A YEAR OF BOOKS [2021]

As with last year, I kept a list of every book I read (for pleasure, not work) throughout 2021. In total I read 181 books this year. I rated each book out of 5 – ratings for each entry are in [square brackets]. The books I’ve read previously are noted [re-read].

JANUARY [stars out of 5]

  1. The Idiot – Elif Batuman [3]
  2. Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life – Anne Lamott [5]
  3. So Fast, So Close – William R. Soldan [5]
  4. Nothing Can Hurt You – Nicola Maye Goldberg [4]
  5. Writers & Lovers – Lily King [3]
  6. The Death of Francis Bacon – Max Porter [4]
  7. Secrets I Shouldn’t Have – Rachel Baronti [2]
  8. little scratch – Rebecca Watson [5]
  9. The Push – Ashley Audrain [5]
  10. Girl A – Abigail Dean [5]
  11. Arkansas – Fred Moten [4]
  12. Exit Management – Naomi Booth [3]
  13. What Red Was – Rosie Price [4]
  14. Passerine – Kirsten Luckins [4]
  15. Rape: A Love Story – Joyce Carol Oates [3]
  16. The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton [5]
  17. Baptism by Fire – Amy-Jean Muller [5]
  18. The Mezzanine – Nicholson Baker [5]
  19. 48 Psychosis – Sarah Kane [5]

 

FEBRUARY

  1. Beauty and Sadness – Yasunari Kawabata [re-read] [5]
  2. Any Other Mouth – Anneliese Mackintosh [re-read] [5]
  3. Luster – Raven Leilani [5]
  4. On Murder, Mourning and Melancholia – Sigmund Freud [re-read] [4]
  5. What is Madness? – Darian Leader [re-read] [4]
  6. Madness and Civilisation – Michael Foucault [re-read] [3]
  7. The Faces – Tove Ditlevsen [4]
  8. Ways of Coping – Ollie O’Neill [4]
  9. Sisters – Daisy Johnson [4]
  10. Selected poems 1923-1958 – e. e. cummings [3]
  11. Asylum Road – Olivia Sudjic [4]
  12. The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression – Darian Leader [re-read] [4]
  13. How to Get Into the Twin Palms – Karolina Waclawiak [5]
  14. I Have More Souls Than One – Fernando Pessoa [5]
  15. The Nightingale – Marina Kemp [5]
  16. Handiwork – Sara Baume [5]

 

MARCH

  1. The Other’s Gold – Elizabeth Ames [4]
  2. The Lady and the Little Fox Fur – Violette Leduc [4]
  3. Acts of Desperation – Megan Nolan [4]
  4. Pizza Girl – Jean Kyoung Frazier [5]
  5. Saving Agnes – Rachel Cusk [4]
  6. Eat My Heart Out – Zoe Pilger [4]
  7. Coeur de Lion – Ariana Reines [5]
  8. Consent – Annabel Lyon [5]
  9. Breasts and Eggs – Mieko Kawakami [5]
  10. In Bed with Melon Bread – Leonie Rowland [5]
  11. Inferno: A Poet’s Novel – Eileen Myles [5]
  12. All The Violent Memories – J.B. Stevens [5]
  13. 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed – Melissa P. [2]

 

APRIL

  1. Negative Capability – Michèle Roberts [3]
  2. Morvern Callar – Alan Warner [4]
  3. The Eighth Girl – Maxine Mei-Fung Chung [4]
  4. Gratitude – Delphine de Vigan [2]
  5. Notes on Suicide – Simon Critchley [re-read] [5]
  6. Grown Ups – Marian Keyes [4]
  7. Water Shall Refuse Them – Lucie McKnight Hardy [3]
  8. Fever Dream – Samanta Schweblin [4]
  9. Dolores – Lauren Aimee Curtis [5]
  10. Luckenbooth – Jenni Fagan [5]
  11. Ms Ice Sandwich – Mieko Kawakami [2]
  12. The Cutting Room – Louise Welsh [4]
  13. Kitchen / Moonlight Shadow – Banana Yoshimoto [5]

 

MAY

  1. My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite [5]
  2. Unsongs Vol I – Gabriel Hart [5]
  3. Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell [5]
  4. An Unremarkable Body – Elisa Lodato [4]
  5. The Road – Cormac McCarthy [4]
  6. The Bricks that Built the Houses – Kae Tempest [re-read] [4]
  7. The Power Notebooks – Katie Roiphe [3]
  8. Indelicacy – Amina Cain [4]
  9. Vacuum in the Dark – Jen Beagin [5]
  10. Green Girl – Kate Zambreno [re-read] [5]
  11. Real Estate – Deborah Levy [4]
  12. Last Nights of Paris – Philippe Soupault [re-read] [5]
  13. Torn Up – C. Cimmone [5]
  14. Sorrow and Bliss – Meg Mason [5]
  15. Real Life – Brandon Taylor [3]
  16. A Spy in the House of Love – Anais Nin [re-read] [5]

 

