2021 Book List

Last year was the first year I really kept track of my reading, as I shared each book I read in real-time on my Instagram Stories and kept a list updated here on Pocketful of Joules. I ended up reading 113 books in 2020 and you can find the full list of them here: 2020 Book List.

I decided to keep it up for 2021, but wanted to improve my list by incorporating my mini-reviews. Feel free to bookmark this page, as I will keep it updated as I finish each book. I’ll also stick a link to this post over on the right sidebar for easy access.

Here are the books I’ve read so far in 2021:

Book #, Information & LinkMini Book Review
Book #1 of 2021:
One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
Oh my gosh, this one was AMAZING! A plus-sized fashion blogger is the new star of Main Squeeze, a Bachelorette-type reality show. This book was so, so, so, so good! Add it to your MUST READ list now!
Book #2 of 2021:
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I haven’t seen the movie and wanted to give the book a try. All in all, I didn’t enjoy it and thought it was a boring name-dropping slog. Money, money, rich people, money. Just repetitive and rather boring.
Book #3 of 2021:
I Hate Your Face (and other things I wish I could tell my coworkers) by Connie O’Reyes
I wanted to love this book of short stories about office-life…but it just sounded like stories I’ve heard 1,000 times before and to me the book fell flat.
Book #4 of 2021:
Hadley & Grace by Suzanne Redfearn
A ‘Thelma & Louise’ type caper story about two moms who find themselves on the run with their kids. Overall pretty entertaining and a fun ride!
Book #5 of 2021: Widowish by Melissa GouldI thought this book would focus on her journey after her husband passed… but it was brutal to read about them falling in love, him in the hospital, and her having to make the difficult decision to let him go.
Book #6 of 2021:
Please Like Me (But Keep Away) by Mindy Kaling
I thought this was a whole book, but it was just 2 short stories. Super relatable and funny. I wish it were longer! (It looks like Amazon broke “Nothing Like I Imagined” into a bunch of shorter stories.)
Book #7 of 2021:
Chosen (The Warrior Chronicles 1) by K.F. Breene
The start of the Warrior Chronicles and it was fantastic. I love a strong kickass female lead! Fantastic world building and interesting characters throughout. Can’t wait to start the next one!
Book #8 of 2021:
Hunted (The Warrior Chronicles 2) by K.F. Breene
I am loving this series! Some great character growth in this one and also some pretty badass fights.
Book #9 of 2021:
Shadow Lands (The Warrior Chronicles 3) by K.F. Breene
I am still absolutely loving this series. The battles actually gave me goosebumps. I tore though this one and I’m on to the next!
Book #10 of 2021:
Invasion (The Warrior Chronicles 4) by K.F. Breene
This book, the 4th in the series, can best be described as “don’t underestimate the women!” I love how each book in the series is moving the story along bit by bit!
Book #11 of 2021:
Seige (The Warrior Chronicles 5) by K.F. Breene
As the battles get bigger, the stakes are higher and higher. This book builds up through the very end and the very last in the series is coming up next!
Book #12 of 2021: Overtaken (The Warrior Chronicles 6) by K.F. BreeneThe 6-book Warrior saga ends and it was everything I hoped it would be! For extra fun, you can access a special epilogue on the authors webpage (I’ve linked it here).
Book #13 of 2021:
The Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution by Julene Strassou, MS, RD
I was hoping to learn more about the Mediterranean diet way of life and pick up some lunch ideas. Unfortunately, this was much more of a diet book with exercise tips and recipes and portion control. Not really what I was looking for…
Book 14 of 2021:
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
What if you could relive your life seeing what would happen if you could make different choices? A magical story that makes you think about what regrets you have an what in your life you would change.
Book #15 of 2021:
Nobody Eats Parsley by David Oakley
This one didn’t do it for me at all. I made it about a third of the way and not one of his short stories made me chuckle even a little bit. Next!
