Books of 2021

My favourite new books of this past year:

Crow Court by Andy Charman
The Cold Millions by Jess Walter
Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith
My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley
Boy On Fire: The Young Nick Cave by Mark Mordue
And Away… by Bob Mortimer
The Lyrics by Paul McCartney – edited by Paul Muldoon
Barbara Throws A Wobbler by Nadia Shireen
The False Rose by Jakob Wegelius — translated by Peter Graves

I’ve read a lot (just over 50 books), but I fell out of the habit of blogging about everything I finished. Perhaps I’ll get back to that in 2022.

The best older books I got around to in 2021 were Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, In The Country of Last Things by Paul Auster and The Offing by Benjamin Myers.

Albums of 2021

Some of my favourite new music from this past year:

The Beths – Auckland, New Zealand, 2020
The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Carnage
The Felice Brothers – From Dreams To Dust
Helado Negro – Far In
Tom Jones – Surrounded by Time
Manic Street Preachers – The Ultra Vivid Lament
Mouth Painter – Tropicale Moon
Alison Russell – Outside Child

and a couple of excellent reissues:

John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band
Supergrass – In It For The Money

Bookshop.org

Bookshop.org launched in the UK last Monday, offering an easy way to buy any book whilst supporting and promoting indie bookshops – who don’t have to fulfil the orders, but do get a healthy chunk of the profits. I’ve now received my first bunch o’ books, and can highly recommend the service. Buying directly from your local shop remains the best way to keep them going, but there really is no excuse to resort to Amazon now, if there ever was.

In under two weeks the site has raised a whopping £125,000 for local bookshops. It’s great to see the UK books community embracing it, especially during a time when it’s not possible to browse a physical shop here, yet we’re all keen to stock up on winter reading.

One clever feature of the site is the option for authors, bloggers, book clubs, or anyone else to set up an affiliate page and put together lists of recommended titles – then get a little commission when people purchase books whilst browsing their ‘shop’.

I do love a list, so have wasting no time in getting set up and putting these together:

More lists to come, no doubt.