Being Anne’s Books of the Year 2021 #books #fiction #bookbloggers #amreading

By | December 31, 2021

I’m a little later than usual pulling together my Books of the Year list this time round – I really was finding it a quite impossible task, and the end-of-year timing did feel right given that I’m about to begin a month-long blogging break. Once more, I’ve read more books this year than ever before – Goodreads tells me there were 164, but that’s not counting some of my book club reads or any of the audio books I’ve recently discovered. It’s really so difficult to pick out the particularly special ones – but it is something I always rather enjoy doing, looking back through the year’s posts, remembering the pleasure every single book has given me. Mind you, you’d never believe how many times I’ve said “this book might well be one of my books of the year” – and with 129 five star reviews this year on Amazon and Goodreads, I really did want to include every single one of them.

Last year, I produced a list of 36 – this year, I decided to make things even more difficult, and (gulp!) try to make it a list of 21. But I really couldn’t manage that – it turned into a list of 30 instead! I did give myself a few basic rules – no shorter reads, no more than one book per author, and the original publication date was immaterial if I read it in 2021. This year I’ve also excluded all the Christmas reads (but with massive apologies – their inclusion just made getting anywhere near my target entirely impossible!). But in some ways, a tighter list made my final choices a little easier – those really “stand-out” reads, rather than the many wonderful ones that might still have been jostling for their places by Easter.

So, here is my final list of 30, in groups of ten – they’re (more or less!) in the order I read them, I’ve made no attempt at ranking, and all links are to my reviews…

Beneath Cornish Skies – Kate Ryder

Saving Missy – Beth Morrey

Home on Folly Farm – Jane Lovering (I perhaps loved A Midwinter Match even more – but including it was against my rules!)

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

This Is How We Are Human – Louise Beech

The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club – Faith Hogan

The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday – Kiley Dunbar

Emmet and Me – Sara Gethin

Unbreak Your Heart – Katie Marsh

A Family Affair – Julie Houston

A Song Unsung – Fiona Cane

This Much Huxley Knows – Gail Aldwin

Shame – Elizabeth Forbes

Out of the Mountain’s Shadow – Rose Alexander (I loved Along the Endless River too – but only one book per author!)

The Beach Reads Book Club – Kathryn Freeman

So Many Ways of Loving – Christine Webber

On The Bright Side – Nell Carter

The Hidden Child – Louise Fein

The Dating Game – Sandy Barker

Falling in Louvre – Fiona Leitch

The Room in the Attic – Louise Douglas (with a “highly commended” for The Scarlet Dress too!)

The Collector’s Daughter – Gill Paul

A Woman Made of Snow – Elisabeth Gifford

A Village in the Country – Elaine Spires

The Girl in the Maze – Cathy Hayward

The Forgotten Maid – Jane Cable

The Golden Girls’ Getaway – Judy Leigh (just edging out Lil’s Bus Trip…)

The Visitors – Caroline Scott

The Library – Bella Osborne (but it could easily have been The Promise of Summer too…)

The Woman in the Middle – Milly Johnson (perhaps the best of reasons for keeping my list open until the end of the year!)

An eclectic list and, as always, every book I’ve had to leave out has really hurt – particularly needing to omit a number of authors published by Boldwood Books, Bookouture and One More Chapter, whose books have brought me so much joy and pleasure throughout the year. I’m going to resist the temptation to list any of the individual authors I really regret having had to leave out (particularly the one that Milly supplanted – but you’ll never know if it was you!) – when I give a book a five star review, it really does mean that I loved it, and I’ve said that about far more books this year than I ever have before.



So, the end of another year – and, I’m only too aware, another difficult one for many. You might already know that it’s been a year of big changes here – out and about and (always carefully) spending time with friends again, turning my health around, discovering the joy of exercise and the outdoors, rediscovering why I have a kitchen, and a weight loss that’s exceeded my wildest dreams. And, through it all, there’s been the reading – my enjoyment of that will never diminish – and I’d like to thank every author whose books have brought me so much pleasure throughout the year. I’d also like to thank everyone who has provided such wonderful support – blogger friends, blog tour organisers, authors, publishers, readers and friends – and particularly for all those Twitter shares that mean so much to me and to the authors I feature.

I had planned a blogging break in January of last year – but my resolve faltered when I saw all the new releases and blog tours I’d be missing, and it just didn’t happen. But this year, I’ve managed to say “no” to every temptation – and my goodness, there were plenty, and I’m really sorry to be missing a good few blog tours where I’d usually be first in the queue! While I’m enjoying the reading as much as I ever did, there have been times when I’ve really over-committed myself recently and I’ll admit that the blog posts were beginning to feel like a bit of a chore (I do so hope no-one’s been able to tell!). I just feel the need to step back for a month, and hopefully get some of my “oomph” back.

I do promise I’ll be returning at the beginning of February – hey, I have to, I already have ten blog tour reviews in my diary that month (no, I never learn!). But through January I plan to read some of those books I’ve bought and just haven’t been able to fit into my schedule (although I’m sure I won’t be able to resist telling you about the ones I’ve enjoyed when the blog returns), spend rather little less time at the keyboard (I’ll still be around on Twitter and Facebook, though trying to cut back a little, and perhaps not sharing as much as I usually do), and just try to get a more comfortable balance between all the different activities that fill my days. And it will be rather good just to take time to breathe a little, and make some plans for the year ahead.

