The Best Books to Read in 2021 - Ashley & Emily
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The Best Books to Read in 2021


The Best Books to Read in 2021

I had SO much fun with my 100 Book Challenge last year, that I decided I was going to track them again. I am not giving myself a goal this year, because I think I was able to read so many last year because of Covid, and how many hours I spent pumping. I am going to add a new section though for upcoming releases, in case you want to order the book and read it with me! Then I’ll just move those titles up with my thoughts once I read them!

Books to Read in 2021


Cheat Sheet

by Sarah Adams

My Darling Husband 

by Kimberly Belle


This book was SUPER disturbing if you have kids – but  I still finished it (definitely read the ending before I was halfway through). 

Just One Look 

by Lindsay Cameron


If you love stalker-type mystery/thrillers then this book is for you!  I didn’t love the main character but was very interested in the story!

Set Boundaries Find Peace 

by Nedra Glover Tawwab


Boundary was such a buzzword this year, so I was almost hesitant to even read this. But, I have to admit – I suck at boundaries, so I bought it and figured I could learn a few things. I really loved this more than I thought I would and have some amazing takeaways to work on next year!


Window Shopping

by Tessa Bailey


This was such a fun, quick and festive read! I love all things Tessa Bailey.


Rich Dad Poor Dad

by Robert Kiyosaki


I remember my dad making me read this in high school, but I didn’t absorb any of it because I didn’t get it. One of my biggest goals next year is to be better with money so I figured this was a great place to start. 

Make Your Bed

by Admiral William McRaven


This book is full of great life lessons – I listened on Audible while I was cleaning out my office. It was super uplifting and inspiring. 


The Santa Suit

by Mary Kay Andrews


Another quick and easy holiday read! Nothing better than a book like this with some hot chocolate by the fire (even though I don’t have one – lol). 


October / November

No One Will Miss Her 

by Kat Rosenfield


This book was wild, and I can normally always predict the twist but not this time! Highly reccommend if you like psychological thrillers. 

The Couple Upstairs

by Shalini Boland


I’m not gonna lie – I didn’t love this book at all. I really wanted to, but it just didn’t resonate with me. Sad. 


Last Girl Ghosted

by Lisa Unger




by Tracey Garvis Graves


I absolutely love her writing – and wish she had more books. On the Island is one of my favorites of all time. This one didn’t disappoint! 


The Fastest Way to Fall

by Denise Williams



This book was SO cute! I finished it in one sitting. I absolutely loved the main character. 


Not All Diamonds and Rosé

by Dave Quinn


This book took me forever to ready, but it was so worth it. It made me want to restart every single season from the beginning. So juicy and full of a ton of behind the scenes stories! 


Scar Tissue 

by Anthony Kiedis


I bought this book months ago on a whim and it’s been sitting in my Kindle library forever. I was in Monterey and had finished the two books I planned for the trip already and so I decided to start this one. I was hooked from page one.  I am not all too familiar with his music – but was soooooo drawn into his story. I highly recommend reading this – one of the best books I have read in a really long time. 


We Were Never Here

by Andrea Bartz


I LOVED her last book so I had high expectations for this one, especially because it was one of Reese’s picks!


Slow Fire Burning

Paula Hawkins


This book is just like the title – a very slow build. Her writing is incredible and it wasn’t your typical thriller but I still really liked it! If you loved Girl on the Train, definitely check it out! 


The Night She Disappeared

by Lisa Jewell


I am such a big fan of her work and this one did not disappoint. I was so tempted to read the last chapter after reading 100 pages because I HAD to know what happened. The story is AMAZING. 

It Happened One Summer

by Tessa Bailey


I knew this would be the perfect book to read after I finished The Night She Disappeared.  I always hear the girls on The Morning Toast talk about it so had to read it for myself.  It’s like the perfect combo of erotica meets rom-com. 

Off-Campus Series

by Elle Kennedy


I breezed through these! They are definitely trashy romance novels – but I loved them! 

Apples Never Fall

by Liane Moriarty


Liane Moriarty can do no wrong. and this book is just further evidence of that! 



Not a Happy Family

by Shari Lapena


I had such high hopes for this book, because I LOVE her, but I just couldn’t connect. I normally get through thrillers like this in the same day, or even one sitting, but this took me a few days. 

Miracle Morning Millionaires

by Hal Elrod


This book was recommended to me months ago by a very successful friend. He has stuck with everything in this book for over a year, so I knew I needed to try it. And so far so good!  I took a ton of interesting tidbits from this!

