I love books but I feel like I haven’t been showing them the love they deserve lately.
So this post is dedicated to all the fiction books I’ve read in 2021 (so far).
I’ve also shared a quick look at what non-fiction books are currently on my TBR stack. So get ready for some new book reviews coming soon!
Towards the end of last year my reading really started to take its toll.
I was new to the online business scene and to building a personal brand so I wanted to read up on as much as I could.
On Instagram, everyone seemed to be reading a different business book every week. I stumbled across recommendation after recommendation and just wanted to read them all!
I even joined a Mindset book club where I could talk about the books I was reading and reflect on them. Rather than have them disappear from my memory.
I was reading personal development book after personal development book, so much so that eventually my brain became exhausted.
Exhausted from books?
I didn’t even know that was possible!
Reading is one of my favourite self-care activities.
When I was travelling solo you would rarely see me without a book in my hand.
I love reading so much that I even dedicate the first and last 30 minutes of my day to reading.
But somehow I had entered an information overload and started to avoid reading.
I never want reading to feel like a chore. So at the beginning of this year, I told myself that I would purely read fiction throughout January and February.
So that I could reignite my passion for reading again.
Well, it turns out, that passion for reading fiction books continued through to the next 4 months, with the exception of 1 non-fiction book;
I don’t tend to write reviews on fiction books otherwise Notes by Thalia would probably turn into Reviews by Thalia and it would just take over.
So to feed your curiosity and to show my love for fiction, I thought I would dedicate today’s blog post to all the fiction books I’ve read so far this year.
7 fiction books I’ve read in 2021 (so far)
1. all the light we cannot see by anthony doerr
In all honesty, this book has been on my TBR pile since 2018. But I finally got around to reading it in January.
And it was the perfect book to kick off my fiction love-in with!
All The Light We Cannot See is a deeply moving novel set during World War II.
It follows 2 central characters:
Marie-Laure; a young, blind French girl who is living in France at the time of the Nazi invasion.
And Werner; a young German boy who is recruited into the Hitler Youth before becoming a soldier who specialises in detecting and tracking radio frequencies.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and it was everything I wanted from a historical fiction novel.
I was slightly hoping for a different ending, maybe a bit of a romance, but it didn’t change the way I felt about this book.
2. the thursday murder club by richard osman
Now I don’t usually buy books in hardback but having read the reviews on this book and seeing everyone else reading it, I just had to get myself a copy.
The Thursday Murder Club is essentially a comedy. It’s about a group of 4 unlikely friends living in a peaceful retirement village who investigate past unsolved murders for fun!
But one day an actual murder takes place right on their doorstep and they find themselves in the middle of their first live case.
Pretty enticing right?
Comedy isn’t usually the type of genre I would choose as I’ve read so many dramas it’s hard to get my head around the humourous edge.
But this book got me there. I was giggling away and found the characters incredibly realistic and amusing.
In short, I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait for the sequel.
3. the confession by jessie burton
In fact they were quite unmemorable and I had to go back on my Amazon orders to even confirm that I had read them.
But The Confession actually had me quite gripped.
I wouldn’t call it a thriller but it is full of secrets, lies and mysteries.
The book is told from two perspectives and in two different timelines.
During the 80s, Elise is living in London when she meets and falls in love with a writer, Constance Holden. Elise follows Constance to LA and drama ensues.
Elise later makes a decision that will change her life forever.
3 decades later, you meet Rose. A 30-year old Londoner who wants more from life.
After a conversation with her dad, Rose decides to go on a quest to try and find her long lost mother who left her when she was only a baby.
Lo and behold, she finds herself on Constance Holden’s doorstep looking for a confession.
I know the plot sounds slightly cheesy and predictable but actually there were a few surprises in there for me and I didn’t entirely hate this book!
If you’re a fan of easy-to-read and contemporary fiction then definitely look up this book.
With Summer finally here, it could be your next beach read!
4. the midnight library by matt haig (not pictured)
The Midnight Library is probably my most loved book on this list. I absolutely loved it and it really made me think about how the smallest decisions can affect the path your life takes.