Book #16 of 2021:
Shadowspell Academy: The Culling Trials (Book 1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer
Apparently I love everything by K.F. Breene! This series is another strong female lead and it’s like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games had a baby.
Book #17 of 2021: Shadowspell Academy: The Culling Trials (Book 2) by K.F. Breene and Shannon MayerThe second in this series and it’s a good one. My only complaint is that they go so quick and end with a cliffhanger. Why not just combine it all in one book? Luckily they are free on Kindle Unlimited!
Book #18 of 2021:
Shadowspell Academy: The Culling Trials (Book 3) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer
The third in this series and the story continues on. Super sad that I read it so fast and the next one isn’t out until the end of the month!
Book #19 of 2021:
Magic Julep by Gina LaManna
The latest addition to an always fun series, The Magic in Mixology Mystery Series (Book #7). A group of interesting characters and a couple mysteries that are wrapped up nicely.
Book #20 of 2021:
The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn
One of the free Amazon First Reads for February and it was a fun romance with lots of colorful characters. Loved it and will be checking out more by this author.
Book #21 of 2021:
The Accidental Text by Becky Monson
This one is such a fun love story! It made me feel all warm and cozy and I highly recommend it!
Book #22 of 2021:
The Invisable Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
This book drew me in and haunted me. I read it slowly so I could enjoy every word and now I’m sad it’s over. FIVE STARS!
Book #23 of 2021:
Magical Midlife Love (Leveling Up Book 4), by K.F. Breene
I started this series in the fall and had to wait for the latest book to come out. This series is full of characters that I love and a women who doesn’t put up with any crap. Highly recommend!
Book #24 of 2021:
Shadowspell Academy: Year of the Chameleon (Book 4) by Shannon Mayer
The 4th in the series and it just came out the day I read it. It was nonstop action and now I have to wait another month for the last book in the series!
Book #25 of 2021:
Digging In by Loretta Nyhan
I liked this one. I enjoyed the main character finding her fire again after loss. Some of the work stuff hit a little too close to the BS I’ve dealt with over the years. Overall, a good read.
Book #26 of 2021:
Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich
I read this book thinking it was by Janet Evanovich of the Stephanie Plum series and wondered why it was so terrible. An entire subplot was just super cringy. The main couple was a mess. Multiple times I put it down because what in the actual f$&k was the writer thinking. Worst book of the year so far… hands down.
Book #27 of 2021:
Marked (House of Night, Book #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
The first book in this YA vampire series and it was a good intro to the story and fun world building. Love the friendships and the mystery of what is going 0n.
Book #28 of 2021:
Betrayed (House of Night, Book #2) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
A good continuation of the series. Unfortunately, the rest is not available at the library and at $7 a pop for the Kindle books, I’m not sure if I’m into the 12 book series enough to pay $70 to finish it. I’ll keep this on my ‘thrift list’ and hopefully pick up a few more!
Book #29 of 2021:
Spellmaker by Charlie N. Holmberg
I enjoyed Spellbreaker (the first in the series), so I was excited to read Spellmaker when it came out this week. All in all, it was just okay. The author assumes the first book is fresh in your memory, so it took a bit to remember all the different storylines. Also, this one dragged on a bit.
Book #30 of 2021:
My Great Ex-Scape by Portia Machintosh
A super light and fluffy romantic comedy. I felt like it didn’t quite live up to its potential and left me hungry for something more fulfilling. Meh.
Book #31 of 2021:
The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
This one was hard — reading about infidelity makes me uncomfortable. However, there were good parts and very, very sad parts too. A good, emotional beach read if you’re in the mood for one.
Book #32 of 2021:
Mediterranean Diet Slow Cooker Cookbook by Shannon Epstein
Borrowed this one from the library and loved it! There are over a dozen recipes that I photocopied and I can’t wait to try them all. Great intro to the Mediterranean way of eating and extra easy since everything just goes in the crockpot!
Book #33 of 2021:
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
The author of this book seems to think she is insightful and hilarious. I disagree.
