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Our Top 10 Books of 2021

Our Top 10 Books of 2021

We asked the booksellers at all three of our locations for their favorite books of 2021. These are the top 10 books that made it onto the majority of those lists.

Playlist Tags: Third Place Books bestselling

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A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Monk & Robot: Book #1

By Becky Chambers
Narrated by: Emmett Grosland
Length: 4 hours 8 minutes

If you enjoyed The Alchemist, then you’ll love A Psalm for the Wild-Built.

“Imagine a world with many, many cups of tea. Doesn’t this world sound amazing? Doesn’t it calm you just to think of it? Sibling Dex makes people tea as a way of life, but they are still struggling to find meaning in the world. Just when they think they’re about to figure it out by seeking out the supposedly-extinct cricket song, they stumble upon a wild-built robot, Mosscap. Mosscap exudes childlike wonder and an untainted way of seeing the world. Together, Dex and Mosscap exchange thoughtful commentary about humans, other animals, robots, and the role of social constructs in our lives. Reminiscent of the Alchemist set far in another world; it’s a timeless philosophy lesson driven home with dry wit that only a robot can bring to teatime.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Leah, Bright Side Bookshop
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My Monticello


By Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Narrated by: Aja Naomi King, January LaVoy, Landon Woodson, LeVar Burton, Ngozi Anyanwu & Tomiwa Edun
Length: 7 hours 35 minutes

My Monticello

“A dynamic, and timely, debut by a new voice in fiction, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson. This collection is comprised of five short stories and one novella all set in the state of Virginia. As you read these stories, you will experience, and feel, the gamut of human emotion as the voices and themes in each are different. The author explores race, identity, and an imagining of the future in the novella "My Monticello". Thought-provoking.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Melanie, Bookstore1Sarasota
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People We Meet on Vacation

By Emily Henry
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hours 46 minutes

People We Meet on Vacation

“What fun! This delightful book should be in every beach bag this summer. A hilariously comedic rom-com with memorable characters, set in varied vacation spots in various years. I enjoyed the changing timeline and seeing the relationship as it grew through the years.”

Monkey and Dog Books image Shelley Lowe, Monkey and Dog Books
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No One Is Talking About This

A Novel

By Patricia Lockwood
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 4 hours 43 minutes

No One Is Talking About This

“Patricia Lackwood's Priestdaddy is one of my favorite memoirs of all time, so I knew I just HAD to get my hands on her debut novel. As expected it's weird and quirky as hell, a tad inappropriate but makes you literally LOL. She creates a plot through a constellation of nebulous observations and witticisms that, as I said, is expected from her. And the narrator's voice drips with that certain sarcasm that is perfectly in line with Lockwood's. What I did NOT expect, however, is for these drifting sentiments and sediments to suddenly unify as one sharp needle point at the book's climax and rip out my still-beating heart. The audacity of Patricia Lockwood! After I was done ugly crying, I was able to take a step back and truly appreciate how marvelous this book really is. Do yourself a favor and just read it.”

BookBar image Conner, BookBar
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Little Thieves

By Margaret Owen
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 13 hours 59 minutes

Little Thieves

“Vanja wants just one thing. She wants enough money to escape the life of servitude her godmothers, Death and Fortune have promised her. She has stolen many things, jewelry, clothes, money, and the identity of her former lady, the Princess Giselle. Cursed by a low god, Vanja only has a fortnight to return what she’s stolen before the jewels growing on her body will take over and kill her...a lifetime of isolation, Vanja knows that she’s the only person she can count on. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows, this Bavarian-inspired fantasy is a delightful adventure with found family, thrilling mysteries, and is full of heart. Maybe Vanja wants more than one thing, after all.”

Wellesley Books image Cassie, Wellesley Books
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Crying in H Mart

A Memoir

By Michelle Zauner
Narrated by: Michelle Zauner
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes

If you enjoyed Minor Feelings, then you’ll love Crying in H Mart.

“This memoir is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of grief as well as a tender look at the complex relationship between a mother and daughter bridging generational and cultural gaps through the comforting creation of food. This book had me simultaneously sobbing and starving. A perfect read.”

Blue Cypress Books image LeeAnna, Blue Cypress Books
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Four Thousand Weeks

Time Management for Mortals

By Oliver Burkeman
Narrated by: Oliver Burkeman
Length: 5 hours 53 minutes

Four Thousand Weeks

“Burkeman’s title emphasizes that if we make it to 80 years of age, we live roughly four thousand weeks. That intro alone sounds pretty sobering, but Burkeman takes us through philosophers’ and scientists’ wisdom across centuries with conclusions that are very optimistic. Burke reassures us with stories such as the American who in 1969 went through a brutal orientation to become a Zen Buddhist with secrets to feeling at peace by merely stopping avoidance to the obvious, diving in to reclaim control of our lives.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Roxanne, Bookstore1Sarasota
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She Who Became the Sun

By Shelley Parker-Chan
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
Length: 14 hours 36 minutes

If you enjoyed Girls of Paper and Fire, then you’ll love She Who Became the Sun.

“WOW, WOW, WOW! What a STUNNING book! She Who Became the Sun is equal parts beautiful and brutal, powerful and poetic. This is an enchanting tale filled with hardship and sorrow and an unwavering will to survive. What are you willing to do to achieve greatness? Zhu Chongba will do anything and sacrifice everything. This is an epic fantasy that reimagines the founding of the great Ming Dynasty. You won't want to miss this book!”

The Well-Read Moose image Anna, The Well-Read Moose
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The Language of Fanaticism

By Amanda Montell
Narrated by: Ann Marie Gideon
Length: 8 hours 21 minutes

The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power.

What makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson...

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Last Night at the Telegraph Club

By Malinda Lo
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes

Acclaimed author of Ash Malinda Lo returns with her most personal and ambitious novel yet, a gripping story of love and duty set in San Francisco's Chinatown during the 1950s.

"That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other." And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its... Read more »

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