Monthly Archives: December 2021

Most memorable reads of 2021

Once again, a year is coming to its conclusion. And once again, it’s been a hell of a year. Last year, I read over 100 books, and close to 28k pages. Strangely, this was not very many more pages than the previous year, when I read 82 books. Clearly, more books != more pages. This year, I read “only” 66 book, around 17k pages. Regardless, that’s a lot of reading!

Here’s this year’s list of the most memorable books I read in 2021. As usual, not all of these books were published in 2021, I just happened to read them this year. Some might call it a “best of” list, these are certainly my favorites and highest-rated reads of the year.

Memorable Fiction Reads

The books in this list are all very different from each other and appeal to me for different reasons.

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – a fantastical take on life, legacy, and what it means to be forgotten.
  • A Court of Silver Flames – I love, love, love all the Court of Thorn and Roses books, and this one is no except. Nesta’s story needed to be told.
  • The Last House on Needless Street – this was a very entertaining mystery/thriller with some unexpected plot twists!
  • The Light of All That Falls – the long awaited conclusion to the Licanius Trilogy. A very fitting end, and one of my all time favorite epic fantasy series.
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea – the review says it all, this book is what I needed to read this year.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – another great read, even better in audio form with Lin Manuel Miranda narrating.

Memorable Non-fiction Reads

  • Team Topologies – this was an eye-opening look at why how you organize your teams really matters, and what’s at stake,.,
  • Think Again – this book certainly changed my outlook, and contributed to my decision to swtich jobs after being with the same company for 15 years.
  • Breath – one of my four pillars of health — if you’re not breathing, you’re dead, right?
Me, trying to get through my TBR list.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.
The Soul's Echo book cover

The Soul’s Echo

The Soul’s Echo by Jill Creech Bauer is a collection of 13 short stories Stories about memories, living, and what it means to have a soul. Like the collection’s title, the stories seem to be echos of each other, with similar or repeated themes. Overall, the concepts and ideas of the stories are above average to excellent; however, the execution is lacking.

Some of the stories are very simple and easy to read. Others are more complicated with many characters and shifting points of view. In short fiction, this makes it very hard for the reader to follow the story. Combined with the fact that some of the sequential stories in the collection seemed to be variations on a theme, it was sometimes confusing. There are two in particular, “The forgetting garden” and “Physocepahla Memoriae” which I found to be difficult when placed together in this way.

The author also uses the name Rainbow in many places; within a single story to a purposeful, well-executed effect. However, when it pops up in another story later, it’s unclear if the reader is supposed to draw a connection to the earlier uses or not.

Of all 13 stories, I enjoyed “the blue healers”, “shangri-la”, and “the soul’s echo” the most.

I received a free copy of The Soul’s Echo from Book Sirens in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.