Quite mind-blowing actually.
The Midnight Library follows Nora, a 35-year old who decides to end her life by overdose.
Instead of dying, she is transported to a library where she gets to live out a number of parallel lives in the hope that she will find one where she is truly happy and would want to remain.
Although this book might be slightly predictable and repetitive at times, it still brought comfort to me when I needed it most – during the most miserable winter, and stuck in lockdown.
I looked forward to reading this book every night and morning as it offered me an escape.
And I raced through it! I loved it so much I then lent it to my partner before sending my beloved copy to my mother to read.
I will definitely be adding more Matt Haig to my fiction list soon!
5. city of girls by elizabeth gilbert
As if I would pass up the chance to read another Elizabeth Gilbert book!
Liz frequently appears on my bookshelf and I know it sounds cliché but Eat Pray Love is probably one of my favourite ever fiction books!
And purely because I read it while travelling solo in South East Asia!
I was also a huge fan of Big Magic which I reviewed a few months ago.
City of Girls was no exception and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Not always the conformist, Liz’s City of Girls follows Vivian Morris, a carefree 20-year old who moves to New York City in the 1940s to work at her Aunt’s struggling theatre.
On the brink of war, Vivian narrates a story of glitz, glamour, coming-of-age, love and scandal.
We see Vivian grow old throughout the decades and I LOVE a book with this much character development.
I feel like you really get to know the main characters as though you’re travelling through this journey together.
So, if you’re a fan of female friendships and coming-of-age fiction, then I highly recommend City Of Girls.
6. homegoing by yaa gyasi
If you found the plot to All The Light We Cannot See slightly heavy then be prepared for Homegoing.
It is a book about slavery, its repercussions and “the involvement of Africans in the enslavement of their own people.”
Homegoing tells the story of two sisters living in Fanteland and Asanteland, now modern-day Ghana.
One sister marries a British slave trader. The other sister is sold into slavery.
The chapters that follow are the stories of the generations of men and women that come after, and the many different lives they lead.
This was a remarkable book to read. And for someone who was never taught about slavery at school, it was extremely eye-opening.
I would honestly recommend this book to anyone.
The only issue I had was that I craved more character development.
Each chapter focuses on a different person and I felt that the insight into their lives was too short for me.
I wanted the chapters to be longer.
I wanted to be more involved in their lives!
7. the water dancer by ta-nehisi coates
Out of all the books on this stack, The Water Dancer is probably the most in-depth and challenging to read.
Set in the pre-civil war South, The Water Dancer focuses on Hiram Walker. An enslaved man who works on a plantation in Virginia.
Hiram however possesses a magical power that will help save him and the ones most dear to him as he is recruited into The Underground – a network of agents who are working tirelessly to liberate the enslaved.
It is a unique story that blends historical fiction with fantasy.
And once I got into the book I found it quite captivating. I did have to keep repeating certain pages though to make sure I was fully processing the prose.
My current TBR stack for the next 6 months
From spending the past 6 months reading mainly fiction, it looks like I’m about to go in the opposite direction.
I also can’t wait to get stuck into Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez, It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn and Deep Work by Cal Newport which has actually been on this pile since last Summer.
Shameful I know! But I can’t be the only person who keeps buying books even though they haven’t read the ones they bought the month before?
And I will be making it my mission to finally finish Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I’m about halfway through and at the famous “slow bit”.
But it will not beat me!
I’m not someone who gives up on a book that easily. And I’m someone who has read both Anna Karenina and Moby Dick!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my fiction book round-up for the past 6 months! I will make sure I do another one at the end of the year for all the other books I will be reading.
But in the meantime I would love to hear from you.
What fiction books have you read which you’ve absolutely loved? I’m always on the lookout for new book recommendations so please drop your suggestions below or find me on Instagram and slide into my DMs.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx
Please note any links to books that appear on this post are not associated with an affiliate account. If you like the sound of one of these books then feel free to buy it from where you usually buy your books from. However, if you do end up buying one of these books then please let me know! I would love to hear which one sparked your fancy.