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December 22, 2021 | Lea Wentworth

Staff Picks: Best of 2021

As Library workers, books, movies and music are kind of our thing. At the end of each year, we compile all of our favorites from that year to share. These brought us joy or diversion, or made us think, or enhanced our lives in some way through another tough year.

All titles listed were released in 2021 and are available for free checkout through the Library in either a physical format that you hold in your hand (a book, a CD, a DVD) or in a virtual format that read, watch or listen to with your phone or tablet (like an ebook or downloadable music).


Nonfiction and History 

Cole, Mel D. American Protest: Photographs 2020-2021 

Defoe, Gideon. An Atlas of Extinct Countries 

Dyja, Thomas. New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess and Transformation 

Green, Elon. Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust and Murder in Queer New York 

Haig, Matt. The Comfort Book 

Hannah-Jones, Nikole. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story 

Hubbard, Harlan. The Watercolors of Harlan Hubbard 

Zimmerman, Jess. Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology 

Biographies, Memoirs and Essays 

Brown, Kelly Williams. Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things 

Brunson, Quinta. She Memes Well 

Cunningham, Bill. I Was Born When I was Very Young 

Didion, Joan. Let Me Tell You What I Mean 

Grohl, Dave. The Storyteller 

Hough, Lauren. Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing 

Morton, Andrew. Elizabeth and Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters 

Pfeifer, Joseph. Ordinary Heroes, A Memoir of 9/11 

Ruffin, Amber and Lacey Lamar. You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey 

Sedaris, David. Carnival of Snackery 

Trejo, Danny. Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood 

Tyson, Cicely. Just As I Am 

Vitale, Tom. In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain 

Zauner, Michelle. Crying in H-Mart 

Food, Garden and Home

Blakeney, Justina. Jungalow: Decorate Wild 

Bruce, Alexandra. Sustainable Style: 27 Garments to Sew for a Considered Closet

Martin, Rachel Louise. Hot Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story 

Michel, Quita. Just a Few Miles South: Timeless Recipes from Our Favorite Places 

Tucci, Stanley. Taste: My Life Through Food 


Benedict, Marie. The Personal Librarian

Boyle, T.C. Talk to Me

Charlier, Marj. The Rebel Nun

Davidson, Ash. Damnation Spring

Flanagan, Erin. Deer Season

Franzen, Jonathan. Crossroads

Hannah, Kristin. The Four Winds

McConaghy, Charlotte. Once There Were Wolves

Morris, Heather. Three Sisters

Peters, Torrey. Detransition, Baby

Reid, Taylor Jenkins. Malibu Rising

Rowley, Steven. The Guncle

Shipstead, Maggie. The Great Circle

Snicket, Lemony. Poison for Breakfast

Strout, Elizabeth. Oh William!

Suzuki, Izumi. Terminal Boredom

Towles, Amor. The Lincoln Highway

Whitehead, Colson. Harlem Shuffle

Mystery and Suspense

Bell, David. Kill All Your Darlings

Bohjalian, Chris. The Hour of the Witch

Cosimano, Elle. Finlay Donovan is Killing It

Dean, Abigail. Girl A

Glover, Michael. St. Sebastin: Stone Roses

Harper, Jane. The Survivors

King, Stephen. Billy Summers

King, Stephen. Later


Hazelwood, Ali. The Love Hypothesis

Henry, Emily. The People We Meet on Vacation

McQuiston, Casey. One Last Stop

Rocha, Kit. The Devil You Know

Graphic Novels

Lai, Lee. Stone Fruit

Powell, Nate. Save It for Later


Colbert, Brandy. Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot

Lee, C.B. Clash of Steel

Lim, Elizabeth. Six Crimson Cranes

Lo, Malinda. Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Moskowitz, Hannah. The Love Song of Ivy K. Harlowe

Moulite, Maika. One of the Good Ones

Polydoros, Aiden. The City Beautiful

Sharpe, Tess. The Girls I’ve Been

Sutanto, Jesse Q. The Obsession

Thomas, Angie. Concrete Rose


Bassi, Sandro. Alien Nation

Flintham, Thomas. Supper Rabbit Boy Team Up Trouble

Lucas, Chad. Thanks a Lot, Universe

Lukoff, Kyle. Too Bright to See

Medina, Nico. Who is RuPaul

Pilkey, Dav. Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000

Taylor, Jazz. Meow or Never

Tellegen, Toon. I Wish

West, Tracey. Howl of the Wind Dragon

Early Readers

Brown, Peter. Fred Gets Dressed

Cherry, Monica. The Husky from Kentucky

Clark, Carla. You Be Daddy

Diaz, Lucky. Paletero Man

Feder, Tyler. Bodies are Cool

Gauld, Tom. The Log Princess and the Wooden Robot

Ghigna, Charles. Once Upon Another Time

Gormon, Amanda. Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem

Hannah-Jones, Nikole and Renee Watson. Born on the Water

Juck, Lee. One Day

Marlow, Layn. Noah’s Seal

Morales, Yuyi. Bright Star

Ode, Eric. Larry Gets Lost in the Library

Reynolds, Emma. Amara and the Bats

Todd, Traci N. Nina

VanSickle, Vikki. Anonymouse

Wall, Phoebe. Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

Williams, Schele. Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History



His Dark Materials, Season 2

Lovecraft Country


Mare of Easttown



Promising Young Woman


Scooby Doo Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street



Adele. 30

Baker, Julien. Little Oblivions.

Black Keys. Delta Kream

BTS, Butter (Megan Thee Stallion Remix)

DMX. Exodus

Doja Cat. Planet HER

Eilish, Billie. Happier Than Ever

Fleck, Bela. My Bluegrass Heart

Japanese Breakfast. Jubilee

Parks, Arlo. Collapsed.

Shires, Amanda. For Christmas

Silk Sonic, An Evening with Silk Sonic

Swift, Taylor. Red (Taylor’s Version)

Twice. Formula of Love

Tyler the Creator. Call Me If You Get Lost

West, Kanye. Donda