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Best Books of 2021

Why are books important? A personal perspective. I'm in my first year as a City Councilmember, and it's been wonderful but challenging. A major challenge has involved my commitment to do what I feel is right for the town, even in the face of criticism. As I realized quickly this year, the reality is that doing the right thing can be a surprisingly lonely path, and can really get in the way of the natural human need to "belong." 

In the midst of this realization (which I admit was fraught with some emotional moments), I read Braving the Wilderness, a 2017 book by Brené Brown. It was an eye-opener. It's all about being true to your principles, continuing to be open to the voices of others, and accepting the small (and sometimes large) rejections by others that come with that path. Why? Because to do otherwise, to abandon the work that is worth doing, in order to "belong" and be accepted, really isn't belonging at all - it's just "fitting in." It's pretending to be someone who you are not...and in doing that rejecting your own true self. And that, without doubt, is the loneliest feeling of all. 

This book was a lifeline to me in a difficult time. It reaffirmed my view of myself and my commitment to doing what is principled and right. How wonderful, that one little book could make such a difference. 

My point here is that a book can be a portal to so much: entertainment, enlightenment, education, fantasy, a life line in a moment of despair...and so much more. As you hold it in your hands, taking it in through your own experience, it can be whatever you need it to be. 

Book Lists - Best of 2021: Below are some links to a few of the many lists of best books of 2021. Please note that this is just a starter selection. There are many many other lists out there. Enjoy!

Sonoma County Library Staff Picks

Sebastopol Regional Library Staff Picks (see list below)

NPR Books We Love - 2021

Goodreads Best Books of 2021

Vogue The Best Books to Read in 2021

New York Times Best Books of 2021

New York Times Best Sellers of 2021

And don't forget our own local bookseller Copperfield's Books. There are book lists on the website, but honestly my best advice is to go into the store in Sebastopol and look at the staff pick's shelf and talk to the employees. They will not steer you wrong! 

Sebastopol Regional Library Staff Picks

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Passing by Nella Larsen
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
The Great Glorious Goddamn of it All by Josh Ritter
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
Circe by Madeline Miller
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
In the Woods by Tana French
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Future Feeling by Joss Lake
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Girl A by Abigail Dean
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
We Were Witches by Ariel Gore
The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen
The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Diana Rich, Sebastopol City Council
321 S. Main St. #60, Sebastopol CA 95472
707 861-0032
FPPC #1430199
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