Staff Picks - Books of the Year 2021

Staff Picks - Books of the Year 2021

As you can imagine, the staff of Newcastle Libraries service love a good book!

Here are a few of our top reads from 2021, all of which are available to borrow across your library branches. 

I know what you've done book cover 

I Know What You've Done by Dorothy Koomson

from Terry


One of the best books I have read this year is “I know what you’ve done” by Dorothy Koomson author of “The ice-cream girls” and “The Brighton Mermaid” among others. This is a wonderful thriller with lots of twists about the dark side of neighbourhood watch and crimes past and present.







Half Past Tomorrow book cover

Half Past Tomorrow by Chris McGeorge

from Clare


I liked this book, as it had an interesting plot and was easy to read.  It also had a personal element for me, as the main character (Shirley) reminded me of my similar age mother in law, both in her straight talking attitude and her determination not to be beaten despite her age, as well as the fact that Shirley lives in Chester le Street where my mother in law previously lived for many years, so I was able to picture the scenes clearly.







In defense of plants book cover and orchid

In Defense of Plants: An Exploration into the Wonder of Plants by Matt Candeias

from David


I’ve always been fascinated by plants, how they live, what they do and how they benefit the Earth and the species that inhabit it.

In Defense of Plants is a celebration of plants as living, breathing organisms fighting for survival on planet Earth. Plants don't really have a voice in today's busy world.  Written by internationally recognised podcaster and blogger, Matt Candeias, In Defense of Plants inspired me to look at plants in a whole new light. The book  focuses on the incredible ways in which plants live, fight, reproduce and conquer new territory.





Book cover showing sky and rainbow

No one is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

from Toni


What begins as an extremely funny and painfully perceptive take on the horrors of social media soon turns into a moving tale of caring for a baby with a serious life-limiting condition. This book blew me away, made me laugh and made me cry. When I learned that the book was based on real events in the author's life, I was shook up all over again. This doesn't sound very fun, does it? And yet it is! Give it a try, a truly one-of-a-kind reading experience. 





book cover with blue background and flying owl

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

from Sarah


This is a follow-up to the Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders where we're first introduced to the unlikely detective Susan Ryland. Full of memorable characters this is a great crime story and thumping good read!







Green book cover with young girl crouched down with fire

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

from Leanne


Hollowpox is the third book in the Nevermoor series, and also the best one yet. With a magical, inclusive, and engaging case of characters, every page will fill children and adults alike with a sense of ‘wunder’!


Did you know?

If you're interested in joining a reading group in 2022, you can email us at and we'll put you in touch with a group taking members. Alternatively, we'll support you to start your own group.  See our Reading Groups webpage for more information.


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