My Recommended Books 2021

Leah
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.

Nonfiction:

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.

Fiction:

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…

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Leah

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.