & Mystery Writers of America) 

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Don’s Picks

Best audiobooks!

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (Note from Don: masterful performance)

The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell (redefines the medium!)

Graphic novels

Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts, written by Rebecca Hall, illustrated by Hugo Martinez (Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year Pick, and Washington Post Best Graphic Novel of 2021)

Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal

Don’s Noteworthy Titles

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Ohio writer) 

Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme and Other Oddities of the English Language by Arika Okrent, illustrated by Sean O’Neill

Clean Coal Burn by Kip Knott (Ohio poet)

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Explore poetry!!

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker (Note from Don: Read the print version!)

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