So I wish everyone a Happy New Year, hopefully one we can all look forward to… stay safe, enjoy your reading, and I’ll see you all again in February.

30 thoughts on “Being Anne’s Books of the Year 2021 #books #fiction #bookbloggers #amreading

  1. Linda Hill

    Happy New Year Anne. Smashing post and enjoy your break. I hope 2022 brings you even more happiness and success. xx

    1. Anne Post author

      Many thanks Linda – and then I spotted your wonderful post, and wished I’d made it so much better! Wishing you a very Happy New Year – and I’ll see you at the end of April… xx

  2. Helena Fairfax

    What a lovely selection, Anne. It seems to have been a particularly good year for books. Or maybe I just felt more in need of them. Thanks so much for the recommendations over the year. I hope you enjoy the break, and all the best for 2022!

    1. Anne Post author

      Many thanks Helena – and wishing you all the best for 2022! x

    1. Anne Post author

      Thank you Cathy – and wishing you a healthy and happy New Year x

    1. Anne Post author

      Thank you Eva, and a Happy New Year to you! xx

  3. Kathryn Freeman

    There are some corkers in that list Anne – and I’m utterly thrilled to see The Beach Reads among them. I hope you have a lovely blogging break and look forward to reading your fabulous reviews again in February. Wishing you a very happy 2022 and hope it brings health, happiness and hours of happy reading 🙂

    1. Anne Post author

      And about time I included you – you know how much I’ve loved every book, but this one was really so special. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2022 – and whenever your next book appears, I’ll be here! xx

  4. Kate Ryder

    Oh my goodness… I’ve just seen this list! How wonderful to be included as one of the earliest books you read in 2021. Thank you so much for all that you do for us authors, Anne. I have no idea how you manage it all… just being superwoman, I guess! Wishing you a very Happy New Year and look forward (hopefully) to actually meeting you during 2022. xx

    1. Anne Post author

      It was only my second read of the year, Su – and you know how much I loved it! A very Happy New Year to you and yours, and I DO hope our paths might finally cross in the year ahead xx

    1. Anne Post author

      And a very happy New Year to you Jena… I have the feeling it’s going to be a good one x

  5. RatherTooFondofBooks (@hayleysbookblog)

    It looks like you’ve had a brilliant reading year! I hope 2022 is filled with lots more wonderful books. I hope you enjoy your break in January and I’ll look forward to reading your posts again in February. Happy New Year! xx

    1. Anne Post author

      Happy New Year, Hayley – I really do feel it’s going to be a good one! I was sidetracked for a moment there, reading your post today. I’m so in awe of everything you’ve achieved this year, and know how much it means… and then I took a closer look at that lovely Joanie dress, and ordered one for myself too (but not quite size 12 yet)! xx

    1. Anne Post author

      Thanks Rae – I’ve enjoyed your posts today too. And a Happy New Year! xx

  6. Jill's Book Cafe

    Thanks for this Anne, I’ve only read, but very much enjoyed, a few of those. I have needless to say got far more of them waiting to be read, I’ll be printing your list off and prioritising. Wishing you all the best for the coming year and fingers crossed this might be the year we actually get to say hello again xx

  7. Wendy Janes

    What a wonderful list, Anne. Thank you for providing such a lovely place for us to come and read about books. I hope you enjoy your break.
    Wishing you a great 2022.

    1. Anne Post author

      I’m delighted you enjoy the blog Wendy – and a Happy New Year to you! x

    1. Anne Post author

      Thank you Janet – and thank you too for your support for the blog. Wishing you a Happy New Year! xx

  8. Jessica Redland Author

    A fabulous round-up and I hope you have a well-deserved break in January, Anne. As ever, thank you for the support you’ve given me. Having had you on three of my blog tours last year, I’ll really miss you on the one for A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow this week so the hedgehogs send their love and hope you enjoy your me-time. Congratulations again on the amazing health/fitness changes. I’m in awe. Wish I had a fraction of your willpower. Happy 2022 to you xx

    1. Anne Post author

      I’m so sorry I’m missing the tour – but you won’t be surprised to hear that I do have my copy, and will be reading and reviewing a little later instead! And another little “sorry” too – I do hope you’ll know that the only reason Starfish Cafe wasn’t on my final list was because I had to omit the Christmas reads (aargh – perhaps not one of my better ideas!), and you’ll know it really was a particular personal favourite. Happy New Year to you! xx

  9. Julie houston

    Going mad anne. Sure I replied to this blog ten minutes ago but can’t find it!! So will rewrite. Thrilled you’ve included A family affair in your lovely list this year. As always many thanks. Have a good break and look forward to reading lots of your lovely reviews in 2022 julie xxxx

    1. Anne Post author

      No way I could leave that one out, Julie. And I’m now really looking forward to A Village Secret – see you on the blog tour! xxx

  10. Sara Gethin

    What an absolute delight to find Emmet and Me included in such a fabulous list – thank you so much, Anne! Happy New Year to you, and huge congratulations on all you’ve achieved this year. Enjoy your very well earned break and I look forward to reading Being Anne again in February 😊

    1. Anne Post author

      Ah Sara, you know how much I loved it! Thank you for all your support over the last year, and a Happy New Year to you xx

Comments are closed.