My 2021 reading list—simply described— is chaotic, adventurous and argumentative. If you ask me where my mind was when I decided to pencil all of these in, I got three words for you: I don’t know. My reading interests have always been all of the place with no real cohesion. I love reading mysteries as much as I love romance, or political ideologies as much as mindset and self-improvement. You get the gist.
But this year, based on my seven selections, I think I’m searching for some understanding. Not sure of what exactly, but I think it’ll be between these books.
Since entering college, I have averaged around 10 books a year. But, this year I’m aiming for 12, or one book a month!
I curated a list of seven books I’m planning to read in the coming year, giving room for around five books to be selected freely based on what my go-to Barnes and Noble guy recommends I read next—the GOAT.
I added a description to each one!
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My beautiful friend Maggie lent me this book and ‘The Terrible” before I started the school year and I am ashamed to say I did not get to them. I have heard incredible things about both of these books. “The Nightingale” is also coming to theaters this year! Top of my list in 2021!
France, 1939 – In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward
This is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened – ‘even the Terrible Things (and God, there were Terrible Things)’. It’s about her childhood in the north-west of England with her beautiful, careworn mother Marcia, Linford (the man formerly known as Dad, ‘half-fun, half-frightening’) and her little brother Roo, who sees things written in the stars. It’s about growing up and discovering the power and fear of her own sexuality, of pitch grey days of pills and powder and encounters. It’s about damage and pain, but also joy. Told with raw intensity, shocking honesty and the poetry of the darkest of fairy tales, The Terrible is a memoir of going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.
1984 by George Orwell
Orwell’s futuristic novels have predicted far too much correctly for me to avoid anymore. Fun fact: my grandma, an Albanian immigrant, even knew and referenced this book. Like any classic, it’s commonly referenced even by those who may never have picked it up! Ex: “Big Brother.” I gotta get in on it.
Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life—the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language—and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins
Goggins literally lights a fire under my a$$. I mean, his story tells it all. His candour and tough love approach to growth and self improvement earns a spot on my 2021 list. Looking forward to him breaking down my whole psyche.
For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare — poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.”
Living Among Lions: How to Thrive like Daniel in Today’s Babylon by David Benham, Jason Benham
I had a christian blogger recommend this book to me, calling it one of the greatest books she’s ever read! Just from reading the free preview on amazon, it was refreshing knowing my thoughts and fears are felt by many. Looking for strength in this one!
David and Jason Benham are convinced the biblical example of Daniel holds the keys to contemporary Christians living victoriously in a world increasingly hostile to people of faith. Like Daniel, many believers today find themselves in an unfriendly environment, one opposed to the God they serve. Yet, like Daniel, they must learn how to take a stand while serving the people around them.
Living Among Lions is for Christian brothers and sisters who have the potential to transform their world but find themselves standing in the shadows wondering how to respond in an unfriendly environment. Divided into three sections, Living Among Lions covers three distinct characteristics that made Daniel strong: Conviction, Commitment, and Courage.
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
Okay, okay I know a very strange selection. When I told my mom I wanted to read this she snapped back with the biggest eye roll followed by an “oof, you don’t even know.” There’s two main reasons why I want to read this manifesto. 1) Communism has been attributed to the death of half of my family members and I want to know why. 2) I’m annoyed with how often people reference it in the United States, on both sides of the aisle. Like, really annoyed. Let’s dissect what Marx was thinking because it has unwavering support and I’d like to understand why.
A rousing call to arms whose influence is still felt today. Originally published on the eve of the 1848 European revolutions, The Communist Manifesto is a condensed and incisive account of the worldview Marx and Engels developed during their hectic intellectual and political collaboration. Formulating the principles of dialectical materialism, they believed that labor creates wealth, hence capitalism is exploitive and antithetical to freedom.
Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) by J.K Rowling
We all know this one, but bringing a Spanish twist to it! Last year I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” in Spanish and it was one of the coolest things! I’ve never read the Harry Potter series, but for some reason I want to read the first one in Spanish— LOL.
Sometimes, our goals need a little reinforcement! If you’re a visual person like me, having a tangible way to track your task progress keeps you motivated! If you’re looking to vamp up your reading game in the New Year, I recommend you make a Goodreads account! It takes just a few minutes!
Goodreads is the worlds largest social platform for book recommendations and reviews! You can join groups, check out personalized recommendations and track the books you’re reading, have read and want to read! My account is linked onto the home page of my blog, so you can follow my 2021 reading progress.