A Reading List for Your New Year

Inside: Here you’ll find a list of my favorite reads from 2021. This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you.


I haven’t always been what I would consider to be “a reader.” Only in the last five years, have I fallen in love with books. What started as a non-fiction addiction has morphed into a longing to get in bed at the end of everyday and read a good historical fiction novel. If you happen find me out past 8pm, just know that all I want to do in that moment is go home, make some tea and read.

Traditionally, as my final blog post of the year,  I share a list of my favorite reads of the year. This year is no exception. I do hope you’ll return the favor by sharing your favorite reads in the comments.

Now, it wouldn’t be a proper book list if I didn’t mention my own newly published book would it?  Messy Minimalism released on December 7th and is available where books are sold.

Every day I get messages and new reviews from readers who are loving the message of Messy Minimalism. It makes my heart sing. Messy Minimalism is a fun, light, and inspiring read, full of grace and humor. It makes minimalism doable regardless of your season of life or your natural inclination toward messiness.

If you’re sick of the clutter, but not quite sure “minimalism” as you know it is for you, you’re probably right. Minimalism as you know it, probably isn’t for you. It wasn’t for me either.  Because of that, Messy Minimalism was born. It frees you up to embrace the mess, live with less and create an imperfectly perfect home for you.

Messy Minimalism Available NOW Where Books Are Sold

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My Favorite Reads of 2021

The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less by Christine Platt

Best books 2021

If you don’t follow Christine Platt on Instagram, please do so. I love her take on minimalism partly because it aligns with my own, but mostly because it’s so important. Her book is loaded with inspiration to help you live with less while doing minimalism your way. You won’t want to miss this book.

Effortless by Greg McKeown

Best books 2021

Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, does it again. While his first book, Essentialism, discusses the importance of eliminating the inessential from our lives, Effortless shares how to simplify what is essential. As someone who tends to overcomplicate things, I really enjoyed this book.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Best books 2021

I love a good World War II fiction book. The Alice Network was incredible. While The Nightingale is my favorite, this book easily lands as runner up.

In the back of the book, Quinn includes part of the beginning of her next book, The Rose Code which is just brilliant marketing. I immediately requested it from my library and now it too is making the list of my favorite reads this last year.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Best books 2021

This is the first time I’ve ever included two books by the same author in my favorite reads list, but I couldn’t not. I loved them both. This is a gripping story line about three women with completely different backgrounds, brought together by their work fighting the Nazis.

Minimalist Moms by Diane Boden

Best books 2021

Minimalist Moms is written by Diane Boden, founder of The Minimalist Moms Podcast. This book is loaded with strategies for getting and living clutter free. If you’re looking for more insight into simplifying life with a family, this book will help.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Best books 2021

I love Malcolm Gladwell’s writing style. After just a few lines I find myself engrossed in a story, wondering how it’s going to end. Blink is about the decisions we make in a blink of an eye, without even thinking.

My biggest takeaway has been the power our facial expressions have on our mood and attitude. Because of that, I’ve started intentionally smiling more. Especially when I’m feeling anxious. Give it a try and read this book.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Best books 2021

That’s right. I was this many years old when I read the Harry Potter series for  the very first time. I started it in early 2020 when the world shut down and just wrapped up book seven in December. This one was definitely my favorite and I’m still reeling from how it all concluded.

Soundtracks by Jon Acuff

Best books 2021

If you’re a chronic over thinker like myself, this book is required reading. In Soundtracks,  Acuff helps us put our overthinking to work for us. Jon Acuff’s books are some of my favorites and Soundtracks most certainly did not disappoint. Bonus: his books are funny! I love a funny nonfiction book. The important principles sink in with a lot less effort it.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Best books 2021

If Kristin Hannah could just hide away and write book after book after book, putting out multiple novels every year, I’d be very grateful. I love her work and will buy every novel she writes from here on out. I was eagerly waiting for this one to release.

The Four Winds is so well written. It takes place during the dust bowl (which I knew very little about) and shows what life was life during these desperate times. As always, her character development is solid, and leaves you thinking about the characters for weeks after finishing the book.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

Best books 2021

If I had to pick a favorite read of the year, it would go to this little gem right here. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry will help you rethink the pace you’ve been living and give you the tools to slow down.

I’ve heard and read advice insisting we not sleep with our phones nearby as alarm clocks and TV screens. It wasn’t until reading this book that it finally sank in and stuck. My phone is now out of my bedroom for the night.

Get to the Publishing Punchline by Joy Eggerichs-Reed

Best books 2021

If you’ve considered writing and publishing a book, this book is such funny and insightful read. I love Joy’s humor and it’s captured in her writing style.

Bonus: Joy wrote a kids writing workbook and my daughter can’t get enough of it. It’s called writing with Bernard the Baguette: A Kids Guide to Discover the Joy of Writing. This workbook is broken down into three sections, creative writing, memoire and journalism. Each section teaches kids about that style of writing and then includes questions and exercises to help them write in that style. If you’ve got a budding writer in your home, I highly recommend this workbook.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

favorite reads 2021

This book takes place in a Scottish castle during both the early 1700’s and present day. It bounces between the lives of two different women who happen to be more connected than first appears. I loved this story and look forward to reading more work by Kearsley in the future.

Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading

Things That Matter by Joshua Becker

best books 2021

This is going to be an important read. In the past, Becker has helped us eliminate the inessential and declutter our homes. This time, Becker is tackling what I believe can be an even bigger hurdle, eliminating distractions. Things That Matter, releases in April and I’ve already preordered it.

The Story of You by Ian Cron

best books 2021

This fantastic book just arrived in my mailbox and I can’t wait to dive in. I first heard about the enneagram when my husband recommended Cron’s book, The Road Back to You. If you’re new to understanding the enneagram and your personality type, The Road Back to You is a must read.

I’m a sucker for a good book recommendation and would love to hear, what have you loved reading this year?


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3 thoughts on “A Reading List for Your New Year

  1. If you love historical fiction, Susan Meissner is a must. She’s my new favorite author. This year I read A Fall of Marigolds, As Bright as Heaven, and The Last Year of the War. She has several that take place in WWII, and often bounce between past and present like the Hannah book you mentioned.

  2. Can I highly recommend the Biggles series by Captain W. E. Johns? As an adult I still love them, particularly for unwinding from the real world, but they are also great kids (say, from 8 onward?) books too. I read my first Biggles book when I was 12 and have been hooked ever since. 🙂

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