What I Read in 2021

A stack of books I read in 2021 sitting on my swing.

Before we get started, I will say reading is something that I do to relax. I find it lifegiving – it’s not a chore. I also see it as a way to continue learning and exploring.

Since reading is something I want my kids to grow up loving, I invest time in reading chapter books aloud to them as well as picture books. (And audiobooks are great for roads trips with the kiddos. We utilized several on our 5400 mile trip this fall!)

Last year I read 68 books on my own and then read aloud/listened to the audio book of 38 books to/with the kids.

2 books on CD and other books I read in a pile on a front porch

Most of the books I read I either already own, where given to me, or I check our from the library or find used. Very few I purchase new to read.

I straight up like books so it can be hard for me to pick favorites. I most always learn something or see the world from another culture or perspective. Sometimes books are comfort reads too. Different books also speak to us more in different seasons of life. (So let me know what you like or are looking for in a book, and I can make a recommendations for you from this list!)

That said, I will try and narrow down my top picks in each category. I will have them all asterisked in my main book list so you can check them out!

Pile of books on a swing

Favorite Non Fiction Reads:
(Keep reading for links and the entire list!)

  • Experiencing God
  • How to Really Love Your Child
  • Prayer
  • Weep With Me
  • Delighting in the Trinity
  • Raising Worry-Free Girls
  • A Gospel Primer for Christians
  • In His Image
    (If you are struggling with tech boundaries in your house, I would highly recommend The Tech-Wise Family as well.)

11 of the books I read in 2021

Favorite Biography/Memoir/History Reads:
(Keep reading for links and the entire list!)

  • All Creatures Great and Small (I love reading his books!)
  • The Story of Christianity Volume 1 and 2 (on my list to re-read and take notes/dig into more to help with retaining the material)
  • Until We Meet Again
  • Reading Promise
  • Carved in Ebony
    (If you are a Gilmore Girls fan, be sure to read Talking as Fast as I Can. It’s a fast, fun read – perfect for taking on your summer vacation. I’m not even a fan girl of Gilmore Girls, but still enjoyed it!)

A small stack of books I read in 2021

Favorite Fiction Reads:
I’m trying to branch out and read modern fiction as well as classics (which is my go to).

  • The Chronicles of Narnia (still love these books)
  • We Were the Lucky Ones (fiction but based on a true story)
  • Sweep
  • The Girl With the Louding Voice
  • Orphan Train
  • Scottish Chiefs
    (I am also always a fan of anything George MacDonald, so those books rank high as well. And in high school I read all of Thomas Hardy’s books so it was fun to go back to Far from the Madding Crowd)

7 books I read stacked on a swing

Favorite Reads with the Kids:

  • All of a Kind Family
  • The Hundred Dresses
  • Twenty and Ten
    These first 3 were all books I loved as a kid and it was fun to read them with the kids.
  • The Rats of NIHM
  • The Warden and the Wolf King
  • The Summer of the Monkeys

You can keep reading for links to these books and to see everything I read last year!

A stack of books and audio books to read

What were some of your favorites?

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Non Fiction:
All That’s Good *
Lies Women Believe
Experiencing God *
The Great Divorce
The Tech-Wise Family
How to Really Love Your Child *
The Explosive Child
Prayer *
None Like Him
How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth
Gentle and Lowly
Weep with Me *
Flirtation Experiment
Delighting in the Trinity *
Raising Worry-Free Girls *
The Millionaire Next Door
A Gospel Primer for Christians *
Mama Bear Apologetics
The Creative Habit
Calm My Anxious Heart
You Can’t Make Me
In His Image *
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

All Creatures Great and Small *
The Story of Christianity Volume 1 *
The Story of Christianity Volume 2 *
This is Chance!
Autobiography of a People
Home Work
Talking as Fast as I Can
Until We Meet Again *
The Kidnap Years
The Reading Promise *
The Last Lecture
Carved in Ebony *
Flag of Our Fathers

2 stacks of books I read on a swing.

The Printed Letter Bookshop
We Were the Lucky Ones *
The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe *
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Magician’s Nephew
The Last Battle
Thirteen at Dinner
The Westing Game
Sweep *
The Kite Runner
The Girl with the Louding Voice *
Orphan Train *
The Scottish Chiefs *
Wuthering Heights
Listening for Lions
Pilgrim’s Inn
The Farthest Away Mountain
The Giver
Gathering Blue
The Maiden’s Bequest
The Baron’s Apprenticeship
Far From the Madding Crowd

Read with the Kids:
The Cabin Faced West
Ramona Quimby, Age 8
The Warden and the Wolf King* (8)
The Hundred Dresses * (5)
All of a Kind Family  * (8,10)
The Golden Goblet
Sarah Whitcher’s Story (5)
The Littles (5)
The Long Winter (10)
Twenty and Ten* (10)
Treasure of the Snow (10)
Sled Dog School  (8)
Number the Stars* (10)
Magic Treehouse 1-4 (8)
Flora & Ulysses
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM * (8)
The True Gift (8)
The Sign of the Beaver (8)
Mary Poppins
Farmer Boy
Hatchet (8)
Peter and the Starcatchers  (8)
Mara Daughter of the Nile (10)
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg
My Father’s Dragon (5)
Choice Stories for Children
Puppy Lost in Lapland (8)
Pick of the Litter (8)
Meet Felicity (5)
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
The Tanglewood’s Secret
Fridays with the Wizard (5,8)
The Dog Who Thought He Was Santa (8)
Summer of the Monkeys *(5,8)
The Green Ember (8) (We listened to this on our road trip, and when it was done my husband said “that was a good story”)

I asked my kids their favorites from this list. They are marked above with their ages and also listed below:

My 5 year daughter’s favorites were: The Littles, Meet Felicity, Sarah Whitcher’s Story, Summer of the Monkeys, Fridays with the Wizard, My Father’s Dragon, and The Hundred Dresses.

My 8 year old son’s favorites were: Sled Dog School, Summer of the Monkeys, Dog Who Thought He Was Santa, Warden and the Wolf King, Hatchet, Magic Treehouse, Pick of the Litter, Puppy Lost in Lapland, Green Ember, Fridays with the Wizard, Sign of the Beaver, The True Gift, Sign of the Beaver

My 10 year old daughter’s favorites were: Warden and the Wolf King, Green Ember, All of a Kind Family, Mara Daughter of the Nile, Twenty and Ten, The Long Winter, Treasures of the Snow

If you need even more ideas, check out these posts from previous years:

a graphic that says list of 106 books I read in 2021

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