Books of 2021 – The Kim Version

As promised, here are some of my favorite books that I read in 2021. Some of them were re-reads, some were published in 2021, and some were ones I finally got around to. Oh, and I have a new frontrunner for best “book boyfriend” and I read that one more than a few times!

In no particular order…

Making good decisions, setting boundaries, the permission to say no

The Best Yes was a good read about setting boundaries and giving yourself the permission to say ‘no’ when you just don’t have the bandwidth to do something or take on a new thing. I had the chance to see Lysa Terkheurst at our women’s event at church and I really liked how real she was.

I will read (and have read) every book Mariana Zapata publishes. This one came out in early 2021 and I read it as soon as it came out and again in December because it was set in Colordo and it really is that good. Zapata is the queen of the slow burn and her books are like “friends” and I read a few of them every year. The Wall of Winnepeg And Me and From Lukov With Love are two really good ones if you want to check her out.

Hint – listen to this one on audio! McConaughey himself reads it and it brings a whole different element to the book. Trust me. I would have never pegged our favorite Texan as a life coach/motivational author but he is money in this book. And mom – he cusses. A lot. So maybe get some earmuffs, ok? 😉 All in all, he’s freaking hilarous. And has the best stories – so check it out!

Honestly, I can’t tell you if I really even liked this book but I have it on this list because I consider myself a history buff and I don’t remember ever hearing about some of the events that happened during this book. This is a really well written book but the characters go through some really rough times.

This chick is partially crazy but she has some really good ideas about simplifying your life and decluttering. She is the one who has the blog about slimming down your wardrobe with Project 333. I can’t say I’m down to 33 items per season, but the goodwill bags have definitely increased this year! She also has some good ideas about simplyfiing your mind and life. This one was an audio as well and I’ll probably listen to it again in 2022.

This was one of the most enlightening books I’ve ever read. Both eye-opening and downright appalling, I had to stop listening every once in awhile. The research Wilkerson put into this manuscript is impressive. She breaks down racial discrimation and redirects to how America is set up as a caste system. It’s just as fascinating as it is terrifying.

This whole series is hiliarous and worth a listen. Definitely a fantasy series, so keep that in mind so you’re not surprised that the mayor of Mystic Bayou is actually a bear-shifter. The characters and the way they are portayed by the narrators MAKE this series. You’ll def be laughing out loud!

One of my favorite books of the year, this is an easy read and kind of a fable about a high-powered lawyer changed his life and came back as a new man. It made me think a lot about my work/life balance and how it can affect your health and general wellness if you let it get out of hand.

One day, one of my coworkers pulled up a chair next to mine at my desk and had me watch two episodes of Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man on YouTube and it made a huge impact on me. We watched one with a police station and one with Chip and Johanna Gaines and their family. This coworker was a close friend and he taught me a lot about what it is like to live life as a black man and how he and his wife are raising their sons. When this book came out, I ordered it right away. The day it came in, I picked it up to read while I was eating dinner and finished it that night. It’s that good. And let’s be real – Emmanuel Acho used to play for the Eagles so naturally I’m a fan. The fact that he is one fine looking man doesn’t have anything to do with it. At all. Sike.

So funny story about this book – It made such an impact on me that I told almost everyone about it. I sent the Love Languages test to my whole team at work and they all actually took it! We went over what everyone’s love language was as a team and it showed us a lot. And naturally, we group hugged the two people who scored the lowest on personal touch! A bunch of my friends took it and it was a really great exercise. Those of you who know me well can probably guess my two top love languages. Go ahead. Guess!

I was introduced to Kristen Ashley in November of 2020 by my friend Kellie and I quickly found out why she said she stacked every other author against Kristen Ashley. This can explain why and how I read 40 of her books in 2021. She’s a great author who can paint pictures and connect you with her characters in ways you feel like you actually know them. She also connects characters across series and when one pops up randomly, it’s like a friend just showed up unexpectedly. It’s a lot of fun!

Since I’ve read so many of her books in a short amount of time, I can legit do a blog post just on my favorite books. And, of course, my favorite men! From Luke Stark to Hop Kincaid to Hawk Delgado….I could go on for days. But Deacon Gates stood taller than all the rest to me. This series was full of non-heros and Deacon may scare the heck outta my momma, but hot damn is this man pure fire. He is quiet, he is fierce, he can be intimidating and he’s broken. But he is one hell of a badass who eventually figures his stuff out and comes back to claim his woman.

Pretty sure I’ve read and listened to this book at least four times this year. I love Cassie – the heroine – and how she has a bunch of cabins she rents in the Colorado mountains. And she helped shape a dream for me – one day I’ll be on my porch with a coffee or a beer and my feet up on the railing listening to the creek below me. Hopefully with a man who reminds me of Deacon Gates. Or Luke. Or Hopper. Yum.

Hint: this book has some themes you may not be expecting. Do some research before reading or just drop me a note and I’ll fill you in.

There were plenty more good ones from last year – let me know if you need any recommendations. Thanks for indulging with me and here’s to many more adventures between the pages in 2022!

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Sassy and classy. Sports, books and travel are three of my favorite things in life.

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