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TS’s Best Reads of 2021

TS’s Best Reads of 2021

This is my journey in books for 2021!

Hi everyone, TS here!  Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge that I’ve been inconsistent in my blogging/reviewing on Novel Notions this year.   I couldn’t find the energy or will or brain-power as I found myself in a new expanded role at work that has a challenging learning curve, and discovered that I enjoy cooking and baking (even embarked on sourdough) so much that I started spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

I did manage to meet my reading challenge of 100 books this year regardless, and it’s probably the most diverse year of reading that I’ve had in my entire life.   While fantasy remains my favourite genre for its sense of wonder, I found myself gravitating a lot towards mysteries this year, and also reading a lot more non-fiction.

I’ve decided to organise my best reads of 2021 a bit differently from prior years, somewhat thematically instead of the usual parameters and rankings.

And we’ll start with….

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Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2021)

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2021)

This list is also available on my Booktube Channel if that’s what you preferred: https://youtu.be/wZY-JG9HUgQ

Click here if you want to see the list of all the books I’ve read so far this year: Petrik’s Year in Books (2021)

It’s that time of the year again, y’all. 2021 is ending in a week. This year, I managed to read 130 books. This number includes 72 traditionally published books, 21 self-published/indie books, 37 manga volumes (I’ve read so many more manga volumes but I’ve decided to only include 37 here.)

In comparison to the previous years, whether it’s by pages count or the number of books, this is my lowest reading performance so far. There are details behind this reason, but really when it comes down to it, it’s because this is the first full year I became a Booktuber. In addition to reading and writing reviews, now I also record, edit, and upload videos to my YouTube Channel. My reading “performance” definitely suffers because of it, but not going to lie, I’m happy to make that sacrifice. As for the quality of the books I read, this is another incredible reading year, so let’s get to it immediately. As usual, I will be applying a few rules into this list:

Please read this first. There will be three rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list. These rules allow me to highlight more authors, and at the same time, I’ll also be able to include both new and older books (many of them still need attention) that I read within this year.

  • Rereads aren’t included.
  • One book per author.
  • The books listed here are not all exclusively published this year; the list consists of the top books I read for the first time within this year. Non-2021 published books on this list will have their first date of publication included.

Do note that although there’s a rank to this list, I HIGHLY recommend every book/series listed below because I loved all of them immensely, and they received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 20 books I’ve read in 2021! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page

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Book Review: The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child, #3) by R.J. Barker

Book Review: The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child, #3) by R.J. Barker

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

The Bone Ship’s Wake by R.J. Barker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Tide Child (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 543 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 30th September 2021 by Orbit


I’ve completed two series by R.J. Barker now, and Barker stuck the landing in both Kings of Assassins and The Bone Ship’s Wake.

“Of all the people on the ship, the courser knew most what it was to be alone. And Joron, as Meas had once said, had found command was the loneliest place of all.”

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Book Review: The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child Trilogy, #3) by R.J. Barker

Book Review: The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child Trilogy, #3) by R.J. Barker

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

The Bone Ship’s Wake by R.J. Barker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Tide Child (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Published: 30th September 2021 by Orbit


Highly satisfying and achingly emotional, The Bone Ship’s Wake was the unforgettable conclusion that I was hoping for in this phenomenal trilogy.

How did this even happen – a seafaring fantasy story becoming one of my favourites? Hats off to R.J. Barker as he did something truly extraordinary. His excellent debut trilogy, The Wounded Kingdom made me eager to try whatever he writes next, and now The Tide Child shot him up to become one of my insta-buy fantasy authors.

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