Your favorite books in 2021


People routinely tell me the columns they like best are what others are reading, so let’s start 2022 with lots of ideas. Thanks, Beth Emmons, for posting on your Facebook page asking friends what their favorite books were last year. I asked my FB Friends the same thing and this is the result.

My cousin, Russell, and my good friend, Sarah, are both bike riding enthusiasts reading some of the same books about cycling. If this sounds like you, try One Way Ticket: Nine Lives on Two Wheels by Jonathan Vaughters, a history and more of cycling. If you admire the pro cycling tour, consider reading Domestique by Charly Wegelius.

Pam gave high praise to two more non-fiction books, Breath by James Nestor, literally about the process of breathing, and The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wehileben. There’s a lot more than we think going on among trees. Pam called these books “life altering.”

Gene liked a memoir with humor and heart, The World’s Greatest Beer Run by John Donohue. Could a bunch of guys in a bar pull off flying some beer over to their neighborhood buddies serving in Vietnam to cheer them up? Read it and see. (Soon to be a film.)

Sue picked The Pink Pony: Murder on Mackinac Island, by Charles Cutter, set at a spot known to pretty much all of us who’ve spent any time on Mackinac Island, always fun in a novel. This light reading is the first in a mystery series.

Ruthie reached back and is reading the Stephen King Dark Tower series. She’s now on book seven of these highly popular books. Haven’t read them? Winter might be the time.

Kate reached back even further, reading Frank Herbert’s Dune. I’ve talked to a few people reading classic science fiction lately. Herbert is one of the bigs, worth our time.

Beth had already created her top five favorites list for 2021 including Kim Richardson’s The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek, one of the rare historical fiction books I also enjoyed reading. It’s still a hot book at the library.

Speaking of hot, Colson Whitehead couldn’t get any warmer right now. Phoebe read The Nickel Boys and Nadine The Harlem Shuffle and both put Whitehead among their favorites in 2021. The Nickel Boys was listed as one of Time Magazine’s Best Books of the Decade (published in 2019) and The Harlem Shuffle is described as a “hilarious morality play,” complex in the Colson style and entertaining.

Liz gives us something different – Wendy, Darling by A.C. Wise, extending the Peter Pan story to what happened to Wendy after Neverland. Liz describes it as a “horror-tinged feminist Peter Pan.” Intriguing.

Sol listed among other books the recent The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, which is striking me as a 2022 must read. For those who read A Gentleman in Moscow, you won’t be disappointed. Others, including Mary, Susan, and me, agree.

Kat suggested the non-fiction Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found in Guantanamo Bay by Mansoor Adayfi. The title says it all when it comes to how fast the news moves on while the situation remains.

Scott and Monica certainly weren’t the only ones who liked State of Terror, the jointly written novel by Louise Penny and Hilary Clinton. It is a thriller with an inside perspective.

And Kate K read a different novel for William Kent Krueger, This Tender Land. It is set in Minnesota at an Indian Training School where Native American children were forced to attend. This book is sometimes compared to the popular Where the Crawdads Sing.

Monica and Sue were also reading about spies with, among other books, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purcell. Women’s ability to blend in can become an asset in the espionage world. Like much of the fiction listed here, this one is historically based.

Thanks to everyone who helped build a reading list this first week of the new year. You can access all these books at or through us.

See you at the Library!


(By Roz Weedman for publication in the Frankenmuth News on January 5, 2022)

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