Top Ten of 2021. A Wonderful Reading Year.

It has been a fantastic year for books and it has been EXTREMELY difficult to pick. My longlist was around 80 books long and that’s just the ones that could have been a no 1 so there was a lot of hair clutching during this process. Overall though I think I have picked the ones that, for me, really made my reading year. No spoilers here just some short thoughts on why these ones were THE ones. Hope you find something to love!

Here we go then.


Fragile by Sarah Hilary was an early 2021 read for me yet it still stays with me. A piece of modern gothic that resonates with it’s deep seated fascinating characters, this is one I absolutely highly recommend. You can purchase Fragile Here.


Oh I was worried about Jane Casey’s The Killing Kind – What no Derwent? But as it turns out this author kills you with characters in whatever she writes. The Killing Kind was one of the best psychological thrillers I read this year. You can purchase The Killing Kind Here.


The latest from Rod Reynolds, inspired in part by the Long Island Serial Killer case was a tense, atmospheric must read, written beautifully as ever. Lets hope there’s more from main character Casey, but hey we’ll see. You can purchase Black Reed Bay Here.


Ariadne by Jennifer Saint caught my attention immediately and after I finished it I was bereft. A read in one day reimagining of Greek mythology that lingers long after you turn the final page. Fantastic. You can purchase Ariadne Here.


This Can Never Not Be Real absolutely killed me on the day I read it. Impossible to put down once you start, this story of a group of friends facing an impossible fight is one of the best novels on with this particular premise I have ever read. You can purchase This Can Never Not Be Real here.


Seems that Will Carver can’t write a book that won’t make my top ten – not quite no 1 this year but absolutely would have been in any other year. I won’t tell you a thing but you know it will be crazy good, with the emphasis on crazy so what are you waiting for? A brilliant book. You can purchase The Beresford Here.


A bit of a departure for Joseph Knox, one of my favourite writers around today, honestly it was fantastic. A hybrid, one of two meta fiction novels in my top ten this year, this is unmissable. So don’t miss it! You can purchase True Crime Story Here.


Vine Street by Dominic Nolan is simply superb – historical fact and fiction blend seamlessly in this unputdownable novel. In any other year would likely have been my No 1. You can purchase Vine Street Here.


It was honestly difficult to choose between this one and the one that ended up at no 1 – both were highlights of the year for me – Chasing The Boogeyman a “true crime” story, the second meta fiction novel in this years top ten, is stunningly evocative and when at the end you read the inspiration you’ll give a nod to the clever play on storytelling achieved here. Loved it. You can purchase Chasing The Boogeyman here.

Finally – my no 1 for this year won’t come as much of a surprise to those who know me because I banged on about it quite a lot.


This is the third book from Beth Lewis and also the third book of hers that has been my no 1 of its year. That probably says it all really – but The Origins of Iris, a clever and thought provoking story, is one that I still think about often. It is an absolute must read for any fan of literary, gorgeous, haunting fiction. There was never much doubt once I finished it that it would be sat here at my no 1 spot for 2021.

That’s it then. Another year has gone by, filled with books and of course a lot of challenges for the world at large. Thank goodness for reading eh? I hope you find something here you missed this year and HAPPY READING for the rest of 2021 and the whole of 2022.

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