Here’s a quick list of 15 books I rated 5/5 in 2021. These are among the 116 titles I read in a year. Add them to your ‘to read’ list, if they sound like something that should be on your shelf too.

  1. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – This beautiful fiction book combines the magic of books, art and movies.
  2. Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash – A poignant graphic novel memoir about coming to terms with one’s sexuality.
  3. I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You by Yumi Sakugawa – Easily the most adorable illustrated book I’ve ever read. It celebrates platonic friendships and would make for a perfect gift for your best-friend.
  4. Wonder by R J Palacio – It’s easy to see why this children’s novel is such a big bestseller. It packs in a lovely story about a little boy with a rare medical condition.
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon – An impressive, intriguing novel about two Jewish boys trying to make it big in the comic-book industry.
  6. Klaus by Grant Morrison – A witty re-imagining of Santa Klaus as an action hero, this comic-book series has amazing art by Dan Mora.
  7. Fierce Femmes & Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom – A crazy fictional story of a trans-girl that’s filled with poetry, violence, female friendships, love and despair.
  8. ‘The Magic Fish’ by Trung Le Nyugen – A beautiful graphic novel about a young boy Tien who loves reading fairy tales with his mom.
  9. Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka – A moving memoir of a boy who is raised by his grandparents as his single mother spirals into the dark world of drugs. One of the best books out there.
  10. Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan – Not meant for everyone, this is a quick sunny tale about a bratty self-centered teen, that serves no purpose except to entertain the reader.
  11. The New Kid by Jerry Craft – Such a breezy graphic novel about surviving middle-school! The author wittily captures how even the most well-intentioned people can be mean without realizing it.
  12. The Long View’ by Mark Hurst – this is a great horror story about a girl who can talk to those who’ve just died and are yet to pass to the ‘other side’. It’s spooky, gory, grisly, discomforting & gripping.
  13. Brazen by Penelope Bagieu – I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! It’s like a graphic novel, with the cutest artwork, but badass stories about ‘rebel ladies who rocked the world’.
  14. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – Set during World War II, this is an emotionally powerful story about a 11-year-old who escapes from an abusive mother & learns to walk after crawling all her life.
  15. Pure Evil by Balaji Vittal – This is an incredibly well-researched non-fiction book about Bollywood villains over different eras and how they’ve evolved over time.

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