This week, I went to my shelves and put together a mid-year Reading List to work on through the rest of 2021.
For the past several years I’ve done a Goodreads Reading Challenge and it’s one of my favorite things to set up and work through during the year. Last year I was 7 books shy of my goal to read 60 books (which I wasn’t mad at cause 53 is a great number!!). Currently, I’m 4 books behind my schedule to read 50 books (not worried cause I often read more than one book at a time and it evens out eventually).
The problem with my reading life that I’ve consistently had over the past few years is not having/making time to read physical books. The bulk of my reading is done via audiobooks (which totally counts in my view) but I have so many books on my shelves and continue to buy books and I Need. To. Read. Them!! So I’m determined to read more actual physical books the second half of this year and hopefully jumpstart this weird reading slump I’ve been in for so long.
This list isn’t exhaustive, just a select number I really want to finish before 2022. I thought I’d share them on the blog in case anyone wants to add to their own TBR!
(I haven’t read any of these books so I only know synopses and a some reviews. Once I’ve read them, I’ll have actual opinions on them!)
My 2021 Mid-Year Reading List
(this post contains affiliate links. see disclosure here)
I’ve split my TBR into 2 categories: Fiction and Christian Non-fiction. Again, this isn’t everything I want to read but I wanted a simple list. Here they are in no particular order, starting with Fiction first –
HISTORICAL FICTION/MEMOIR PICKS
1. The Personal Librarian
I was immediately intrigued by this one when I read the synopsis. A book-loving woman of color pretending to be white for her family and career? I’m in! I looove good historical fiction, especially when it’s based on real people. I’m currently reading this book and it’s really good so far.
Another story of a young woman of color. Reconstruction-era Brooklyn (I’m having flashbacks to studying Civil War and Reconstruction in college), a female physician mother (getting Dr. Quinn vibes) a daughter who loves music more than science (my kinda girl!), and a marriage that doesn’t go as expected (mercy!). Also based on real people–I can’t wait to read this one!!
3. The Beauty in Breaking
This one is listed as heavy but I’m looking forward to it, perhaps in the fall or winter. African American, female, newly single ER doctor learning that everyone is broken in some way. This book is a memoir.
Am I sensing some themes?
Lol. Moving on.
4. Sisters in Arms
I LOVE stories about women in war times. I’m fascinated by the incredible, challenging, heartbreaking lives so many lived in the past. This one promises to deliver on so many levels I haven’t encountered yet! Two women who are among the first female officers the army has seen AND they’re the first Black women allowed to serve —– WHAAAAAAT. Yes, count me in!! I. Can’t. Wait!
And based on a true story. Duh.
5. The Four Winds
Okay, so I’m probably the only #booknerd who hasn’t read Kristin Hannah. In my defense, I’m very much a mood reader and the timing just hasn’t clicked in the past. This is the first Hannah I’ve owned so I’m going to give it a whirl. This book takes place in the 1930’s (time period I enjoy reading/watching), has a strong female character, deals with thought provoking themes, and takes place in Texas, which is where I currently live. It’s over 400 pages soooooooooooo, I might need to take my time with this. Or it might be a page turner – who knows!
6. Marilla of Green Gables
This book has been on my shelves for an embarrassingly long time. I’m a lifelong Anne of Green Gables fan and I should have read it when I got my copy not too long after it came out! This will definitely be a fall read for me (idk, all things Green Gables and Avonlea just seem best suited to the spring and fall seasons). I’ve heard good things so I’m looking forward to reading it!
I got books 1-5 from my Book of the Month membership. It’s a really great way to get new books for a fraction of the price! If you wanna check it out, you can use my referral link 🙂
Keep track of your reading life with the Reading Life Planner!
I forgot where I first heard about this book but it immediately went on my list of books to read/buy. It’s been on my shelf for a bit and I need to read it this year. As a woman who loves the Bible, I want to know as much as I can about what God’s Word says about women and our value.
I came across this book not too long ago while browsing the clearance shelves at Mardel (which I do from time to time! It’s a great way to buy books for $1, $3, & $5!). The subtitle is “Tracing God’s rescue plan from Eden to Eternity”. I think it’s so incredibly important to see the redemption story throughout the whole of scripture. I’m still learning in this area so I’m looking forward to seeing what this author has to say!
3. Is the Bible Good for Women?
Another clearance find from Mardel. As a women’s Bible study teacher, this title jumped out at me. The tagline is “Seeking a Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus Centered Understanding of Scripture”. Yes, yes, YEEEEESSSSS!! Sign me up! I think this is going to be really good!
4. The Right Kind of Strong
I’ve been reading Mary Kassian for several years now and I really appreciate her voice and wisdom. I’ve been focusing on developing spiritual disciplines so the tagline, “Surprisingly Simple Habits of a Spiritually Strong Woman”, seemed like a perfect 2021 read.
5. The Great Sex Rescue
Okay, so as a veteran homeschooler who came up through the height of purity culture, I have held very strong opinions about dating, sex, relationships, and marriage. While I haven’t done everything correctly in these areas, I do feel like some of that upbringing really did save me a lot of grief and I’m so grateful. However, over the years, I’ve been discovering how much damage that misinformation and a lack of education does to both women and men. Four years into marriage and I’m now starting to hold some other very strong opinions about sex and marriage. I’m still learning how to articulate and argue those opinions and I’ve really appreciated Gregoire’s voice and insight into this area. I can’t wait to dive deep into this book! I read her book The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, which I really enjoyed and recommend. She also blogs at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.
6. The Measure of Success
Carolyn McCulley is another author whose voice and perspective were invaluable to me as a single, 20-something. This book has been sitting on my shelf for too stinkin’ long and I really need to finish it this year! I’ve held some pretty strong views on this topic in the past and I look forward to developing a more well-rounded, better articulated position.
7. The Well-Watered Woman
This book released earlier this year and I was so excited to get it, I just haven’t made time to read it so it is on this list! The author, Gretchen Saffles, is the founder of Well Watered Women Co., a company that I really love! They are the makers of the beautiful Give Me Jesus Journal which is one of my favorite quiet time tools. I love the heart behind this ministry/business and I’m looking forward to reading Gretchen’s words <3.
What books are on your 2021 reading list? Got any good recs? Leave them below, I’m always looking for more good reads!