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Recommended Reads of 2021

2021 showed how resilient we are. It was a time of change, growth, and new books to consume – where an escape from reality was sometimes needed to process what was happening in our world. Spokane Public Library staff shared some of their favorite books from the year with hopes you find them as enjoyable as they did.

Immune: A Journey into the Mysterious System That Keeps You Alive by Philipp Dettmer

The author is engaging and makes learning about the topic fun and very approachable. – Christina

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

A brave and emotional depiction of the messy borders of gender, parenthood, relationships, and more. – Amanda

Book | eBook | Audiobook

The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

This YA page turner by an Indigenous author will keep you reading late into the night, and leave you wanting to read more books with Indigenous protagonists that depict the layered complexity of modern Native American life. – Amanda

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Fuzz by Mary Roach

Another excellent and easily accessible science book from Mary Roach. Learn about rogue elephants, monkey muggers, and many other animals around the world who do not care about human rules. – Cheryl

Book | eBook

Murder at the Mission by Blaine Harden

Wonderfully entertaining history of the Northwest, including why the mythology of the pioneers lasted for decades when the truth was readily available. – Riva

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge

Book | eBook

The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger

Fascinating look at a subject that is mostly ignored or forgotten now. – Amanda M.

Book | eBook

When Sorrows Come: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire

It is an excellent urban fantasy series, with many many books in the series to read. – Shalen

Book

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

Each of Martha’s books are incredibly well-written and follow the stories of three different people, often times one of them being the “villian” in the story. This unique writing style helps you see things from different perspectives, even if you still don’t agree with them. This book in particular follows three individuals as they navigate life during the Civil War. The characters include a noble abolitionist nurse from New York City, a slave with gumption and guts, and a plantation owner, Confederate spy, and true baddie. – Alina

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

This book is weird and refreshing and original and a little shocking. A must read for moms/parents who are fans of The Yellow Wallpaper or Kafka or magical realism.

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

It has the hard science and nerdiness of the author’s previous works (The Martian, for example) but with the main protagonist gradually discovering who he is – thanks to selective amnesia – and then deciding what type of person he wants to be. The somewhat surprising secondary protagonist is quite adorable, and the ending made me go “awww!” – Dana

Book | eBook

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe

The story of Hades and Persephone is one of my favorites, and this is an excellent and unique retelling with great artwork. – Becky

Book

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Klune guides the reader through grief, love, and hope through his cast of quirky, supportive characters. I shed tears of sorrow and joy following the journey of Wallace Price. It’s a beautiful story that filled me with hope. – Skyler

Book | eBook | Audiobook

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

This book combines sweet encounters, hilarious situations and family traditions in Muslim heritage while failing in love. – Janet

Book | eBook

The Falling by T.J. Newman

You know from the first page what happened. Then you get to live through it. Or maybe not. WARNING: Don’t read while flying. – Karen

Book | eBook | Audiobook

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Story stayed with me for weeks after reading. I had the worst ‘book hangover’ ever from this book; there was nothing to read after that was as good as this book had been! Absolutely wonderful! – Tammy

Book | eBook | Audiobook

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