5 must-add books to your 2021 reading list [from our 2020 gapmuse bookshelf]

Image of woman holding a book and looking up at a stack of books
We love to read!

Happy New Year gapmusers! Hope your 2021 is off to a great start!

We’ve resolved to roll into this year setting goals as we always do but with a caveat; we’re rolling into it ready for whatever. I mean, can you blame us given what happened last year?

If you recall, 2020 started like any other; with the enthusiasm for a new year and new goals, including for me, a determination to read more, specifically two books per quarter. I even declared my goal in our yearly book list post published here in January 2020! But we all know what happened! COVID-19 showed up and by March had disrupted our lives in ways no one could have ever predicted.

Suddenly, we were all quarantined at home, kids were home-schooling, pets were confused wondering why in the heck we were home all the time, and we were all scrambling to figure out how to balance our new normal.

We had to recalibrate and figure out how to survive and thrive during the pandemic. All was not lost, though. I still managed to read five books, not exactly what I was reaching for, but grateful for the achievement anyway. Besides, there was a silver lining to this shortcoming. Because of the pandemic and shelter in place restrictions, I was able to finally accomplish a goal that was three years in the making, launching our podcast, HerCanvas. With more time quarantined at home, there was no better time to learn a new (and challenging) skill.

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It was also a time of firsts. For the first time, I abandoned a book a few chapters in not because it was bad but rather it was simply not my cup of tea. Since I was torn between tabling or reading it, I decided to poll members of gapmuseWomen, our Facebook community, to determine the right thing to do. An overwhelming majority recommended I abandon it. Their rationale, why waste time reading something you’re not into when you can spend that time reading something you love? I couldn’t argue with that! I still opted to include it in our gapmuseWomen Bookshelf because who knows? It might be a better fit for someone else.

Tabling it opened up the opportunity to replace it with something more akin to my taste.

The books from my reading list this year took me down memory lane with the former POTUS, Barack Obama, helped me discover the intricacies of female friendships and the struggle for liberation for phenomenal women writers in the 1960s; sharpened my negotiation skills; gave me a window into how isolation shapes our behavior, and shed light on the exclusivity of feminism.

Here’s our list of the 5 must-add books to your 2021 reading list:

1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama

2. The Equivalents by Maggie Doherty

3. Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything by Alexandra Carter

4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

5. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

Just in case these books are not your cup of tea, we’ve included additional collections from some of our favorite people, our gapmuseWomen Bookshelves on Pinterest, and members of our gapmuseWomen Facebook Group.

Recommendations from From Some of Our Favorite People

Recommendations from our gapmuse Bookshelves on Pinterest

Recommendations from our gapmuseWomen Facebook Group

Access our Book Collection curated with the help of our gapmuseWomen community.

Image of 3 women looking out into the mountains.

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Because we understand how challenging it is to juggle daily responsibilities and read, we published a list of strategies you can use to help you accomplish your reading goals in our booklist blog post last year, which you can access here. We hope these strategies, our 2020 book list, and the resources we’ve shared today to help you discover more books for your bookshelf will motivate you to read more this year.

What’s on your bookshelf? Please share to add to our reading list too! 🙂

Here’s to a brighter, kinder, and gentler 2021 for us all.

Be inspired.

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