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Monday, 3 January 2022

The Writing Greyhound's Top 5 Books of 2021

The Writing Greyhound's Top 5 Books of 2021

2021 has been a brilliant year for reading. So many incredible books were published this year, and with the uncertainty around the pandemic continuing, staying at home with a good book has never been a better - and safer - option. 

With that in mind, it's probably not a surprise to hear that I managed to achieve my personal reading goals this year. I set myself the ambitious target of reading 100 books which is more than I've ever previously managed in twelve months. However, I set aside a little more time for reading and managed to finish the year on a total of 101 read books. I'm super happy with that!

However, with reading more books comes greater difficulty when picking my top reads of the year. After a lot of deliberation (hence why this post is delayed compared to previous years!) I've finally narrowed it down. Read on to find out which books I've picked!

Note: These are all books I read in 2021, not necessarily books that were published during the last year. My top five are also in no particular order.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I devoured Leigh Bardugo's bestselling series earlier this year in preparation for the release of Netflix's Shadow and Bone adaptation. Six of Crows is a glorious fantasy heist mash-up, with a dash of romance and characters that leap off the page. In my opinion, honestly one of the best YA books ever written.

The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

If you've ever been part of a fandom or fallen in love with a boyband, this book is for you. The Boyband Murder Mystery is - yep, you guessed it - a contemporary teenage murder mystery story. Be warned, though, because this book will make you feel all of the feels!

Widowland by C.J. Carey

Widowland is a chilling dystopian novel set in an alternative history where the Allies didn't win the war. Tense and paranoid yet with a strong feminist angle, this is a brilliantly-written book that will stay with you long after you finish reading.

The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

Set decades apart, the two plot threads in this emotional dual-timeline novel couldn't be more different. The Girl from the Island tells the story of Guernsey's wartime history and island life through the immersive tales of two diverse viewpoints across the years. It's poignant, gripping, and highly atmospheric.

Green Rising by Lauren James

Green Rising is a sci-fi novel set in a near-future world where the climate emergency has reached alarming levels. It's a fast-paced, inspirational read. This may be a YA novel but it's also a brilliant call to arms for us all, highlighting the ecological catastrophe that may soon become our reality.

Honourable Mentions

As is the case with any shortlist, there will always be some great books that just narrowly miss out on entering the top five. With that in mind, though, I still think they deserve some recognition. In no particular order, here are my honourable mentions for 2021:
  • The Stranger by Kate Riordan
  • My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst
  • The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood
  • London's No.1 Dog-Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall
  • The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
  • Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka
  • An Endless Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley
  • Sunny Summer Treats anthology
  • Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
  • A Dark Inheritance by Chris d'Lacey
Giveaway

As always, I'm giving one lucky reader the chance to win their book of choice from my top five. Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below to get your name in the draw!


Terms and Conditions:
  1. This giveaway closes on 16th January 2022 at 11.59pm (GMT)
  2. The prize consists of a single copy of one of the books from my top five shortlist above, as chosen by the winner
  3. This giveaway is open to residents of the UK aged 18 and over
  4. The winner will be randomly generated once the giveaway has ended
  5. The winner will be informed by email once the giveaway has ended
  6. The winner will have 72 hours to claim their prize. If the winner has not responded by this time, they will forfeit their prize and a new winner will be announced
What were your top reads of 2021? Share your favourites in the comments below!

131 comments:

  1. I would most like to read the dystopian novel,Widowland by CJCarey.

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  2. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook. Sounds right up my street.

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  3. I’d like Six Of Crows. It sounds amazing and I am a fan of Shadow & Bone

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  4. Margaret Clarkson
    The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  5. The girl from the island looks fab so count me in please 🤩

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  6. Widowland.It sounds intriguing and something I would enjoy reading very much.

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  7. I would go for Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo it looks amazing

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  8. my choice would be Widowland by C.J. Carey

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  9. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  10. I love the sound of Green Rising!

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  11. I'd love to try Widowland because it's a premise I haven't read about before and it sounds fascinating.

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  12. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred as this is not the usual topic i would read about, so I'd going for something different.

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  13. I would like to read The Girl from the Island.

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  14. I would love to read Green Rising - sounds gripping!

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  15. Christine Caple04 January, 2022 21:30

    I would love to read The Girl from the Island.

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  16. The Girl from the Island sounds like my type of reading

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  17. I would love The Boyband Murder Mystery as it combines boybands and murder mysteries!

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  18. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook as I'm from Guernsey!

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  19. Widowland by C.J. Carey sounds good

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  20. I would love to read The Girl from the Island please

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  21. The Boyband Murder Mystery

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  22. I would like to read Green Rising

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  23. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred would be my choice. Definitely one for me!

