happy new year + a reading reflection

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Decided to start this new year by posting my answers to Reading Questions for 2021 from my friend, Donna of I am Your Rabbit. If you don’t already, you should check out her weekly book and entertainment updates. She’s my go-to for deciding what the Hubby and I will watch on a Saturday night.

What were 3 books you loved reading in 2021 (published any year?)

I love how Donna emphasized 3 books knowing full well how challenging that would be for us. It made me laugh out loud.  Just three?!?!

  1. A PSALM FOR THE WILD-BUILT by Becky Chambers. I’ve recommend this book to everyone I know who loves to read and those that hint that they might like to read something. I even selected it for the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club; we discussed it last night. This short novella may have saved me in 2021. It’s such a lovely book, like a hot cup of tea on a cold night. When I reached the end, I cried literal tears of joy of being seen in such a real way. Becky Chambers dedicates the book “for anyone that could use a break” and that’s just about everyone right now, isn’t it?
  2. CLOUD CUCKOO LAND by Anthony Doerr. This stands out to me because it is the longest book I have read in a long time, over 600 pages. But the story was epic and spanned hundreds of years, following one book from the 1400s in Constantinople to the future on a space ship. I got swept away in the story and, in 2021, being swept away was a challenge.  It was the right amount of everything I love in a book.
  3. WRITERS & LOVERS by Lily King. I started this book in 2020 and couldn’t get into it.  I thought it would be a sad book. The main character’s mother had passed and she is grieving, in a dead-end job, and struggling to write a book. But this book ends so well, I get goosebumps thinking about reading that ending again.  I loved it!

What book had been on your TBR (to be read list) for years and you’re happy you finally read it in 2021?

I read over 100 books this year; something which I have always wanted to do but, as of this moment, don’t ever want to do again! In perusing my list, I am realizing how little of my books were something that I have wanted to read a long time.  Most of them were new-to-me books.  But I did get a chance to reread THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD by Zora Neale Hurston.  I adored this book when I studied it in college and was delighted to discover, that 20 years later, I still adore it.

What author did you read for the first time in 2021 that you’ll now consider an ‘automatic read’ the next time they publish a book?

Becky Chambers, author of the aforementioned PSALM. I also read her entire Wayfarer Series this year, as a #buddyread with Donna, no less.  I have one more novella of hers left to be a Becky Chambers completist but don’t want to read it yet, because I always want a new book of hers available to me. Does anyone else do that?

What are a couple of 2022 new releases you’re excited about?

Becky Chambers will release a follow-up novella to PSALM this year and I can NOT wait to read it! It may be preordered already! Also, Julia Whelan is finally releasing another book! Her MY OXFORD YEAR is one of my fav of all time.

What are your goals and/or projects for your reading life next year?

My fellow team members at Modern Mrs. Darcy are incredulous and perhaps a bit amused at my reading goal/project this year. I am planning on reading only 42 NEW books! These 42 books have to meet one major specific criteria – when I heard about them, I must have said, “heck yeah! I want to read that!” There are two important caveats to this project. One, I can read as many rereads as I want. And two, 10% of my new books must come from my shelf of books I already own but have not yet read. I will know by July whether I am going to fail spectacularly at this project or not!

Note: If you’re a listener and supporter the podcast, What Should I Read Next?, you can hear more about this project on this week’s bonus episode.

enjoy life…

6 thoughts on “happy new year + a reading reflection

  1. Susan in TX says:

    100 is a nice round number – just listened to last week’s Patreon and heard about your 42. I love that idea! I’m shooting for more backlist, more of my own shelves, and less new and shiny. I’ve said that in years’ past, but it feels more likely this year – just ready to read at my own whim and pace.

  2. Hillary Brooks says:

    I’ve had My Oxford Year on my TBR for a while now. You may have given me the nudge that I needed to finally pick it up!

  3. Lisa notes... says:

    I’ve had Their Eyes Were Watching God on my list for awhile but still haven’t gotten around to it. There are just too many good books out there! 🙂 My “automatic read” are any books by Chip and Dan Heath. I’m currently reading Chip Heath’s “Making Numbers Count” and it is so fascinating. A book about math; go figure! lol. Hope you’re doing well, friend.

  4. qtkitty2 says:

    Happy New Year Shannan! Wow, 100 books is amazing! I failed spectacularly for my reading goal 2 years in a row but I’m excited to try again in 2022! I checked out Psalm for the Wild-Built and Writers & Lovers from the library. Good luck on your challenge!

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