Some of my 2021 reading highlights

Here’s a partial selection of books I particularly loved or that made a deep impression on me in 2021. I’m not a fan of lists/favourites*… but I am a fan of sharing recommendations, so here we are.

The Quest for New England trilogy by Dark Age Voices would also be on this list, for teaching me about a whole part of history I knew almost nothing about, but eBooks don’t really go with the photo aesthetic. So here’s a link instead. I also read all but the last few pages of Som Paris’s book in 2020, so that might be cheating, but it’s great, so I don’t care. Raven Nothing is on one level a fantasy novel with a trans main character, but in fact explores ideas of transness in a much more interesting and complex way then that description suggests.

As for the other books, I’m not going to say a lot. Kintu is just a great story, brilliantly told. Doughnut Economics introduces a simple but brilliant idea that helps us look at economics through the lens of social and environmental justice, and also provides a really great potted history of economics. Whitechapel Noise is a bit more specialist but if you’re interested in what Yiddish songs tell us about life in Whitechapel in the late 19th and early 20th century – which I definitely am – this is the book. I don’t know what to say about The Song of Achilles. It spoke to me so deeply that I either say nothing or give it a blog post of its own.

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