Hi bookish peeps. It’s a new year and we still have the old me, always late to update my best and worst reads of the year. I hope I’m still not too late and great news is, in 2021, I would say I don’t have any bad reads, maybe some dnfs but I don’t feel like talking about those books. So, let’s get into a brief review of the books I read last year.

In 2021, I read a total of 43 books, mostly are children books, Asian lit and some poetries. Most of the books are rated 3.5-5 star. I think last year I was quite careful with my picks and only picked up the books I think I’d really enjoy and let go of those I simply know I wouldn’t enjoy. Without further ado, let’s dive into my best nine reads of 2021.

  1. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
    This was my first novel of the year and I knew I was off to a great start. This book was such an enlightening read. I love the issues highlighted and the seriousness of it. It explores the theme of pregnancy and polygamy with depth. You can read my full review of the book HERE.
  2. Orang-Orang Biasa by Andrea Hirata
    I’m so glad that this year I read more Indonesia lit and found few new favourite authors. Andrea Hirata is one of them. His writing style is simply delightful yet carries importance. The issues he addresses in his books feels close to me and very personal. In this one particular, it’s about poverty and how the weak students in school are always being neglected, causing learning gap to happen among the future generations. It also touches on corruption and few other important social issues that I’d highly recommend everyone to read. Click HERE for my review.
  3. Guru Aini by Andrea Hirata
    If you do not know already, this book is the prequel of Orang-Orang Biasa. In this one, it’s focusing more on education and opportunities in education. How determination can help someone to achieve success and how poverty can drag them back to reality. It also discusses on teachers’ struggles in school. Again, this is very personal to me as I work in this field, hence would definitely recommend this book as well. Click HERE for my review.
  4. Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
    Talking about the most anticipated read of the year. I was super eager to read Zen Cho’s Black Water Sister as it’s set in Malaysia and about Malaysia. The story is super engaging and the pacing is on point. Adore this book with a tinge of fantasy, superstitious beliefs, cultures and traditions. I can assure this book is Malaysia certified! Click HERE for my review.
  5. Heaven by Mieko Kawakami
    I enjoyed Breasts and Eggs so much for its depth and the issue it brings up, hence I was over the moon to read Heaven as it explores a totally different topic: bully. As usual, Mieko Kawakami nails it again with this one. With in depth conversation surrounding bullying, vivid description of bullying and the mental health of the victims. It’s a tough read and definitely has a bunch of trigger warnings that come with this book so be careful going into it. Click HERE for full review.
  6. My Brilliant Life by Kim Ae-ran
    What a heartfelt story. A book that made me laugh then cry the next second. This is a book about Progeria and the main character is honestly so admirable and lovable. This book also talks about parenthood and the parents’ feelings as days pass by, knowing their child is aging faster than they are. Click HERE for my full review.
  7. The Stranger in The Lifeboat by Mitch Albom
    I’m huge fan of Mitch Albom so you know I absolutely love all his books, including this one. The story is somewhat like Titanic with the shipwreck but what I love is that it’s not just a story of survival, it’s a story of each individual on the ship with different backgrounds and different roles, the poor and the rich ones. It’s about their personality, their identity, their perspective on things. It’s also mainly about faith and belief in God. The way Albom writes is truly whimsical and magical. The plot twists are mind blowing. If you haven’t read an Albom book, definitely need to try once in a lifetime at least. Click HERE for my review.
  8. Shoko’s Smile by Choi Eunyoung
    Didn’t even realise it’s a short story collection until a friend told me cause I stopped reading for a while after the first story. Shoko’s Smile, the first story made me clueless, I didn’t know what to feel about the Shoko and the whole situation. However, the following stories are simply breathtaking. Love how different they are from each other yet they all bring in the same theme which is on women relationship, be it friendship, mother and daughter and even generations of women. I adore this book and how it made me tear up thinking about my late grandmothers. Emotional one here. Click HERE for my review.
  9. Olive by Emma Gannon
    I got this book because of the synopsis and I tell you, it’s exactly what it says the book is. 100% relatable and the main character, Olive is such an honest character, she’s not lovable but I think many of us can see bits of us in her. If you’re in your mid 20s to mid 30s and still clueless about life and relationship and having commitments, this is THE book for you. Click HERE for my review.

That’s all for my #2021bestnine reads. Do you find any of your fav and what would you recommend me to read in 2022? Do let me know! Till next time.


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