Liberation is Lit’s Favorite Books of 2021

I was super disappointed by the winners of the GoodReads Awards. There were so little winners that featured authors of color. I was surprised because there were so many good books getting a lot of mainstream attention by authors of color this year. So I decided to make my own favorites list!

But first, how diversely did I read?

Every year (well, starting in like 2020), I like to take a look at the books I have read and break them down to see how diverse I have read. At the time of writing this, it wasn’t quite the end of the year, and I’m still holding out hope I can read 8 books in 9 days (absolutely laughable) to make my goal of 100 books this year. 

Clocking in at 92 books (thanks mostly to audiobooks), here is a break down of how diversely I read:

69.57% of my books were written by Black Authors, 19.57% of my books were written by authors of color (down 49% from last year, boo), and 58.7% of my books were written by Black women. A shameful 5.43% of the books I read centered queer or trans characters. 43.48% of my books were 2021 releases, 13.04% of which were by indie authors or publishers.

2022 Reading Goals

Based on my breakdown, I would definitely like to read more books about queer, trans, and nonbinary charachters, and I want to read more indie books. While I read more new releases this year than ever before, I want to take the time and catch up on the books I have let slip by like sequels to some bomb books, books by people I admire, and finishing out catlogs by the authors I love (looking at you Alice Walker and James Baldwin).

I always set my goal on GoodReads to be 100 books in a year. So far, I’ve only met that goal once (the pandemic has negatively affected my reading, as all I want to do is play Animal Crossing and The Sims in my free time to escape reality). Let’s see if I can actually do it again!

*drum roll* Best Books of 2021

I read some really good books this year! Here are 9 of my favorite (in no particular order, but in some fun categories, and not all were 2021 releases):

Book that messed me up (in the best way)

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Favorite book about feminism

White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind by Koa Beck

(here is a post that was inspired by this book)

Book that fired me up

The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto by Charles M. Blow

Favorite book about activism

We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice by adrienne maree brown

(here is a post I wrote on feministbookclub.com that was inspired by this book)

Book that made me cry

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Book that helped me love myself more

The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor

(and accompanying workbook)

Favorite Poetry Collection

calling in black by Nicholle Ramsey

(here is a review)

Book that helped me get my life together

Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab

(and accompanying workbook)

I also realized I read soooo many good essay collections, so keep an eye out for a separate post about that 😉

What were your favorite books this year and how diversely did you read? What are your reading goals for 2022?

Note: This post contains affiliate links to our Bookshop store that contribute to the 10% back to organizations 🙂
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