This is another epic post … and the last one I have looking back at 2021. TL;DR It was probably my best year of reading ever and there isn’t much I’d like to change for 2022.
I read 20 books last month, bringing my YTD total to 212 (shelved here on Goodreads). All that reading brought me plenty of comfort & joy and the audiobooks were welcome company for all the knitting (three of the 22 projects I shared on Tuesday were December finishes). It’s not surprising that half of those 20 were audio and 3/4 were borrowed … I continue to be delighted at the audiobook selections that are immediately available on Libby and Hoopla!
Three books – all from the Aspen Long List buddy read (blogged here) – checked all four of my intention boxes: What Strange Paradise, Arsonists’ City, and What Storm, What Thunder (all Goodreads links). I have one more long list title to read (The Final Revival of Opal & Nev) and that’s it until the short list comes out in February.
The rest of the ♥-notes from my journal are few:
♥ I still love A Christmas Carol (this was my 7th re-listen).
♥ Still Life … my favorite book of 2021.
♥ I want to be a Brené Brown completist … I have just a few more books from her backlist and added Atlas of the Heart to my shelf last month.
That’s a quick wrap-up for December, and now I have a few charts and thoughts to share about 2021 as a whole. First, the charts (click the images to embiggen):
Looking back over the whole year:
♥ I read more books this year than I probably read in whole decades of my life (the 1980s and 1990s) …
♥ with a higher quality – nearly 25% were amazing and only 26% were “likes”.
♥ connecting through bookclubs, buddy reads, book/author events, conversations with friends … all good. and did so much to enrich my reading life.
♥ reading new releases and backlist. and I especially ♥ being a completist about an author. I read all of Claire Fuller and will be reading Maggie O’Farrell, Sarah Winman, and Louise Erdrich this year (and whoa, Erdrich has a LOT of backlist – I expect this might be a years-long project for her!)
♥ prize short lists: Aspen Words, Women’s Prize, Booker, National Book Award (not so much there for the long lists!)
and finally – what do I want to change for this year? short answer, not much! I would like to increase the percentages of growth (36%) and diversity (39%), increase the number of books owned and read (should be easy – just 17 for 2021), and start sharing short reviews of all the books here. I did start sharing short reviews of the 5-star books on Instagram last summer. Here’s a peek at December’s. I’m going to tweak the things I track, too. I’m going to play around with January’s reflections/post to decide exactly how.
In closing – and wow, if you read this far, thank you! this is a tiny reward – here are the top five books I shared with the Fiction Matters crew earlier this month:
- Still Life
- How the Word Is Passed
- Cloud Cuckoo Land
- Girl, Woman, Other
- A Tale for the Time Being
What was your favorite book of 2021?