Book #34 of 2021:
Matched by Ally Condie
This YA novel is like a less exciting and more bland Hunger Games wannabe. It’s the first in a trilogy, but I’m not interested enough to keep reading.
Book 35 of 2021:
Angel Falls by Colleen Helme
I love the Shelby Nichols series so I was excited to start this new one by Colleen Helme. It took quite a while to get into it, but by the end I was finally liking the main characters and I’m interested to see where they go with book 2.
Book #36 of 2021:
Well, Doc, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time! by J. Paul Waymack
Somehow this book of short stories from a trauma surgeon is both interesting and boring at the same time.
Book #37 of 2021:
Sweet Murder (Witches of Keyhole Lake 1) by Tegan Maher
A fun new witchy series! A little bit of romance, kooky characters and a mystery to solve made this a light and fun read! It’s free on Kindle Unlimited and there are 12 books in the series… so I’m happy to add this new series to my list.
Book #38 of 2021:
Murder to the Max (Witches of Keyhole Lake 2) by Tegan Maher
Another lighthearted mystery read and I liked this one even better than the last because you get to know the characters more. Super fun series!
Book #39 of 2021:
A Court of Silver Flames (Court of Thorns and Roses 5) by Sarah J. Maas
While I loved the Court of Thorns and Roses series, I wasn’t sure about this book because it is focused on the sister of the main character. She was quite a pain in the butt and it took a really long time to start liking her. But this latest book was quite the saga and so, so worthwhile. I love a good female warrior story and this one was pretty kickass! (Additional note, I saw that this is still being described as a YA book… it has WAY TOO MUCH raunchy sex to be appropriate for teens).
Book #40 of 2021:
Shadowspell Academy Year of the Chameleon Book 5 by Shannon Mayer
This is the 5th book in a 6 book series. While each book is full of action and friendship and funny banter… the cliffhangers really annoy me. The last one comes out next month. I probably should have waited and read them all at once…
Book #41 of 2021:
Murder so Magical (Witches of Keyhole Lake 3) by Tegan Maher
Back to some lighthearted witchy fun. Third book in the series but this one was super convoluted with the mystery. Not my favorite, but still entertaining.
Book #42 of 2021: Witching for a Miracle (Witches of Keyhole Lake) by Tegan MaherAfter the 3rd book in the series the author note said to read this novella next. Which is how I ended up reading a Christmas book in April. Told from the POV of the teenage sister and was just okay compared to the main novels.
Book #43 of 2021:
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Loved this one so much! Supremely fantastic writing and characters and it needs to be immediately added to everyone’s “to read” list. Read it and thank me later. FIVE STARS!
Book #44 of 2021:
Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Another amazing book by this author and I fully call myself a fan now. This book had one of the best ‘declaration of love’ monologues I’ve ever read!
Book #45 of 2021:
The Roommate by Rosie Danan
Did not like this one at all but made it through. The plot very much stretched any believably at all. The characters were total one dimensional stereotypes. Did. Not. Like.
Book #46 of 2021:
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons
The one had promise.. but it just fell a little flat for me. Maybe it was just the mood I was in, because the reviews on Amazon are full of people who loved it!
Book #47 of 2021:
Mayhem and Murder (Witches of Keyhole Lake 4) by Tegan Maher
Perfect lighthearted magical mystery for a day on the couch with a headache. Still very much enjoying this fun series.
Book #48 of 2021:
Murder and Marinade (Witches of Keyhole Lake 5) by Tegan Maher
Another fun ‘who done it’ with this fun crew of witches. I like how the books can be read as stand alone stories, but there is still an ongoing story too.
Book #49 of 2021:
Magical Midlife Meeting by K.F. Breene (Leveling Up 5)
This was book 5 in the Leveling Up series and it tied up so many loose ends. Great story, awesome characters and super funny too. Can’t wait to find out when the next one will come out!
