2021 in Review

With thanks to The Perpetual Page-Turner


Number Of Books You Read: 77
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Fiction


1. Best Book You Read In 2021?

My favourite book of 2021 was The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller. It ticked ALL my boxes. It is a is a beautifully-written, page-turner about a woman who has to make a decision at a point in her life where she’s actually lived a life and has some real skin in the game. I loved it.

Honourable mention to: Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell and We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I had a handful of disappointing reads this year, but these were the ones I was especially looking forward to for a variety of reasons, but were then disappointing – also for a variety of reasons:

The Chain – Adrian McKinty

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife – Ashley Winstead,

One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Crooked House – Agatha Christie

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

I was surprised that I didn’t love love Courtney Summers’ The Project because I have loved loved everything else she’s written and this book seemed right up my alley: a prickly heroine, a cult. It wasn’t awful; I still enjoyed it. I just thought I would like it a lot more than I did.

I listened to The Secret Garden – my first audiobook – and it was kinda surprising that I enjoyed the experience. I’ve read the book before, ages ago, and it was nice to revisit the garden this way.

The Lesser Dead surprised me, too. A fresh take on vampires that was creepy, and heartbreaking. I’d never heard of the author before and I will definitely be looking to read more of his work.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I do the most “pushing” in my classroom and this year I was a big fan of Concrete Rose, Odd One Out, and It Sounded Better in My Head. I’ve also encouraged people to read The Paper Palace and given it as gifts.

 5. Favorite new author you discovered in 2021?

Chris Whitaker and Miranda Cowley Heller will be autobuy authors for me.

6. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Nothing is out of my comfort zone, and I rarely pick books in genres that don’t interest me.

 7. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Besides the books I mentioned for question one, I had a very hard time putting down Amy Engel’s novel The Familiar Dark. A Rip in Heaven by Jeanine Cummins and The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn were both page turners, too.

Maybe The Paper Palace, but honestly with a TBR pile as big as mine, I don’t do as much re-reading as I would like.

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2021?

Loved the title and the cover, the story didn’t quite hold together for me, though.

10. Most memorable character of 2021?

100% Duchess from We Begin at the End. So much love for that girl.

Honourable mention to Maverick from Concrete Rose. I loved him when I first met him in The Hate U Give and I loved him even more in his origin story, and Zelda MacLeish from When We Were Vikings

 11. Most beautifully written book read in 2021?

Hamnet and Judith was gorgeous to read. It’s really a book you want to savour.

12. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2021?

How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen provided lots of food for thought.

 13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2021 to finally read? 

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith has been on my TBR shelf forever. Finally read it and I loved it.

14. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2021?

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne clocked in at 582 pages but was a sheer delight to read from beginning to end. How Reading Changed My Life was just 96 pages long. I read a total of 25,243 pages this year.

 15. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Corrupt…and not in a good way.

16. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Elle/Jonas – The Paper Palace

Maverick/Lisa – Concrete Rose

17. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Siblings Zelda and Gert in When We Were Vikings. I also loved all the relationships in We Begin at the End.

18. Favorite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Later by Stephen King was lots of fun and I really liked The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel, who wrote one of my fave 2020 reads, The Roanoke Girls

Lisa Jewell never disappoints and this year I read (and enjoyed) The Night She Disappeared.

19. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

#BlameItOnLitsy The Heart’s Invisible Furies was a book that lots of people were talking about on Litsy I gave in to the pressure and have zero regrets. I discovered We Begin At the End on Twitter. Lots of well-deserved chat about that one.

20. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?

No one, really.

21. Best 2021 debut you read?

The Paper Palace, obviously, but also Shuggie Bain which not only won the Booker but which was just an incredible book. I also really enjoyed Mirrorland.

22. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Paper Palace had such a sense of time and place. Honourable mention to The Lesser Dead: NYC in the 70s and Crooked River a book about a father and his daughters living off the grid in Oregon.

23. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

I Capture the Castle is a delight and made me very happy.

24. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?

Tin Man by Sarah Winman got me close, but Hamnet and Judith got me all the way there.

25. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I don’t know how hidden it is, but I choose When We Were Vikings. That book was just such a gem. Honourable mention: Crooked River by Valerie Geary. Everyone should give these books a go.

26. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I had a few soul crushing reads this year…as if 2021 wasn’t tough enough.

Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma, We Begin at the End, The Paper Palace, Hamnet and Judith all hit me in the feels.

27. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?

Fight Night by Miriam Toews had an unusual narrator in nine-year-old Swiv.

28. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

100% Corrupt by Penelope Douglas and by “most mad” I do mean I HATED it. Gawd-awful garbage.


1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2021?

I love Jordy’s Book Club on Instagram. I haven’t really figured out how to get the most from Instagram yet, but I do really enjoy his content. I also like BooksbytheBay – also new to me and local.

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2021?

I had a lot of fun writing my review for Corrupt. Way more fun than I had reading the book.

Yeah, not my thing. Maybe this one.

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

I was very excited to participate in Shelf Absorption‘s “everything you wanted to know about other people’s bookshelves project” which you can read about here.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?

I hit 10,000 #Litfluence points on Litsy, which was kind of exciting.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Being distracted by Covid and my iPad.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Strangely, my review of Corrupt got over 12,000 views.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I am happy to interact with anyone who wants to chat. 🙂

9.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I always do the Good Reads Reading challenge. I set my goal for 75 books and I read 77. You can see a summary of my stats here.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2021 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2022?

Where do I even start?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?

Take your pick.

My TBR shelf…and that’s not all of them.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?

Maybe start a podcast. Maybe make better use of Instagram. Maybe neither of those things.

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