Well hi! It’s the last day of Blogmas and my favorite post of the year. My favorite books! I’ll also look back on my 2021 reading resolutions and check out some Goodreads stats.
- Read 100 books – I set this goal pre-pregnancy. Well, that threw a wrench in things. I ended up adjusting the goal down to 80, which I’ve hit. So I’ll count this as a Success.
- Reduce physical fiction tbr to 185 – I definitely hit this one. The purge really took a chunk out of it. My current physical TBR (not including Christmas presents) is 147. Success.
- Reduce manga tbr to 50 – While I did read a lot of manga this year, not enough apparently. My current manga tbr is 139. Failure.
- Maintain blog schedule – Lol. Failure
- Finish my 10 in 2021 list – I was making good progress in this until the Great Reading Slump™. I managed to complete 5 out of 10. Failure.
So overall not great but considering I had a baby this year and fell into a huge reading slump, it could have been worse.
Top books of 2021:
These are all the new reads I rated 5 stars this year. They are in no particular order.
I buddy read Foundryside with Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff and both of us adored it. The tone is light and funny and serious and gritty at the same time. The characters are well developed and likeable, and the plot was well-paced and interesting.
Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims. Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.
The Fifth Season was another buddy read, read with a friend irl. I ended up reading the entire trilogy this year but this first book was my favorite of the three. It was such a unique world and the characters, while not “likeable” persay, were interesting and I felt for them. The plot was also super neat.
This is the way the world ends. Again. Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
Everyone’s A Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too was a Christmas gift and a last minute favorite of the year. It was just so simple and pure and wonderful and I adored it.
The illustrated story of a lonely alien sent to observe Earth, where he meets all sorts of creatures with all sorts of perspectives on life, love, and happiness, while learning to feel a little better about himself—based on the enormously popular Twitter account. Here is the unforgettable story of Jomny, an alien sent to study Earth. Always feeling apart, even among his species, Jomny feels at home for the first time among the earthlings he meets. There is a bear tired of other creatures running in fear, an egg struggling to decide what to hatch into, a turtle hiding itself by learning camouflage, a puppy struggling to express its true feelings, and many more.
I stepped a bit outside my usual genres and picked up a thriller, The Turn of the Key, and I loved it. It was eerie and isolating and exactly what I was hoping for.
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
And finally, I read All the Murmuring Bones and was reminded of the whimsy of a Miyazaki movie, but darker. Gothic. The tone of this book is its best point. It’s so enthralling and it was wonderful.
Long ago Miren O’Malley’s family prospered due to a deal struck with the Mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore their glory, even at the price of Miren’s freedom. A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them.
And this is it. The end of Blogmas. I hope if you visited a post or two this month that you enjoyed them. If you visited more, I appreciate it. I do have another post coming out tomorrow, but it’s going to be the start of my “normal” posting schedule.
Blogging every day this month has reminded me why I made the blog in the first place. I had a lot of fun! I’m going to try to maintain it again, get back into it. I’m hoping it’ll also inspire me to read more, because I gotta tell ya, what little down time I get while the baby is sleeping, my brain tends to just want to scroll on tiktok. Reading is better for me though (and I enjoy it when I do it!) so wish me luck on that too.
So again if you’ve stuck around for the month, I do appreciate it. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate, a wonderful month otherwise, and a Happy New Year!