Book #50 of 2021:
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
As much as I disliked her last book (The Roommate), I did enjoy this one. Interesting relationships between the two main characters and although their relationship progressed swiftly (per the chick lit norm), it was more believable.
Book #51 of 2021: Staying Stylish by Candace Cameron BureWhile this book isn’t rocket science, it is a nice overview of building good basics in your wardrobe, a simple skincare routine, and fitness/selfcare. And the images are beautiful in the hardback!
Book #52 of 2021:
The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson
Loved this one! Interesting characters with full lives and a slow hate-to-love relationship build!
Book #53 of 2021: Well Played by Jen DeLucaI read “Well Met” last year and loved it. “Well Played” is just as fantastic and takes me back to my days as a Maryland Renaissance Festival wench!
Book #54 of 2021:
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada
Not what I expected. The cover looks like a typical rom-com, but this one was a bit heavier with some timely issues. Sexual harassment, drug abuse, blackmail, etc. The end tied things up a little abruptly too.
Book #55 of 2021:
Shadowspell Academy Year of the Chameleon Book 6 by Shannon Mayer
The last book in the series and it was fantastic. Lots of action and adventure and friendship… and best of all, all the ends were tied up nicely. Now that all the books are out, I highly recommend just reading them one after another so you don’t have to deal with the cliffhangers!
Book #56 of 2021:
Love Songs for Skeptics by Christina Pishiris
A not-too-sappy love story that I didn’t want to put down until I got to the happy ending.
Book #57 of 2021:
Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
The author describes this as ‘grief in a romantic comedy setting’ and I couldn’t do any better. This one was both bittersweet and beautiful.
Book #58 of 2021:
Hopeless Romantic by Marina Adair
Are you looking for a perfect beach read? Here it is! A fantastic little romcom and I enjoyed every page.
Book #59 of 2021:
Because He’s Jeff Goldblum by Travis M. Andrews
Meh. The author basically read everything written about Jeff Goldblum and stuck it in a book. He didn’t interview Goldblum and it was… kinda boring. I expected more. Or at least something entertaining.
Book #60 of 2021:
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kristy Greenwood
It took me a bit to get into this one because the main characters were so unlikable. It grew on me though by the end and I very much enjoyed the end.
Book #61 of 2021:
Hook, Line and Murder (Witches of Keyhole Lake 6) by Tegan Maher
A nice visit back to Keyhole Lake for another fun murder mystery. I really love this series, because I can jump in and out around other books and always catch up super easily.
Book #62 of 2021:
The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen
Absolutely beautiful and moving and I teared up at the end. The stories were a puzzle that snapped together in a way that will stick with me. Highly recommend!
Book#63 of 2021:
First Comes Like by Alisha Rai
The son of a powerful Bollywood family and an IG influencer start a pretend relationship and it snowballs very quickly! Super fun story with a slow burning romance.
Book #64 of 2021:
The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley
A YA novel that took me right back to the drama and ridiculousness of high school theater. Perfect for every theater nerd to read!
Book #65 of 2021:
Okay Fine Whatever by Courtenay Hameister
This book was fantastic, hilarious, touching, awesome and so much more. Every chapter was better than the last. I ended the book and immediately stalked the author all over the internet and I want to be her friend. Read it and then tell me how much you love it too!
Book #66 of 2021: The Secret Lives of Dentists by W.A. WinterA who-done-it set in the 1950’s and I really wanted to like it. However, basically every character was unlikable and the ending was too unresolved. Would not recommend.
Book #67 of 2021: domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home by Jessica Romm Perez and Shani SilverOh my gosh, this book is visually delicious. A total feast for the eyes! If you are looking to be inspired for a home decor update, definitely check it out!
Book #68 of 2021: The Rooftop Party by Ellen MeisterAn excellent murder mystery with multifaceted characters who I wanted to spend more time with! Fun and entertaining!
Book #69 of 2021:
Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl
A YA novel I wish I had the chance to read as a teenager. A coming of age story with so much truth. Loved it and it should be required high school reading for all the girls. A fantastic message about standing up for yourself, consent, and what it looks like in healthy relationships.
