Reading lists

The books we loved in 2021

Here, the editors wax effusive about the very best books we read this year, from life-altering guides to how to spend our time on Earth to epic American novels to young adult tales from 1937 Japan. editors
A collage of book covers against a royal blue background.
Image: Alexandra Francis / Penguin

As editors for Penguin, a huge number of books cross our desks each year, some great, some just fine, and a rare few that remind us exactly why we read: they whisk us somewhere incredible at a time we need it most, or they show us how we might live better, becoming a crucial part of the fabric of our lives.

In 2021, as ever, we were treated to another handful of those spectacular kinds of books. Below, the editors of reveal the reads that moved them this year.

What did you think of this article? Email and let us know.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more