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.
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – This beautiful fiction book combines the magic of books, art and movies.
- Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash – A poignant graphic novel memoir about coming to terms with one’s sexuality.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘The Magic Fish’ by Trung Le Nyugen – A beautiful graphic novel about a young boy Tien who loves reading fairy tales with his mom.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- 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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