My Favorite Books Read in 2021

Happy 2022! In the year of 2021, I read 100 books, surpassing my goal of 50 books by double. I read short story collections, graphic novels, memoir, poetry, fiction, picture books, non-fiction, and audiobooks. Of everything I read last year, I now present to you some of my favorite books I read in 2021!

Favorite fiction books of 2021

FICTION

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

  • Literary fiction
  • Published 1956
  • 159 pages

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

  • Science fiction
  • Published 2019
  • 153 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

  • Literary fiction
  • Published 2020
  • 320 pages

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

  • Literary fiction
  • Published 2020
  • 248 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung

  • Literary fiction
  • Published 2021
  • 272 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

  • Literary fiction / generational saga
  • Published 2021
  • 207 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

  • Literary fiction / generational saga
  • Published 2016
  • 305 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

  • Literary fiction / generational saga
  • Published 2020
  • 342 pages
Favorite graphic novels of 2021

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen

  • Fantasy
  • Published 2019
  • 160 pages

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

  • Coming-of-age
  • Published 2020
  • 256 pages
Favorite picture books of 2021

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOKS

Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou, written by Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Tonya Engel

  • Biography
  • Published 2019
  • 48 pages

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston, written by Alicia D. Williams, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara

  • Biography
  • Published 2021
  • 48 pages
Favorite memoir of 2021

MEMOIR

Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi

  • Published 2021
  • 240 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

  • Published 2019
  • 251 pages

Know my Name by Chanel Miller

  • Published 2019
  • 368 pages

Gentrifier by Anne Elizabeth Moore

  • Published 2021
  • 272 pages

Barely Functional Adult: It’ll All Make Sense Eventually by Meichi Ng

  • Published 2020
  • 416 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Kimiko Does Cancer by Kimiko Tobimatsu, illustrated by Keet Geniza

  • Published 2020
  • 96 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Favorite non-fiction of 2021

NON-FICTION

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Gender, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen

  • Published 2020
  • 210 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century edited by Alice Wong

  • Published 2020
  • 309 pages

Read more of my thoughts on this book here!

Also check out Slanted Spines recapping their 2021 reading on YouTube!


For more book lists from Slanted Spines, browse here!

For last year’s favorites, check out this post.

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