The 12 most popular posts of 2021

I love year-end wrap-ups and superlatives, no matter the subject. Today we get to turn that reflective lens to this blog. These are the 12 posts that garnered the most pageviews during the calendar year beginning January 1, in order, most to least.

It’s always interesting to see what ends up on this list, because “popular” doesn’t mean “best.” I’m always surprised to see what makes the list, and what doesn’t, and hope you enjoy seeing what winds up on top.

I’ll start with a few posts that have consistently wound up in the top ten these past few years, mostly due to popularity in Google search. They are:

100 stocking stuffers that will actually be appreciated, don’t feel like a waste of money, and won’t be broken/destroyed/forgotten by New Years. This post consistently starts going gangbusters every October (which is just one reason we update it each year.
Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good), because apparently readers are always on the hunt for pageturning mysteries and thrillers.
9 books you should have read in high school that are totally worth reading now. Readers’ interest in “classic” literature isn’t going away anytime soon.

The most-read posts of the year on Modern Mrs Darcy

1. 33 historical fiction books avid readers can’t get enough of.

We asked our community of readers what their favorite historical novels were and they certainly delivered. The comments are a goldmine, too!

2. 20 short novels you can read in one day.

Many readers are turning to this post right now as they seek books on the shorter side so they can meet their Reading Challenge goal. You can knock one of these slim fiction works off in an afternoon, but you’ll think about these books for weeks, months, even years after you put them down.

3. The 2021 Minimalist Summer Reading Guide.

Every year I release a shortened version of the Summer Reading Guide, featuring five titles that are hugely entertaining, have broad appeal, and cover a variety of topics, themes, genres, and perspectives.

4. 6 books I had to be talked into reading (that I’m so glad I read).

I nearly didn’t read these wonderful books because I avoided them for silly reasons.

5. 15 immersive historical fiction books about overlooked events.

You probably didn’t learn about these events in history class! Novels bring lesser-known historical events alive in a brand new way.

6. 15 propulsive literary mysteries that balance plot and prose.

An unputdownable mystery combined with a beautifully written literary novel? SIGN ME UP.

7. The tiny domestic tasks that are saving my life right now.

“It feels odd to say that laundry is saving my life, but it’s not really the laundry that’s doing it. It’s the transformation of a once-begrudged task into an intriguing puzzle (and you know how I feel about puzzles); the subtle shift in mindset to approaching the quotidian with intention and care.”

8. 7 series to read next after you’ve run out of Louise Penny novels. 

It turns out I’m not the only one in search of a great mystery series to keep me occupied while I’m waiting for the next Inspector Gamache novel to come out. Note: there are 344(!!!) comments on this post, which means my 7 recommendations are just the beginning.

9. 15 books to take you on a vicarious vacation.

It’s easy to see why this post was so popular in 2021: these escapist reads invite you to along on a vicarious vacation, perfect for when you can’t leave home yourself.

10. 25 fascinating true stories you didn’t learn about in history class.

Great nonfiction can reveal a slice of history we never learned about in school. These stories read like novels, and will make you eager to know what happened and how it fits into your previous understanding of the event or era.

11. 12 narrative nonfiction books to satisfy your sense of adventure.

These narrative nonfiction reads are brimming with real accounts of world travels, dangerous expeditions, and outdoor adventures. You’ll have a hard time putting them down!

12. 15 Backlist Summer Reading Guide favorites that are even better on audio.

You can listen to audiobooks year round but the summer has great opportunities all its own, whether you’re gardening, sitting poolside, or on a road trip, making it a great time to turn to the backlist.

P.S. For more superlatives: check out my favorite books of 2021 and my favorite audiobooks and podcasts of 2021.