Recommended Titles from Books I've Read in 2021


Hi, everyone.
As usual, I read 12 books this year so without further ado, here are recommended titles from books I've read in 2021. I am a little late to the game but I hope these recommended titles from books I've read in 2021 will accompany you this year.

First up is City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is the only e-book I read this year and I am absolutely loving it; even from the first chapter. It is part of a historical fiction since the time is set at 1940s. The heroine is Vivian Morris, a college dropout from a wealthy family, who was sent to New York to live with her Aunt Peg who runs a small theatre company called the Lily Playhouse.
While at the playhouse, Vivian meets with quite a few of interesting characters who make this book come alive with all their own charms. All the characters are well written and well developed. The narrator is actually 95 years old Vivian who looks back on her youth. This coming of age book does deal with sex, alcohol, and questionable characters; but somehow it just makes me relate more to Vivian. She is an excellent story teller and I was quickly get attached to her.
City of Girls is beautifully written and would definitely recommend especially if you love fashion as well! Vivian is a skilled seamstress, thanks to her grandmother, and made beautiful dresses and costumes for the shows at Lily Playhouse. Overall, very much worth to read.

Ego is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday is the first book I read in 2021. It is an interesting read especially if you are interested in philosophy. The book is divided into three parts; Insights, Success, and Failures. In every part the writer gives an example from history. 
Ego is The Enemy teaches you how to focus on your own path while you pay attention to things that really matter. Be humble at the way to the top so you can learn all you need to learn. And be humble when you're at top so you can keep learning.
Some parts are repetitive but I find this to be a medium level to read book. No too heavy nor too light. It does make you think but not too deep. Overall, a great read for you who are working your way to success.

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe is a historical fiction based on a real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus. This book is an incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of book alive during Holocaust. Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. After being taken away from her home to the camp, Dita is adjusting to the terror of Auschwitz. But when a Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of eight precious books the prisoners have managed to sneak past guards, she agrees. And so Dita became The Librarian of Auschwitz.
While reading, my heart always feels heavy because well, it is a bleak time in history, but somehow Dita's courage able to lift my spirit little by little. Not all characters are likable, the soldiers, obviously, but also some of the prisoners. Obviously, it is a work of fiction that is based from real events; but I would never say bad things about the lost souls. So, please just read the book with a grain of salt. Definitely do not take the characters as real people. Altho they are based on real prisoners and real soldiers.
I did tremendously enjoy reading the book. I was basically immersed in that Block 31 and my heart thumps whenever there is an inspection while Dita scrambled trying to hide the books. Very much would recommend especially if you are historical fiction fan like me.

In some future utopia or dystopia, kids have their own artificial friend and Klara is one of them. Klara is an artificial friend with outstanding observational quality. One day Klara met her friend who bring her home named Josie. Apparently, in this future, only the elite can afford an artificial friend to not only accompany their children, but also assist with home-schooling. Josie is sick and Klara is ordered by Josie's mother to help her and be her companion.
I do like Klara innocent narrative especially the ones where she first enter Josie's world. As an AI, Klara sure is very attentive to Josie which is endearing. But with Josie being sicker and sicker, there are also important theme of loss and and coping woven inside the story. 
I kinda hope the book ended darker than its original ending, but I still enjoyed the book. Especially the first half. It is not a heavy book ; there is only one kind of a plot twist, but it does make you think about human emotions and especially what is it  that make you "you". There are just many nuances in this book so don't rush reading it!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig tells a story of Nora Seed who finds herself in a library after she try to take her own life. In that library, every book gives her a chance to live another she could have lived; a different partner, a different job, and so on.
I find the concept to be fresh; a library where you can try on lives. But is there really one perfect life? Like they say, there is beauty in imperfection. I truly resonate with  this paragraph so I'll let this paragraph to convince you to read this book.

"It is easy to mourn the lives we aren't living. Easy to wish we'd developed other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we'd worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga. It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn't make and the work we didn't do, and the people we didn't marry and the children we didn't have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and wish you were all the different kaleidoscope versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out.
But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It's the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people's worst enemy. We can't tell if any of  those versions would of been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on."

The Strength You Need by Robert J. Morgan is a book where Pastor Morgan looks at 12 verses that mention strength and explains how that verse has been an encouragement to him. This is basically a bible study of some sort, but not all of us have the training or knowledge to dissect the meaning of a passage so I think Pastor Morgan did an excellent job at leading us to delve just a little deeper into the words.
I find this book to not only encouraging, but also comforting, especially in this pandemic time. This book also comes at the time when Covid cases was at an all time high in my country so I just know God sent me this book to help ease my anxiety. My favorite is definitely the first chapter and the first verse; Lifelong Strength : your strength will equal your days (Deuteronomy 33:25). I hold on to that verse throughout the rest of 2021. I highly recommend this book for you who are weary and heavy burdened. 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet is a story about twin girls, the Vignes sisters, who come from a very small town; it doesn't even exist in a map; called Mallard. This town is rather unique, since most of its people are light skinned black who can even pass as white. And since the time ranges from 1950s to 1990s, you will see why that anecdote is important. 
One day the Vignes sister disappeared. Many years later one sister come back to Mallard with her black daughter while the other one lives as a white in some white suburban and her husband knows nothing about her past.
There are no main characters here since the narrators change a few times but each character are well written and just pulls you in to their story. Spanning a years and generations, the book first follows the twins and then their daughters. This book touches upon many worthy topics such as racism, classism, LGTB, and identity issues.
It is just a book that you have to read to understand how great this book is. Each plot is intricate and just absorbs you into their stories. A must read at least once in your life.

If you only read one book per year, then definitely go with this book! You will not regret it.

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy this post. All books are worth to read for sure; but there are some that just so special you couldn't help but to share it with the world.


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