Book #70 of 2021:
The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe
This book reads like I imagine it would be to sit next to Mike Rowe at a bar and drink a few ciders while making conversation. Entertaining short stories and you’re left wanting more.
Book #71 of 2021:
Murder of the Month (Witches of Keyhole Lake 7) by Tegan Maher
Book 7 in the series and I’m still very much enjoying each book’s lighthearted mystery!
Book #72 of 2021:
Makeovers and Murder (Witches of Keyhole Lake 8) by Tegan Maher
Perfect “I’m on a vacation” reading and another fun mystery solved! Also loving the overarching mystery and can’t wait to read the next book.
Book #73 of 2021:
Southern Fried Murder (Witches of Keyhole Lake 9) by Tegan Maher
Burning through this series with book 9 (#cantstopwontstop). The mystery of the book was great ans some good witchy payback too for an ongoing mystery.
Book #74 of 2021:
Central Park by Guillaume Musso
Many, many twists and turns in this thriller. You think you’ve guessed it… but then it twists again. Not sure how I feeel about the ending though. Worth a read for the ride.
Book #75 of 2021:
Murder in The Mansion (The Witches of Keyhole Lake 10) by Tegan Maher
Book 10 in the series felt a little different as the mystery felt more on the back burner. Love the growth of the characters though and on to the next one!
Book #76 of 2021:
Mudflaps and Murder (The Witches of Keyhole Lake 11) by Tegan Maher
This series just keeps going and going, but rather than get boring it’s still fun! Love the ongoing relationships with all the characters and I’m totally going to miss them when I finish the series!
Book #77 of 2021:
Heal Your Leaky Gut by David Brownstein, MD
My husband borrowed this from the library and I was between books so I gave it a read. Long story short: drink more water, exercise 30 minutes a day and lose weight if your BMI is high. Saved you the time of reading it…
Book #78 of 2021:
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall
It’s only August, but I’m calling it now… FAVORITE book of the year! If you like your main characters funny, honest and flawed and your romances realistic and slow burning… you will LOVE this book. I love it so much I want to read it over again!
Book #79 of 2021:
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020
Some beautiful lunchtime reading of far away places I’d like to one day visit. A great starting place to narrow down the list!
Book #80 of 2021:
Isn’t it Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams
The latest offering in the Bromance Book Club series. For fans of the series… The Russian gets his own book!! Sweet and funny and so fantastic. 5 Stars!
Book #81 of 2021:
Murder without Mercy (The Witches of Keyhole Lake 12) by Tegan Maher
Another fun murder mystery from this series. Some sweet growth for the main characters too. Only a few more books left until I have to leave Keyhole Lake!
Book #82 of 2021:
Murder at Midnight (The Witches of Keyhole Lake 13) by Tegan Maher
This was the 13th in the series and it’s starting to wind down now. Another fun mystery and a pretty kick butt girl fight in a bridal shop made this one a winner.
Book #83 of 2021: Boyfriend Material by Alexis HallI fell in love with Alexis Hall with book 78 this year, so I immediately added his books to my library hold list. Boyfriend Material is completely different than his other book, but so, so wonderful. It’s a messy, real love story with two people who are certainly not perfect. Super excited that a sequel is coming next summer! Be sure to add this one to your list!!
Book #84 of 2021:
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
Nope. I couldn’t get past the way-too-many-scenes of the main character being a total doormat. Almost threw this one across the room and will not be finishing it. Blegh.
Book #85 of 2021:…Coming Soon…

Many of my books are borrowed using Kindle Unlimited (you can read my full review from 2015 here). If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited yet, it’s like an all-you-can-read for books and I’ve been using it for the last few years: Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans.

I’ve also recently started using the free OverDrive Library, through my local library website. If you have a library card, be sure to check your library’s website to see if they work with an online partner. I mean, FREE BOOKS!

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