Announcing Our Best Books of 2021

The Top 20 Books of 2021

For more than two decades, BookBrowse has published an annual list highlighting the best of year titles according to our subscribers, and what excellent taste they have!

Take a look below to see which books made our Top 20 list for 2021 (books are displayed in publication order), and make sure to come back next week (Dec 8) to see which four books won the awards for Best Fiction, Best Nonfiction, Best Young Adult and Best Debut.

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Best Books for Book Clubs in 2022

Best Books for Book Clubs in 2022

2021 has proven to be another uncertain and unpredictable year. We hope that you have weathered it well. As you begin to gear up for next year, here is a list of books as a starting point for whatever need your book club is looking to fill, whether learning more about the world, diversion or simply a unique and memorable reading experience. To that end, we have selected a dozen works that we think will be great choices for your book group in 2022. All are already available in hardcover and ebook, and are newly released or soon to be released in paperback.

Our picks this year span debuts, works by established authors, and several different places and periods in history. They feature many people, particularly women and girls, who find themselves in a state of transition, out of place or belonging to multiple places. In A Million Things by Emily Spurr, 10-year-old Rae must fend for herself when her mother disappears. In the The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson, two women who have come to crossroads in their lives take a journey together along the canals of England. In The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson, Ruth Tuttle finds she must go backwards before she can move forwards, unearthing a secret that she attempted to leave behind years earlier. Patricia Engel's Infinite Country follows a teenage girl, Talia, whose family is spread across continents, and Love and Fury by Samantha Silva pays tribute to a major early feminist who forged her own path in both life and work, Mary Wollstonecraft.

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6 Historical Fiction Picks for Book Clubs

6 Historical Fiction Picks for Book Clubs

Historical fiction can be an entertaining tool for learning about days past. It can also be much more. Many novels set in previous periods go beyond a simple rendering of life in a particular time and place in history. For instance, authors may take advantage of the freedom provided by writing outside of their own eras to play with the notion of time itself, or to examine deeper truths about humanity. Books that provide the fun opportunity to reflect on historical details while introducing larger thematic topics often make for great book club selections.

Below are six such books that come highly recommended from our reviewers, with reading guides to spark ideas for discussing them with your book group. Several of these novels employ multiple timelines or cover a longer span of time, and some include connections to well-known people or events but speak from perspectives that have not always been considered historically significant. They all put a unique and valuable spin on the genre.

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Sally Rooney's Dublin

In anticipation of the publication of Sally Rooney's Beautiful World, Where Are You September 7, we invite you to take a tour of Dublin from a literary perspective with our "beyond the book" article:

Bloomsday performers outside Davy Byrnes pubThe backdrop of Sally Rooney's Beautiful World, Where Are You is the city of Dublin and its environs. Rooney herself lives in this UNESCO City of Literature, a metropolis that boasts a flourishing literary scene and an impressive inventory of influential authors, poets and playwrights. The streets of the vibrant capital are infused with the presence of its bookish greats, with landmarks never more than a few minutes away.

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6 Novels to Take Your Book Group Across the Globe

6 books to take your book group across the globe

No matter where we are in the world, books offer us a way of traveling to locations different from our own. Below, we bring you a list of relatively recent novels available in paperback that can help your book club explore and contemplate locales all over the globe, from remote wilderness to bustling cities.

Half of the books feature journeys by water or by air, while the others dive deep into the intricate details of specific places. Two of them, The Paris Hours and The Devil and the Dark Water, will even allow your group to travel through time to bygone eras, in the City of Light and on the high seas respectively.

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Authors Who Switched Languages

Jhumpa Lahiri wrote her novel Whereabouts in Italian, a language she learned in adulthood, and later translated it into English. Many authors have at some time made the decision to become exophonic (to write in a language other than one's native tongue), whether for personal, artistic, practical or political reasons.

The author who is possibly best known for doing this is Irish writer Samuel Beckett, who famously adopted French in order to write "sans style" (without style). While he eventually returned to English, some of his most famous works were originally composed in French, including the play En attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) and the trilogy of novels beginning with Molloy.

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