The Books That Lit Up 2021

There were times in the past year when I felt the old reading habit was flagging. There was simply too much going on to properly immerse in the beauty and peace of it all.

Yet, somehow, looking at the list, there is a good combination of old favorite authors, re-reads of a few books – like visiting old friends again, and a marvelous spattering of new idealogies, new authors etc. The good old books did manage to light up my existence throughout the year, and I am ever so grateful to have access to them.

The Magic of Reading

Magic

Notable ones in the magical section include

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon – By Kelly Barnhill
  • Icefall – by Michael Kirby ( loved this one for the Norse myths and the voice of the bard)
  • The One and Only Ivan – by Katherine Applegate (prompting a desire to learn to use paints and explore visual arts) 🎭 .
  • The Starry Skies – Grace Lin

Writing:

The art and craft of writing is a universe unto itself. Notable works in this genre in 2021:

The Wondrous Universe

  • Questions Asked – Jostein Garder & Akin Duzakin
  • A Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan
  • Cosmos – Carl Sagan’s Audible Book (in the most scattered fashion possible during 15 min car pickups and drop-offs, but it still managed to seep its way in like a raindrop permeates a thick coat somehow )

Non-fiction (only mentioning notable ones that made an impression)

Poetry:

As Ursula K Le Guin said in her Conversations on Writing with David Naimon, fiction is from the imagination, while poetry stems from contemplation. I suppose I benefitted from the contemplative minds of many stalwarts. The favorite among them this year was The Sky Full of Bucket Lists – By Shobhana Kumar. The book makes an appearance on my bedside table often, and every dip into it leaves me marveling and admiring the empathy and contemplation of life that Shobhana’s beautiful mind brings to life. (Please read it if you haven’t already – Shobhana also happens to be a dear childhood friend.)

  • A Sky Full of Bucket Lists – Shobhana Kumar
  • Emily Writes – Emily Dickinson and her Poetic Beginnings – Jane Yolen, Christine Davanier
  • Dreams from many rivers – Margarita Engle
  • Dr Seuss books : The King’s Stilts, Horse Museum ( A post on this book is long simmering in my mind. One beautiful meditative evening with crepuscular glory is rattling inside to be written about – soon!) . Several re-reads such as Horton Hatches the Egg and many more.

Humor

This section has me revisiting all my old book friends most often. Any new suggestions in the Humor genre are most welcome.

  • An Anthology – P G Wodehouse 
  • A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
  • The River Bank and other stories from the wind in the willows – Graham Greene
  • P G Wodehouse (old favorites such as Uncle Fred in the Springtime, Code of the Woosters, and some others that were short story collections that our local library has acquired)
  • Miss Read (A visit to the Cotswold area in the UK is always a pleasure – in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter)
  • Birds, Beasts & Relatives – Gerald Durrell
  • The Shooting Star – Herge

Children’s Books: (again – only the notable ones mentioned )

The Anne Section

We moved in to our new nest, so it seems only fitting that I read Anne’s House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery twice. Also, the children made me watch Anne with an E on Netflix by touchingly creating a profile called ‘Amma’ for me, and I have all but moved into Prince Edward Island in Canada for the past few months. I joyously re-read the entire series, and then some, and have had lots of fun comparing the contrasting Moira Beckett’s version with the original ones.

  • Anne of Green Gables – L M Montgomery
  • Anne of Avonlea – L M Montgomery
  • Anne of the Island – L M Montgomery
  • Anne’s House of Dreams  – L M Montgomery
  • Anne of Ingleside – L M Montgomery
  • Rainbow Valley – L M Montgomery
  • Rilla of Ingleside – L M Montgomery
  • Christmas Tales from Avonlea – L M Montgomery

Please do share your lists too, so we may add to our to-read lists for the coming years.

One thought on “The Books That Lit Up 2021”

  1. The complete list is mentioned here:

    A Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan
    An Anthology – P G Wodehouse
    A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
    The River Bank and other stories from the wind in the willows – Graham Greene
    Friends at Thrush Green – Miss Read
    The Girl Who Drank the Moon – By Kelly Barnhill
    The Water Princess – Susan Verde (Childhood experience of Georgie Badiel)
    Emily Writes – Emily Dickinson and her Poetic Beginnings – Jane Yolen, Christine Davanier
    Neuroscience – Tales from 2 sides of the brain – Michael S Gazzaniga
    A Sky Full of Bucket Lists – Shobhana Kumar
    Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
    The Tale of Despereaux – Kate DiCamillo
    Musicophilia – Oliver Sacks
    The Act of Tidying up – Marie Kondo
    Horse Museum – Dr Seuss
    Horton Hatches the Egg – Dr Seuss
    Hello, Universe – Erin Entrada Kelly
    Uncle Fred in the Springtime – P G Wodehouse
    Over Seventy – P. G Wodehouse
    The Code of the Woosters – P G Wodehouse
    The Tree – By John Fowler
    Plants all around us
    Falling Up – Shel Silverstein
    Destiny Thief on Writing – Richard Russo
    Grandfather and the Moon – By Stephanie LaPointe & Roge
    How I Learned to Understand the World – By Hans Rosling with Fanny Hargestram
    The perks of being a wallflower
    Shiloh – Phyllis Reynolds
    Astro Nuts on Plant Planet – Jon Scywarski
    How I learned to see the world – Hans Rosling TED Talk fellow (doctor & statistician)
    Dreams from many rivers – Margarita Engle
    Seamus Henley – Nobel Speech + poems
    Undoing Project – Michael Lewis
    Joy at Work – Marie Kondo
    The Puppy outside the Castle – Disney book
    Do Nothing Do Everything – Tao-ism & Confuscianism – Qiguang Zhao
    Icefall – by Michael Kirby (story importance – loved this one for the norse myths and the voice of the bard)
    Tyler’s Row – Miss Read
    A Violin for Elva
    Ice Walker – James Raffan
    The Garden of Abdul Gafazi
    Farther Afield – by Miss Read
    Village Affairs – by Miss Read
    Helen Keller – George Sullivan
    BigFoot does not like birthday parties
    How to make a cherry pie and see the USA – By Marjorie Priceman
    Maya Lin – artist and architect by Jeanne walker Harvey illustrated by Dow phumiruk
    Seussisms by Dr Seuss to guide us through life
    Word Collector
    Anne’s house of dreams – By Lucy M Montgomery
    Extreme Animals
    Apollo’s – Percy Jackson
    Light – that children’s book on rain
    Factfulness – 10 reasons the world is better than you think – Hans Rosling
    Birds, Beasts & Relatives – Gerald Durrell
    100 animals to see before they die
    Forgotten Beasts – excellent illustrations – Matt Sewell
    Ikigai – the Japanese way of living – no word for retire
    Essays from No time for this – mother’s essay during covid – write about that Avenger’s actress on Little Women movie, and the boys need for violence
    The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Reid Jenkins
    The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate
    Affairs at Thrush Green – by Miss Read
    Every Color of Light – By Hiroshi Oshada Illustrated by: Ryoji Arai
    Over Seventy – P G Wodehouse
    Another Word for Home – Jasmine Warga
    World of Wonder – Aimee Nezhukumatathil
    Blizzard – Jim Murphy
    Weather Detective – Peter Wohlleben
    We belong / Cookie Hiponia Everman ; illustrations by Abigail Dela Cruz
    Wild Symphony – Dan Brown
    How to Raise an Elephant – Alexander McCall Smith
    Antiquities – Cynthia Ozick
    Seussisms – Dr Seuss
    Oh! the Places you’ll go – Dr Seuss
    You are a beautful beginning – Nina Laden
    We all play = kimêtawânaw – Julie Flett
    Scrambled Eggs Super – Dr Seuss
    The Starry Skies – Grace Lin
    A book within a book within a book
    Anne of Avonlea – L M Montgomery
    Anne of Green Gables – L M Montgomery
    The King’s Stilts – By Dr Seuss
    Anne of the Island – L M Montgomery
    Anne’s House of Dreams – L M Montgomery
    Felicity – Mary Oliver (Poem – thank you on Love)
    Anne of Ingleside – L M Montgomery
    The book uncle – Uma Krishnamurthy
    Wild Souls – Freedom and Flourishing in the non-human world – Emma Marris
    Conversations on Writing – Ursula K Le Guin with David Naimon
    Rainbow Valley – L M Montgomery
    The Hummingbirds Gift – Wonder, Beauty and Renewal on Wings – Sy Montgomery
    Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Happy and Long Life – Hector Garcia & Franscesc Miralles
    Rilla of Ingleside – L M Montgomery
    The Book of Magic – Alice Hoffman
    The Shooting Star – Herge
    Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure – Naomi C Rose
    Tiny Tales – Alexander McCall Smith
    Questions Asked – Jostein Garder & Akin Duzakin
    The Wanderer – Peter Van den Ende (brilliant illustrations)
    Infinity and me – written by Kate Hosford ; illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska
    For the Time Being – Annie Dillard
    A brief history of Earth : four billion years in eight chapters / Andrew H. Knoll
    Chronicles of Avonlea – L M Montgomery
    Christmas Tales from Avonlea – L M Montgomery

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