What I Read In 2021

At the beginning of 2021, I set out to read 36 books. Easy, I thought, 3 books a month. (Note: When I say “read” I mean a combination of listening to audiobooks and reading. I do about 50/50, depending on the week and what I have planned.)

As the year went on, I realized 3 books a month would be a challenge. I decided to change the goal to 32 (because 2 2/3 books is that much easier), and spoiler alert — I ended up getting to 32, then reading 4 more to get to my original goal of 36!

36 books wasn’t easy. But, I rediscovered my love for reading and found myself hungry for new books and new genres and new authors as the year went on. I’m so glad I set the goal, and I’m excited to see what 2022 holds. 

Here are the books I read this year, in the order that I read them in. If you scroll down, I’ve also included some info about which books I recommend, the fastest read, etc. 

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  1. Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
  2. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  3. Luster by Raven Leilani
  4. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
  5. If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
  6. Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler
  7. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  8. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
  9. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  10. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  11. Faye Faraway by Helen Fisher
  12. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  13. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  14. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  15. The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
  16. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  17. Severance by Ling Ma
  18. That Summer by Jennifer Weiner
  19. One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
  20. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  21. Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu
  22. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  23. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  24. The Four Winds by Kirstin Hannah
  25. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  26. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  27. Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
  28. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  29. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  30. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  31. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  32. The Color of Water by James McBride
  33. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  34. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  35. Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford
  36. Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Want to add some of these to your list for 2022? Here are my thoughts:

My top 5 books of 2021

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • Deacon King Kong
  • The Color of Water
  • The Midnight Library
  • The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
  • Honorable mentions: Less, What Alice Forgot

The hardest to read (But still good)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: My coworker called this “raw” and that’s a great description. It’s a beautiful book, but man, some parts were hard to read for me. 

The fastest reads/page-turners

Someone We Know: Not the best-written book, but I read it in less than 3 days. I had to hear what happened next!

The Last Thing He Told Me: I had to keep reading – it starts out somewhat confusing, but in a way that made me eager to find out what was going on.

American Dirt: I know there has been controversy behind this book, but I found the story truly riveting. So, now I’ve added all these books to my list for 2022: 8 books by Latin American authors to read instead of, or in addition to, ‘American Dirt’.

Leave The World Behind: I stayed up late one night reading this and couldn’t put it down. I just HAD to find out what was going to happen! (And if you’ve read this, please PM me about the ending)

The best audiobook

Daisy Jones & The Six: It has an amazing cast (Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber) and honestly was easier to listen to than read because there are so many different characters. The audiobook has each person read their own section and it felt like I was listening to a series of interviews.

Best “beach reads”

  • One to Watch
  • People We Meet on Vacation
  • Malibu Rising

And now, your turn! What books did you read this year? Any books I can add to my 2022 list?

April Update: 360 miles down, 640 to go to my 1000 mile goal

Can you believe it’s already April? I can’t. From the colder than usual temps, occasional snow flurries, and general disbelief that April means B and I will soon be approaching my second wedding anniversary, it’s hard to believe that we’re already on Q2 of 2013. That being said, I’m still on pace to meet my goal of 1,000 miles this year!  March was good to me. Despite the cooler temps, I managed to make 113 miles for March, which included quite a few treadmill runs, a few longer outdoor runs, and even a half marathon in South Bend, Indiana.

Photo stolen from the Holy Half

Month by month, here’s where I stand:

January: 136 miles

February: 111 miles

March: 113 miles

Year to date: 360 miles

Here’s how the weeks have gone:

First week in March

Highlights: got in an 11 miler on Friday after work! It made for a VERY enjoyable and relaxing Saturday:)
march running recap - 1000 miles
Second week in March 

march running recap - 1000 miles
Third week in March

Highlights: Notre Dame Holy Half!
march running recap - 1000 miles
Last week in March

march running recap - 1000 miles
This month, I’m looking forward to so many things! In particular:

  • Warmer weather! I can’t wait to run in a t-shirt and shorts
  • New spring running clothes! I’m due for a new tank top or two
  • The Cleveland 10 Miler – B will be unavailable but I’m thinking of running this 10 mile race on my own! (You may recall last year we did the race as part of our 20 mile training run)
  • Reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – my brother got me this as a birthday gift and I can’t wait to break it open! Thanks Greg 🙂

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Some questions to ponder:

  • What’s your favorite spring running gear? Where is your favorite place to shop for running clothes?
  • Have you read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running? What did you think?
  • What’s your favorite running book?

So this has actually happened before, including this week - B will tell me to go run so I can be out of his hair while he cleans.

So this has actually happened before, including this week – B will tell me to go run so I can be out of his hair while he cleans.

Cleveland SMC E-Book

I’m excited to announce that the Cleveland Social Media Club has launched its first e-book, “Welcome to Social Media!” There’s a lot of great content about using social media professionally and personally —  and lots of different points of view. It just goes to show how many smart people there are right here in Northeast Ohio!

Check out the e-book below or find out more about the cool project here. I wrote a chapter on measuring social media and determining ROI. Good stuff!

What I’m Reading Now

I just finished a great book. If you love learning about social media then I definitely recommend Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. Not only did I learn more about how my favorite social media sites got started (twitter, Wikipedia, flickr, etc.) but he also writes about the history of “communities” in society.

The book starts with “The Case of the Missing Sidekick” and drew me right in as I read the story of a woman named Ivanna whose sidekick is stolen. Now we all know that phones are lost and stolen everyday, but Ivanna’s case is different, as her friend Evan blogs about the sidekick and within time thousands of people are following her tale. NY Times wrote about the story here and Evan’s blog (including updates about the Sidekick Story) is here.

Shirky’s book ends with an epilogue in which he mentions how different life is for those growing up in this exciting digital age than it was when he was growing up. I realize that I take for granted my ability and eagerness to understand all things new and technical, especially when Shirky writes:

“One reason many of the stories in this book seem to be populated with young people is that those of us born before 1980 remember a time before any tools supported group communication well. For us, no matter how deeply we immerse ourselves in new technology, it will always have a certain provisional quality. Those of us with considerable real-world experience are often at an advantage relative to young people, who are comparative novices in teh way the world works. They overestimate mere fads, seeing revolution everywhere, and they make this kind of mistake a thousand times before they learn better. But in times of revolution, the experienced among us make the opposite mistake. When a real once-in-a-lifetime change comes along, we are at risk of regarding it as a fad…

I’m old enough to know a lot of things just from life experience. I know that newspapers are where you get your political news and how you look for a job. I know that music comes from stores. I know that if you want to have a conversation with someone, you call them on the phone. I know that complicated thing like software and encyclopedias have to be created by professionals. In the last fifteen years, I’ve had to unlearn every one of those things and a million others, because they have stopped being true” (Shirky, 303-304).

I never really thought of it that way — that in a sense I am lucky because I don’t have to re-learn things. I accept and underst

and the fact that twitter can be used for conversation and that facebook can be used to connect with people

and organize events. I have lived this way and it seems strange to me for anything else to exist.

So if you like social media or are interested in learning more about the way we organize and form communities has changed, check out the book and let me know what you thought!