HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021!At last. As a result of everything 2020, this space has been woefully neglected. And as for reading... I simply could not concentrate on books for much of the year.
It's time to close out the year with a few statistics, favorites, a look ahead.
Number of Books Read
My grand total was 41 books... the fewest in my 30+ years of record keeping.
63%/37%... slightly more fiction than last year
I read mostly female authors (78%), just a few classics, and only two books in translation.
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope, 864 pages
Intimations by Zadie Smith, 97 pages
More than half of my books were read/listen combinations. I enjoy listening to audiobooks while walking (and am finally getting back into it after breaking my ankle in September) and picking up the same book on my kindle afterwards.
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher (reread)
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb
House Lessons: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister
Notes From a Public Typewriter by Michael Gustafson
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2021:
- No reading challenges
- Goodreads goal set low - 40 books
- Read/listen to books I own
- 6 months Shelf Subscription (Annie's picks) from The Bookshelf Thomasville, GA
- continue T Book Club (NYTimes Style Magazine) series featuring classic American Literature, The Custom the Country by Edith Wharton is up next
- try to post more consistently
- continue Sunday Salon/Weekly Update posts
- bring back book briefs (short reviews)
- resume occasional Weekend Cooking posts
Good-bye 2020. No apologies and no guilt, but I am full of hope for a better year of reading and blogging in 2021. Happy New Year, friends!
Happy new year, my friend! I'm looking forward to your reading, whenever and however it happens! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Audrey. It's got to be better than 2020, right? The year started out so strong, too.Delete
Nice to see a post from you! A couple of my favorites from 2020 were favorites on your list, which is probably where I learned about them - Most Fun and Vanishing Half, and I really, truly hope to reread Shell Seekers this year.ReplyDelete
You may have only read 41 books this year, but it sounds like you had so much else going on. I usually aim low on my reading goals and then feel good when I overshoot the mark, but I enjoy so many other things and I don't want to ever feel like I have to read...instead of quilt, walk, do puzzles, watch favorites shows, cook, etc.
Happy New Year - stay safe and read on!
JaneGS - Rereading The Shell Seekers was such a treat! It was every bit as good as I remembered, plus the perfect comfort read for challenging times.Delete
I've done many things other than reading this year... so much more cooking (which I did a lot of before), walking, news-watching, and of course the house. Need to rearrange things a little for 2021. Happy New Year!
I discovered that read/listen combination in 2020, too, although I only did it about half-a-dozen times. I found it especially interesting to compare the narrator's voice to the voice I had inside my head, but eventually I always found myself reading with the narrator's voice inside my head. Its a great trick for people who like to walk or who drive a lot.ReplyDelete
I like your goals for the year. They boil it down to the important things, I think. I'm not one for reading challenges either because they usually end up dragging me to places I don't want to be.
Congratulations of a great 2020...and your plans for 2021.
Sam - Your experience with the read/listen combo made me laugh. The same thing happens to me... after listening on my walk, I almost always continue reading with the narrator's voice in my head. Most of the time it's a good thing.Delete
Fingers crossed a relaxed attitude keeps reading fun in 2021. Happy New Year!
Oh, JoAnn, how wonderful to catch up with you and your reading!ReplyDelete
I'm so interested in all the books you've mentioned, and am looking forward to chatting with you in the months to come about our favorite topic.
I hope you won't feel pressure this year, as it will be your first year in your new home. I'll look forward to whatever book wisdom you have to share.
Happy New Year to you and your family!
