How I'm Reading More in 2021

This article is not sponsored. All opinions are 100% my own.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to read at least ten books. Last year, I had ample time to read and read about 30 books–with a little bit of help from audiobooks.

Suppose you are not an avid reader but are interested in reading a bit more this year, too. In that case, I highly recommend you consider signing up for a library card at your local library and the library within the capital of your state. They’re both free and will be your best resource in tackling your reading goals this year (or any year, as long as you renew the card accordingly). For example, I have a library card in my town’s local library, and I also have a library card at the Boston Public Library. Another perk of having two library cards is if one library doesn’t have an available copy of the book you want, the other library (especially the city-based libraries) will probably have it!

Another tool to assist you in achieving your reading goal is the iOS app called Libby. It’s an e-book and audiobook service that allows you to sync your library card and borrow, hold, and categorize the books (e-books and audiobooks alike).

Still not convinced that you can read more books this year? If there is one tool that you MUST have, I am 95% confident that this next tool will convince you otherwise.

My final must-have that will help make your reading goal a reality is GoodReads. It’s a website and an iOS app that enables you to find your next favorite book and explore genres you usually don’t read. You can categorize books into shelves. GoodReads has pre-made bookshelves such as “To Be Read,” “Currently Reading,” and “Read.” But you’re not limited to those shelves; you can create bookshelves of your own. For example, I made bookshelves such as, but not limited to, “Favorite Reads,” or “School Reads,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Adoption.”

GoodReads has a Reading Challenge feature for which you set a reading goal. When you move your books from the “Currently Reading” to “Read” bookshelves, GoodReads will tell you how many you’ve read this year and whether you’re on track with your goal, or if you’ve exceeded your Reading Challenge–it will even say how many books you need to read to catch up and get back on track with your reading goal if you haven’t read enough books. If you are scared to commit to a definitive number of books, you can always keep your reading goal at 1 book and feel [X] times more accomplished when you exceed your goal of one book. It may just help you feel that much more accomplished if you exceed your 1 book reading goal when you realize you’ve read three books!

If you are looking for a book with which to start your reading journey, I highly recommend referring to the GoodReads Choice Awards for the year prior. For example, I have listed below titles of books from across various genres that are featured on the GoodReads Choice Awards of 2020 Any books with an asterisk, I have read, and I highly recommend. All other books are pulled from the GoodReads Choice Awards and are on my TBR.

 

Genre: Fiction

The Midnight Library By Matt Haig

Anxious People By Fredrik Backman

American Dirt By Jeanine Cummins

Such a Fun Age By Kiley Reid

The Girl With the Louding Voice By Abi Daré

 

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

The Guest List By Lucy Foley

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

The Night Swim By Megan Goldin

The Sun Down Motel By Simone St. James

One By One by Ruth Ware

 

Genre: Historical Fiction

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Jane Austen Society By Natalie Jenner

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B. Moore

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

 

Genre: Fantasy

Crescent City By Sarah J. Maas.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue By V.E. Schwab

The House of Cerulean Sea By TJ Klune

Rhythm of War By Brandon Sanderson

The City We Became By N.K. Jemisin

 

Genre: Romance

From Blood and Ash By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Beach Read By Emily Henry

In Five Years By Rebecca Searle

Regretting You By Colleen Hoover

Take a Hint, Dani Brown By Talia Hibbert

 

Genre: Science Fiction

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars By Christopher Paolini

Harrow The Ninth By Tamsyn Muir

Network Effect By Martha Wells

The Space Between Worlds By Micaiah Johnson

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor By Hank Green

 

Genre: Horror

Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

If It Bleeds By Steven King

The Southern Book Club's Guide To Slaying Vampires By Grady Hendrix

Devolution By Max Brooks

The Bright Lands By John Fram  

 

Genre: Humor

Strange Planet By Nathan W. Pyle

A Very Punchable Face By Colin Jost (yes, from Saturday Night Live!)

The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s By Andy Greene

F*CK Your Diet By Chloe Hillard

Is This Anything? By Jerry Seinfeld

 

Genre: NonFiction

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You By Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Hood Feminism: Notes From Women That a Movement Forgot By Mikki Kendall

Me and White Supremacy By Layla F. Saad*

Don’t Overthink It By Anne Bogel

Get Out of Your Head By Jennie Allen

*As a W.O.C. raised in a White community, I highly value this book, which doubles as a journaling guide.

 

Genre: Memoir & Autobiography

A Promised Land By Barack Obama

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson.

The Answer Is...: Reflections on My Life By Alex Trebeck (R.I.P. to an Educational King.)

Hollywood Park By Mikel Jollett

 

Genre: History & Biography

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents By Isabel Wilkerson

The Splendid and The Vile By Erik Larson

A Black Women’s History of the United States By Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross

The House of Kennedy By James Patterson

The Extraordinary Young Women of The First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz By Heather Dune Macadam

Fight Of The Century By Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman (and more!)

The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual and The United States of America By Eric Cervini

 

Genre: Science & Technology

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future By David Attenborough

How To Argue With a Racist By Adam Rutherford

Breath By James Nestor

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis By Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

 

Genre: Food & Cookbooks

Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten

Quick and Delicious By Gordon Ramsay

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, Volume 2 By Joanna Gaines

100 Cookies By Sarah Keiffer Dessert Person By Claire Saffitz

 

Genre: Graphic Novels & Comics

Heartstopper By Alice Oseman

I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf By Grant Snider

Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell*

Sapiens By Yuval Noah Harari

The Times I Knew I Was Gay By Eleanor Crewes

Almost American Girl By Robin Ha

The Stars Are Scattered By Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

* I read the novel version of this as a First-Year at St. Lawrence University, and it helped me feel less alone and helped me understand that everybody is doing their best to acclimate to the college lifestyle.

 

Genre: Poetry

Dearly By Margaret Atwood

Break Your Glass Slipper By Amanda Lovelace

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart

Home Body By Rupi Kaur

On The Horizon By Lois Lowry

 

Genre: Debut Novel

Cemetery Boys By Aiden Thomas

My Dark Vanessa By Kate Elizabeth Russell

The Year of the Witching By Alexis Henderson

One To Watch By Kate Stayman-London

You Deserve Each Other By Sarah Hogle

 

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder By Holly Jackson

One of Us Is Lying By Karen M. McManus

Felix Ever After By Kacen Callender

You Should See Me In a Crown By Leah Johnson

 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The Queen of Nothing By Holly Black

These Violent Delights By Chloe Gong

The Extraordinaries By T.J. Klune

All The Stars and Teeth By Adalyn Grace

The Shadows Between Us By Tricia Levenseller

 

Genre: Middle Grade & Children’s (these are on the Choice Awards for a reason!!)

The Trials of Apollo By Rick Riordan (we love Rick Riordan and Greek Mythology)

The One and Only Bob By Katherine Applegate

Before the Ever After By Jacqueline Woodson

We Dream of Space By Erin Entrada Kelly

The List of Things That Will Not Change By Rebecca Stead

 

Genre: Picture Books (and we love a little break from reading, right?!)

Antiracist Baby By Ibram X. Kendi; Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

Just Like Me By Vanessa Brantley-Newton

I Am Every Good Thing By Derrick Barnes; Illustrated By Gordon C. James

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read By Rita Lorraine Hubbard; Illustrated By Oge Mora

We Are The Water Protectors By Carole Lindstrom; Illustrated By Michaela Goade

 

 

I hope this non-exhaustive list helps you conquer your reading resolutions this year! What books are you adding to your TBR (to-be-read) list? Let us know!  

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