2021 is drawing to a close, and everyone’s coming up with their best of the year reads. This is something I struggle with, since while I know what books I liked or loved and which I didn’t, sometimes I don’t really know how to pick between my higher ranked reads, so I never end up actually doing this. Instead I thought to wrap up the year, I’ll do a quick little overview of my reading year, and also of how my year was on this blog.
Books and Reading Goals: In 2021, to my own surprise, I read 99 books (I might actually sneak in that 100th in the last few hours left since my current book is a very short one), which was a lot more than the previous couple of years. In fact, my last two years’ reading had made me set my Goodreads goal at a modest 60, which I crossed. But more than quantity, I was overall very pleased with the quality of my reads since I enjoyed most of the books I read and there were only a couple of disappointments (even the ok ones had something I liked). Of the 99,15 were non-fiction, and 84 fiction (as is my 100th book). I was also pleased to be able to ‘visit’ some interesting places including Peru and Nigeria, where I had never ‘been’ in my reading before. There were also plenty of new-to-me authors whom I will be reading more of including Rumer Godden, Sarah Winman, George Bellairs, and Ruta Sepetys (I know I’ve missed mentioning others).
Reading Challenges, Readalongs and Memes: This year, without any particular advance planning (and thus very haphazardly, and some last minute) I joined in quite a few reading challenges, readalongs and events, which I was really pleased to be able to do:
- With my Goodreads group, Reading the Detectives, I joined in with reading lesser-known Christie books, one each month (I read 9 of the 12 having missed the January an February picks (didn’t notice in time) and also the one for June, because of some real-life bumps in the road);
- for the first year I joined in for ‘Club’ reads hosted by Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon at Stuck in a Book, with one pick for the #1936Club (here), and three for the #1976Club (here, here and here);
- GermanLitMonth (hosted by Lizzy and Caroline): two picks (here and here)
- Australian Reading Month hosted by Brona at This Reading Life: one pick (here)
- Rumer Godden Reading Week also hosted by Brona at This Reading Life: one pick (here)
- Daphne Du Maurier reading week hosted by Ali at Heaven Ali: two picks (here and here)
- Nicholas Nickleby Readalong hosted by Fanda: here
And of course, I’m participating in #Narniathon21 hosted by Chris at Calmgrove
Blog posts and stats: In 2021 I’ve put up 200 (201 including this one) posts on the blog (this includes reviews, quotes (which I used to share weekly until May), shelf control posts, author posts, and some miscellany). My posts were wordier than previous years’ averaging at 753; I was very pleased with views on the page which at over 17,000 were almost double last year’s. But my favourite part of blogging this year has been the comments and interactions with fellow bloggers–I loved both the conversations and the books I have discovered from their reviews and pages.
Poetry: Poetry (reading, not writing) is something I do struggle with a bit though I have tried to read and write posts on some on this blog, this year I didn’t really do this much and ended up writing only two poetry posts (here and here); in 2022, I hope to remedy this.
Keli Cat’s Book Corner: A bittersweet addition to this blog. In memory of my much-loved 5-year-old tabby Keli, whom I sadly lost in an accident in May this year, I started Keli Cat’s Book Corner, a page about all things cats and books; we have a catalogue of books with cats in them (cats with central or important roles) across genres (literary fiction to mystery, children’s reads, poetry and even horror) with goodreads pages and reviews linked, cat pun book titles, and links to interesting posts on books and cats from across the web. A friend of mine, who is an astrology blogger, contributed to this page by putting together some fun cat zodiac profiles, Zodi-cats (here, here, here and here). This is a page I’m constantly updating (a little behind at the moment, though) and I will be adding plenty more in 2022 as well.
Most-viewed posts: Here are the top ten posts (of ones written this year) which were most viewed on my page
- Book and Author Anniversaries 2021
- Book Review: West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
- More Cat Pun Book Titles
- Book Review: Still Life by Sarah Winman
- Keli Cat’s Book Corner
- Book Review: The Breaking Point by Daphne Du Maurier
- Book Review: The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym by Paula Byrne
- Book Review: They Came of Baghdad by Agatha Christie
- Book Review: A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively
- Book Review: The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo
So those were my random reflections on the reading and blogging year that was. I’m looking forward to lots more fun reading, blogging and interactions in 2022. A big thank you to all who’ve been reading and commenting! I’ll ‘see’ you in 2022 with another Book and Author Anniversaries post!