My favorite reads of 2021.

Not all of these books were written and released in 2021, but they were read in 2021. By yours truly. Here’s my short book report. 

I’ve broken these 15 reads into three categories. Inspiration, entertainment, and information. Another 30 other books did not make the cut, but I enjoyed consuming them anyway. 

Inspiration

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert — The sooner the reader can get over their own irrational hangups around Gilbert’s other work and persona, the quicker one realizes that this is a wonderful and profound piece on the nature of creativity.

The Messy Middle, Scott Belsky — Belsky talks with condor and intelligence about the part of the creative process few people focus on. And why it’s so important. 

Belong, Radha Agrawal — Community building is an art and a skill and this book will help those people for whom finding one’s tribe is critical to happiness and success. 

Honorable mentions: 

Consider This, Chuck Palahniuk

Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty 

Entertainment

Recursion, Blake Crouch — This mind-bending, dimension-jumping tale, at its heart, is just another boy meets girl story in which the nature of reality is challenged and vanquished. 

Zone One, Colson Whitehead — A thinking man’s zombie apocalypse. Maybe not enough arterial spray for some, but the writing is quite beautiful. 

Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir — Andy Weir has a gift for making you care deeply about normal people in rather weird situations. I never wanted this book to end. 

Honorable Mentions: 

American War, Omar El Akkad

Later, Stephen King

Information

Ageless, Andrew Steele — For those of us who plan to live forever, or die trying, this book is required reading. 

Give and Take, Adam Grant — Interestingly, the “nice guys finish last” trope is both 100% true and 100% false. If you rely upon relationships to make ends meet, this is a good book to consume. 

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, Bill Gates — Say whatever you want about Bill Gates; he’s undeniably thoughtful. This book both scared the crap out of me and gave me hope. Your mileage may vary. 

Honorable mentions: 

Capital City, Samuel Stein

Think Again, Adam Grant