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  • Joshua Britton

Stuff I’ve Been Reading – 2021 Book List





I’m not even close to finishing the book I’m currently reading so my yearly “books read” count is going to end at 53, mostly novels, like usual, and all but six of the 53 written post-1950.

Also like usual, I didn’t have a theme to what I tried to read this past year, although at one point I did go on a little kick of reading books of which I’d already seen the movie adaptations. I’ve concluded that a) you don’t necessarily need to read the book first and b) the book is not always better (old conclusion, actually). I did not include my book, Tadpoles, which I read about seventy times during the editing process, nor the book I edited, The Notes Will Carry Me Home, both of which I’m sure are stronger than their future movie adaptations. Also not included are the books I read to my children, which include, among others, Small Steps, the sequel to Holes, and The Trading Game, which I read a million times as a kid.

I read the Great Hawaiian Novel; discovered Jasper Fforde as a new big time favorite; was very self-conscious that people would mistake my reading Shades of Grey with that other similarly-titled pile of crap; read three books by authors I’d previously decided I wasn’t going to read anymore; re-read seven books, five of which were Shakespeare and Marilynne Robinson; read more poetry than I’ve ever read, like 400% more; and finally started reading Harry Potter, thanks to Zavier.

My favorites for the year were Fleishman Is in Trouble, Room (even better than the really excellent film), The Orphan Master’s Son, Shades of Grey, and the re-reads. Theme for next year? Probably still no theme, but I’m looking forward to it!


(You can find a running list of books read here.) Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier Fleishman Is in Trouble, Taffy Brodesser-Akner The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott Gilead, Marilynne Robinson Checking Tickets on Oumaumua, Tim Heerdink Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn When the Women Come Out to Dance, Elmore Leonard 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart Just Like You, Nick Hornby Bridge of Clay, Markus Zusak Raylan, Elmore Leonard Home, Marilynne Robinson Our Gang, Philip Roth The Way Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball’s Afterlife, Brad Balukjian Bech is Back, John Updike Saturday, Ian McEwan Summer Baseball Nation: Nine Days in the Wood Bat Leagues, Will Geoghegan Lila, Marilynne Robinson Run, Ann Patchett The Winter of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens A Wednesday Night Ticket, Wendy Eastman Jack, Marilynne Robinson Pigeon Feathers, John Updike In Defense of Ska, Aaron Carnes Zoned Out, JakeDH A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess It Started With Linguine, Nicolette Soulia Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng Olinger Stories, John Updike Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy Room, Emma Donoghue DeNiro’s Game, Rawi Hage If Beale Street Could Talk, James Baldwin The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck White Noise, Don DeLillo The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare Macbeth, William Shakespeare The Shell Collector, Anthony Doerr The Midnight Library, Matt Haig Shades of Greg, Jasper Fforde Tabletop Anxieties & Sweet Decay; Tim Heerdink and Tony Brewer One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling The Eyer Affair, Jasper Fforde Sag Harbor, Colson Whitehead


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