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  24. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  25. Widowland by C.J. Carey sounds exactly my type of read!

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  26. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook sounds like a great read

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  27. Widowland sounds fantastic

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  28. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook sounds like a lovely read

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  29. The Girl from the Island please

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  30. I like the sound of The Boyband Murder Mystery. I think my daughter would love it too x

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  31. Thank you so much for the giveaway - I'd love to win Six of Crows :)
    Megan S.

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  32. I would love to read the Girl from the Island please

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  33. The Boyband Murder Mystery sounds like a really fun read!

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  34. The Girl from the Island sounds great!

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  35. The Girl from the Island sounds like just my cup of tea xx

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  36. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred sounds fun!

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  37. Charlotte Alice08 January, 2022 22:19

    Green Rising by Lauren James!

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  38. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred just for something a bit different.

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  39. Six of Crows as it sounds like no other book I’ve read

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  40. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo sounds excellent im a huge fantasy fan

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  41. The Girl from the Island soundsije a brilliant read!

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  42. Widowland by C.J. Carey sounds interesting

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  43. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo please

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  44. Green Rising by Lauren James

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  45. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook looks a great read!

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  46. Green Rising by Lauren James

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  47. I'd choose The Girl From the Island. Sounds perfect for me

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  48. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  49. I love the sound of Green Rising!

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  50. i would like to read The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  51. The Girl From The Island - I'm trying to diversify my reading this year (I mainly stick with crime and thrillers) because I know I am missing out on some brilliant writing

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  52. The Boyband murder mystery as it has a very intriguing title

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  53. The boy band murder mystery sounds great reading

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  54. I would like to win The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  55. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  56. The girl from the island sounds very interesting

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  57. Widowland for me, a really interesting period in history

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  58. I’d like Six Of Crows

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  59. Widowland because it sounds like a real page turner and a book that I could get completely lost in

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  60. The Girl from the Island sounds great

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  61. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook sounds like something I could really enjoy

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  62. The girl from the island sounds really interesting

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  63. The boyband murder mystery

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  64. Janet Robertson10 January, 2022 22:46

    Widowland

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  65. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  66. Widowland sounds really good,love thinking about what could happen if major events had turned out different

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  67. I would like to win The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  68. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  69. I like the sound of The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  70. I would love to read the Girl from the Island

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  71. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook really appeals because of the way it links wartime past with the present. I have really enjoyed the books I've read with a similar format. How to be brave by Louise Beech being one that has stayed with me since I read it.

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  72. The Girl from the Island sounds like my kind of book!

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  73. Many thanks
    Widowland by C.J. Carey

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  74. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook please!

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  75. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  76. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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  77. Widowland - already read Six of Crows!

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  78. Catherine Miller15 January, 2022 19:37

    I'd love Green Rising as I haven't read much YA this year.

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  79. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  80. Being a big boyband fan it has to be The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  81. They all sound really good but Green Rising particularly is of the moment and would look forward to reading that.

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  82. The Girl from the Island sounds interesting

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  83. The Girl From The Island sounds like my kind of book. I love stories that time-hop!

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  84. I'd love to give these a try, Widowland sounds interesting as I love a dystopian story.

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  85. THE BOYBAND MURDER MYSTERY sounds great. I saw Westlife when they were still Westside and supported Boyzone lol. Love them that day and ever since.

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  86. I would like to read The Girl from the Island

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  87. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

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  88. Widowland by C.J. Carey sounds great.

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  89. Would love to read The girl from the island. Once read about the occupation of the channel islands and think they get forgotten alot. Should be a good read coming from different points of view.

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  90. I'd love to read The Girl From the Island

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  91. Widowland by C.J. Carey sounds fabulous

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  92. Green Rising sounds interesting!

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  93. Siobhan Tavener16 January, 2022 17:49

    I'd love to read the boyband murder mystery

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  94. The Girl From the Island sounds a good escape read for winter!

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  95. The Girl From The Island please

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  96. The girl from the island

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  97. Andrzej Szymanski16 January, 2022 18:32

    Widowland

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  98. Fiona Johnstone16 January, 2022 19:04

    Green Rising sounds very interesting.

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  99. I would like to win Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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  100. Love the sound of The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook. always wanted to return to Guernsey too, haven't been since I was a toddler!!

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  101. The Boyband Murder Mystery by Ava Eldred

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  102. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook sounds like a good read

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  103. I would choose the book The Girl from the Island.

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  104. The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook. Thank you!

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