2021: The Year in Books

My full Year in Books on Goodreads is here. Of 71 books, I’ve narrowed it down to 14 that most touched me or were most enjoyable for one reason or another:



“Priestdaddy” by Patricia Lockwood
Repeat read of a favorite. This memoir is still gold.

“See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love” by Valarie Kaur

“Crazy Brave” by Joy Harjo

“More Myself” by Alicia Keys
A friend sent me this memoir, and I enjoyably got sucked in, not knowing much at all about Alicia. Synchronistic timing that her life led her to a platform of love, themes seen clearly in her most recent album. Reading this memoir led me to getting some of Alicia’s albums from the library, and her music became the music of my autumn.

“Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter’s School” by Courtney E. Martin

“We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life” by Laura McKowen


Non Fiction

“Braiding Sweetgrass Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Beautiful, important book. Highly recommend.

“Medicine Woman” by Lynn Andrews
I read maybe four from this series in 2021, and plan to slowly savor them all. Lynn Andrews was a Right Timing discovery for me, and I’m deeply grateful these accounts exist of her inner journeys with the Sisterhood of the Shields.

“Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Awaken Our Power, and Use it For Good” by Kimberly Ann Johnson
I got introduced to somatic experiencing via Molly Caro May’s work (also highly recommend), and this book provided a solid deeper dive. (If you’re new to somatics / nervous system, this is a great place to start as well.) All humans should get to learn about our nervous systems!

I greatly appreciated Kimberly’s woman-centered book, clear explanations, visual graphics, and real-life examples. She reminds and encourages this counter-cultural and deeply healing modality: slow down, do less, take your time.



“Kindred” by Octavia Butler
I had never read Octavia Butler before, but after this novel, I will definitely read more by her. Goodreads describes the novel as a combination of slave memoir / fantasy / historical fiction.

“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig
I had seen this on bestseller lists, and was pleased that while it was an enjoyable fast read, it also had me thinking deeper, and many parts stayed with me to mull over in the weeks that followed.

“Silver Sparrow” by Tayari Jones
Saw this book at a thrift shop and went into it blind. I loved how deeply and quickly I was drawn into the lives of the characters, in 1980s Atlanta.


YA Fiction

“Walker of Time” by Helen Hughes Vick
This is the first of a trilogy, which takes place where I’m living—on land that today is called Walnut Canyon National Monument, but which was home to descendants of the present-day Hopi people. The series is a quick, fun read, starring a 14-year-old Hopi boy.

“One Time” by Sharon Creech