If The Shoe Fits

by Julie Murphy


This book was SO cute. I am not a Bachelor fan by any means, so I wasn’t expecting to love this book, but I fell in love with the main character! She is a plus-size fashion designer who joins the show on a whim. I finished it in one night! 

Super Human 

by Dave Asprey


I regret not getting this book in hardcover because I found myself wanting to take notes on every single chapter.  I took so many useful tidbits from this book and paired with Miracle Morning Millionaires, I have really gotten into a good routine. I learned so much about sleep, blue light, etc – highly recommend it. 


by Danielle Steel


It has been years since I have read a book by Danielle Steel – I really don’t know why, but I’m glad to be back. I spent many of my teens and twenties reading everything she wrote.  This one was a good one to come back to. 

Guilt Trip

by Sandie Jones


This book was very wild & juicy but it was just what I needed at the time! 


Perfect Ruin 

by Shanora Williams


Real Food for Gestational Diabetes

by Lily Nicols


I purchased this book right when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes- it really helped to ease my mind and has been the best resource ever. She is so knowledgeable, and I also scoured the podcast store for any interviews with her! 

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People 

by Steven R. Covey


I can’t believe I just now listened to this book!  I feel like it’s such a classic. I chose Audible so I could listen throughout the day as I did other tasks but it was super interesting & helpful! 

We Were Never Here

by Andrea Bartz




The Paper Palace 

by Miranda Cowley Heller


This was Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick this month and I was intrigued. It was very well written, but super dark. I wouldn’t say it was an easy beach read – but if you appreciate the craft, then it was good! It was almost Virginia Woolf-esque. 


The Therapist

by B.A. Paris



Love love loved this book. I read it so fast! 

Such a Quiet Place

by Megan Miranda


Not the best thriller this year, but not the worst either. It was a little anti-climactic for me, but entertaining nonetheless 


The Stranger in the Mirror 

by Liv Constantine



Finally a book I finished in one day! It has definitely been a while since that happened for me. I was SO excited for this book since I loved her last two so much! The twist was a little predictable but I still loved it! 



The Mindfulness Solution

by Ronald D. Siegel


This book was a recommendation from my therapist and her instructions were to read it slowly and so that’s what I did. I found it super helpful and gave a ton of great resources and exercises that I’ve been working on.  If you’re someone who suffers from anxiety, definitely check this out. 


The Good Sister

by Sally Hepworth


Perhaps not the best book to read while you’re pregnant but I stuck with it because everyone has been raving about it. I found it a tad predictable but loved the characters. 6/10 for me. 


Golden Girl

by Elin Hilderbrand


This might be my favorite Elin book of ALL.  TIME. And that’s saying something. It was just SO good. I ended up reading the majority of it on a lazy Sunday, and I was so sad when it ended. Elin knows how to do a good summer book and this one will not let you down, I promise. 

Malibu Rising

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Hands down one of the best books I’ve read in 2021. I didn’t want it to end and I’m praying it becomes a movie. It was incredible!


The Breakup Book Club

by Wendy Wax


I could not get into this book AT ALL. I had a hard time keeping all of the characters & their stories straight. I pretty much skimmed the last 30% just so I could be done. 



Anchored Hearts

by Priscilla Oliveres


This was the second book in the  Keys to Love series – you can find the first book here.  It was cute – not amazing, but not terrible either. 

The Newcomer

by Mary Kay Andrews 


I LOVED this book! It was different from anything she has ever written. It had a bit of a thriller/mystery aspect to it, which I loved! It also had all the aspects of a beach read that I love- definitely reccommend. 


Family Reunion 

by Nancy Thayer 


This book is so classically Nancy Thayer and I loved it.  It was such a feel-good story and the perfect kind of book that you’d want to read on vacation or laying out by the pool. 

The Last Thing He Told Me

by Laura Dave


I did not expect to love this book as much as I did – but I was hooked. I stayed up late to finish it because I literally could not put it down. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Why was I sleeping on this book? OMG, it was fantastic. This has to be made into a movie, because it was just that good. I was so sad for it to end, and really only read it because I was waiting for my new releases to get delivered – one of my best decisions as of late. 


The Summer of Lost and Found

by Mary Alice Monroe


This one was just okay, I normally love everything she writes, so it made me a little sad. It was very Covid-heavy, and that’s just not something I think anyone is ready to relive at the moment.  It wasn’t a bad book, just a little too much quarantine than I was ready for. 