JUNE

  1. Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi [5]
  2. Ruthless Little Things – Elizabeth Victoria Aldrich [5]
  3. Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid [2]
  4. Drifts – Kate Zambreno [5]
  5. The Only Sounds Left – B F Jones [5]
  6. Just Kids – Patti Smith [re-read] [5]
  7. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess [re-read] [5]
  8. Toffee – Sarah Crossan [4]
  9. Nothing But Blue Sky – Kathleen MacMahon [2]
  10. Along The Path of Torment – Chandler Morrison [5]
  11. Jezebel – Irène Némirovsky [2]
  12. Paradise Block – Alice Ash [5]
  13. Promising Young Women – Suzanne Scanlon [3]
  14. Animal – Lisa Taddeo [5]
  15. Insignificance – James Clammer [3]
  16. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf [re-read] [5]
  17. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce [re-read] [5]

 

JULY

95. Fresh Girls and other stories – Evelyn Lau [4]
96. The Truants – Kate Weinberg [3]
97. The Wych Elm – Tana French [2]
98. The Service – Frankie Miren [5]
99. Story of the Eye – Georges Bataille [re-read] [5]
100. Ways of Living – Gemma Seltzer [4]
101. Ask Again, Yes – Mary Beth Keane [4]
102. How To Kill Your Family – Bella Mackie [4]
103. The Thousand Ghosts of You – James Lilley [5]
104. Dead Birds & Sinking Ships – John Bowie [5]
105. Daughters of the State – Leigh Chadwick [5]
106. Small Pleasures – Clare Chambers [5]
107. Speedboat – Renata Adler [re-read] [5]

 

AUGUST

108. Shrapnel Apartments – Chris Kelso [5]
109. Hot Stew – Fiona Mozley [5]
110. Artifice – B F Jones [5]
111. Mayflies – Andrew O’Hagan [3]
112. Fuck It – Leia John [5]
113. The Girls Are All So Nice Here – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn [4]
114. Abandoned Accounts – Roy Christopher [5]
115. Instructions for a Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell [3]
116. I’d Better Let You Go – Nikki Dudley [5]
117. Vox – Nicholson Baker [4]
118. The Year of the Cat – Laura Stamps [5]
119. Life Before Man – Margaret Atwood [3]
120. The Plot – Jean Hanff Korelitz [2]
121. WORD/PLAY – Helen Bowie [5]
122. Hate to Feel – Chandler Morrison [5]
123. Other People’s Clothes – Calla Henkel [4]
124. Hexis – Charlene Elsby [5]
125. Breathing Lessons – Anne Tyler [3]
126. Lyrics From The Chamber – Mark McConville [5]
127. The Blue Room – Hanne Ørstavik [3]

 

SEPTEMBER

128. Darryl – Jackie Ess [5]
129. Unger House Radicals – Chris Kelso [5]
130. Lucia – Alex Pheby [5]
131. Wrecked – Charlotte Roche [4]
132. Soul Collector – Duvay Knox [5]
133. Beautiful World, Where Are You? – Sally Rooney [3]
134. Greenwich Park – Katherine Faulkner [3]
135. Animals Eat Each Other – Elle Nash [4]
136. A Separation – Katie Kitamura [2]
137. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee – Rebecca Miller [5]
138. Ritual America – Chris Kelso [5]
139. Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo [5]

 

OCTOBER

    1. Weird Fucks – Lynne Tillman [5]
    2. The Beautiful Summer – Cesare Pavese [re-read] [5]
    3. Ill Feelings – Alice Hattrick [4]
    4. Ghosted – Jenn Ashworth [3]
    5. Self Portrait in Green – Marie NDiaye [5]
    6. The Harpy – Megan Hunter [4]
    7. Meditations for the Dead and Dying – Perry Gasteiger [ARC] [5]
    8. A Still Life – Josie George [4]
    9. Elmet – Fiona Mozley [5]
    10. Careless – Kirsty Capes [4]
    11. The Inseparables – Simone de Beauvoir [4]
    12. Girl meets boy – Ali Smith [5]
    13. As You Were – Elaine Feeney [3]
    14. The Snake Pit – Mary Jane Ward [5]
    15. My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Otessa Moshfegh [re-read] [5]
    16. Misfits: A Personal Manifesto – Michaela Coel [2]
    17. River Street Rhapsody – C.W. Blackwell [ARC] [5]

 

NOVEMBER

157. Insane – Rainald Goetz [4]
158. Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun
in Your Hand: Poems & Stories – Stephen J. Golds [5]
159. H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald [5]
160. Paul – Daisy Lafarge [3]
161. Manifold – Travis Cravey [5]
162. Brain Over Binge – Kathryn Hansen [1]
163. The Art of Falling – Danielle McLaughlin [4]
164. Five Years – B.F. Jones [5]
165. All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews [3]
166. The Blue Hour – James Lilley [5]
167. The Divines – Ellie Eaton [4]
168. To Swallow the Summer – Leia John [5]
169. Machine – Susan Steinberg [3]
170. Bitch – Elizabeth Wurtzel [5]
171. Magpie – Elizabeth Day [4]
172. Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll [5]

 

DECEMBER

    1. Psychros – Charlene Elsby [5]
    2. The Past – Tessa Hadley [3]
    3. Nightcrawling – Leila Mottley [ARC] [4]
    4. Neon in Daylight – Hermione Hoby [5]
    5. A Theatre for Dreamers – Polly Samson [4]
    6. Mouthful of Forevers – Clementine von Radics [3]
    7. The Life of the Mind – Christine Smallwood [5]
    8. By Grand Central Station… – Elizabeth Smart [re-read] [5]
    9. Voyeur – Francesca Reece [4]

 

Love and thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to read my work this year. I appreciate you all so much. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous 2022! H xx

 

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