The weather is heating up as things open up in our previously locked down states and territories, but that doesn't mean reading season is over | Illustration by Ana Galvañ

The Best Selling Books of 2021 (So Far)

What if you could spend the next three months doing nothing but lying around reading escapist fiction, with a margarita or a bowl of cherries or a massive Toblerone bar — or all three — at your fingertips? 

In addition to the enduring trend of self-care, the pandemic also seemed to spur on a collective renewed interest in books. Offering an escape from the often harsh reality of the world we’re living in, compelling dramas, twisting-and-turning murder mysteries, and the like have all become a refuge for many of us who have endured lockdowns and general uncertainty over the past two years. From stand-out coming-of-age novels to insightful self-help books, these are some of the best-selling books of 2021.

Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

Centered around Kya who is known as the town’s strange ‘Marsh Girl’, Where the Crawdads Sing is a coming-of-age murder mystery set in North Carolina. Grappling with themes of loneliness and abandonment, this novel offers a compelling female perspective in Delia Owens debut.

The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman

The Hill We Climb is a collectible edition of Amanda Gorman’s moving poetry reading from US President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Featuring a foreword from Oprah Winfrey, this poem serves as a poignant reminder of America’s history as well as a hopeful outlook into the country’s future.

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles follows Patroclus, a young prince who is exiled to the kingdom of Phthia, where he then forms a bond with the strong, gifted, and beautiful prince, Achilles. Set in the Greek age of heroes and gods, this story is a suspenseful and heartbreaking reimagining of Homer’s Illiad.

The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Volk

A New York Times Bestseller, Dr. Bessel van der Volk’s The Body Keeps the Score is an exploration of trauma and its effects on the mind and body. Praised as a fascinating and empowering read, The Body Keeps the Score delves into neurofeedback, mediation, sports, drama, and yoga among other practices as treatments in helping people reclaim their lives.

Atomic Habits, James Clear

According to James Clear’s website, his self-help book Atomic Habits will teach you how to break your bad habits and stick to the good ones so you can get one per cent better every day. Distilling the complexities of biology, psychology and neuroscience into easy-to-understand, applicable behaviours you can use in your own life, Atomic Habits aims to help you achieve your personal goals.

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

In Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, Nora finds herself in a library that sits between life and death. Delving into the concept of ‘what if?’, this novel follows Nora’s journey to understanding what is truly fulfilling in life and what makes life worth living in the first place.

The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah

From the author of Firefly Lane, Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds centres around the resilience of women and the powerful bond between mother and daughter through Elsa’s story of survival as a single mother of two in 1930s drought-stricken Texas.

Beautiful World, Where Are You, Sally Rooney

Beautiful World, Where Are You is Sally Rooney’s third novel that again explores the humanness of relationships as well as class consciousness, youth and desire through Alice, Eileen, Felix and Simon who all find themselves tangled with one another in this compelling story.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Writer Monique is summoned to write a tell-all on the reclusive Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo and her famed seven husbands. Following Evelyn’s tragic and tumultuous life story, Monique soon learns of the strange and unexpected connection she shares with the movie star. Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a compelling read with a great forbidden love story.

The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz

Despite being published in 1997, The Four Agreements was featured on the print best sellers list for January to June this year. Exploring the impact of self-limiting beliefs, The Four Agreements is a long-loved self-help book that offers a practical guide to personal freedom.

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