People We Meet on Vacation

by Emily Henry


I absolutely loved this book. It might be by top book of 2021 so far. I thought it was just so cute, and I was really needing a good love story. I really hope they make this into a movie, or a series because I really loved the characters and the writing! 10/10! 

That Summer

by Jennifer Weiner


This book was a breeze to get through, and I really enjoyed it! I caught onto the plot twist pretty early but it was still a good read!  As a collector of friends, I love stories of unexpected female friendships and this book is exactly that. 

Local Woman Missing

by Mary Kubica



This was a much-needed thriller in the middle of all these beach reads. I absolutely could not put this book down.  I started it on a rainy day when the baby decided to take a long nap, and I finished it in one sitting.  I couldn’t believe it.  The story was so engrossing, and I normally hate books that flash from past to present, but she did it SO well. 


A Special Place for Women

by Laura Hankin



I thought this book was going to be like Soho House meets Olivia Benson –  but it turned out o be a little more Practical Magic, which I will never hate on. Definitely different, but I loved it.





The Good Sister

by Sally Hepworth 


Conversations with Friends

by Sally Rooney



The Coddling of the American Mind 

by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt


This was a tough, but necessary read. It came highly recommended and it took me longer than usual to get through it because it was SO much to digest. I wish I got it on Audible because I probably would have finished it quicker, but I love being able to go back. It taught me so much about myself, the world, and the way I want to raise my children.  This is a must-read in my opinion. 


12 Rules for Life

by Jordan Peterson 


Milk Fed 

by Melissa Broder


Every Last Fear 

by Alex Finlay


I’m the worst and read the last chapter after like 100 pages in. I know that’s how I can tell a book is good, but I kind of wish I didn’t. I was reading this while waiting at my OB appointment, and I just had to know – a very good thriller! 


Pretty Girls 

by Karin Slaughter


Don’t read this if you are easily disturbed. I repeat: don’t read this if you are easily disturbed.  I read this when it first came out and completely blacked it out of my mind because it was so graphic.  But so many people recommended it when I asked for some good thrillers to read – so I started reading it only to remember that I have read it before.  But once I started, I couldn’t stop. So I read the most graphic book of all time not once, but twice. 



The Searcher

by Tana French


This is a slow-build thriller, which I usually don’t love but this is so well written, I didn’t want it to end. 

One Day You’ll Thank Me

by Cameran Eubanks Wimberly


Cameran is one of my favorite reality tv stars, and my love goes way farther back than Southern Charm. I am one of those unicorns who has seen every single season of The Real World, and she and Brad were my JAM on Real World San Diego. Her book approaches motherhood in such an honest and vulnerable way, I found it to be so relatable. 

How to Fail at Flirting 

by Denise Williams 


This was the January pick for The Readheads Book Club – I got it on Audible which I usually never do for fiction books, but it was kind of a nice pace. 



Books I Read:

Virus Hunters 

by Bobby Akart


Call me a glutton for punishment for reading this in our 10th month of a global pandemic, but It felt timely and relevant. To make matters worse, a big portion of this book is set in Nevada – so the entire thing hit very close to home. But it was super interesting to read about how the beginnings of a pandemic transpire – despite it being fiction. This is a series, and I’ll definitely be continuing on. 7/10.

The Last Sister 

by Kendra Elliott


For whatever reason, I could not get into this book. To be fair, it could be because of the state of the world and how distracted I am with everything that’s going on – but it wasn’t enough to pull me in given the circumstances. 5/10.


The Wife Upstairs

by Rachel Hawkins


Wow – I don’t normally love books based on classics (in this case, Jane Eyre) – but I could not put this down. I still don’t think I even know what exactly happened, or what I’m supposed to believe. I don’t want to say too much more without giving anything away, but read this ASAP. 9/10. 

One of the Good Ones 

by Maika Moulite 


This book was incredibly emotional and timely. Although it is fiction, I didn’t feel like it was. If you’re looking for a fiction book based on current events, definitely check this out. 

Girl With No Job: The Crazy Beautiful Life of an Instagram Thirst Monster

by Claudia Oshry 



I stayed up until midnight waiting for this to be delivered to my Kindle, and then finished it up in Audible on the tread the next morning. And as Claudia would say, it was “everything of the sort.” Loved getting an inside glimpse into my favorite podcaster’s past, cancellation and working her way back up during her epic comeback. 

The Death of Expertise

by Tom Nichols


Emily’s therapist recommended this book and I’m only one chapter in but it is FASCINATING. 






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