My 2021 year in books

For 2021, I set myself a Goodreads challenge to read 75 books.

This was a big goal for me; I’m an avid reader, but I typically read somewhere between 25 and 50 books in a year. I’m so glad I set this challenge for myself, because it really helped me with a related goal of decreasing my social media usage and general phone scrolling. For the first few months of the year, every time I unthinkingly opened a social media app on my phone, I’d think – There is no way you’re going to read 75 books this year if you are constantly checking social media instead of reading your book. I would then close the app and switch over immediately to reading whatever ebook I had checked out from the library at the moment.

The year is just about over, and according to Goodreads, I read 128 books in 2021. That number is a little inflated – or not, depending on your POV on the fine print! The fine print is: I used Goodreads to keep track of all the books I read – and all the chapter books I read with my oldest son, Edgar, throughout 2021. I only included chapter books, not picture books, and I started doing it so I could keep track of what title we were up to in a particular series. It felt satisfying to click “I’ve finished this book!” whenever we finished a title. So far, Edgar has been minimally involved in the Goodreads aspect of our reading life, but we’ll see if that changes moving forward.

I did care to learn if I had actually met my original goal, or if I only surpassed 75 books because of Edgar’s chapter books – so I did the math. There were 46 kid chapter books on my Read list. That means 82 of the books I read were mine and legitimate by anyone’s judgment of my Reading Challenge. Challenge accomplished!

Now, if you started reading this because you’re a book lover like me who wants to hear my favorite books of 2021 – this part is for you!

Favorite novels of 2021: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Plot, and The Four Winds.

Best YA/children’s books of 2021: The House in the Cerulean Sea; When You Reach Me and The List Of Things That Will Not Change; the Truly Devious series; and Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. (Did not realize how many good ones I read this year until making this list!)

Best new-to-me author of the year: Kristin Hannah. How did I not discover her until 2021?! Read four of her books and can’t wait to keep going.

Awesome new reads by my favorite authors: A Line To Kill and Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz and The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny.

Favorite nonfiction reads of 2021: The Brave Learner and Learning In Public.

Highlights of the year: I rarely reread – but this year I reread several books I’ve loved, including The Silent Patient and No Way To Treat A First Lady. So wonderful to rediscover books I’ve read and enjoyed before – and such a good way to read myself out of a reading rut!

If you want to connect with me on Goodreads and see all 128 books I read, please find me here! There’s nothing I love more than exchanging book recommendations with other readers. Cheers to more happy reading in 2022!

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