As of Christmas Eve Eve, I have read 178 books, which is 74 books more than my 2 books a week goal. According to Goodreads, my shortest book, The Innocence of Father Brown, was 88 pages long, while my longest, The Sunne in Splendour, was a whopping 1249 pages. The average length of my 2021 books was 339 pages. The most popular book I (re)read was The Hobbit, and the least popular was one of DSP reissues, The Creeping Jenny Mystery, from the Anthony Bathurst series. You can find my full list on the sidebar, under 2021 reading log.
My most memorable reads were:
I don’t have a lot of available bookish stats this year because I didn’t do nearly as good of a job tracking things like genre, format, author gender, NF/fiction, etc as I had intended. I would note that it’s interesting that I read much more fiction than non-fiction, but somehow almost half of my best books of the year (6 out of 14) were non-fiction: The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Barr, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor, Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, Square Haunting by Francesca Wade and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. What this is telling me is that I need to incorporate more non-fiction into my yearly reading, with a focus on choosing my subject matter wisely.
In terms of reading challenges, I did not do particularly well. I didn’t spend much time on my ongoing Classics Club challenge and while I probably completed at least half of the Back to the Classics challenge, I did such a lame job posting that I’m just going to call it a failure and move on. I like to start each year with an empty calendar page and a completely fresh start, without carryover from the year before.
There may be another post devoted to 2022 planning. Or there may not. In case there is not, I’m going to drop a few words about general plans for next year here.
Because I did change hosting services this year, and added some functionality to the blog, I’ve been waiting to incorporate some new reading features over here. Most importantly, I now have the ability to add books to a personal database, which will give me the ability to run much more robust monthly/yearly stats. I will be logging every book I read next year over here, regardless of whether it warrants a full review. I am hoping to do, at a minimum, monthly update posts.
In addition, I have been spending way too much time doom scrolling on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve decided to do a social media cleanse – I will be staying off of both sites between Christmas Eve and my birthday, on February 28. That’s a 2 month hiatus from Twitter politics and Facebook misinformation, which I desperately need. I have deleted both apps from my phone and logged out of the sites on my browser. I am allowing myself to continue on Instagram because I only follow quilt/fabric, cross stitch and book accounts on IG, which bring me joy as opposed to depressing the crap out of me.
I haven’t made any decisions about challenges or reading themes for next year. Generally, I’d like to read slightly less crime/mystery and more mid-century women’s fiction. I will definitely be reading at least a couple of books for Black History Month in February: something else from my James Baldwin anthology and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, which I have on hold at the library and which will hopefully be available right about that time (it’s projected at 9 weeks right now). If it doesn’t pop up in a timely fashion, I’ll buy it. I’ve also asked for a print copy of the 1619 Project for Christmas, and if that comes through, I’ll be reading that as well. I also want to add more short fiction to my reading diet, and I will finish the Willa Cather backlist this year.
Merry Christmas, everyone!