the best books of 2021
there's nothing like a good read
If you find yourself at home with nothing to do, or you wanna get out of the house and go to the park but you're not sure what to do when you get there then we have the perfect activity.
Now, I'm a bit biased because I love words (being a content writer for a living kind of gives that away) but I reckon that reading is one of the best things to do ever and very much an underrated must-do.
I know not everyone enjoys picking up a book, flipping through the pages and letting their mind run wild with the images brought on by the words they're reading but honestly guys, reading is not only good for the mind but good for the soul.
And I'm not just talking about reading fiction books (although they are the best genre and no one can change my mind). Not only are books fun but they can also be educational, fantastical and beneficial, allowing you to learn that thing you were certain you couldn't master and practice that gratefulness exercise you were sure you wouldn't have time for.
Because of my love for reading, I thought I'd put together a list of the best books of all time so you too can bask in the joy that comes from taking in words on a page * .
best fiction books
1. city of girls by elizabeth gilbert
Called a 'pitch perfect performance' by The Weekend Australian, City Of Girls follows a dynamic, fun and experimental pair as they navigate New York City in the 1940's.
Causing trouble from one end of the city to the other, Vivian and Celia are impressively beautiful, charmingly disarming and fiercely independent, loving the way life is unfurling before their very eyes.
Daring to be the novel that stops convention in its tracks, City Of Girls is a heartwarming coming of age tale that celebrates rebelliousness, perpetuates ideas of freedom and encourages female friendships, all the while dripping in glamour and mischievousness.
But you'd expect nothing less from the author of Eat, Pray, Love, am I right?
2. a theatre for dreamers by polly samson
Set in the idyllic Hydra, a small town Greek Island overrun by writers, painters, musicians and drifters in the 1960's, A Theatre Of Dreamers follows a hardcore group of Bohemians as they pick their way through life, dealing with loss, heartache, friendship, and overwhelming love.
Proving to be full of as much light and beauty as the Greek Islands themselves, this novel is utterly spellbinding and shakes loose dreams you never knew you had against a backdrop of innocence.
The fifth novel for Polly, A Theatre For Dreamers is about as beautiful as it gets. And that's really saying something.
best non-fiction books
1. this one wild and precious life by sarah wilson
Written by a New York Times bestseller in Sarah Wilson, this book deep dives into what it means to be truly alive in today's world, touching on the overwhelming circumstances humans find ourselves in and how that might lead to a spiritual disconnection between the life we're currently living and the life we want to be living.
Detailing the climate crisis, political differences, racial issues and problems that have risen due to the current pandemic as reasons for this 'spiritual PTSD' as Sarah calls it, this books delves into the idea that coming together to create a new way of life will allow us to reconnect with our selves, with our morals and values, and find a harmony that'll make the years ahead a peaceful and liveable one for every single human on the planet.
Previously the editor of Cosmopolitan Australia, Sarah now dedicates her time to building and enabling charity projects that encourage human relationships, as well as championing campaigns that support mental health, shed light on racial injustice and bring awareness to climate change issues.
What a book. What a woman.
2. motherwell: a girlhood by deborah orr
Beautifully and cleverly written by Deborah Orr, journalist extraordinaire, Motherwell: A Girlhood outlines the struggles of her life growing up with a mother that couldn't have been more of an opposite.
Growing up in Motherwell, a steel-producing town in Scotland, Deborah was both free-spirited and original whereas her mother was old-fashioned and dissatisfied with life, her daughter and the world around her and I thought my mother was bad (just kidding).
Filled with originality, wit and charm, this memoir of sorts celebrates the idea of humanity whilst navigating a challenging and trying time, not only just within her own four walls but the big, wide world around her.
Thank you for this Deborah, we'll forever salute you.
best biography books
1. greenlights by mathew mcconaughey
Alright, alright, alrighhht, what do we have here?! Yep, we bet you didn't know he was an author!
Most commonly known for acting in movies such as Magic Mike, The Wedding Planner, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Dallas Buyers Club (for which he won an Academy Award), Mathew McConaughey can also now add author to his resume.
Penning an unconventional style memoir of sorts, Mathew details personal stories, wisdom he's picked up along the way and lessons he's learnt living the life he has.
Beautifully written, this memoir is quite simply a love letter to life. Between it's pages you'll find little tidbits that seem to resonate with you even though your life is waaay different to McConnaughey's. The anecdotes, the prophecies, the hastily scribbled ideas and the long, thought-out truths will probably force you to come to terms with your own life, the way you're living it and what you can do to be a nicer, grateful, happier, flawed and more authentic you.
We didn't think we could love him anymore but guess what, we were wrong.
2. here for it by r. eric thomas
Given the approval from the king of words himself (Lin Manuel Miranda), this heartfelt and hilarious memoir takes the idea of growing up and finding oneself and arranges it in a way that's both comedic and downright fascinating.
Written by R. Eric Thomas (a funny guy in his own right), this memoir delves into the idea of what it means to belong as an outsider and how that affects a sense of self whilst trying to navigate the challenges, pitfalls and triumphs of life in growing up in America.
Named one of the best books of the year by O: The Oprah Magazine (to be honest, that's one of the highest praises you can get), this memoir will have you laughing out loud and we're not just talking about a cute little giggle. Oh no. This memoir will have you participating in the 'spit-flying, uncontrollable-snorting, can't catch your breath' type of laugh that only comes around every month or so.
If you haven't guessed already, this one is definitely a must-read.
best self-help books
1. the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by charlie mackesy
How could I write a list of the 'best books to read' without including one for the people who don't really like to read? First of all, if you've gotten this far, I applaud you and second of all, this one's for you.
You'd be forgiven for looking at this book and automatically thinking it's for children (don't worry, it's not) but this incredibly insightful and heartbreakingly beautiful book doesn't fail to remind you of your favourite childhood tales, Winnie The Pooh and The Little Prince.
Super easy to read and even easier to comprehend, this book provides a much-needed 'keep going' to those of us who are facing hardships and adversity. Ensuring we get the extra push we didn't want (but definitely needed), this book is absolutely filled to the brim with life lessons that resonate with every single one of us, detailing many wisdoms about friendship, life, loss, and love.
Giving you the extra motivation you didn't even know you were lacking to get up every day and try your damn best, this book is bound to make your heart a little lighter, your head a little clearer and your outlook on the world, and your place within it, a little happier.
2. women don't owe you pretty by florence given
Written by talented artist and passionate activist Florence Given, this book pledges to make you rethink everything you thought you knew about feminism, completely revolutionising the way you approach practically anything in your life.
The perfect piece for all ages, genders, races and religions, the happenings, truths and tales within this book are bound to open you up to the various lessons to be learnt in life about empowerment, empathy, self acceptance and protecting your energy against those who wish to drain it.
Described as being "brain-shattering in the best way", this book is just the right amount of self-help that you won't even notice it's actually trying to guide you and give you advice, whilst also taking you on a journey to find your true inner self.
Oh and it also has illustrations. Enough said.
* I'm kinda afraid I'm not selling it too well but hey, if you're reading this then that means you got to the bottom of the blog and that also means you must have been at least a little bit intrigued. Am I right? Don't answer that, I know I am.
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