Judith - Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to chatting with you about books again soon... have missed my blogging friends. Hope you are well and enjoying the winter weather.Delete
Happy New Year, JoAnn! Your year sounds very much like mine in reading. It was certainly the year to rest more and not worry about the to-do lists. I'd like to carry more of that self-care into this year too but hopefully be able to read more. Shelf Subscription sounds interesting - will be looking forward to your thoughts.ReplyDelete
Athira - I will definitely be posting about my Shelf Subscription! I've been listen to the From the Front Porch podcast for a while and find that my reading taste lines up pretty well with Annie's. At least a few of my favorites this year are ones she recommended.Delete
I think this year was a tough one for reading for many people. I found more books that I didn't think were great than usual. Pandemic? Me? Who knows! Let's hope 2021 is better for all our reading.ReplyDelete
Helen - I was a lot more willing to put books aside that weren't working for me in 2020. Looking back, I wish I'd kept track... it was surely a record. Here's to a better 2021!Delete
JoAnn - it's nice to see you here and I want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year! You guys have had a lot of things going on that weren't even part of the pandemic. Hope your new living situation is going well and you're settling in to your new digs. And I hope your ankle has healed well. I think everyone's reading has been problematic in some way or most everyone. 2021 will hopefully be better in that regard for many of us and as we wait for things to settle down, we'll enjoy that reading and blogging time. Take care.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kay. If we'd had a choice, it would have been better not to renovate and move during a pandemic, lol! My ankle is finally healing. This is the first week I've been able to walk 5 days for 2.5 miles. I'm going to keep it here for a couple of weeks before pushing it higher. Happy 2021 to you and your family... hoping we're all in a much better place at this time next year.Delete
I reread The Shell Seekers two (gulp - can 2019 be TWO years ago now) years ago, and loved it all over again.ReplyDelete
I read about your Erietown book, and it made me think of a very good nonfiction book I read a few years ago When We Were The Kennedys. A bit about it here: https://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-ten-favorite-books-read-in-2013.html
Nan - Rereading The Shell Seekers was a highlight of my reading year - what a perfect book! I enjoyed it just as much as I did back in the late 80s/early 90s. I'd like to read another of her books this winter.Delete
I remember reading about When We Were the Kennedys... might have been on your blog. Still want to read that one!
I also liked Daughters of Erietown. I read a lot in 2020, sometimes at the expense of other things, but it kept me entertained and distracted from the terrible political situation. Well, not really, but that was the goal!ReplyDelete
CLM - Daughters of Erietown must have found me at just the right time. I absolutely loved it, but it didn't seem to get much attention. I spent far too much time paying attention to politics in 2020... and it certainly wasn't good for my overall well-being. Here's to more reading and less news in 2021!Delete
We have missed seeing you this year, and I'm happy to see that you plan to blog more frequently in 2021. I think it's a good idea to set your GR challenge low. I like the feeling of accomplishing something, not the stress of worrying if I'll make it.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year, JoAnn!
Deb - Thanks, and Happy New Year! Hope to be around much more in the coming months:)Delete
Glad you're back. Good recap ... there was a lot going on this year but glad you got settled into your new place -- so good. And you're out walking the beach with audios again, nice! Happy New Year. The Brit Bennett and Kevin Wilson books were terrific with me as well.ReplyDelete
Susan - Walking on the beach again has done wonders for my well-being... can't believe how much I missed it! Hope 2021 is a better year for reading, listening, and blogging. Look forward to catching up with new releases on your blog. Happy New Year!Delete
This year I probably read a bit more fiction and nonfiction. In the beginning of the year reading the news started getting me agitated. Then I took a news break, kept up but didn't read as much news and I felt better. By the time November came around the news reporting sounded more like The Onion, that farcical "news" because...well...this past year was unbelieveable!ReplyDelete
I have signed up for two book challenges this year; a historical fiction and a nonfiction challenge.
I liked your stats reporting and I wish you luck reading books you own. I want to try that yet more books keep sliding into the house. Will check out that Shelf Subscription you entioned. We are about 35 minutes away from Thomasville, Ga.
