I usually kick off the new year with a list of books that I plan to read, however I recently read My Favourite Books of 2021 by Polly Florance and loved it! Besides, I’m still in the process of making a list of books I want to read in 2022, so drop your favorite reads in the comments below. I’d love your recommendation!
Here are my favorite reads from 2021:
Poems, by C.S. Lewis
What a treat! Known worldwide for his fiction and philosophical essays, most people are unaware that C. S. Lewis was an accomplished poet as well. This volume of poems was edited by Walter Hooper (a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, holla!). This is the C. S. Lewis before the Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity—this Lewis is a classicist, mourner, lover of fairy tales and Greek mythology—closing this book felt like losing a friend.
And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.Poems, C.S. Lewis
Love Poems, by Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda’s love poems caused a scandal when published anonymously in 1952…and for good reason. He paints images of endless shores and seascapes during his stay in Capri with his lover Matilde Urrutia. His pacing is swift, his tone intimate, and his phrasing rhythmic. Neruda’s writings come from deep within the heart—stunningly beautiful on every page.
Life is so short. Forgetting is so long.Love Poems, Pablo Neruda
Why Does E=mc2?, Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw
I recommend this book to everyone. Cox and Forshaw unpack Einstien’s theories of relativity and more into 250 pages…that’s insane. Despite the simplistic analogies, this book is challenging. I’ll admit 100% my knowledge of math and physics is rusty, if not non-existent. I would love to say that I understood every word and every example of this book, but that would be a lie. What’s fun is, I already want to read it again. I enjoyed the complexities so much; I purchased the audio book. If you aren’t strong in math and physics but love time and space, I recommend the audio book.
You dig deeper and it gets more and more complicated, and you get confused, and it’s tricky and it’s hard, but…It is beautiful.Brian Cox
The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
This book was my last read of 2021, and it was a good choice. Duhigg made me think about my habits in a new way, and more specifically what I need to change for 2022. I prefer Mark Manson’s style of, ‘this is what you’re doing wrong, so fix it,’ but The Power of Habit was a breath of fresh air—he uses research to explain how habits are formed and changed.
Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
Long Live Latin, Nicola Gardini
Hands down, the best book I read in 2021. I’m a little biased as I am in love with Latin—so there’s that. Indeed, this book is a ‘lively exploration of the joys of a not-so-dead language.’ Reading it made me feel proud to love Latin as much as I do—it’s basically Latin nerd heaven. Gardini is obviously in love with Latin, his enthusiasm for the language and culture inspired me and gave me that nudge I needed to keep up my studies. Clearly, there’s a reason he’s a professor at the University of Oxford…this book is entirely quotable…”By carefully alternating the musical note lengths in a sentence, it is as if one can mirror the order of the cosmos itself,” and “Life therefore organizes itself int he universe and here’s the interpretive paradigm—just as language organizes itself on the page. The creation is writing, and writing the creation. The poem itself is a small-scale image of the universe.”
Review coming soon, because I obviously need to chat about this book with the internet.
Thanks to Latin, every word I knew doubled in sense. Beneath the garden of everyday language lay a bed of ancient roots.Long Live Latin, Nicola Gardini
Dune, Frank Herbert
Dune has been on my ‘to read’ list for ages. And fair warning, it was a difficult read…at least for me. I purchased the audio book and it was immensely easier to digest. It’s a great story, however, Herbert ‘throws’ readers into the world. I’m used to world building, when Herbert is like, ‘Oh, you didn’t know this world existed?’ *side glance*
Nothing wrong with that—especially when you’re a great writer—it’s an epic tale, and I loved every moment, once I understood what was going on. So, if you find yourself lost while reading, order the audio book. It made a ‘world’ of difference for me! ;)
The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.Dune, Frank Herbert
A Shadow in the Ember, Jennifer L. Armentrout
I love the From Ash and Blood series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, so A Shadow in the Ember was one of my most anticipated reads for the year and it did not disappoint. If you love fantasy, I’ll love this series. You’ll need to read the From Blood and Ash series first though…well, at least the first three—if you love high fantasy, you’re in for a treat.
You are the heir to the lands and seas, skies and realms. A Queen instead of a King. You are the Primal of Life.A Shadow in the Ember, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Share your favorite books in the comments below!