Did the pandemic change the way we read? You bet it did. Physical, electronic, and audio books sales all increased. And just like everyone else, I read widely, deeply, to escape, and find comfort, too.

This became particularly noticeable after I started working full-time. Dark and depressing could no longer hold my interest. [Too close to real life!] And I abandoned a few books midway, which really frustrated me; apparently, I read like I interact with people, I give them (too many?) chances.

Book one of four from the Lady Janies series

Enter My Lady Jane, a fantastical re-imagining of King Edward’s rein before, during, and after Lady Jane Grey’s nine days on the throne. It’s a light and funny tale that doesn’t take itself too seriously (and it strays wildly from history). Annnd it’s what I needed after the big fat failure of finishing nothing in November.

If you like historical fiction + fantasy + romance, I think you’ll find this to be an entertaining read. Overall, I enjoyed it, but by the end of it, I wanted something else. It’s just my mood, these days, mercurial, and ready to read more because I have so many books I want to read! Hands up if you agree!

Looking back at 2021, I was a few short of my reading 30 books goal. Naturally, I blame the novels I abandoned halfway, and a job that drained me of my essence (see The Dark Crystal). I mean, I can’t blame myself for my over-ambitious ideas of what I can and could do. Never me, always them. [Hey, I could be a good politician!]

*graphs and pie charts courtesy of The Story Graph
I guess I’m into adventurous, emotional, and reflective. Hmmm…
I didn’t read nearly as much nonfiction as I had hoped either – another FAILURE.

So, in order to continue this trend, of failing, I’ve decided to sign up for WordPress’s Bloganuary. “Each day, youโ€™ll receive a new writing prompt to inspire you to publish a post on your blog.

EACH DAY? Ha. I can see me abandoning + combining posts already. But the last time I joined a WP challenge, I ended up making new friends and flexing my creative muscles, so I guess I’m ready for it.

Who’s ready to join me in a Happy New Year belly-flop?

How’s your December? I’d share what I’m reading now, but I’ve already abandoned Tulip Fever because I have a strong suspicion I’ve read it already! Has anyone else done this? Got the memory of a goldfish, I tell ya, it’s a miracle I can remember where the front door is…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

14 replies on “๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: December 2021

  1. I like your graphs. Very clever.

    I’m currently reading a historical novel, “Carnegie’s Maid,” and enjoying it. The maid is a poor Irish immigrant, like my grandma. Carnegie WAS a poor Scottish immigrant, like my grandpa, except my grandpa never became super rich.

    Before that I read a mystery by Laura Lippman. It kept my attention, but it wasn’t her best.

    My favorite book this month was “56 Days.” It takes place in Dublin during the pandemic. Who would have thought I’d like it?! But the characters were so terribly fascinating and the mystery so tricky and surprising all the way through that I couldn’t stop reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool, thanks for the recommendations. I’ve barely started into a book that I have had sitting on the ‘ol Kindle for awhile, but I’m going to try to give books less chances (???) so I might move through them more quickly until I find the one that fits my mood.

      And the charts are all on The StoryGraph if you create a (free) account, etc, but glad you liked them! Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also look for a book that suits my mood. No matter how good a book is, it still has to be the kind of book I feel like reading. Usually it has to have what the last book was missing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! After My Lady Jane, I want to read something more mature and grown up, for lack of better words…


  2. Sameee, I’m a few books short of my 30 books goal for the year and again, I blame all the DNF books. ๐Ÿ™ˆ
    But I read this beautiful book this week – The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – and it’s books like this that make me want to keep reading. โค๏ธ
    Merry Christmas!!!


  3. I didn’t set a goal for this year but I read like 20% less than last year… I blame it on the stressing months I had in China, my son requiring my active presence at all times, and a very busy job. At least I managed to read something. Phew! I guess I’ll list the China-related books on my blog in the next few days, as always.

    Happy New Year, Lani!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand. I imagine I’ll be reading wayyy less this upcoming year due to work. Maybe that’s why I’m reading so much during my break!

      Happy New Year, Marta!


  4. Happy New Year, Lani, from very cold Alberta right now. -33 to -40 degrees F.

    27 bks. –great. I think I’ve ploughed through approx. 10 or less. did you see this? : https://bookpublishing.piyasaa.com/readers-are-desperate-for-books-and-publishers-want-to/

    Well, my niece’s latest book released in Oct. by her lst established publisher, sold 70% paper copies vs. electronic so far. The pandemic has prompted some buyers in big cities to order and pick up from local bookstore instead of always Amazon. She got New York Times mentions, CBC web national mention..and also in a paparazzi rag, Hello. ๐Ÿ˜€ I don’t think it’s literature..probably smart marketing tactics.

    Anyway just learned she will have a 2nd new title by same publisher in 2022.

    I’m the midst of reading a book about wayfinding by using natural signs in the environment. After reading about mushrooms and fungi..the book is actually very popular now. It is an amazing book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great news for your niece! Congratulations!

      Yes, these days, there’s a lot of smart marketing that gets readers. I try to stay somewhat aware of the pub news but I’m certainly not up to date but the link you shared looks promising for readers ๐Ÿ™‚

      The book your reading sounds so you ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you’re enjoying it. Happy New Year, Jean. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t even heard of Bloganuary–just signed up, and am so ready to belly-flop hard. But, you’re right. The WP challenges are always an awesome way to get your stuff out there and meet new-to-you bloggers. Maybe it’s how we met? Can’t even remember a time without you! Definitely keep bringing the funny this year–we all need it. And life it too short to finish a book you don’t love, so I don’t even stress about that anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heyyy, I wonder about that now. Maybe we did meet through a WP blogging challenge? Wow, cool. Yes, I feel like we’ve known each other forever, too. Hahahaha. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 27 books in a year is fantastic! I read for pleasure, too, but this year, I probably read 1 book when I would read more in previous years. I still read a lot but none of the material is called a book. I abandoned a book a couple of times (and too ashamed to share the title), but I am committed to reading it this year. Some books I don’t have the interest and don’t have enough prior knowledge, such as Great Expectations, to get the full experience. I didn’t want to keep forcing myself to finish a book just to finish a book when it was taking the joy out of reading. Sometimes, I look at it from a different lense – why are British or European literature prized whereas others on other continents aren’t?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think each country has a different relationship with reading and novels in general. There are probably local awards, etc. Generally speaking, Thais don’t read books like we do. This is changing, but it wasn’t really part of their culture.

      The pub industry (like art) is desperate for more diverse literature, so if you’re interested you could def do a search and find lots of recommendations. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks. 28 (I didn’t include one more) was a good number. I should be proud, but I fell short of 2020, and for the bookish community, my total is woefully small. But that’s okay. I don’t want to force myself to go faster either!

      Liked by 1 person

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