What I Read in 2021

27 Jan

I’ve seriously procrastinated on this post, and I think I know why. I’m ashamed. I only read 27 books last year. That’s the lowest number since I left university! There are a number of reasons: ongoing pandemic, working from home, putting energy into learning languages, binge-watching the Sopranos, starting to write copy freelance, dating etc. But they are all excuses. I just haven’t made reading central to my life and that’s bad for me in so many ways.

I’ve been doing a lot of self-growth work through a meditation programme, and one of the cornerstones is deciding your ‘authentic code’. I’ve enshrined learning and curiosity in my code, but another thing that’s important to me is loving. And that includes loving myself. Since I was three years old, reading has been a therapy, an escape, a relaxation. And I should make more of an effort to prioritise that.

She said, having worked on her first job until 7.30pm the last three nights, and her second job until nearly 12.

Anyway, I didn’t read a huge amount of YA in 2021. The YA community has become very fragmented, with many authors shifting to MG or adult, so I feel like I’m a bit disconnected from what’s going on. Additionally, I feel like contemps have been more prominent/popular, and they’re just not my favourite genre.

I also didn’t read as much non-fiction as I would like. I LOVE reading gripping history. But since reducing my reading time, wading through a hefty tome can be somewhat intimidating.

Reading The Mirror and the Light took absolutely FOREVER so that wiped out a lot of potential reading progress…!

As always, bolded titles were my particular favourites:

  • Witchsign by Den Patrick
  • The Betrayals by Bridget Collins – ooooh I loved this one! Dark Academia, enemies to lovers, a Gormenghast-style rambling school with dusty corners full of secrets…
  • Not a Year Off by Lindsay Williams
  • Wicked by Design by Katy Moran
  • Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan – the Devil’s daughter moves into an Edinburgh tenement building
  • Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl – don’t read hungry
  • Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson – murder mystery with Georgian prostitutes, soothing my Harlots-bereft heart
  • Austerlitz by WG Sebold – my gosh, masterful. Trains, architecture, taxonomy – about the Holocaust but not about the Holocaust until it heart-wrenchingly is
  • Kindred by Rebecca Wragg-Sykes – I’ve always been interested in the Neanderthals but wow! I didn’t realise scholarship has progressed so much even in the last 20 years
  • Constellations (play script) by Nick Payne
  • The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski – a PERFECT Sapphic romance inside a gripping fantasy
  • Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa – perfectly bittersweet, unlike the pancakes
  • Stronger by Poorna Bell
  • Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn
  • Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury
  • The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
  • Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
  • The Stranding by Kate Sawyer – ***my book of 2021***. Still think about it regularly. READ THIS ONE. And go in cold, trust me.
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo – f/f romance in 50s San Fran – totally gorgeous
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V E Schwab – Schwab continues to be one of my favourite authors with this excellent fantasy. Addie is cursed to be immortal, but always forgotten.
  • 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak – I read this in one sitting. The life and death of a sex worker and formidable woman in Istanbul
  • Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden – poetic and strange!
  • Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola
  • Transcendant Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – I really think Gyasi is an outstanding writer. Too complex to summarise but touches on mental health, the opioid crisis and immigrant life in the US
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  • Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
  • Year of the Witch by Temperance Alden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: