Although, I always do a full review of each book reading year. I ran across this fun annual survey originated by the Perpetual Page Turner thanks to Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl who hosts the Top Ten Tuesday weekly. I love that it allows me a different way of looking at my reading year so of course, I had to participate.
2021 Reading Stats
Number Of Books You Read: 128 plus
Number of Re-Reads: about 10
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary Romance
Best in Books
1. Best Book You Read In 2021?
Ooh, such a tough choice! I can only narrow it down to three. The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan (releasing 2022), All That Matters by Nicole Deese and Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. I’m not sure what I expected, but it was basically just a re-print of quotes and passages from previous books about each of the Bridgertons, and I was very underwhelmed.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Dearest Josephine by Caroline George caught me off guard with an unexpected deeper message about how fictional stories impact our lives.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I don’t know that I pushed any book this year. But after reading an ARC of The Mozart Code, releasing in 2022, I certainly encourage everyone to read it. It’s got a great setting in Vienna and Prague during the early years of the Cold War, a fabulous and mature romance as well as suspense and adventure. Something for everyone!
5. Best series you started in 2021? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2021?
Started: A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver
Sequel: Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn
Series Ender: Remembering Jamie by Nichole Van
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2021?
Kimberly Duffy. I read two of her books, A Mosaic of Wings and Tapestry of Light and the third is high on my TBR list.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Although this wasn’t out of my comfort zone, I don’t read many biographies and Without Lying Down: Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood was fascinating. I loved learning more about the earlier years of Hollywood, particularly the influence of the women within it. I even reviewed it.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Haunting at the Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright may not have been exactly action-packed or thrilling, but it was atmospheric, suspenseful and definitely kept me turning the pages.
9. Book You Read In 2021 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Considering I re-read Lisa Kleypas titles multiple times, her most recent Devil in Disguise is one I can guarantee I will visit again.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2021?
The cover of In a Far-Off Land sold me hard.
11. Most memorable character of 2021?
Alice Roosevelt from American Princess. All I can say is, what a character!
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2021?
I mean, how do we define beautifully written? Amanda Dykes’ Yours Is the Night could qualify with her lyrical writing style as well as the way she weaves points of hope into a story full of tragedy.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2021?
Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy seriously challenged me with deeply introspective ideas of grief, suffering and trust.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2021 to finally read?
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. I discovered Jennifer Ashley a couple years ago, but it’s taken me this long to read her most talked about title.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2021?
“But love shouldn’t be forced to live in our disappointments and loss.”
“It’s not forced to live there—it chooses to.”
I framed her face in my hands. “Love lives in the hard places with us because that’s what sets it apart. That’s what makes it love.” All That Really Matters
“But sometimes in the midst of the worst pain, it’s hard to hear the truth. Sometimes when the pain is too loud, all we can hear is the person crying with us. And that sounds a lot like love.” Beyond the Tides
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2021?
Just Folking Around by Penny Reid – 68 pages
Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman -576 pages
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Silversword by Phyllis Whitney kept me in knots wondering about the memory and sanity of the main character.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Sophie & Simon in The Mozart Code are not the lovey-dovey type, but when it comes down to it they are utterly committed to each other and prove it in action.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
All the guys in The Bromance Book Club series by Lyssa Kay Adams. I’m a huge fan of bromances in general, but it was especially fun to see these very successful, masculine men act as a support group for each other as they learned to love their women better.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Can I list two? Battle Royal by Lucy Parker and The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon
21. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:
I read The Love Hypothesis strictly based on That Artsy Reader Girl’s recommendation. I didn’t love it as much as she did, but I did find it enjoyable.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?
Kieran MacTavish from Remembering Jamie is one of the most loyal, long-suffering and sacrificial hero’s I’ve read in a very long time!
23. Best 2021 debut you read?
Although I didn’t like the heroine of Kimberly Duffy’s A Mosaic of Wings, her author voice was clear and strong as was her writing talent.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Nothing Short of Wonderous transported me back to the early years of Yellowstone National Park.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Loved the snarky banter between Hadley and Max in rememberHadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?
The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Wait For It was an unexpected contemporary romance with a handicapped male lead, that I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I don’t tend to read books that might crush my soul. Life is hard enough without adding to it with fiction
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?
A Twist of Lemmon was a love letter written from son to father by Jack Lemmon’s son
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I wouldn’t say Scott Eyman’s Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise made me mad, but it definitely upset some of my ideas and perceptions of my favorite actor.
My Blogging/Bookish Life
1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2021?
I’m not much for Youtube or Bookstagram. I’d rather spend time reading more books.
2. Favorite post you wrote in 2021?
I really loved reviewing J’nell Ciesielski’s The Ice Swan.
3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2021?
Um…I don’t have any bookish related photos. I don’t even think to take them!
4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?
Another question I have to admit I can’t answer because I don’t participate in such things.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?
After many years of wanting to participate in Out of the Past’s Summer Reading Challenge, I was thrilled to finally do so this year.
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding inspiration or motivation to actually write. The past several years have seen a steep decline for me in actual reviews.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My recent review on Rachel McMillan’s The Mozart Code received the most views this past year, which makes me happy, because it deserves to be read.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
My review of Scott Eyman’s biography on Cary Grant
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I discovered an amazing used book store here in my city that has been a goldmine for me in my search for biographies of my favorite entertainers.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I more than surpassed my reading goal of 85 books with over 125 books. I don’t know the exact number because I don’t keep track of every book I read.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2021 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2022?
I’ve had An Appalachian Summer by Ann Gabhart on my TBR list since it released in 2020. I finally bought it and it’s next up to be read.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?
A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz
3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
At this point, I don’t actually have any debut novels on my radar.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2022?
Folk Around and Find Out by Penny Reid is FINALLY featuring the story of one of her supporting characters that pops up regularly in another one of her series.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?
I want to continue working my way through all the biographies I’ve been collecting and also do a better job writing short reviews on Goodreads so I can remember why I liked a book at the end of the reading year.
6. A 2022 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
As mentioned previously in this post The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan is a book I think everyone should read.