One of the delights of December is the proliferation of lists of ‘Best books of the Year’ from a range of sources. Waterstones have just announced their ‘Children’s Gift of the Year’ as ‘Julia and the Shark’, a beautifully illustrated poetic story for children. Described as A captivating, powerful and luminous story from a bestselling, award-winning author about a mother, a daughter, and the great Greenland shark. With mesmerising black and yellow illustrations and presented as a hardback with tracing paper inserts, this is a perfect gift for 9+ fans of David Almond and Frances Hardinge.(lovereading4kids)
Waterstones Books of the Year 2021 Winner ‘The Lyrics’ by Paul McCartney
Costa Book Award Shortlists, 23rd November 2021
Booktrust – The very best books of 2021 picked by authors and illustrators
Faber have a series of beautifully presented themed book gift guides.
Penguin : The books we loved in 2021
Guardian Best Books of 2021 including categories for Politics, Crime and Thrillers, Science Fiction and Fantasy and Food so far.
Guardian Best Books of 2021 chosen by guest authors
This list chooses Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel ‘Klara and the Sun’ as its top fiction pick.
For children Phil Earle’s ‘When the sky falls’ triumphs. This moving, unique story is set in a zoo during World War ll.
Best books of 2021 by themed lists from Five Books
Support your local independent bookshop through in-person visits or online at bookshop.org. Have a look at the Books Are my Bag readers choice award winners.
We also loved the poetry BAMB Poetry choice and it’s available from the Library now.
We also have the fascinating and thought-provoking Royal Society Science Book Prize Shortlist and Winner 2021 in the library.
Popular book choices from the Library staff and borrowers this year include:
- The Appeal by Janice Hallet
- The Man who died twice by Richard Osman (the second outing of the entertaining and sympathetic band of elderly sleuths The Thursday Murder Club)
- Slough House by Mick Herron
- The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz
- The Women of Troy by Pat Barker
- The moth and the mountain by Ed Caesar
- Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman
- Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
- Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann
- The Crossing by Manjeet Mann
- 29 locks by Nicola Garrett
- The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld
- Arlo the lion who couldn’t sleep by Catherine Rayner
- The bird within me by Sara Lundberg
- What happened to you by James Catchpole
- Esther’s notebooks by Riad Sattouf (in English and French)
- Factory Summers by Guy Delisle
- Couch Fiction: A graphic tale of pyschotherapy by Philippa Perry
- Medusa by Jessie Burton
- Sapiens – Graphic novel volume 2. by David Vandermeulen and Yuval Noah Harari
- The Fell by Sarah Moss
- The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
- Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Dr Hendrick’s top pick)
- Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
- Still Life by Sarah Winman
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
- The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
We continue to recommend ‘Miss Benson’s Beetle’ by Rachel Joyce as wonderful feelgood fiction and the audiobook is brilliantly narrated by Juliet Stevenson.
- Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
- Vaxxers by Sarah Gilbert
- Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
- The world according to colour: A cultural history by James Fox
See below for the list of books we read and discussed at the Wellington College Community Book Club (out of necessity, mostly online via Teams this year). This is a friendly, informal group of teachers, staff, parents, Old Wellingtonians and parents of OWs.
Wellington College Community Book Club – 2021 Titles
January: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and My sister, the serial killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
March: Jeoffry: The poet’s cat by Oliver Soden and The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
April: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro and A woman is no man by Etaf Rum
June: Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce and The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Sept: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Nov: The man who died twice by Richard Osman and Leave the world behind by Rumaan Alam
For our Book Club meeting on 25th January 2022 (7.30pm on Teams) we will be discussing Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.
Top Ten most borrowed non-fiction of 2021
|The Great Pretender: The undercover mission that changed our understanding of madness||Susannah Cahalan|
|Sapiens : a Brief History of Humankind||Yuval Noah Harari|
|Invisible Women : exposing data bias in a world designed for men||Caroline Criado-Perez|
|The Psychology Book||Dorling Kindersley|
|Mindfulness||Mark J. Williams|
|Stuff Matters||Mark Miodownik|
|Wild Swans : Three daughters of China||Jung Chang|
|Talking to Strangers : what we should know about the people we don’t know||Malcolm Gladwell|
|Testosterone rex : Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds||Cordelia Fine|
|The Story of Art||E. H. Gombrich|
Top 15 most borrowed authors of 2021
|Sarah J. Maas|
|J. K. Rowling|
Top 20 most popular fiction titles of 2021
|Scythe: Book 1||Neal Shusterman|
|Thunderhead: (Scythe Book 2)||Neal Shusterman|
|The Territory: Book 1||Sarah Govett|
|The song of Achilles||Madeline Miller|
|Miss Benson’s Beetle||Rachel Joyce|
|Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe||Benjamin Alire Saenz|
|The Hate U Give||Angie Thomas|
|Running girl||Simon Mason|
|We were liars||E. Lockhart|
|A court of thorns and roses: Book 1||Sarah J. Maas|
|The Penguin Lessons||Tom Michell|
|The midnight library||Matt Haig|
|The Thursday Murder Club||Richard Osman|
|Heartstopper: Volume 4 (graphic novel)||Alice Oseman|
|The Vanishing Half||Brit Bennett|
|Becoming Muhammad Ali||James Patterson and Kwame Alexander|