Note: I’ve collected the recommended books from this post on this bookshop list, where possible. It is an affiliate link (though you can and should change to your local favorite bookshop), but if you buy any of them via my storefront, I will put that money back into getting more books and sharing the good ones.

I read 48 books in 2021. As I mentioned in my 2021 service recommendations I use StoryGraph to track reading, so you can see an overview of my reading there.

But just because I read a book doesn’t mean it was good! Here are the ones I recommend:


  • A Memory Called Empire: this one had some elements that ended up intersecting in interesting ways with Foundation (the show at least)
  • Echo: a challenging and beautiful younger-reader book that I recommend listening to, as they do some interesting things with the audio
  • Anxious People: I started off disliking this one, but the things that annoyed me at first turned out to make sense as it went on, and it ended up being something I enjoyed very much
  • Altered Carbon: great start to the series, and it was good to see the written version
  • The Resisters: interesting mashup of baseball and speculative fiction
  • Parable of the Sower: another great series start, one that I had put off reading too long!
  • Abaddon’s Gate and Cibola Burn: Expanse #3 and #4, the former of which was a very rare 5-star book for me
  • Harrow the Ninth: #2 in the series…a very-challenging-but-very-rewarding “all the genres at once” book
  • The Testaments: #2 in the series, and a worthy successor to Handmaid’s Tale
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz: I was surprised this was written decades ago, as it feels like modern speculative fiction



  • Plough Quarterly: I love engaging with their challenging blend of radical and conservative (published by the Bruderhof, an Anabaptist common-purse denomination)
  • Anabaptist World: similarly, the publication for my Anabaptist denomination (Mennonite)
  • New Philosopher: a thoughtful periodical with each issue being dedicated to a topic
  • Indianapolis Recorder: the best local newspaper

Further reading: 2020 Fiction Review and 2020 Nonfiction Review