My Recommended Books 2021

5 min readJan 6, 2022

Books I read in 2021 that I’d recommend

I love to read. As a kid, I devoured entire libraries. One year, I built myself a treehouse, then rigged up a pulley system with a box, so that I could haul large amounts of books up after myself, and just sit in the tree and read.

I’ve gone through years when I didn’t read as much, particularly after I started being serious about my writing. However, one of the pieces of advice that you often hear given to young writers is that you need to still read. I mostly agree with that — though it isn’t necessary to read. You need to consume story. I know of more than one major writer who honestly doesn’t read much, but instead, watches story.

It did take me a while to learn how to read as a writer. Particularly when I also needed to be a first reader for everything my husband was writing. Eventually, I figured out a system that works for me, that helps me find books that I enjoy.

In 2021, I read 33 books. That’s about one book every eleven days. (I may have read more. I use Goodreads to track my books, and I’ve found a couple missing while composing this piece.) There were months where I barely read a single book, particularly while recovering from knee replacement surgery. There were other months when I was reading eight books a month. It all averaged out.

So here are my top picks from the books I read, the books that I’d recommend.


The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture by Gail Carriger.

This book was really important to my writing for the year. I would highly recommend it. Though I knew most of the heroine’s journey before I read this book — to the point that I’d already used it in more than one series — I still found extra tidbits that helped my understanding. It is an excellent book, well written, and researched. And Gail has great voice. You’ll be entertained.


The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

I still think about this book, though I read it six months ago. It had both the absurdity of the best of humor, along with such a delicate touch when it came to the romance. I read this book via ebook, and will at some point purchase a…




Leah Cutter sold her first short story back in 1997, and continues to write and sell both her fiction and non-fiction. She supports herself with her writing.