During 2021, I read 37 books total which is about 3 books a month. At the beginning of last year, I made a New Year’s Resolution which I partially followed through with. I said that I was going to read more books that were considered “classics” which I did read more than I ever have, but not as many classics as I had originally hoped for. Although I did not live out that resolution completely, I was proud with how much I did read, and I thought I would share my favorite books from this year.
My favorite classic that I read was either The Awakening or The Picture of Dorian Gray. Honestly, I read The Awakening really early in the year so I probably need to reread it to give it a better review, but I did really like the story and style of writing. I would suggest if you don’t know what the book is about prior to reading it that you don’t read the preface because it will spoil it! Learn from me!! I think The Awakening was really unique compared to other books of its time which is why I liked it so much. It talked about some topics that I just don’t associate with an older book. The Picture of Dorian Gray was also such a different book than I expected it to be. Although I know for a fact now that not all classics are stereotypically boring, The Picture of Dorian Gray really helped me figure out the truth of this. There were so many plot twists that I was not expecting, and it also was not super long and drawn out. Both these books I think are great choices if you are interested in getting into more classic literature with an unexpected ending.
The Glass Castle was one of my summer reading books this year, and I was so happy with how much I loved this book. It is a memoir by Jeannette Walls that takes you through basically her whole life. The beautiful writing really covers up how monstrous and tragic the conditions that she lived through were. Throughout the story, I was constantly forgetting that it was not a book of fiction which made it so much more saddening but loveable in a way. The Glass Castle is one hundred percent my favorite summer reading book I have ever read, and honestly, I usually go into summer reading with a bad mindset so it really shows how much I loved it.
Just recently I finished Normal People, and I really liked this book. Yes, I heard of it off of “booktok,” but I thought it was worth the hype it was given for sure. Although I did love it, I can also get how people would not have. There are no quotation marks around the dialogue, which makes up the majority of the book, so I can definitely see how it could be hard to read because of this, but it didn’t really bother me. Normal People to me was one of those books where you can’t help but sympathize for the characters and still feel connected to them. I really liked the way the author gave insight into the characters’ minds and brought up such serious topics. There is also a show which I have heard is also really good, but I have never seen it. The author, Sally Rooney, just recently published another book which I am excited to read.
Lastly, my favorite book I read this year was The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I thought this book was so interesting and well written. Although I was always warned not to, I definitely judge books by their covers so I immediately was attracted to it. For a while in recommendation videos I saw this book and eventually decided to get it without really knowing what it was about. Very early on you are told what happened to the Lisbon sisters and how it has affected those around them. The perspective of The Virgin Suicides is so unique and makes the impact that the Lisbon sisters caused to them translate to the reader. I really loved Eugenides’ style, and I am honestly surprised I have not reread it yet. There is also a great adaptation for this book.
Remember, you can buy books OR you can get them free from your local library or if you have a library card you might be able to find them on Hoopla or Libby!