The Best Five Books I Read in 2021

Over the past six years, I have joined scores of people who have set a reading goal for the year. My goal has been fifty books for the last six years. The only years I have met that goal were years we were battling a pandemic. There is something about slowing down that reminds us of the activities that ground us and calm us. For me reading has always allowed me space to recenter and dream.

In 2021, I read 118 books. Many of those books were books I read with our five-year-old and two-year-old as part of our homeschooling journey. There was a whole lot of Star Wars and whole lot of habitat themed books. What fun to be reading aloud again and remember my teaching days 🙂

Each year, I like to take a minute to share the best five books I read.

Here are mine for 2021:

What an amazing description of what it is like to live a culture of hustle. We can’t avoid stress or live stress free, but we can do our part to complete the stress cycle so that stress does not get trapped in our bodies. Such an important read for me this year!

I always try to read a couple of parenting books a year and this was my top pick from this year! It turns out that in trying to provide for our kids, we can actually limit them as they are developing independence. Letting them take responsibility for their time management and when they forget or fail at something is crucial to helping them develop into adulthood. Our society is leaning heavily into helicopter parenting and is unintentionally stifling kids ability to grow up.

This series is just so good! I love that there chapters are short enough to read together in one setting. I love the character development and the way the author brings backstories together. The vivid descriptions of the setting also make you feel like you are in the Heartwood Hotel. We will be reading this whole series!

I didn’t know how much I needed to read a story about other people living through a pandemic in order to process through living in a pandemic. This book was the perfect way to live through the experiences we have already lived through. The family interactions and relationships only deepen this story and serve to help readers reflect on their own families.

I heard an interview with this author on the On Being podcast and knew I wanted to read his book. There is so much in this book about the way trauma shows up in our bodies and the way that the stories of our ancestors become a part of us. How we can work to unlock trauma, so that it doesn’t store up? What would happen if we all worked to heal trauma? Would our healing bring us closer to each other and community? What a great book to explore the way trauma is impacting us all!