My 2021 Reading List (so far)

I imagine it goes without saying, but I love to read. I love books, which is obvious to anyone that sees my overflowing bookshelves. I even had to pay for overweight charges on my flight home from living in Australia because I couldn’t let go of pile of books that I had accumulated while living there for a year. I just couldn’t bear the idea of leaving them behind, so I had to bring them home with me.

I read both fiction and non-fiction on a regular basis. I always have a large list of “to read”, so it is hard for me to pick which book to start next. This year, I am trying to read at least one fiction and one non-fiction a month so that I can keep getting through these piles. It likely doesn’t help that, every month, I seem to add a handful more books that have been recommended to me as a “must read”, so the cycle will never end.

For 2021, I have handful of books that I definitely want to read this year. I thought today I would list which books I plan to read, along with a little reason why. Maybe it will help me commit to getting at least these read before I start adding to my pile again. Plus, now you know my book likes, so hopefully you will send me recommendations for others! See I told you that the cycle will never end…


For the fiction books, I am trying to expand from my favorite genre a little to read some other things. Here is my current “to read this year” list for fiction.

1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This book keeps getting recommended to me from everyone I meet in book clubs. I had read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and absolutely loved it. Now whenever I bring up Kristin Hannah to another reader, I am told that I really needed to read The Nightingale, because it is “the best”. So, it is on my list this year. I have to admit, I am starting to grow fond of historical fiction, which is different than my usual horror, sci-fi, or thriller. I can only imagine the amount of research that is required to write historical fiction in order to keep it realistic. I really enjoy Kristin Hannah’s writing, so she may become a regular read for me.

2. Elevation by Stephen King

Of course, being one of my all-time favorite authors, I have to read a book by Stephen King this year. I am trying to slowly make my way through his collection of novels, so I am trying to read at least one of his books a year. This year, I will likely read two of them, but for now, I just have Elevation on my radar. Although, I also have already read Carrie in January, so I guess, Elevation will already be the second on my Stephen King read list this year!

3. Watchers by Dean Koontz

I have read some of the books by Dean Koontz before, but I never really dived deep into his work much. This year, I hope to change that, as I try to broaden my horror fiction reads to other authors. I read that Watchers is one of his most popular books, so I am going to start there this year. Like Stephen King, I imagine I will read more than one book by Dean Koontz this year, but I am going to start with his most popular first.

4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Another popular horror fiction novel! As I said, I am trying to increase my reads in the genre, so it’s only natural that the next book on my list is another horror favorite. I have never seen the Netflix series, so I want to make sure that I read the book before I see the television show. Although I find that the movie and series are never as good as the book. It has become my practice, though, to read the book and then immediately watch the movie or television series before I forget what happened in the book to see how they compare. We even did this in one of my book clubs for something fun for Halloween. We read Coraline by Neil Gaimon and then watched the movie together. It was so much fun (I know, book nerd alert)!

5. Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

Now for something that is not from the horror genre, I hope to continue on with the Witcher series. This one, I must admit, I started after watching the series on Netflix. Before then I wasn’t even aware of the books. I knew there was a Witcher videogame, but I had no idea there was a series of novels about it. I loved the first season of the Witcher, so I hope to work my way through the series before season 2 comes out. I imagine more than one from the series will be on my list this year.

6. The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Just like the Witcher, I fell in love with the television series The Magician’s before I was aware that it was based off a book series! So, in 2020, I bought the Magician’s trilogy and have started to work my way through the storyline. I will probably go back and re-watch the television series after I finish the books, although I am already aware that they are very different from each other.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a personal/professional development nerd. I love watching webinars from leaders in this field, and since they are constantly recommending new books, my pile of non-fiction books also continuously grows larger and larger. So far, for 2021, I have the following books on my radar, but I imagine more will come.

1. Educated by Tara Westover

I actually bought this book two years ago now. It has been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust since. It was a book that a book club was reading that I was thinking of joining at the time, but then became too busy for. So this year, I decided it was time to pick it back up again and read it, since it is another one of those books that came highly recommended.

2. Mindset by Carol Dweck

This was a book that my dad gave me to read. I have read it before, a few years ago, but I thought I might as well read it again, given we are currently dealing with a pandemic, which requires a shift in mindset all on its own. I think it is helpful to be reminded that we need to look at our mindsets on a regular basis, as I find that I can shift to a fixed mindset quite easily, particularly when going through something new and challenging that I don’t want to be, like a lockdown during a pandemic.

3. Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

I discovered the author before I heard about the book in this case. I joined the Growth Day community (by Brendon Burchard – if you follow me on Instagram, you know I am a big fan of his), and David Bach is one of the coaches that goes live each month. Usually, his talks are related to getting your finances in order so that you have more freedom, but I enjoy listening to his advice. I grabbed his book from the library because he had made me more aware of my “Latte Factor”. Except for me, it’s not lattes that I spend lots of money on, it’s books (if you didn’t already guess that). At any rate, I feel like it’s a good time to get finances in order, even though my husband and I both thankfully stayed employed so far through this pandemic. Nothing like a pandemic to make you realize that you need to have a better savings in place for a “rainy day”.

4. Undeniable by Bill Nye

I grew up loving Bill Nye. I remember enjoying watching his television series as a kid and he’s likely partly responsible for my becoming a scientist. I loved watching the science experiments and learning how things in the world worked. I couldn’t take everything apart to learn about them, even though I tried, so it was awesome having a real scientist show me the things that I wasn’t old enough to do or didn’t have the money or lab to do them in. Naturally, here I am in my mid-thirties, and he’s writing books, so I of course receive them as gifts from my husband, who is another Bill Nye fan. I am hoping to read both of his books that I have this year, but we will start with this one.

5. Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

I love travel. I especially love travelling through Italy. I can’t remember if I came across Eat, Pray, Love first and the movie second, or the other way around, but it really doesn’t matter to me, as the book is on a completely different level for me. Whenever I miss travel or wish I had a better connection to my spiritual side, I sit down and read Eat, Pray, Love again. I have no idea how many times I have read it by now, but it has to be at least half a dozen. Last year, I managed to find a used copy of Committed, which is apparently what happened to Elizabeth Gilbert after Eat, Pray, Love, so I definitely want to read it this year.

6. Dare by Barry McDonagh

As I have mentioned in at least one of my previous blog posts, I have a tendency for anxiety and waking up with panic attacks around 3 am. I am the type that needs to understand a problem so that I can learn how to fix it, so I am starting to read non-fiction books that discuss anxiety and panic disorders. This is one of the books that seems to be recommended a lot for those particular topics, so it is on my list for this year (among others, I’m sure).

7. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Another non-fiction book on my list is Sapiens, as I have heard great things about it. I also want to read the next book, Homo Deus, but I need to get through this one first. I don’t know if it is my age, but I am definitely finding that science and history continue to grow as interests in my life, even if they aren’t about aliens. Ha.

I am sure I can make this list go on and on, but these are the current books in my “read next” pile for 2021. I also am looking to add some books from local authors, so I will hopefully add these to my pile soon. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them!

Now, I must get back to reading, or I’ll never get through this list. 🙂


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