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Books I've Read So Far in 2021

Great Books I Recommend

Great Books to Read recommended by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad

In January I wrote about my Book Recommendations and Reading Goals for 2021. In the first months of 2021 I've read multiple books, though only two from the list I made of 21 Books I Want to Read in 2021: The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi and The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Both novels were excellent and I highly recommend that you read them. Listed below are more books I've read so far this year and my favourite books read in previous years. Below I also mention a few novels I just can't seem to get interested in and finish, even though I devoured previous books by the same authors. This year I did read other books that I found to be mediocre, unenjoyable, uninteresting, or not worth recommending. I won't bother to name those books in the spirit of "if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all." I also don't want to waste your precious reading time. 

Books I've read this year and recommend:

  • You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy. All about listening: why we listen or don't listen and some ideas for improvement. 
  • Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown. A fun, easy novel about two housewives in suburban New York, one living in the 1950s and the other in recent times. 
  • A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon. An illustrated book with interviews and short biographies of women who started incredibly inspiriting projects and work later in their lives. 
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear. Strategies for forming positive new habits and getting rid of bad habits. 
  • French Exit by Patrick deWitt. A short but fun contemporary novel set in New York City and Paris, France. 
  • The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. Classic science fiction short stories. 
  • The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. A historical fiction novel about a self-made henna artist in 1950s Jaipur, India. 
  • The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. A novel about the life of a fictional Hollywood movie star. 

    More Book Recommendations from Prior Years 

    Certain books keep me thinking long after I've read them. These novels are art stories don't became dated, irrelevant or boring even when revisiting. Below are some of my favourite books that are not as recent and I read a few years, but are still worth reading and rereading... 

    Favorite Books I've Read by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad

    • Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale. A novel about the children of a deceased contemporary painter trying to figure out her life story.
    • All Over the Map by Laura Fraser. Non-fiction from a great travel writer at midlife making decisions about love. 
    • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Historical fiction novel with alternate paths for an English girl in 1910. It took me several tries to get into this book, but once I did I couldn't put it down.
    • Trompe l'Oeil by Nancy Reisman. A novel about an American family trying to heal after a tragedy in Rome, Italy.
    • Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante. I've enjoyed everyone I've read by Elena Ferrante, except her latest book The Lying Life of Adults. I listed this recent novel on my 2021 to-read book list, but am having a difficult time getting into the story and finishing it. 
    • Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I loved the first two books in this Cromwell series, but am also not into her latest book, which I keep picking up and putting down. 
    • The Lymond Series by Dorothy Dunnett. The first book in a long, wonderful series historical fiction set in the middle ages. 
    • The Vanished Ones by Donato Carrisi. Very creepy murder mystery set in Rome, Italy. 
    • Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald. This novel slowly unfolds and reveals the narrator's life history, questioning memory.   
    • Matisse on Art edited by Jack Flam. Wisdom from an art master. 
    • Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters by David Hockney.
      Want more book suggestions and reading tips?

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      Happy Reading...

       Great Books to Read in 2021 by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad

      Book Recommendations from Different Genres...

      Favorite books to read by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad