Hello! Every year Book Therapy curates a list of our most notable books of the year spanning both fiction and non-fiction, ranging from literary fiction, young adult, romance, mystery and thrillers, LGBTQIA+ as well as best political and business books, memoirs and biographies and travel and cookbooks. We hope these offer literary inspiration for the year to come and we’d love to hear your thoughts on these. If you feel there’s any we’ve missed, please reach out and let us know too! Also to help you get the most out of your reading life don’t forget to sign up to our signature Bibliotherapy, Literature & Mental Health online course or our personalised reading service (tailored book recommendations and curated reading lists)!
Best Literary Fiction of 2021
1. Bewilderment (Novel) by Richard Powers
From the Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Overstory, Richard Powers, comes this stunning novel with simply, gorgeous and thoughtful prose. Following the death of his wife, Theo Byrne, an astrobiologist, pursues a mission to discover life in space as he embraces single parenthood, raising his neurodiverse 9-year-old son, Robin. Robin has two sides to him: he’s a kind, compassionate, caring boy with exquisite artistic abilities, painting pictures of endangered animals. He is also deeply disturbed and physically hurts a friend in third grade risking being expelled. He spirals into more and more despair. Theo, hoping to avoid psychoactive drugs, tests out an innovative neurofeedback treatment to help Robin regulate his emotions, using his mother’s brain and mirroring her own brain pathways.
In the backdrop, Powers continues to immerse us in gorgeous scenes of the natural world and of perhaps a life beyond planet earth, drawing parallels to his parenting challenges and unconditional love for his son. Through the eyes of Robin, we see his frustration at humanity’s lack of care towards the environment and its impact on the multitude of life and sophisticated eco-systems that are struggling to survive, shining a light on the value of all life on earth and the depths of human…