What I read in 2021

Here's my annual list of all the books I read in 2021 for pleasure (so not including the ones which I read/consulted for work purposes). They are listed in the date order in which I read them and my favourites are marked with an asterisk.   


Raymond Briggs: The Illustrators series by Nicolette Jones

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Renni Eddo-Lodge

* Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner

Domesday Book by Connie Willis

Library of Exile by Edmund de Waal

Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas by Gerry Smyth

* Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor (reread)

* Light Eternal by Francis Spufford

The Moon and The Bonfires by Cesare Pavese

A Printmaker’s Journey by Angie Lewin

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

* Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn

* The Front Garden by Candida Lycett Green

A Grass Rope by William Mayne

Back to the Slaughterhouse by Ronald Searle

Christmas Cracker 2010 by John Julius Norwich

You Have Been Warned by Fougasse

Mantel Pieces by Hilary Mantel

St Albans in 50 Buildings by Kate Morris

* On Form by Mike Brearley

Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass by Lana Del Rey

Birdsong in a Time of Silence by Stephen Lovatt

Annie Hall (screenplay) by Woody Allen

The Fourfold Remedy: Epicurus and the Art of Happiness by John Sellars

Lean, Fall, Stand by Jon McGregor

* Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley

On Booze by F Scott Fitzgerald

The Gododdin: Lament for the Fallen by Gillian Clarke

Façade by John Pearson

* Lost Empires by JB Priestley

* River Kings by Cat Jarman

Spain and Portugal: From the library of Ian Robertson (catalogue)

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

* White Spines: Confessions of a book collector by Nicholas Royle

* Mr Wilder and Me by Jonathan Coe

The Time Machine by HG Wells

Normal People by Sally Rooney

The Crooked Scythe by George Ewart Evans/David Gentleman

Lost Horizon by James Hilton

* Underland by Robert Macfarlane

The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara

A Year in the Life by Jack Underwood

Paper Aeroplane: Collected Poems by Simon Armitage

* Piranesi by Susannah Clarke

Scoff by Pen Vogler

Murder by the Book: Mysteries for Bibliophiles – short stories, edited by Martin Edwards

Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession

The Perserverance by Raymond Antrobus

* A Guided Tour of the Ice House by Carole Bromley

The Everlasting Story of Nory by Nicholson Baker

An A-Z of Pasta: Stories, Shapes, Sauces, Recipes by Rachel Roddy

Herb by Mark Diacono

Treacle Walker by Alan Garner

* Love on a Branch Line by John Hadfield

Dune by Frank Herbert

* Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by anonymous

* Of Love and Hunger by Julian Maclaren-Ross

The History of Wales in Twelve Poems by M Wynn Thomas

Am I in the Right Place? by Ben Pester

Dr Johnson’s Doorknob And Other Significant Parts of Great Men’s Houses by Liz Workman and Germaine Greer

A Visit to America by AG MacDonell

Advent by Anja Dunk

Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson

The Box of Delights by John Masefield

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

* Things I Didn’t Throw Out by Marcin Wicha (trans Marta Dziurosz)

The Chimes by Charles Dickens

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

* Infants of the Spring by Anthony Powell