Top Books of 2021 Q3 Edition

Top Books of 2021 | Q3 Edition

I know, I know, I’m late again with this. I kept trying to schedule it and then was doing this crazy thing called being on top of reviews and getting them out on time. So, this kept getting pushed back. But better late than never, right? I’m sharing my top books of 2021 – Q3 edition.

For this wrap-up, I’m just focusing on those I read between July-September. These are books from any genre, ARCs or backlist, reviewed or not, that I gave a 5* rating for.

Top Books of 2021 (so far… part 3)

The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Muse by Jessie Burton

Publisher: Ecco | Date: 2016 | Genre: General Fiction

The Muse by Jessie Burton

Plot: A picture hides a thousand words . . .

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn’t know she had, she remains a mystery – no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences

Once and Then by Morris Gleitzman

Publisher: Puffin Books | Date: 2006/2009 | Genre: Historical/Children’s

Once by Morris Gleitzman

Plot: Everybody deserves to have something good in their life. At least Once.

Once I escaped from an orphanage to find Mum and Dad.

Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house.

Once I made a Nazi with a toothache laugh.

My name is Felix. This is my story.

Then by Morris Gleitzman

Plot: In Then – Morris Gleitzman’s heartbreaking children’s novel set during the Nazi occupation of Poland during the Second World War – Jewish orphan Felix and his best friend Zelda have been captured and are on the way to a concentration camp, unless they manage to escape . . .

A little hope goes a long way.

I had a plan for me and Zelda. Pretend to be someone else. Find new parents, be safe forever.

Then the Nazis came.

My name is Felix. This is my story.

Carry on by Rainbow Rowell

Carry on by Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: MacMillan | Date: 2016 | Genre: YA/Fantasy

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Plot: Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world.

The Last Enemy by MJ Porter

The Last Enemy by MJ Porter

Publisher: BooksGoSocial | Date: 2021 | Genre: Historical fiction

The Last Enemy by MJ Porter

Plot: Mercia lies broken but not beaten, her alliance with Wessex in tatters, her new king a warrior, not a ruler. And Coelwulf has done little but fight against overwhelming numbers since being declared Mercia’s king, and it’s far from over.

Northampton is secure, but the Raiders persist in infiltrating Mercia. Coelwulf has enticed them away from their stronghold at Grantabridge, and now he must rout the Danish Jarl, Guthrum, once and for all.

The year is AD874 and Mercia lies threatened, but Coelwulf and his loyal warriors have vowed to protect Mercia with their lives.

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapowski

The Last Wish

Publisher: Gollancz | Date: 2019 (this edition) | Genre: Fantasy

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Plot: Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers and lifelong training have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin.

Yet he is no ordinary killer: he hunts the vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil; not everything fair is good . . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Date: 2020 | Genre: Fantasy | Review

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Plot: For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Publisher: Harper Voyager | Date: 2015 | Genre: Fantasy

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Plot: Guided by the great blue dragon Tintaglia, they came from the sea: a Tangle of serpents fighting their way up the Rain Wilds River, the first to make the perilous journey to the cocooning grounds in generations. Many have died along the way. With its acid waters and impenetrable forest, it is a hard place for any to survive.

People are changed by the Rain Wilds, subtly or otherwise. One such is Thymara. Born with black claws and other aberrations, she should have been exposed at birth. But her father saved her and her mother has never forgiven him. Like everyone else, Thymara is fascinated by the return of dragons: it is as if they symbolise the return of hope to their war-torn world. Leftrin, captain of the liveship Tarman, also has an interest in the hatching; as does Bingtown newlywed, Alise Finbok, who has made it her life’s work to study all there is to know of dragons.

But the creatures which emerge from the cocoons are a travesty of the powerful, shining dragons of old. Stunted and deformed, they cannot fly; some seem witless and bestial. Soon, they become a danger and a burden to the Rain Wilders: something must be done. The dragons claim an ancestral memory of a fabled Elderling city far upriver: perhaps there the dragons will find their true home. But Kelsingra appears on no maps and they cannot get there on their own: a band of dragon keepers, hunters and chroniclers must attend them.

To be a dragon keeper is a dangerous job: their charges are vicious and unpredictable, and there are many unknown perils on the journey to a city which may not even exist…

Eldest by Christopher Paolini


Publisher: Random House | Date: 2015 | Genre: Fantasy

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Plot: Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns…Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider. Ages 12+.

Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life. . .

Well, what have I learnt from that? 1) I’ve had more great reads than I was expecting. And 2) it seems to be the older/non-review books that really grabbed me this time around. It’s also been a reminder I’ve got some reviews I need to get published.

How about you? What have been your top books in 2021 so far?

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Top books of 2021 Q3 Edition

7 thoughts on “Top Books of 2021 | Q3 Edition

  1. These are great picks for Top books Quarter 3! I now have some ideas for gift purchases for the readers in my life. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Great selections Lindsey! Once and Then sound like something I would like to read. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy 2022!


  3. You know I’ve never read a Jessie Burton book. Not even The Miniaturist, which everyoneeee raved about. I did have a copy but just never got around to it. But I’ve always heard such great things about her books! x


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