Favorite Fiction Books I Read Last Year

Today’s post isn’t fashion-related, but I know a lot of you are book-lovers like me and I wanted to share a permanent post with some favorite fiction books I read last year for those of you looking for some reading recommendations. These are basically all thrillers and mysteries (my current genre of choice) and are listed in no particular order.

I recently got myself set up and up to date on Goodreads. Do any of you remember when I “started reading” The Cuckoo’s Calling in December only to realize I’d already read it?! Proof that I need a better system to keep track of what I’ve read. So glad I have an easy way to organize it all now. If your local library is open — mine finally opened for pickup as long as I reserve the book beforehand — I recommend going that route! But I’ll link each book for you if you’d rather buy it or it’s not available at the library. Okay, here are the books…

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner | This is part beach read, part murder mystery about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart.

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane | A twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen | A psychological thriller that explores what secrets are safe to share and if morality and ethics really matter when protecting the ones you love.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell | Dark, moody and really captivating. As The New York Times puts it, this book “explores the space between going missing and being lost.”

One by One by Ruth Ware | A corporate retreat to the French Alps turns deadly as a massive storm hits and the group dwindles one by one.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | This is a major mind-bending sci-fi thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney | A captivating sci-fi, domestic thriller that explores artificial intelligence and relationships.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley | A group of old friends goes on a secluded trip to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and one of them ends up dead. This is a great murder mystery that explores friendships, secrets and envy.

What genre do you like best? What were some of your favorite reads this year? I’d love to know to file away for future reading ideas.

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.6.21
    Shelley said:

    Love your book recommendations.. have you read the Last Flight. I think you would really enjoy I couldn’t put it down. Also enjoyed Normal People and conversations with Friends. Easy quick reads!!

    • 2.6.21
      Natalie said:

      Yes, I loved The Last Flight!!!

  2. 2.4.21
    Dionna Mash said:

    I just finished the Guest List today actually, and now based on these comments I’m going to start the Hunting Party! I also read Verity by Colleen Hoover and All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin recently. Both were really good!

    • 2.4.21
      Natalie said:

      Yes, let me know what you think of The Hunting Party!

  3. 2.3.21
    Christine said:

    Anything by Riley Sager! And I just finished The Sun Down Motel which was so good! Broken Girls by the same author is great as well

  4. 2.2.21
    Kristina said:

    I love your book post! I added you as a friend on Goodreads, I love seeing people’s recommendations on there and I find it so helpful to keep track of all my books! If you haven’t read Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon I highly recommend it!

  5. 2.2.21
    Kris Cardall said:

    This past year I loved The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, and The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. All three are soooo good!

  6. 2.2.21
    Kaylen said:

    I read both The Hunting Party and The Guest List. I read The Guest List first, over the summer, and waited until winter to read The Hunting Party. I really enjoyed both of them.

    • 2.2.21
      Natalie said:

      Yes, good timing on the books! I read The Hunting Party during the week in between Christmas and NYE and it was perfect.

    • 2.2.21
      Maria said:

      I second The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, it is so well written and asked some interesting questions. I also really liked The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, a very modern, Southern retelling of Jane Eyre. And The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab, a girl makes a Faustian bargain to live forever but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, until one day someone remembers her name. As for mysteries, I’ve been enjoying Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti books.

  7. 2.2.21
    Sarah said:

    I generally lean towards mysteries and thrillers like many you’ve mentioned 🙂 But I like to switch it up on occasion. I recently read “We Were the Lucky Ones” by Georgia Hunter. It’s a novel about a Jewish family in WW2, based on a true story. It was such a powerful book. Highly recommend.

  8. 2.2.21
    Shana said:

    I loved Dark Matter too! You need to read his other book Recursion. I just finished and I liked it almost as much as dark matter.

  9. 2.2.21
    Jamie said:

    I’m a mystery and crime junkie myself! But I also love the typical , fun beach read books! I love all the books by Jane Green (main character always female)!

  10. 2.1.21
    Jordan said:

    I also read The Hunting Party and loved it! I’ve heard that The Guest List by the same author is also really good so I’m on the waitlist on my library app.

    I like to sprinkle in non-fiction with my mystery books too. Some recent faves…
    -No Filter by Sarah Frier about the history of Instagram, really fascinating how the app was originally intended vs how it’s used now
    -Super Pumped by Mike Isaac about Uber (can you tell I work in tech? Ha)
    – Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski about the science behind female sexuality. I learned a ton and think every woman should read this!

    • 2.2.21
      Natalie said:

      Okay I totally want to read that No Filter one now!!

  11. 2.1.21
    Nicole O said:

    I love this post. I too am a big book lover and enjoy the thriller genre. I just finished The Mother In Law by Sally Hepworth and it was interesting. I also really liked Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger. Just wanted to say I really like your weekly newsletter email.

    • 2.1.21
      Natalie said:

      Ohh I’ll check those books out!

      And so happy you’re loving the newsletter, too 🙂

  12. 2.1.21
    Whit said:

    Just started the hunting party, and can already tell it is going to be very good! Can’t wait to read the others you listed . Please continue to share your book recommendations 🙂

    • 2.1.21
      Natalie said:

      Lucy Foley is so good! I liked The Hunting Party even more that The Guest List (though that was a good one, too). Glad you’re enjoying the book recs!

  13. 2.1.21
    Stephanie said:

    My favorite read of last year was Anxious People by Fredrick Backman. When I was done, I literally hugged the book to me while crying. It was so tender and I love the way he unfolds plot details in a non linear fashion so you’re puzzling it out as you go through.
    I’m also trying to read all of the Reese Witherspoon book club picks and I checked out The Alice Network about female spies during WWII and loved it! Tried to recommend it to the same friend twice even though she’d already read it haha

    • 2.1.21
      Natalie said:

      I struggled to read Anxious People but I think it’s because I’m so used to these faster-paced, creepy thrillers, haha. I may have to give it another chance this year.

  14. 2.1.21
    Kacy said:

    Hi Natalie! Love this post! I haven’t been receiving your newsletters even though I have registered my email and phone number? Do you know how I could troubleshoot this?

    I have checked my spam folder and they aren’t going there :/

    • 2.1.21
      Natalie said:

      Hi Kacy! I just checked the email you used for submitting this comment and it’s not on any of my email lists. I also don’t have you in my text contacts, so it seems like maybe the sign up process wasn’t completed? Feel free to email me and I can help you troubleshoot it!