This is the last day of #AMonthofFaves and today we’re talking about our reading life throughout 2021.
# of books: 65 – This is a decrease from 77 books read last year, which I am A-OK with. I loved the fact that this year, I just went where a book took me, and unlike years past, it meant that I immersed myself in a few series. The Glass & Steel series – 11 of the books – I spent all summer reading. The first book I finished this year was Snow White and Rose Red, Ed McBain and the last book I completed this year is Roses of May, Dot Hutchison.
Number + % new vs old – 18 new releases (published in 2021) and another 12 books were published the previous year (2020) which is about 46% of the total. Last year 50% of the books I read were published in the last 2 years.
Genres – Last year, the types of books read were almost evenly split with contemporary novels , science fiction & fantasy / magical realism and thrillers / mystery. This year, the majority of my books have been fantasy/magical realism (40) … thanks to the 11 books in the Glass & Steele series, the 6 books in the Wayward Children series and the 4 books in the A Court of Thorns & Roses series. Nothing else came close to the amount of reading I did in this genre – I couldn’t do my usual amount of horror or psychological thrillers in a year that … just kept on giving (if you know what I mean).
Diversity (Authors of Color) – I didn’t track it this year, but it’s probably about the sames as my usual 30-40%. As I mentioned last year, it is something I am conscious of making sure to incorporate in my reading.
No. of Books with 5 stars – 25. If I only count 1 book per series – 16.
No. of Books with 2 stars or less – 3 – Djinn City, Saad Hossain – Lakewood, Megan Giddings – A Court of Frost and Starlight, Sarah J. Maas.
In Summary – I really followed where the reading took me this year instead of concentrating on reading challenges, and I’m really happy that I did. It started in January when I read Clockwork Boys, T. Kingfisher, and reached for the 2nd book in the duology, Clockwork Engine. In February when I read Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire, book 2 in the Wayward Children series, I loved it so much, I re-read book 1 and then read the next 4 books in the series.
Towards the end of June, I read The Watchmaker’s Daughter, C.J. Archer, and then spent the next 2 months reading through the rest of the Glass & Steele series. I stopped for air after book 11.
In September, another series discovery, The Daevabad Trilogy, S. A. Chakraborty, had me in a thrall for 2 months. These are some big books!
Finally, I had started the A Court of Thorns & Roses series, Sarah J. Maas back in February, but when I tried reading the 2nd book in the series – I just couldn’t get into it. Fast forward to September and I decided to go back to it. I will say book 2 is my least favorite due to the incredibly annoying bad-ass main character who now becomes a whiny biatchhh! But at chapter 27 ( YES – 27!) it finally starts turning around, and I proceeded to spend the next 2 months reading books 2, 3 and 4 – A Court of Silver and Flames, won the 2021 Goodreads Award for Fantasy – and it is an epic read.
I didn’t track reading stats this year other than what I read and how many books I read.
# of books: 100 – Somewhere around the beginning of the summer I decided to try hard to read 100 books this year. No real reason other than I wanted to see if I could do it. I read 76 books in 2020 but typically I read around 50 books a year.
Genres: The genre that got the most attention from me this year was YA Speculative Fiction. The only reason for that is because I served as a Cybil’s judge in that category and had to read quite a few nominations. Next year I hope to read more non fiction and more science fiction.
Longest Book: 592 pages. Blankets, Craig Thompson. This is an autobiographical graphic novel. It was heartfelt but sad.
Shortest Book: 29 pages. Randomize, Andy Weir. I honestly don’t remember this much. It was part of a short story series that I listened to on audio. I remember a couple of the other stories but not this one.
Star Ratings: Most of the books I read this year got 4 stars from me. 24 of them got the coveted 5 stars. 5 of them only got 2 stars and I should say that I actually enjoyed these 5 books but the writing was not great so I rated them lower.
In Summary: I did try really hard to finish the GXO Reading Challenges this year because I always feel a bit guilty when I don’t. But I also tried to read in the moment and just pick up whatever caught my eye with no much preplanning involved. I read several graphic novels this year to break up reading slumps.
Plans for Next Year: I’m going to do the best I can with our reading challenges but I’m also going to take the advice we give to others- it’s just for fun so participate when you can and when you want to. I really want to get lost in a few series next year and also read some books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I’d also like to have those magic moments where you randomly peruse the library and just grab something on a whim.