[Advertising – unpaid, post contains affiliate links] Only a few more days and this year is in the books. I haven’t been able to write my post about my favorite November and December books yet. But I wanted to round up the year with my favorite books 2021 and I also added another new fun facts all around books. Maybe I will include a more detailed review of November and December books in my January report. We’ll see…
For 2021 I had a list of 26 specific books that where my reading goal. I read 19 books from the list. One was abandoned. I tackled a lot on my physical TBR list and swapped a few books. And I was even able to tackle my TBR stacks – both the kindle one and the physical one. Combined they hold 676 books. That is 4 books less than last year so I am reducing. How is your list coming along?
Overall I read 74 books which equals to around 19,000 pages. That’s 5,376 pages less than last year but I am ok with it. I am still proud and happy to have read this much. I have read more books with a five star rating so the selection seems to have improved. Nothing to complain here. Here we go:
Best rated books this year: I have nine books that received a five star rating. They are: A conjuring of light by V.E. Schwab, Ein Mann namens Ove | A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Heilende Wildkräuter | Wild Remedies by Rosalee de la Foret & Emily Han, The Girl who chased the moon by Sarah Addison Allen, Befreiung finden: Wie Sie die langfristigen Auswirkung von Kindheitstraum heilen by Nadine Burke Harris, Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens, Ein Kopf voller Ideen – Wie Kreativität unseren Alltag bereichert by Tanja Queckenstedt, Die Legende von Frostherz | Frostheart by Jamie Wittler, The bear and the Nightingale by Kathrine Arden. Surprise – I can recommend all of them.
Best cover: Die schönsten Wintermärchen by Coppenrath
I can not get enough of touching this cover and admiring it. It is clothbound has gold foil details and ingrained glitter. Its all you can ask of a winter book. I am currently reading it and won’t finish in 2021 but I couldn’t wait a year to show you.
Longest book: With 848 pages The Priority of the Orange Tree by Samatha Shannon was on my TBR since May 19, 2019. It took me 26 days to get through. It was an ok read. I had hoped for a bit more epic feel and that it would suck me in more. I heard there is a sequel coming out but I will probably not read.
Disappointment of the year: I heard so many great things about Wintering but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me. I guess if you do not like winter and struggle with this season it may be a helpful book to be more gentle and appreciate the time of year. I love winter and for me it was just fluff without any helpful input. Sadly.
Struggle of the year: The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar. A book I had eyed for a long time and finally purchased last year. unfortunately this story dint really grab me. I had hoped for more and it could not deliver. However I think it was the first book I read by a transgender person. And after I learned that the story became a different layer and deeper meaning.
Oldest Book (written): This year I read Memoires of an Arabian Princess by Emily Ruete which was written in 1889 as part of my Read around the world challenge.
Best Beach Read: Über dem Meer tanz das Licht by Meike Werkmeister. It is a beautiful story to dream yourself away.
Surprise of the year: Frostheart by Jamie Littler was the book I picked for my niece for Christmas. I always try to read at least part of it to know what is it about. This one kept me engaged and I really want to know what is happening in the sequel.
The worst book: Is Schaumschwimmerin by Andreas H. Drescher. In my opinion terrible writing, unreadable and a total waste of time.
Close second is the this poetry book Golden by Clara Louise but it was really boring, didn’t touch me in any way and I am not sure why it received such great reviews. It wasn’t good writing.
Book related shenanigans
Book reviews aren’t all when looking at the book wrap up on 2021. Here are few fun facts when it comes to books that represent my year of reading.
- Best reading month: Was April with 9 books and a total of 2,429 pages. Reading a few books from my parents book shelves.
- Slowest reading month: November with three books and 296 pages but one was a five star book.
- Pages read overall: 18,959 pages in total.
- German books read: I set out to read more books in my native language German and I can report I read 35 books.
- English books read: Conversely it means I read 39 books in English.
- Money spent on books: I spent a total of 128,16€ on books including ebooks, new paperbacks but also postage for swapped books.
- Number of books bought: In 2021 I bought 14 eBooks (read 8 so far) and 11 paperbacks (read 6 so far). I also snatched up 22 free kindle deals. That makes 47 new books.
- Number of books borrowed: Currently 10 books I have borrowed.
- Books swapped: 8 and 2 already read.
- Books from publishers: I received 7 books from publishers for review. 2 still need to be read.
And this is the reading review – my favorite books 2021 and everything else I came up with. Did you have a favorite book? How was your reading year? I’d love to chat about it.
If you are interested in my previous book round ups you can have a look here: favorite books of 2020 and 2019, favorite books of 2018 part I and part II, favorite books of 2017 part I and part II and favorite books of 2016. Also lets be friends on Goodreads.
This Read Around the World challenge sounds like quite an endeavor – I’m wondering if you’ve had any problems getting translations of books from some of the smaller countries? I’d be interested in an update on how that’s going. I’m halfway on board with giving it a try myself, but I think it might pose some serious logistical challenges for someone as frugal as me!
It sounds like you had a great reading year! It’s so nice to look back and realize that you spent time with nine wonderful books you can heartily recommend. And it’s also nice to be able to say “hey, no one needs to read that book – it was unreadable!” because that’s a great conversation starter.
NGS recently posted…2021 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge
That challenge is something I am just having in the back of my mind. As of today I do not own all the books and I do not intend on doing so. I agree some of the smaller countries will be challenging. I have been researching this countries every once in a while of possible authors. I have set up alerts for books for my kindle but also on eBay and (the German version) of craigslist. So if one of those books comes available I will jump on it. But I have no plan laid out. I also do not want to spend much money on it. Thanks for the interest I might write a more detailed post about it.
And I agree it is a nice feeling to look back and see how many great stories came into your life at the end of the year. Not finishing a book was however a long learning process.
Wow! That is such an impressive roundup of books. I read a lot of books this year, but many of them were with my kiddos and were re-reads of classic novels (like Heidi and Anne of Green Gables). No one book stands out to me from the year, honestly, as it feels like a bit of a blur, but Goodreads tells me I read 88 books over the year!
I did get some real “food for thought” out of The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris and Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah was okay, and I re-read the whole Harry Potter series which is always a fun event!
So glad to see you back blogging – hope you had a great Christmas.
Thank you Elisabeth. I had so much going on in December that blogging at to give.
I have never read the Harry Potter series. Only one or two books when I couldn’t wait for the next film to come out.
Ive not heard of the books you mentioned that gave you some food of thought. I have to check them out. The Kristin Hannah one is on my TBR but I still have the nightingale here in the shelved unread. So maybe start with that one.
My reading year wasn’t as good as I hoped for (I still aspire to repeat the year I read 100), but it was better than I expected! I finished 69 books but may squeak out one more before the year’s end. I’m about to post my favorites, too!
Mine hasn’t been as high as last years either but I truly believe every book is something towards a more open-minded life and many just the few you read in one year have much more impact than the 100 before. However I’d like to read a hundred books one year myself- So lets cheer each other on.
74 books – well done! I managed 30 (last book was finished on the 30th Dec!)
I found you on Goodreads! I find it very useful for keeping track of my TBR list.
Yeah we are finally connected on Goodreads. I agree I also have the best overview of all different TBR’s there. No matter how many books we are reading in a year or lifetime I think the most important part is, that we actually do read and dive into new worlds. Makes the world a better place. I am sure of it.
Wow, 74 books is amazing. I set out to read 20 and managed 21 – so yay? :)
That is still great and you did read some tough ones. Also you spend much more time sweating while I curled up on the couch. Guess we can’t have it all