a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Books for 2021
Books for 2021

Books for 2021

Books for 2021

When I am not actively moving and working, I am reading or listening to an audiobook. I always have at least two books going at once; 1 for reading and 1 for listening. When I finish a book, I take a picture and add it to my folder for the year. At the end of each month, I post a list of all the books that I read or listened to. Here is a list of my top 10 books for the van in 2021.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

For anyone interested in mental health and quantum physics, this books puts an interesting spin on the two.

When the main character decides to take her life at the beginning of the book, she ends up in the midnight library. The library full of books containing the various lives she is living based on different choices made throughout her life. With each choice, she has the opportunity to jump into a different multiverse and experience what her life would be like now had she made a different choice.

With each life however, she ultimately realizes that life itself is not perfect regardless of the decisions we make. Ultimately, we have to decide to be happy with the life we are living.

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Beginners by Tom Vanderbilt

Beginners by Tom Vanderbilt was my favorite book in April. It describes the author’s journey of learning how to play chess, surf, sing, draw, and juggle. As a self described dilettante myself, I loved his enthusiasm for learning and modeling what it means to be a lifelong learner.

Along with the benefits of learning news skills at any age, he shares how he learned each new skill and gives suggestions on where to begin. I am a true believer in being able to learn anything without having to become a master. You can learn new skills just to learn and enjoy it. This book not only shows that it is possible but that there are many benefits in learning as well.

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The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is one of the best books, I have listened to or read in a few years. Every young adventurer can relate to her desire to see the world and all the incredible things it has to offer. After making a pact with the devil, she is given the gift of invisibility. The only catch is that she is completely forgettable. Despite living for hundreds of years, she is not able to connect with a single other human or change a thing about herself.

Despite all of this, she while never have enough of the world because her hunger for art and creativity can never be satiated. Although Addie has this unbelievable agreement, her genuine loneliness and passion are easy to connect to as a reader.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The style of a fictional documentary has really intrigued me as a reader. The first book I read in this style was The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. Since reading that novel, I have been drawn to books written in a similar pattern. Daisy Jones and the Six is written following the members of a rock band from the 1970s. The book is told through a series of interviews with producers, critics, band members, etc.

Taylor Jenkins Reid does a fantastic job of bringing fiction to life. Not only does she make the interviews believable, but the flawless attention to details on the era in which the story takes places is incredible. Since finishing Daisy Jones and the Six, I have also listened to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Malibu Rising, and Carrie Soto is Back. The main character from each book makes a cameo in her other books, make the interviews and story telling seem even more realistic.

If you enjoy this style of writing, you might also enjoy books by Australian author, Liane Moriarty.

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The Guncle by Steve Rowley

Since 2016, the beautiful northern Michigan coastal town of Harbor Springs hosts a weekend book festival called The Festival of the Book. They bring together authors from all over the US to sit on panels and answer questions related to the topics and themes of their most recent books. In 2019, Steve Rowley attended the festival and since then his latest novel has always been a part of my family’s annual reading list. Although I liked his first two novels Lilly and the Octopus and The Editor, The Guncle is by far my favorite.

The Guncle is such a lovely summer read. You just can’t put it down. I couldn’t stop laughing and crying as the main character hosted his lovely niece and nephew for the summer. As a person who truly feels like a fish out of water when watching children for an extended period of time, I really connected with all the emotions of his new adventure.

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The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

John Green usually writes lovely young adult fiction. Every time one a new book is publish, I make it a point to get it on my reading list for the year. From Looking for Alaska to Turtles All the Way Down , I have loved them all and cried my way through. As Green states in the forward of The Anthropocene Reviewed, this is not like his usual books. Instead, as the title indicates, it is a reflection on humanity and our interactions with each other in the world. This was yet another book that I just couldn’t stop. Every unique chapter had me thinking and reflecting. What more can you ask for in a book.

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The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The fourth book in the Practical Magic Series by Alice Hoffman didn’t disappoint. As with each book, Hoffman links the characters stories through the family history. If you find the history of the Salem Witch Trials interesting at all, you will enjoy this series. As siblings of each generation grow up learning, the rules of magic and their handed down family curses, you will come to love them and their flaws. Just like every family the Owens family has all the drama that comes with growing up together and navigating the world. If you have read all four books in the series, you will be please at how Hoffman ties all the stories together with the final clicking of the deathwatch beetle.

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Bravey by Alexi Papas

As an avid runner and amateur racer, I love reading books about professional athletes and their quest for success. Bravey was a top book for me in 2021, because I liked Alexi Pappas truthfully described her road to the Olympics and the years following. Professional athletes spend years training, day-in and day-out, but all we see as spectators are the results of their work. I love learning about each athlete’s experience along the way an relate it back to my own experience training. When I am putting in hours on the track or on the trails, I like to think that the work will lead to accomplishing my athletic goals. It is always great to feel inspired by your role models.

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The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Imagine learning the world not through sight or sound but through smell. In The Scent Keeper, Erica Bauermeister does a masterful job of just that. Her description of the world through smell opens a whole new way of looking at and learning about the world around you. As a person with a limited sense of smell, I was fully intrigued by this concept. It would be amazing to smell the minuscule variations in smell as the weather changes or the people in the room change. The way in which smell can affect your opinion of someone without even realizing it is incredible. Our brains and the way in which the human body understand the world around us never ceases to amaze me. This book got me excited to read another book in 2022 called, The Man Who Tasted Words.

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You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy

The 10th top book for me in 2021 was You’re Not Listening. I am very much an aural learner. As a German teacher and avid language learner, I can’t get enough listening. If you want to have my full attention, you must make sure I am listening. If there are other sounds going on around me and I am not focused on you, I am not listening. Furthermore, I have a tendency to listen to things too quickly and respond before others are ready. Since listening to this book, I have dialed back my audiobook speed from double speed to regular speed in hopes of slowing down to really listen. If you are struggle to maintain conversation or to focus, I would definitely recommend this book. And listen to the people you are talking to. On that note, check out my list of great books for 2022!

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Hope you got a few good recommendations! Thanks for reading! ~KiteBikeVan

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