2021: Reading Year In Review

Hello friends and welcome to the fifth year of my annual recap of what I read the previous year, and what my reading plans and goals are for the new year. If you’re new here, here are my Reading Year In Review posts for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

My reading goal for 2021 was to read 40 books, which was 10 more than my reading goal for 2020. I managed to stay steadily on track throughout the year, and I am happy to report that I read a total of 41 books in 2021, achieving my 2021 goal with time to spare.

Something interesting about this year was just how many new releases I read. I did have a few rereads of course, but a lot of the books I read were strictly 2021 releases. I joined NetGalley at the tail end of 2020, started reviewing for Macmillan, and received tons of ARCs for Fierce Reads books throughout the year. I didn’t have much choice but to read those in place of some titles I wanted to read of my own volition, because I had an obligation to books being sent to me for review.

So as I look at my list of books I read in 2021, many of them are books whose ARCs I received. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because I did discover some favorites I otherwise wouldn’t have known about, but it did mean a lot of the books I wanted to read this year continued to sit on my shelf because I was busy reading ARCs.

Moving on to exactly what I read this year. Fun stats: I read 17,485 pages across 41 books. The shortest book I read was 32 pages, and the longest was 757. My average book length was 426 pages. And my average rating of books was 4.1 stars on a 5-star scale (which is down from my 4.2 average in 2020).

I read one picture book, 12 e-books, 9 comics (But I only added one to my Goodreads.), and surprisingly I listened to zero audiobooks. Eleven of the 41 books I read were rereads, 15 were sent to me for review, and 19 were 2021 releases.

I started off the year with A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, continuing my reread of the ACOTAR books in prep for A Court of Silver Flames coming out in February. It’s so weird to think about how it hasn’t even been a year since ACOSF was released. I feel like it was only yesterday I was downloading it on my Kindle to start reading right at midnight.

I also reread more SJM later in the year, getting through all the Throne of Glass books but the final one, which I’ll get to this year. My final read of the year was Empire of Storms, which typically comes before Tower of Dawn, but after a failed tandem read, I decided to switch it up a bit.

My first new release of the year was Lore by Alexandra Bracken, which came out in January kicked off my resolution to write more reviews this year. I loved Lore, I hadn’t read any Bracken in a while and it was so nice diving back into her writing.

I discovered two new favorite authors this year: Margaret Owen and Sasha Peyton Smith. Margaret wrote Little Thieves, which I was so enamored with in the winter, and Sasha wrote The Witch Haven, which was my favorite book of the fall.

TikTok influenced a few reads for me this year. I read the first three From Blood and Ash books, which I have mixed feelings towards, but ultimately I’ve decided I won’t be pursuing any more books from that series or the spin-offs. They’re not bad, they just don’t speak to me.

I read the first book in the Ice Planet Barbarians series, which was the funniest trend to come out of 2021 BookTok. Not because of the book itself, which was complete smut, but simply for the reactions to the book, the memes, and the fact that it became so popular 6 years after its initial release. I read the first book to understand what everyone was talking about and didn’t feel the need to continue with the rest.

The final BookTok recommendation I picked up was The Love Hypothesis–which I loved. It was a little weird finding out after I had finished it that it was originally Reylo fanfcition. The Adam Carlsen I had hazily built in my mind suddenly became a crystal clear image of Adam Driver, but other than that, I adored it. It was easily the best written BookTok book I read this year.

Moving on from BookTok, let’s talk about some of the series I read this year. As I said before, I reread both of SJM’s series, I got to the first three FBAA books, and then there is one series I read for the first time this year that changed my life.

I finally dove into the Grishaverse. I read the Shadow & Bone trilogy and then the Six of Crows duology to prep for the Netflix show. The Shadow & Bone trilogy was good, but Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom blew it out of the water. They are hands down my favorite books I read in 2021, and I think Six of Crows is my favorite book I’ve ever read. I love Leigh Bardugo so much and I can’t wait to read the rest of the Grishaverse and check out her other stuff this year.

Now, what about 2022? I’ve decided I’m changing things up this year as far as my reading goal goes. Typically, I always want to read more than the previous year so I set the amount of books I want to read on Goodreads higher than the previous year. However, when I do that, it automatically turns reading into a competition with myself. And that results in the Reading Challenge on Goodreads constantly being in the back of my mind for the entire year. It adds a lot of unnecessary stress for me. And while I don’t want to give up Goodreads completely because I do love tracking what I read, I’ve decided I need to eliminate that stress, so I’ve drastically cut back on my “official” Reading Challenge goal.

For 2022, my reading goal is 25 books for the year. I rounded up, but it’s about 2 books a month.

This number is a solid amount of books to read in a year, and knowing I can achieve that easily, feels a bit freeing. I feel like I’m not chained to Goodreads this way and my reading life isn’t tied to that progress bar.

For me, this year isn’t about how many books I read. This year is just about reading. I can’t wait to see what new worlds there are to explore and what characters I’ll be introduced to or go back and visit.

Here’s to 25 books for 2022.

Published by Selina Falcon

Reader. Writer. Live music addict.

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