Best of 2021 - Sodary

November 10, 2021

Best of 2021 - Sodary

The pandemic has affected all of us in different ways. In my case, it has affected my reading. Just like the new pace of the world, I found myself taking more time to read, more time to enjoy every detail of the books in my hands. The following list contains a variety of emotions that complement my definition of beauty.

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Ann Reardon | Crazy Sweet Creations

To me, baking is the perfect mix of beauty and science, and this is what food scientist Ann Reardon’s book is all about. Have you ever marvelled at edible snow globes and concluded too quickly that they were probably complicated to make? Have you ever wondered how to make a dessert look fancier than it actually is? Are you looking for ways to impress your guests this Holiday season? This book has all the answers.

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Philipp Dettmer | Immune

Speaking of science, here is the fruit of Philipp Dettmer’s ten years of labour. This book goes into detail about what makes your body do what it does, and why it also sometimes decides to betray you. If you want to go beyond YouTube channel Kurzgesagt’s videos, this book is for you. If school has failed you, this book is even more for you!

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Amindar Dhaliwal | Cyclopedia Exotica

Cyclopedia Exotica is perfect for people who love few-panel stories. It is funny, delightful, and it is surprisingly relatable for all minorities! I found myself taking pictures of pages and sharing them with my friends, and we all agreed that it was better to laugh at the situations depicted—because they are depicted with excellent humour—than to cry.

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Yoyolalala de Zviane

Comment marier été et chaos? Travailler dans un camp d’été! Dans ce numéro de Jungle, Zviane nous illustre son expérience en tant que monitrice de camp d’été pour personnes autistes. 2004? Salaire minimum de 7,45$? Libérez-nous des libéraux? Cette plongée dans le temps, empreinte de nostalgie, m’a rappelé que les motivations de se trouver un emploi n’ont pas tant changé—besoin d’argent—mais qu’elles peuvent mener à des rencontres attachantes et enrichissantes. Éclats de rire garantis! 

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Bagels de Fanie Demeule et Amélie Dubois

Ah, je ne suis pas la seule à penser ainsi? À agir ainsi? 

À la fois surprise et moins surprise de me reconnaître dans ce récit, j’ai dévoré ce livre!

Une lecture courte remplie de profondeur : je recommande définitivement ce livre comme cadeau à toute personne qui a besoin d’un peu de baume sur le cœur, qui est sur la voie de la guérison. Je le recommande moins aux personnes qui sont encore en plein combat.

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Mirion Malle | This Is How I Disappear

Depression often slowly creeps on us, and we don't realise it until we've completely been taken over. Mirion Malle's This Is How I Disappear depicts this so well without omitting some tenderness and self-care. It is a very human story.

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Everina Maxwell | Winter’s Orbit

Married gays in space—need I say more?

This book reads like a gift wrapped in several layers. We join Prince Tam and Count Jainan as they navigate their budding relationship and uncover the hidden flaws in their world, for no world, even one created by the vivid words of Everina Maxwell, is ever truly perfect. 

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Zoe Maeve | The Gift

From the soft simple family moments to the gory assassination details, this beautiful retelling of the secluded life of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna before her death is hypnotising and detailed, yet surprisingly light! An enjoyable read for anyone from fashion historians to graphic novel enthusiasts! 

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Keito Gaku | Boys Run the Riot (Volumes 2 and 3)

If I had to describe this series with a single word, I’d choose punk. This series is true punk, and it gets more interesting and profound as it advances. It is now not only about Ryo and his inner battle to self-acceptance but it is also about how supportive Ryo becomes to other people who may look confident about their own identities while also struggling with their own insecurities. It is about how the media capitalises on marginalised people, and how one may always choose not to sell their own identity.

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Michael Dumontier, Neil Farber | Library

I’m a big fan of Tom Gauld’s Snooty Bookshop, and this book has a similar theme. I couldn’t help grinning as I recognised books that I had definitely seen at the bookstore, some that I could see in my own library, and of course some that I love hating on.

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Chella Man | Continuum

I love stubborn people, especially when they're stubborn about their identity. I aim to be completely unapologetic about who I am, and Chella Man does too.

