Angry Angel Favorites: Best Books of 2021

Welcome to the end of year two in the pandemic calendar and the end of 2021 in the Gregorian one, and we’ve arrived once again at my list of the best books I’ve read this year. Remember that these books may not have been published in 2021, I just read them in 2021.

This year I made the resolution to purchase books from independent bookstores, and made those orders from Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, Maine. I hope that my purchases made a difference in keeping the doors open for the store that my grandmother visits to make purchases for the small island library that she runs.

Speaking of that, usually around this time of year I thank you for your readership and lightly hint that sending $3 my way via Ko-Fi or Paypal might help keep the lights on, but I did okay this year, so I’d like to ask that instead you consider sending a donation to the Orr’s Island Library where my grandmother works. If you donate $20 or more you can add a note with your donation to request the yearly calendar which includes pictures from all over Harpswell: lobster boats, beautiful sunsets, ocean views – I get mine each year and I love it.

All right, let’s look at the best books I read in 2021.

A theme in my reading this year was learning about the past through historical fiction. Donoghue pulled me in with the pandemic link and left me wanting more (in a good way). If you feel lost right now this book is truly a compass.
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Another selection of historical fiction, this book gave insight on the turbulent history of Afghanistan through the eyes of a refugee. I can’t recommend it enough, especially if you’ve only heard about Afghanistan on the news.
Full Review
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Another theme in my reading this year was family dynamics. What happens when your child turns out to (possibly) be a socio/psychopath and you seem to be the only one who sees it? LOTS. I was holding my breath to the last page. Equal parts horror, thriller, and mystery – I still think about this book at least once a week.
Full Review
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Another book teaching me about historical events through fiction, we follow a family through the Dust Bowl and their journey west in search of better fortunes. Truly heartbreaking but also hopeful, and a mirror held up to our current times. If the huge storms in the midwest recently have opened your eyes to this crisis, this novel is a must read so you can understand that this is happened before and how we migth handle it differently this time.
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I am loving the novels coming out from Native American authors. This isn’t necessarily historical fiction, but the richness of tradition and the importance of tending to the land are important messages as we witness the horrors of climate change coming to claim us. Diane Wilson has given us a book that deserves to have a place on the year end lists. A beautiful story.
Full Review
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I discovered Stephen Graham Jones this year in The Only Good Indians and he is firmly in my pre-order queue every time I see a book coming from him from now on. Another story about Native American heritage, struggles, and tradition, the forward motion never stops. You’re never going to want to put this one down, and he’ll have you guessing as to whether he’ll grant you a happy ending. A murderous, vengeful story that will keep you running through the dark woods of your mind, begging for sanctuary.
Full Review
Goodreads

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a part of Angry Angel Books. I wish to you and yours the happiest of holidays however you celebrate, and safety in the coming year.

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