Top 11 books I enjoyed most in 2021

If you’re looking for something exciting to read, these are my must reads from last year’s book shelves! I didn’t read a lot of the books I earmarked but still had a lot of bangers! Hard to pick favourites although some stood out as clear winners almost immediately.  This isn’t a ranking, these are just the books that I enjoyed most last year of the 40 I read. Books I could read again and would easily recommend.  They are mostly backlist too as I was aiming to read books I already had last year

I don’t know why the number is 11. That’s just the way it happened

I’ve already talked about how much I love some of these books on blog review posts and/or on my Instagram page @paperbacksocial ! No particular order:

Non Fiction:

Really enjoyed my non fiction picks this year! I can’t lie, they beat the fictions for me this time round. Although my favourite fiction books were also top rate

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson – I know I said I wasn’t ranking but if I was, this would probably be my number 1. An incredible book that I loved reading 

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe – Another incredible book that I’ve written about here. Made a Radden Keefe fan out of me so there will be more

Things I Have Witheld by Kei Miller – Amazing. Also in the running for my number one this year actually. Some thoughts on it here

The Sex Lives of African Women by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah– Loved reading this and would love to see update editions.  A collection of accounts amplifying individual women from across Africa and the global diaspora as they share pivotal experiences of sex, sexuality and relationships. Wrote about it here 

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib – Abdurraqib is so sincere in weaving his own personal experiences and life timeline into the story of A Tribe Called Quest. His love for their artistry really shone through with such a warmth


The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor  – I read this book in January and credit this classic with setting me off to a great year of reading. My thoughts on it here

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – Another Incredible book that I can’t believe I’ve only just read. Loved Janie’s character, her being allowed to live with her flaws. Loved the colloquial dialogue and the characters just built a whole world to be immersed in 

Accra Noir edited by Nana-Ama Danquah –  Darker side to the beautiful country with story lines linking classes from the political to the fish markets through lines of sex and death. Some funny stories and some just completely unexpected turns

Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross Brilliant collection of surreal stories that just forces your imagination to expand. The sheer range of talented writing from the absurd to the erotic will keep your mind pacing

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat – Anther beautiful collection about Haitian immigrants, their relationships and motivations. So much beauty in human empathy is shown here

Things Fall Apart by Chinua AchebeA re-read of a classic that I can see myself revisiting again. A genuine classic for me with so much to be said on the themes and ideology that make up this story.

What were your favourites this year?

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    • paperbacksoc Reply

      Both are excellent reads….Will take a look at those

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