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?

Weekends During Social Isolation

Well, we made it — 3 weeks down of social isolation! And who knows how many more to come.

At first I thought the weekends wouldn’t feel much different than the week days – after all, I was working at home with the kids at home too. But I was VERY wrong. Working at home with the kids is far from a weekend. In fact, I saw this meme that pretty much sums it up:

Continue reading

Lazy Weekends

After having several weekends in a row with plans and stuff to do, it was nice to have a weekend home with NOTHING on the schedule. Which meant, of course, making big to-do lists (cleaning! filing! working!) but getting none of them done. Which was completely, absolutely fine because what I did get done was probably much more fun. Like doing these 7 things:

7 Ways to Spend a Lazy Weekend

1. Reading.

Finished two of the books I was in the middle of! On to Orphan Train next. Any other good summer reads to recommend?

brief wondrous life of oscar wao

just finished this!

2. Running. a 7.6 miler on Saturday and a 6.6 miler on Sunday. One of these days I’ll get a Garmin so I actually run even numbers.

Mileage for the week. The 8s are mostly 7.6 - dailymile rounds them up

30+ mi even with two days off from running this week!  Full disclosure: I never ran 8 full miles or 7 full: the 8s are mostly 7.6  and the 7 is 6.6- dailymile rounds them up

3. Baking. Once again we had a surplus of blueberries from our CSA, so I whipped up a batch of Blueberry Buttermilk Scones.

as B says, Game of Scones!

as B says, Game of Scones!

4. Pho-ing. Yeah, I know that’s not a word. But Friday night B and I hit up our favorite Pho place for some salads, spring rolls and bun. Sorry, bun not pictured (but enjoyed very much!)

superior pho

5. Suiteing! Yup, again, stretching it with the word, but B and I enjoyed a fun Indians game on Sunday in after a friend asked us to join him in their company suite.

B found a twin @ the game!

B found a twin @ the game in our suite!


WINNING after extra innings!

WINNING after extra innings!


Enjoying the Suite and great weather!

Enjoying the Suite and great weather!

6. Cooking at home. Which meant pasta from Ohio City Pasta (via Fresh Fork) and Limoncello from Italy!

fresh fork pickup

fresh product pickup!

limoncello

7. Enjoying new flavors of ice cream. Because what summer weekend would be complete without it? Pictured below (sorry it’s somewhat blurry) is orange ginger from Rothschild Creamery!

Orange Ginger Soft Serve!

Orange Ginger Soft Serve!

Despite not cleaning, or doing the work I wanted to, as you can tell, it was a pretty good weekend after all.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you enjoy after dinner drinks like Limoncello? What’s your favorite?
  • Any fun flavors of ice cream you’ve tried lately?
  • What’s a new book I should add to my list?