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2021 Reading in Review

I really enjoy doing this blog post each year. 2021 was another strange year with the continuing pandemic, schools back in session but not "bak to normal," and a new job right at the end.

Here's a wrap up of my reading in 2021:

This survey is put out by Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner (I am not sure if she is doing it this year). I've done my best to answer her questions, but I skipped some and have also added in a few of my own. Since my first stats in this post are from Goodreads, I am also participating in Esther of Bite into Books' Goodreads-style Year of Books activity.

Goodreads reading challenge

Total books read

Number of re-reads: 1

Female authors: 100 (72%) and 
Male authors: 38 (28%)--obviously, I've got a great imbalance here. And, I realize that a couple of the authors I read were gender fluid so perhaps this category is too old school to include any more....

Non-fiction: 18 (14%) and Fiction: 112 (86%)--talk about an imbalance! Good thing I am doing a nonfiction reading challenge in 2022!

Adult books: 84 (65%) and YA books: 46 (35%)--this is such a reversal from when I was a high school librarian!

Shortest and longest books

Most and least popular on Goodreads

Countries visited through reading: 57. I did much better than I did last year. You can see where I read at my 2021 Google Map.
Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Burma/Myanmar, Bermuda, Cameroon, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Tanzania, Tibet, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan, West Africa, Zimbabwe.

US states visited through reading: 44. I did much better than I did last year with an additional 13 states. You can see where I read at my 2021 Google Map.
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington, DC.
Best book of 2021?
I have never been good at picking one favorite book so this year I choose my favorites in a few categories. 

Book you were excited about but didn't love as much as you expected?
I was really looking forward to reading Jenny Lawson's book Broken (In the Best Possible Way), but it just didn't do it for me. I know a ton of people enjoyed it though, so I am going to chalk it up to me reading it at the wrong time.

Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2021?
I chose The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré from Book of the Month thinking it sounded good. I tried reading it and it didn't work for me. Then I listened to it on audio and WOW! It is so good!

Book you pushed most people to read in 2021?
I find I am still pushing Being Mortal, which I read years ago (I think it's that my friends have aging parents). But from this year, the two books I have pushed most people to read are probably Falling by T.J. Newman and Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2021?
I don't really have a favorite new author from 2021, but I will put Luanne Rice in this category since I really enjoyed her book The Shadow Box. It turns out she has written about 30 books so there are obviously more for me to read!

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2021?
Hmmm. This is a tough one because I read a number of books that I wanted to keep reading into the night. Instead of choosing just one, I am choosing a few:
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2021?
I am all about covers and am definitely a visual person when it comes to choosing books. The covers I liked the most this year were ones whose colors appealed to me, they were evocative of a place, or they just made me smile.

Most thought provoking or life-changing book of 2021?
I didn't really have any life changing or most thought-provoking books in 2021. I'll have to remedy that in 2022.

Book that put a smile on your face?
The book that put a smile on my face this year was The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Yes, it's a murder mystery, but the characters solving the mystery are so much fun! I am looking forward to reading the second installment in 2022.

Book that made you cry in 2021?
It is not difficult to get me to cry while reading a book. And I usually cry about the good stuff, the touching stuff. This year the book that made me cry the most was Lisa See's The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. It's the relationships and overcoming obstacles that get me every time.

New favorite book blog that you discovered in 2021?
I can never remember which blogs I find when, so I apologize to these two bloggers if I discovered them before 2021. I really enjoy Esther's reviews at Bite Into Books and Max' at Completely Full Bookshelf. They are very different from each other, but I enjoy them both very much.

Best bookish photo you took in 2021?
My favorite bookish photo that I took this year has got to be one that won't be interesting to anyone else. This is me in my happy place: my front garden, in the sun, with my (mostly) healthy lunch and a good book.

Best event you participated in?
I didn't go to any author readings or book events this year, so I am going to go with two "events:" my read-along with Anne of Without You, There is No Us (I for sure want to do that again in 2022) and participating as a round 2 judge for the CYBILS Awards (again). I am really looking forward to doing this again next month in the graphic novels category.

Reading challenges completed in 2021? Here's a link to my challenges page and while I didn't necessarily complete them all, I did pretty well.

Books you are most anticipating in 2022?
I don't feel I SHOULD read any particular book in 2022, but I do have 2 books that I really want to make sure I get to: The Firekeeper's Daughter and This Tender Land.

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