The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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Books read in 2021


Biographies, memoirs, letters, literature, history

  • Paulina Bren, The Barbizon {May}
  • Justine Cowan, The secret life of Dorothy Soames {April}
  • Annie Gray, Victory in the kitchen:  the life of the Churchill's cook {July}
  • Eliazabeth Foyster, The trials of the King of Hampshire {September}
  • Anne Hart, The life and times of Miss Jane Marple {March}
  • Susan Hill, Howard's End is on the landing {April}
  • Kate Humble, Thinking on my feet:  the small joy of putting one foot in front of the other {February}
  • Catherine Grace Katz, The daughters of Yalta {January}
  • Alexander Larman, The crown in crisis {September}
  • Hilary Macaskill, Virginia Woolf at Home {November}
  • Katherine May, Wintering:  the power of rest and retreat in difficult times {February}
  • Margo Miller, Chateau Higginson:  social life in Boston's Back Bay {April}
  • Janice Nimura, The Doctors Blackwell {May}
  • Phyllis Richardson, House of Fiction {June}
  • Sue Shephard, The surprising life of Constance Spry {March}
  • Adrian Tinniswood, Noble ambitions:  the fall and rise of the English country house after World War II {October}
  • Rachel Trethewy, Before Wallis:  Edward VIII's other women {November}
  • Rachel Trethewy, The Churchill Sisters {December}
  • Anne Willan, Women in the kitchen:  twelve essential cookbook writers {January}
  • Olivia Williams, The secret life of the Savoy {September}


  • Stephanie Barron, That Churcchill woman {May}
  • Mariei Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, The personal librarian {July}
  • Janet Skeslien Charles, The Paris Library {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Fiona Davis, The Lions of Fifth Avenue {February}
  • Antoine Laurain, The reader's room {October}
  • Alexander McCall Smith, A promise of ankles {March}
  • Carla Oman, Nothing to report {November}
  • Carla Oman, Somewhere in England {November}
  • A.J. Pearce, Cheerfully yours {September}
  • Valerie Perrin, Fresh water for flowers {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Barbara Pym, A Glass of Blessings {November}
  • Barbara Pym, Excellent Women {June}
  • Barbara Pym, Less than angels {October}
  • Barbara Pym, No fond return of love {November}
  • Barbara Pym, Some tame gazelle {June}
  • Barbara Pym, An Unsuitable Attachment {December}
  • Rosamunde Pilcher, A place like home {October}
  • Kate Russo, Super Host {March}
  • Margery Sharp, Rhododendron Pie {January}
  • Angela Thirkell, Growing Up {December}
  • Samantha Verant, The secret French recipes of Sophie Valroux {January}
  • E.H. Young, Chatterton Square {February}


  • Rennie Airth, The blood-dimmed tide {March}
  • Rennie Airth, The Decent Inn of Death {February}
  • Rennie Airth, River of Darkness {February}
  • Ace Atkins, Someone to watch over me {March}
  • Jean-Luc Bannalec, The missing corpse {September}
  • S.J. Bennett, The Windsor knot {May}
  • Agatha Christie, At Bertram's Hotel {August)
  • Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot's Christmas {December}
  • Agatha Christie, The Moving finger {May}
  • Agatha Christie, The murder at the vicarage {March}
  • Agatha Christie, A murder is announced {August}
  • Ann Cleeves, The heron's cry {September}
  • Ann Cleeves, White nights {March}
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny, State of Terror {October}
  • E.X. Ferrars, Something wicked {August}
  • Charles Finch, An extravagant death {March} 
  • Elly Griffiths, The night hawks {September}
  • Elly Griffiths, The postcript murders {April}
  • Reginald Hill, A cure for all diseases {August}
  • Anthony Horowitz, A line to kill {November}
  • Richard Hull, The murder of my aunt {January}
  • P.D. James, An unsuitable job for a woman {October}
  • Donna Leon, Transient desires {April}
  • M.L. Longworth, The vanishing museum on the Rue Mistral {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Peter Lovesey, Diamond and the eye {December}
    Peter Lovesey, The finisher {January}
  • Louise Penny, Glass houses {November}
  • Louise Penny, A great reckoning {June}
  • Louise Penny, The nature of the beast {January}
  • Anne Perry, Death with a double edge {May}
  • Ruth Rendell, End in tears {December}
  • Peter Robinson, Not dark yet {June}
  • Jacqueline Winspear, The consequences of fear {June}

The book(s) in bold type were among my favorites this year.


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