Best Books of 2021

A year of skewed views and unreliable narrators; cli-fi and post-apocalyptic lands; and journeys of discovery.

Ten of the Best in Fiction

In no particular order:

  • Best hypocrisy in small town America novel: Pew – Catherine Lacey
  • Best unworldly young woman takes a false identity to resolve a mystery novel: Case Study – Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Best unworldly young woman takes a false identity to resolve her yearnings novel: The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark
  • Best affair with a sea creature in response to an insufferable life novel: Mrs Caliban – Rachel Ingalls
  • Best mythical beast in a cli-fi novel: The Rain Heron – Robbie Arnott
  • Best post-apocalyptic coming of age novel: Riddley Walker – Russell Hoban
  • Best mid-life crisis novel: The Woman from Uruguay – Pedro Mairal
  • Best road trip novel: The Lincoln Highway – Amor Towles
  • Best don’t trust the husband novel: The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Best don’t trust anyone novel: The Octopus Man – Jasper Gibson

Top Five Non-Fiction

  • Alexandria: the quest for the lost city – Edmund Richardson. Riveting True Adventure
  • Madhouse at the end of the earth – Julian Sancton. A sensational account of the fated Belgian Antarctic Expedition.
  • Clothes, clothes, clothes, music, music, music, boys, boys, boys – Viv Albertine. Punk rock autobiography.
  • A spy among friends – Ben Macintire. Kim Philby: a life of drinking, womanising and espionage.  
  • The Hard Crowd: essays 2000-2020 – Rachel Kushner.  Essays on politics, culture, writing and cars. A masterclass in writing to engage the audience. 

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