Looking for a good book to read? I read 51 books in 2021. Here’s a link to that list: Books Read in 2021
Here were my favorite six of the year — four fiction and two nonfiction (the numbers are the order in which I read them during the year):
5. Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi. This was a super fun read. I love how John Scalzi writes. Agent to the Stars is about an alien race who looks like clear jello who want to connect with humanity. They realize that things won’t go well if they appear in their native form. So they hire an agent to figure out how to introduce them to the human race. This is such a fun read, both funny and poignant.
13. Klara and the Sun: A Novel, by Kazuo Ishiguro (winner of Nobel Prize for Fiction). This book is told from the perspective of an “artificial friend” named Klara. Artificial friends are A.I. robots that act as companions to children whose batteries are recharged via the sun. The story on its face is interesting: Klara tries to fit in with her human family and support her sickly child. However, the deeper message is the limitations of A.I. as Klara is amazingly smart but yet struggles to decipher the nuances of human interaction and also believes that the sun can heal her child’s illness. Great book.
22. The Psychology of Money, by Morgan Housel. This was a dynamite book about how we think about money. It is chock full of wisdom about investing, spending, and our relationship with money. Jason Zweig, of the Wall Street Journal, calls The Psychology of Money “one of the best and most original finance books in years” and our Investment Committee agrees! Housel posits that doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know; it’s about how you behave. In this gem of a book, he shares 19 stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches us how to make sense of this very important – and complicated – topic.
34. Project Hail Mary: A Novel, by Andy Weir. This book was fantastic! I was worried it would be too similar to Weir’s prior book The Martian because this book is also about an astronaut alone in space. But this book has a totally different plot: the protagonist wakes without any memory and learns that he’s alone on a spaceship. Humanity’s very existence depends on him figuring out who he is and what problem he was sent to solve. So good.
42. The American Experiment — Dialogues on a Dream, by David M. Rubenstein. I learned so much from this book. The author, the billionaire founder of private equity firm the Carlyle Group, interviews various experts about U.S. history. His interviewees include academic historians, author historians like David McCullough and Walter Isaacson, as well as famous people like Cal Ripkin Jr. and Billy Jean King. Out of the interviews, the reader gains a better understanding of important events and people who shaped U.S. history.
47. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles. This is the third book by Towles — his prior two being the fantastic Rules of Civility and extraordinary Gentleman in Moscow. This book in its own way is as good as the other two. From Amazon: The story follows four boys who set out to travel the country in search of a fresh start: Emmett and Billy want to find their mother who left them when they were young, and Duchess and Woolly are on the hunt for a stashed wad of cash. Sometimes their dreams are aligned but often they are not. In other words, adventure ensues: There’s train hopping and car stealing, and with that comes the inevitability of trouble sparked from both good and bad intentions. Each of these young men is chasing his dreams, but their pasts—whether violent or sad—are never far behind.
Another page of books: All Time Favorite Books
More on books: Book Lists!