Tina - You were smart to take a break from the news early on... it really was more like reading The Onion as the year progressed! I'd love to visit Thomasville and The Bookshelf on a trip north after the pandemic is over. Maybe we could meet there! I keep eyeing the nonfiction challenge you signed up for, but I want to keep all pressure off for 2021.Delete
Goodbye to 2020 for sure and, although things probably will not get a lot better until summer I'm hopeful. I loved Vanishing Half from your list, it made my tops list as well. Take care and Happy New Year JoAnnReplyDelete
Diane - Judging from the way Florida's vaccine roll-out has gone, I've lowered my timeline expectations. But still hopeful for significant improvement later in the year. Now that the move is over, it will be easier to just hunker down and read for the winter. Happy New Year!Delete
Somehow we got through it. I salute you on your subscriptions. I am not alone. Looking forward to your posts no matter how often or how you do them.ReplyDelete
Judy -I'm excited to see what the Shelf Subscription will bring. After listening to From the Front Porch podcast for a while, it seems my reading tastes line up with Annie's. This should be fun!Delete
I'm also going to avoid reading challenges this year and just focus on my TBR and the books I already own! Happy new year!ReplyDelete
Angela - Fingers crossed the no-stress approach works well for both of us. Happy New Year!Delete
Happy New Year, JoAnn! 2020 was just nuts and I think we are all ready to leave it behind and move on. No apologies, no guilt I think is a great way to look at reading/blogging, etc. Wishing you a great 2021!ReplyDelete
Iliana - 2020 was the craziest year ever! Let's hope 2021 brings a trend toward normalcy and civility. In the meantime, reading and blogging will be an escape. Happy New Year!Delete
This year has definitely been crazy. I think people either read a lot more or hardly at all and there was no in between. I'm glad you're getting back to walking but hope you're still taking care of your ankle. I'm glad to see House Lessons on your favorites list. It's one I'm thinking of buying. Happy New Year!ReplyDelete
Katherine - I think you're right about that... no middle ground in 2020! I'm still being very careful with my ankle, but it's sure good to be walking again. House Lessons was delightful. If your library has hoopla, the audio is available to borrow there.Delete
Yay! I always love it when I see a new post by you. :)ReplyDelete
I didn't read that much more than you (55), but I blame it on the pandemic, the election and my two "roommates" who both wound up in the hospital this fall. Maybe 2021 will be better??
I haven't run my stats yet, but I'm pretty sure I read more by female authors and more fiction than anything else. I'm adding The Most Fun We Ever Had, The Vanishing Half, The Shell Seekers (re-read), and House Lessons (I love Erica Bauermeister's books) to my 2021 TBR list. I loved Nothing To See Here (probably my #1 pick for audiobooks this year), thanks to your recommendation.
Looking forward to more book recs from you, as well as new recipes. You always find the winners!
Happy New Year!
Les - I will be really happy if I can manage a book a week for 2021, but won't push it... there are some real chunksters on my list! The Shell Seekers was the perfect comfort (re)read for a pandemic year. I didn't want it to end. The Most Fun We Ever Had is astonishing for a debut novel - great writing, plot, and characters. Have a feeling House Lessons will appeal to you, too.Delete
Fingers crossed for a better 2021 for us all. Happy New Year!
I forgot all about The Most Fun We Ever Had. It's been on my list for ages. I own a copy! I will get to it this year.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year!! It was hard for many of us to read this year. March - May I was pretty distracted and then I found pleasure in reading again. But then the dang election caused me to fall off the rail again. I finished with 54, 55 if I count the book I forgot to review. My goal for 2021 is 60. Why kill myself. I want to enjoy what I read and don't want to be driven by a goal. I am not much of a goal maker or keeper. Ha!
Ti - The Most Fun We Ever Had is an excellent family drama... be sure to take it off your shelf in 2021. I loved it!Delete
I think 54 books is a very respectable number. I'll be thrilled if I can read a book a week in 2021. Happy New Year!
How did I miss that Erica Bauermeister had a new book? I need to go put that on hold at my library!ReplyDelete
Lisa - It's great on audio. I think you'd enjoy it, too!Delete