2021: Reading Year in Review

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Once again, we’ve reached the end of a year, and I like to reflect on the reading I’ve done in a final end-of-year wrap-up post

In spite of the pandemic, I had a great reading year, courtesy of audiobooks. If not for audiobooks, I’m not sure how many books I’d have been able to read, but I listened to audiobooks as I took my daily walks, washed dishes, and cooked. I feel particularly good about how many books I checked out of the library. I’m fortunate to have a really good library with an extensive collection available via Overdrive, and I discovered using Libby to listen to library audiobooks this year. I actually prefer the Libby app to the Audible app. It has more fine-grained controls.

My progress with reading challenges was mixed, as usual. I came close to completing the Book Voyage Around the World Challenge. I didn’t read a book set in South America. Aside from that, I managed to read a book set in each of the zones around the world. I really liked this challenge. I think it encouraged me to read more widely than I usually do. My performance on the Southern Literature Reading Challenge was a bit of a joke. I finished the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge and managed to read more than I expected, so I increased my initial goal. I did okay with the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge. I love that challenge, but I have trouble meeting the prompts each month. Maybe in 2022!

Some quick reading stats, courtesy Goodreads:

  • I read a total of 52 books.
  • I read 18,155 pages (not sure how accurate that is given I listened to so many books).
  • My average book length was 354 pages.
  • The most popular book I read was Frankenstein (which I read along with the Obscure podcast).
  • The least popular book I read was Shelley’s Ghost (only 42 other Goodreads users have shelved it).
  • I rated books an average of 4.6 stars (which is an indicator of how good the books were!).

The 52 books I read in 2021 break down as follows:

  • 21 books of fiction (one I read twice, so counted it as 2 books)
  • 27 books of nonfiction
  • 3 books of poetry or verse
  • No dramas
  • 35 audiobooks
  • 9 re-reads (I re-read The Underground Railroad twice)
  • 2 graphic novels/comic books
  • 3 children’s books
  • 2 YA/middle-grade books

For the first time ever, I believe, I read more nonfiction than fiction.

I usually pick my favorites from each category, but that’s going to be so hard this year as I read so many great books. I decided to try to pick my top picks from each category, though even narrowing it down this much was hard.

Fiction

Klara and the Sun Middlemarch The Final Revival of Opal & Nev A Brief History of Seven Killings

Nonfiction

I didn’t really have a favorite poetry book, and given that my favorite was a re-read, I opted not to profile it here. Below, you can see (and purchase) all of the books I read in 2021.


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