Hey friends! We have arrived again at the end of another reading year, where we look back at all the of the wonderful worlds, and words, that crossed our paths in 2021. This was a much better reading year for me, than the past couple of years have been. It felt so good to get back to the joy of reading and immerse myself in so many amazing story worlds. So without further ado, it’s time to share my completed reading list for 2021. Let’s see how I did.
Rating: 1-5 stars (Favorites in bold.)
- The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux – 5
- Dracula, by Bram Stoker – 5
- The Epic of Gilgamesh – 4
- The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery – 5
- Far From the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy – 4
- Old Herbaceous, by Reginald Arkell – 4
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson – 4
- Bach Flower Therapies, by Mechthild Scheffer – 5
- A Different Shade of Green, by Gordon Wilson – 4
- The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron – 5
- The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben – 4
- The Successful Author Mindset, by Joanna Penn – 5
- Successful Self-Publishing, by Joanna Penn – 5
- As Far As You Can Go Without a Passport, by Tom Bodett – 5
- The Unseen Realm, by Michael S. Heiser – 5
- Dust, by Kara Swanson – 4
- Before the Coffee Gets Cold, by Toshikazu Kawaguchi – 4
- Dearest Josephine, by Caroline George – 5
- Hood, Stephen R. Lawhead – 5
- Greenglass House, by Kate Milford – 3
- The Forest of Wool and Steal, by Natsu Miyashita – 5
- Storming, by K.M. Weiland – 5
- Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (reread) – 5
- Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer (reread) – 5
- The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater – 4
- Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater – 4
- The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater – 4
- Dark Souls, by Paula Morris – 3
- The Rise of Kyoshi, by F. C. Yee & Michael Dante DiMartino – 3
- The Songkiller’s Symphony, by Daeus Lamb – 4
- At Night I Become a Monster, by Yoru Sumino – 5
- The Alchemyst, by Michael Scott – 3
- Six Crimson Cranes, by Elizabeth Lim – 5
- An Enchantment of Ravens, by Margaret Rogerson – 4
- Liar, Liar, You Are Hired, by Devin Joubert – 4
- Ignite, by Jenna Terese – 4
- Knight from the Ashes, by Shari L. Tapscott, and Jake Andrews – 5
Q & A Time.
Q: What was the biggest book you read in 2021?
A: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, coming in at 480 pages. This year I didn’t tackle anything over 500 pages. It wasn’t intentional, and I didn’t even realize until now.
Q: What was the shortest book you read in 2021?
A: Liar, Liar, You are Hired, by Devin Joubert. Sitting at 90 pages, this is actually the first part in an ongoing serial novel.
Q: What was the most surprising book you read in 2021?
A: I Would have to say, Hood, by Stephen R. Lawhead. This book surprised me in a number of ways. I thought it was a fantasy novel, so I was anticipating some form of magic, but as I reached the end of the book, there wasn’t an ounce of magic among any of the pages. It turned out to be more of a historical fiction, and I actually learned a lot about a time in history I knew very little about.
Q: What was the most disappointing book of 2021?
A: There were a few books I found rather disappointing this year, but if I had to choose one, it would be, Greenglass House, by Kate Milford. This book is quite popular in the book-community, so I felt let down when I finally read it. For a middle-grade book, I thought it was a little boring, and felt like it was written for an older audience despite being labelled for kids. It could have been a good story, but by the end of the book, it just felt dull to me.
Q: What book left the biggest impact on you?
A: Definitely, The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron. I read this collection of essays slowly throughout the year. Each time I read it, I found a new little nugget of truth, or inspiration to take away. Her writing felt like a hug and encouragement to a struggling writer. At times the author put me off by some vulgar references, and I considered giving up on it, but I’m so glad that I pushed through. I think this is a book I will return to again.
Q: What was your favorite book from 2021?
A: I would have said my favorite book from 2021 was The Blue Castle, but since I already raved about that book in another blog post, I’ll choose a different one. And since I also ranted about how much I loved The Forest of Wool and Steal, in the same post, I won’t choose that one either. I read a lot of books that I loved this year, but for the sake of this post, I’ll choose just one, and that is, Dearest Josephine by Caroline George.
I’m not quite sure how to label this book. Contemporary? Historical Fiction? I suppose the genre doesn’t matter, when it’s a book you really love. Dearest Josephine is told through letters, emails, and a shifting time-line that alternates between Josie De Clare, a girl from 2021, and Elias Roch, a boy from the year 1821. Dearest Josephine is about two broken-hearted souls that become strangely connected to one another, though separated by a span of 200 years. It’s a rare thing when a story can make you feel something so bittersweet, and heartfelt. I came away from this story with so many emotions, and warm feelings. It’s one of those books that after you’ve finished reading it, you just have to sit still for a moment, and appreciate all the little details that made you adore it so much.
Aside from that, my honorable mentions would have to be, At Night I Become a Monster, by Yoru Sumino. A fascinating story about a boy who becomes a monster when night falls, and a classroom overshadowed by bullying.
I was also completely blown away by Dracula, a classic that had been on my list for quite some time. I was not prepared for such a deep, and impactful story. This is another book I want to read again, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything the first time around. The memory of this story still haunts me.
In conclusion, I read a lot of great books, and found some that have become my forever favorites. I realized this year, that reading is a give and take activity. In years past, I wasn’t giving it enough time or attention, and so my attitude towards reading reflected that. This year, I made an effort to make more time for reading, and be very intentional about it, and in the end, I enjoyed it all the more.
I hope you read lots of great books this year, and I hope you read even more next year. What was your favorite book from 2021? Tell me a little about your year in books, I’d love to chat with you.