Books Read in 2021


  1. Breasts and Eggs by Meiko Kawakami (Japanese Literature Challenge 14)
  2. Before The Ruins by Victoria Gosling (psychological fiction)
  3. The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
  4. Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Japanese Literature Challenge 14)
  5. The Wild Geese by Ogai Mori (Japanese Literature Challenge 14)


  1. A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight (psychological fiction)
  2. Lady Joker by Kaoru Takamura (Japanese Literature Challenge 14)
  3. The High-Rise Diver by Julia von Lucadou (translated from the German)
  4. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel)


  1. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Japanese Literature Challenge 14/Booker Prize 2021 long list)
  2. The Phonebooth at The Edge of The World by Laura Imai Messina (Japanese Literature Challenge 14)
  3. The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearce
  4. Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson (Dark Iceland series #1)
  5. The Perfect Nine by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, translated from Gikuyu by the author (2021 International Booker Prize)


  1. Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, translated from the Arabic by Elizabeth Jaquette (2021 International Booker Prize Longlist)
  2. An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky, translated from the German by Jackie Smith (2021 International Booker Prize Longlist)
  3. At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis (2021 International Booker Prize shortlist)
  4. The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated from the Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway (2021 International Booker Prize Longlist)
  5. In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from the Russian by Sasha Dugdale (2021 International Booker Prize)
  6. War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti (2021 International Booker Prize shortlist)
  7. Wretchedness by Andrzej Tichy, translated from the Swedish by Nichola Smalley (2021 International Booker Prize Longlist)
  8. The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell (2021 International Booker Prize Longlist)
  9. The Employees by Olga Ravn, translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken (2021 International Booker Prize shortlist)
  10. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne DuMaurier (reread)


  1. The Housekeeper by Natalie Barelli
  2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (book club)
  3. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated from the Russian by Pevear and Volokhonsky
  4. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (reread)
  5. Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith
  6. When We Cease to Understand The World by Benjamin Labatut, translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West (International Booker Prize Shortlist 2021)


  1. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (reread)
  2. The Bullet Train by Kōtarō Isaka (translated from Japanese by Sam Malissa)
  3. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
  4. Madam by Phoebe Wynne


  1. The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz
  2. Family Record by Patrick Modiani (Paris in July 2021)
  3. Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly (reread)
  4. The Foreign Girls by Sergio Olguin (Spanish Lit Month 2021)
  5. Double Blind by Edward St. Aubyn
  6. The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (Paris in July 2021)


  1. Falling by T. J. Newman
  2. Sleep of Memory by Patrick Modiano (translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti)
  3. The Promise by Damon Galgut (Booker Prize 2021 long list)
  4. The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado
  5. second place by Rachel Cusk (Booker Prize 2021 long list)
  6. China Room by Sunjeer Sahota (Booker Prize 2021 long list)
  7. Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford (Booker Prize 2021 long list)


  1. The Second Women by Louise Mey (translated from the French by Louise Rogers Lalaurie) R.I.P. XVI
  2. Hour of The Witch by Chris Bohjalian (DNF)
  3. The Duchess by Wendy Holden


  1. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice (the 1976 club and R.I.P. XVI (for #1976 Club and R.I.P. XVI)
  2. Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (Book club)
  3. The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding
  4. The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas (translated from the French by Frank Wynne)


  1. The Golden Cage by Camilla Lackberg (translated from the Swedish)
  2. Apeirogon by Colum McCann
  3. Silver Tears by Camilla Lackberg (translated from the Swedish)
  4. Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout


  1. The Eye of The World by Robert Jordan
  2. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  3. The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose
  4. The New Testament
  5. The Woman In The Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura (translated from the Japanese by Lucy North)
  6. The Collective by Alison Gaylin

7 thoughts on “Books Read in 2021”

      1. I have it on my TBR and have had it for a few years. I keep looking at it, but keep being put off because of other things I “should” read for one reason or another. However, I am putting together a little pile of novellas for either this year’s Novellas in November or just sneaking in. BTW That link does not say who the translator is, which I think is really poor, and the book cover doesn’t say either. My copy has the translator on the front cover, which books – here anyhow – tend to do more often these days.


        1. After some digging around it seems that Sanford Goldstein is the translator. I think. It is a shame when translators are not given proper acclaim on the cover; I’m finding that the newer books in translation do have their name prominently displayed. As for The Wild Geese, I highly recommend it. It was a year ago this month that I read it, and I remember it vividly. It is quite touching.


          1. Thanks for this. So, a different translator to mine. It was translated by Meredith McKinney, who’s the daughter of one of Australia’s most famous poets, Judith Wright.

            I’m not surprised by what you say. Some of the books that have stayed with me the longest are Japanese novels. Besides Australian novels and Austen, they as a group have had the biggest staying power.


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