This book may be small but it is packed with enriching life experiences. Chella Man's captivating narration makes it a page-turner. 

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Rachel Smythe | Lore Olympus

The artwork in this book is amazing. I'm a sucker for Hades and Persephone tales, and this one fits my criteria for good story-telling and gorgeous aesthetics. 

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Xiran Jay Zhao | Iron Widow

Right from the start, we venture into this boy-girl pilot system à la Darling in the FRANXX. Starring an interpretation of favourite and only female Emperor of China Wu Zetian, this novel may superficially read as a feminist coming-of-age piece of literature, but it is so much more! A few pages are enough to immerse ourselves in this terribly flawed world with a terribly flawed system, not quite different from our world, where we constantly feel that despite knowing what needs to be changed, something does not feel quite right: the oriole behind the stalking mantis.

To those who are familiar with Chinese history, you will find yourselves thrilled by any mention of certain characters. I found myself rooting for couples that I knew ended up together, but I kept feeling the suspense because this is an alternate universe so you never know! Xiran not only respected the canon relationships, they enhanced them!

To those who are not familiar with Chinese history, it does not matter. The exquisite descriptions of this world will give you all the information that you need to pilot through it. It is an enthralling story on many levels.

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Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Mo Xiang Tong Xiu | The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation

"Great news! Wei Wuxian is dead!"

Genius Mo Xiang Tong Xiu uses danmei, a genre that encompasses beautiful writing, aesthetics and pretty boys in love, to write a critique of imperialism. She starts with this line, and proceeds to show how false and dangerous rumours can be, how history is written by the so-called winners, and how people's opinions may go from supportive to treacherous within a very short amount of time. Wei Wuxian is far from dead, and that is also not great news at all!

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How to Cook That

Ann Reardon

How to Cook That Dessert Cookbook: Pastries, Cakes and Sweet Creations"How to Cook That is the most popular Australian cooking channel in all the...

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Philipp Dettmer

A gorgeously illustrated deep dive into the immune system that will forever change how you think about your body, from the creator of the...

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Cyclopedia Exotica

Aminder Dhaliwal

"The characters in Dhaliwal's stories sparkle. They're tenderly rendered and their problems are real. . . The struggle of the cyclops unfolds in metaphors for...

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Été 2004, Zviane travaille comme monitrice dans un camp pour personnes autistes. Elle vient de terminer une première année d'université assez intense et elle...

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Fanie Demeule , Amélie Dubois

Avant, je trouvais que douze bagels, c’était beaucoup, comme je m’imaginais qu’une décennie, c’était long. Il n’en est rien. Dix ans, la dernière fois...

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This is How I Disappear

Mirion Malle

An affecting glimpse into the ways millennials cope with mental health struggles Clara's at a breaking point. She's got writer's block, her friends ask...

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Winter's Orbit

Everina Maxwell

ASunday Times Bestseller!“Sparks fly” (NPR) in Everina Maxwell’s gut-wrenching and romantic space opera debut.Prince Kiem, a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor's least...

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Gift, The

Zoe Maeve

The Shining meets Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette in this gripping debut from an award-winning talent. The Gift opens on the snow-blanketed grounds of the...

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Boys Run the Riot 2

Keito Gaku

A transgender teen named Ryo finds an escape from the expectations and anxieties of his daily life in the world of street fashion. This...

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Boys Run the Riot 3

Keito Gaku

A transgender teen named Ryo finds an escape from the expectations and anxieties of his daily life in the world of street fashion. This...

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Michael Dumontier, Neil Farber

Two of Canada's most famous visual artists take on the book medium in their own hilarious way Library is a collection of paintings by...

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Chella Man

Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is...

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Lore Olympus: Volume One

Rachel Smythe

Scandalous gossip, wild parties, and forbidden love—witness what the gods do after dark in this stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of the best-known...

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Iron Widow

Xiran Jay Zhao

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA...

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Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi (Novel) Vol. 1

Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

Also known as MDZS, the blockbuster danmei/Boys’ Love novels from China that inspired comics, animation, and the live-action series The Untamed--which amassed billions of...

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