Discovering New Books in 2021

2021 was a difficult year for everyone, as it carried the weight of lockdown. I was extremely lucky to be able to spend the time at home with my family, a great opportunity considering that we haven’t all lived in the same house for years. Since I didn’t have to physically go to class, I had more time for myself and started getting back into reading. Consequently, the first incredible discovery for me that year was ‘booktube’. Within the platform, I discovered so many amazing creators that shared my passion. This discovery inspired me to create my own bookstagram, and consequently, to pay more attention to new book releases, in order to be able to review relevant readings. However, I didn’t choose to read books that were trendy, I chose to read books that I was truly excited about, as I needed to rediscover and feed my passion for reading. 

The first release of the year that I was excited about was The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need by Jade Bowler. I have always admired Jade as a YouTube creator and her book didn’t disappoint, conveying everything her channel is about: an incredible passion for education portrayed through a light and fun writing style. The second book I was excited about was A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders. After reading some of Saunders’ short stories I was already aware of how great a writer he is. The book explores what he considers to be the best storycrafting techniques inspired by Russian authors. The first two releases I gravitated towards were linked to academia and performance, something that I don’t regret, but I also wanted to explore different genres. Consequently, I then gravitated towards Paula Hawkins’ A Slow Fire Burning. I have loved every other book from this author. I wasn’t wrong, and the thriller was a hit for me, opening me to diversified genres, a discovery I didn’t regret. 

Another one of the passions revolves around healthy eating and skin care. This got me excited about Deborah Freudenmann’s book release, as the book features one of my all time favorite fitness coaches: Pamela Reif. It’s been years and I can’t stop talking about her, as she changed the way I approach fitness, introducing me to the hardest home workouts I have ever known, making them fun thanks to the music and the smile on her face. Her cousin Deborah releasing You Truly Shine: a holistic guide to healthy skin and clearing acne was all the encouragement I needed to take care of my skin in a natural way, learning about aspects of health I had no idea about. Katherine Ryan is the next author I was excited about, as she released the book The Audacity, and I was intrigued by her persona as an integral part of English culture. However, unfortunately the book didn’t give me what I hoped, and the only thing I truly liked about it after the read was the pink cover. 

 The Halloween period introduced me to another genre I hadn’t previously read: horror. For the occasion I read Franck Bouyisse’s Born of No Woman. The book looks into a real horror that falls on the main character after her father sells her to a man that uses her to get an heir with the help of his mother. This story was genuinely discomforting and terrifying, and it made me think about people trapped in a reality they haven’t asked for. And There They Wait by Scott Carson was another new release which I read around the Halloween period. I was excited about the release because master of horror Stephen King judged it very highly. Heading towards Christmas, Abbie Emmons released the sequel to her first novel: Tessa and Weston: The Best Christmas Ever. I was excited about it because I love the YouTuber’s content and loved her first book, and even though I didn’t consider the new release as impactful, I loved reading about the characters again. 

The last two releases I was excited about in the year were Empowered by Vee Kativhu and My Body by Emily Rataykovski. The former was a result of another YouTube love as Vee is part of the StudyTube and self development community. The design of the book was incredible and empowering, but the story, even though interesting, was an autobiography written in a way I personally didn’t love. The latter was well constructed but came from an incredibly privileged place. Even the conclusion wasn’t enough to save this one as some of the topics Rataykovski discussed weren’t developed to their fullest potential. 

Ultimately, becoming passionate about literary releases helped me to gain a better study and personal life balance. 2022 I’m ready for you and all the new book releases you bring.

Lisa Greghi

Featured Image Source: Pexels

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