My Halfway Top 10 // 2021

I can’t believe we’re already halfway through 2021! I swear I catch myself saying 2020 all the time – it almost feels like I just lost that year of life. Anyone else? So far, I feel like I’ve had a satisfactory reading year. While I’m on track to reach my Goodreads reading goal (I’m ahead by 6 books), I do feel like my reading is a little slower this year compared to last. Maybe it’s the fact that life has returned to full speed again? Anyway, for a little summary of some of my stats so far, be sure to read to the end of this post!

INFINITE COUNTRY BY PATRICIA ENGEL

I wasn’t expecting this small book to hit me so hard, but it absolutely blew me away! I sobbed my eyes out for probably the last twenty or so pages, and when I closed the book, I sat there in silence to fully absorb what I’d just read. Engel takes a hard look at what immigration does to a family; her writing is so powerful it reads almost more like a memoir.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

THE UNDOCUMENTED AMERICANS BY KARLA CORNEJO VILLAVICENCIO

This was a book I saw all over the place late last year and for whatever reason, I put off reading it…HUGE MISTAKE! This is a book we can all benefit from reading and I particularly liked how Villavicencio weaved her personal life with those of others undocumented Americans. This would make a great nonfictional/fictional pairing with Infinite Country, too (see above)!

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

HAMNET BY MAGGIE O’FARRELL

Thinking this book would be more Shakespearan than I could handle, it wasn’t high on my priority list. I’m glad I finally gave it a shot though because it was such an incredible book. The book has little to do with Shakespeare himself; it’s about his wife and how she deals with her grief when their son, Hamnet, dies from an illness. Agnes is a strong female protagonist and I was in awe of her strength and resilience.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

GREAT CIRCLE BY MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD

This book is ambitious in its scope and length, but I was quickly drawn in and became so invested in the three main characters. They each added such a vital component to the story and made this book truly stand out for me. In addition to the great cast of characters, I also learned a lot of history surrounding aviation and the time periods of WWI, WWII, and beyond.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION BY EMILY HENRY

This is the perfect book for summer reading! I loved Poppy and Alex so much and rooted for their relationship from the first page. Coming off a year of no traveling, being able to live vicariously through Poppy and Alex’s trips added to the overall sweetness of the stories. I’m not always a huge fan of the romance genre, but this one completely captured my heart!

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

MALIBU RISING BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

I’m one of those loyal TJR fans that will read whatever she writes, and I’m so happy to report that she did not disappoint with her latest book! We’re introduced to the Rivas family and through alternating viewpoints of past and present, we see how this family ended up where they did. I loved the history and the way TJR seamlessly weaved the two timelines together. This has all the summer vibes so it’s the perfect addition to your beach bag!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

WHEN THE STARS GO DARK BY PAULA MCCLAIN

McClain wrote this thriller just the way I like them – deep and thought-provoking, but not so tricky that I lost track of what’s going on. I love how she weaved in true childhood abduction/murder cases from the time period the story. This is definitely a slow burn; however, the short chapters make it really hard to put down!

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

ALL THE YOUNG MEN BY RUTH COKER BURKS

The world needs more Ruth Coker Burks’ in it! In a time where not much was known about HIV and AIDS, sick men were treated like lepers. Given little to no humanity, Burks selflessly helped these men die with some dignity. This touching memoir is one of the best I’ve ever read!

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

THE PROPHETS BY ROBERT JONES JR.

This book is an absolute masterpiece! Set during the times of slavery, this book deals with themes of love, racism, class, slavery, and white privilege. In adddition, at the heart of the story is the relationship between two enslaved Black men – Isaiah and Samuel. I loved the religious undertones and absolutely fell for the cast of secondary characters. This book will stick with me for a long time!

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

THE BAD MUSLIM DISCOUNT BY SYED M. MASOOD

In this book, we follow two immigrant families – one from Pakistan and one from Iraq. Their reasons for coming to America are vastly different, yet the themes of family, love, immigration, and religion apply to both. Despite some heavy and important topics, there is wit and humor sprinkled thoughtout which makes this one extra special!

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Check out my review here.

If you’ve compiled a list of your Halfway Top 10, I’d love to know about it! Link it in the comments below!

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