Stars of 2021

lighted christmas stars

For my first post of 2022, I’m looking back to my favorite reads of the past year. On my former blog, The Emerald City Book Review, I awarded the “Emerald City Gem” each year to the most memorable books in various categories. You can visit those lists here if you like, covering 2014 to 2020.

Over here at the Enchanted Castle, I’m going to give out Stars to serve the same purpose, in honor of my starry header image. (It’s Three Kings Day as well, which seems appropriate.)

person holding silver star tree topper
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on

Favorite 2021 Releases

I don’t read many brand-new books, so I’m unable to assemble long lists of favorite 2021 releases, but there were a couple of titles that were definitely standout reads for me:

Nonfiction: What Happened To You?
Fiction: The Robber Girl

Other books I read and especially enjoyed in 2021:

A Tale for the Time Being
The Snow-Woman
The Wolf Den

Memoir-based nonfiction:
Planet of the Blind
Missed Translations
Year of the Mad King
The Choice
When Breath Becomes Air
See No Stranger

Other nonfiction:
Tao Te Ching
Open Mind, Open Heart
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
Everything Belongs
The Moralist
Hidden Valley Road
The Invisible Gorilla
It Didn’t Start With You
What Matters in Jane Austen
Prairie Fires
The Library Book
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear

Yes, way more nonfiction books this year than fiction! That’s partly because this year I did a lot of rereading of books that I already know I love, so I’m not counting those, otherwise the fiction list would have more titles on it. But it still would probably not be longer than the nonfiction list. I read a LOT of really good nonfiction this year. I decided to divide my list into memoir-based books (which are often more than pure memoir, but based in personal narrative) and other nonfiction, to break it up a bit.

Click on the links to read my Goodreads review or blog post and learn more about these books. And tell me, what were your favorite reads of 2021?

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13 thoughts on “Stars of 2021

  1. That looks like an interesting selection of books, particularly the nonfiction. I’ve seen The Wolf Den appearing on a few other best of 2021 lists too, so I’ve added it to my TBR and am looking forward to reading it.

    1. Fingers crossed that you will like it; I’m looking forward to the next in the series. (Trigger warnings for subject matter though. It is set in a brothel and that is not romanticized at all.)

  2. A nice selection. I read a lot more nonfiction than fiction this year, it wavers around but 2020 had been a year of fiction so I was glad to rebalance it.

    1. Yes, I think I’m going to try to read more challenging fiction this year and I might find that changes the balance next time.

    1. Thanks, that was a special surprise this year, I had read it before but didn’t remember it as being so good.

  3. Nonfiction makes up a lot of my reading, too, and I am not a person who sticks to the latest-and-greatest lists. I tend to read from a list of books people have been telling me about for a while.

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