The end of the year is fast approaching, and it’s time to reflect on the best books that have graced our shelves in the past twelve months. From gripping novels to thought-provoking non-fiction, 2021 has seen a plethora of outstanding works. Here are the top five books of the year that you simply must read.

1. “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro:
In this mesmerizing novel, Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro explores the power of artificial intelligence and its impact on human emotions. Set in a dystopian future, the story follows Klara, an Artificial Friend who observes the world through her unique lens. Ishiguro’s beautiful prose and ability to delve into the complex nature of humanity make this a must-read for fans of science fiction and literary fiction alike.

2. “The Push” by Ashley Audrain:
Ashley Audrain’s debut novel takes readers on an intense journey into the dark side of motherhood. Told from the perspective of Blythe, a new mother struggling with her daughter’s troubling behavior, “The Push” explores the complexities of nature versus nurture and the haunting legacy of family trauma. Audrain’s gripping storytelling and exploration of maternal instinct will leave readers captivated until the very last page.

3. “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir:
Fans of Andy Weir’s “The Martian” will not be disappointed with his latest science fiction masterpiece. “Project Hail Mary” follows an astronaut named Ryland Grace, who wakes up on a spaceship with no memory of how he got there. As he pieces together his past and faces an impending global catastrophe, readers are taken on a thrilling and emotionally charged adventure. Weir’s ability to make complex scientific concepts accessible and his knack for creating compelling characters make this novel a standout.

4. “Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” by Patrick Radden Keefe:
For those interested in investigative journalism and the pharmaceutical industry, “Empire of Pain” offers a deep dive into the infamous Sackler family. Patrick Radden Keefe meticulously traces the rise of the Sackler dynasty and their involvement in the opioid crisis. This meticulously researched and eye-opening account sheds light on the devastating consequences of corporate greed and the human toll of addiction.

5. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah:
Set during the Great Depression, “The Four Winds” tells the story of Elsa Martinelli, a woman who must make difficult choices to protect her family during one of the darkest periods in American history. Kristin Hannah’s evocative writing brings the era to life, transporting readers to the dust bowl of Texas and the hardships faced by those in search of a better life. This poignant and timely novel explores themes of resilience, sacrifice, and the enduring power of the human spirit.

As the year draws to a close, take the time to indulge in these exceptional literary offerings. Whether you prefer science fiction, thrilling mysteries, or powerful narratives, these top five books of the year are certain to leave a lasting impression and provide hours of captivating reading.