Posted in Books

Guess Who’s Back & Did I Complete My 2021 Reading Goals?

Hello, I’m back. Again. I’ve just decided to fully embrace the fact that I keep taking long breaks from this blog so here I am, Queen of Hiatuses, back on the blogging train. 

Let’s catch up. Since my last post in May 2021, we’re still in a pandemic so that’s great but we’re officially in 2022 so it’s time for me to look back at my reading goals post. And, spoiler, no I didn’t achieve all my goals. 

In January 2021, I decided I wanted to read 25 books that year. I read 15. Not even close. But, I do think I ended up going for quality over quantity because I read some fantastic books. 2021 saw me start my Taylor Jenkins Reid obsession and finally read a few books that I had been meaning to pick up for a long time. You can see a full list of the books I read last year on my Goodreads

Along with the 25 books goal, I also set myself nine mini reading goals. Let’s see how I got on with those:

Goal One: A book that is less than 200 pages

Did I achieve it? Kind of. I read The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey which is over 200 pages in my copy but according to Goodreads is less than 200 pages so I’m going to see this as a win. Also, this goal was a bit of cheat because I know I’m very picky about book length as I barely ever read books more than 400 pages. So, really this goal should have been the opposite and I should have challenged myself to read a book over 500 pages. And, if I had, I wouldn’t have had to cheat because I did that! At 592 pages, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters would have seen me give a clear tick to that goal. Damn it. 

Goal Two: A thriller

Did I achieved it? Yes! I read An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I liked it, I didn’t love it. Thrillers just aren’t my favourite but I’m glad I challenged myself to read one and I do think I’d read more. 

Goal Three: A book with a film/TV adaptation (or upcoming adaptation) that I haven’t seen yet

Did I achieve it? Yes! Both The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro have film adaptations that I hadn’t seen before reading the books. And, I haven’t actually seen either of the films still now but I’m sure I will soon. 

Did I achieve it? Not really. I read books that I’d seen recommended on social media but not anything recommended by a friend despite having plenty of recommendations from friends to get to. Basically, I was still a terrible friend in 2021. Great.

Goal Five: A book that has been on my shelf for at least a year

Did I achieve it? Yes! The Remains of the Day but Kazuo Ishiguro had definitely been on my shelf for a few years.

Goal Six: A book I started but never finished

Did I achieve it? No. I only read books I’d never attempted to read before in 2021 but I have a few I tried reading and abandoned last year that I’m hoping I’ll pick up again this year.

Goal Seven: A classic that is at least 100 years old

Did I achieve it? Look, I got cocky in 2020 because I read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott for the first time and and wanted to read more classics in 2021. I also really wanted to read Emma by Jane Austen (which would also count as both a recommended book and a book with an adaptation I haven’t seen) but I just didn’t. Let’s move on.

Goal Eight: A book published in 2021

Did I achieve it? Absolutely smashed this one. The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper, Reputation by Lex Croucher and A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago were all published in 2021. Well done, me!

Goal Nine: A book set in a country I haven’t been to or read about before

Did I achieve it? Kind of. This is a tricky one. I read two books set in Troy (Troy by Stephen Fry and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller) which is in present-day Turkey. I don’t think I’ve finished a book set in Turkey before so I feel like this could count. Also, The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey is set in an unspecified Caribbean country inspired by Tobago. I’ve never read anything set in Trinidad and Tobago before so I feel like I could maybe count that as well. 

You know how that song goes, ‘6/9-which-when-simplified-is-2/3 ain’t bad’. I’ll do another post in a few days with some more reading goals for 2022 because there’s no better time to do that than when you’ve wasted three weeks of the year already. Thanks for reading my blog and bye for now! 

Posted in Books

Tag: The Outstanding Blogger Award (Kinda)

My lovely friend from The Last Book on the Left (a fabulous book and writing blogger, give her a follow if you don’t already) tagged me in The Outstanding Blogger Award tag and I’m excited to answer the questions she’s set me. As I only made my big ole blogging comeback this year, I’m not going to play by the rules because, to put it simply, I don’t really think I’m worthy of the award. Maybe some day I’ll feel more worthy but I need to up my blogging game first. So, if you want to check out the rules and how the tag really should be done, take a look at M.T.’s post.

So, without further ado, onto M.T.’s questions…

1. Do you like listening to music while you read?

If I’m at home or on my own then no but if I’m around other people e.g. on a train or in a coffee shop (thinking more of pre-Covid times here) then I do tend to. I’ve gotten quite good at zoning out of whatever is playing to focus on reading so if I am listening to music it’s more to mute out the world than to listen along as I read. I feel like fellow introverts will relate to me, right?

2. What is the best book you’ve read in 2020 so far?

I have to admit, despite lockdowns, I really haven’t read that much this year. I did read Little Women for the first time though and really loved it. I adored the film when I saw it way back at the start of the year and was so relieved I enjoyed the book just as much. Even though parts of it feel a bit dated (and even a bit preachy in places), it has a strangely modern feel and the focus on female family relationships is so heart-warming.

3. What is the best movie or TV show you’ve seen in 2020 so far?

Well, my personal favourite, if I can bring it up yet again was the new Little Women film which I saw way back on 11th January… what a different time that was! I also watched Schindler’s List this year and, although it was an incredibly hard watch in places, I thought it was a really important story which I feel richer for knowing.

4. Are there any sequels you liked more than the first book?

I’ve been reading more stand alone adult books recently but a couple that come to mind would be nearly all The Mortal Instruments sequels and Clockwork Princess in The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I’m so out of the Shadowhunters loop these days but I really loved those books as a teenager. Also, I love an epic finale in a series so The High King from The Chronicles of Prydain (a severely underrated children’s high fantasy series!) is a great ending and probably my favourite of the five books. Plus, The Order of the Phoenix is my favourite Harry Potter book (even if I’m not such a J.K. fan these days).

5. Besides reading, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

Well, I think my blog makes it quite clear I love the theatre. I’m definitely not a performer but pre-Covid, I was going to a lot of shows and my most used playlists on Spotify are my musical theatre ones. I also enjoy making up stories and I would love to one day publish a book. There’s a children’s series idea I’ve been working on through the lockdowns which I might do blog post about at some point but it’s a very research-heavy project so it’s slow progress currently.

6. What book is underrated but you wish more people knew about?

Not to be repeating myself again but The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander deserves just as much hype as the likes of Narnia! Also, keeping on the children’s book theme, my favourite book growing up was The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner and I always felt that was underrated.

For an adult fiction pick, I’m surprised there aren’t more people reading My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. It was longlisted for the Booker Prize but I haven’t seen as much hype around it as I feel it deserves because it is so so good.

7. What is your most anticipated 2021 release?

Well, my most anticipated 2020 release was Troy by Stephen Fry which has only just come out! However, as for 2021, there is one book that comes to mind. I’m really looking forward to reading Reputation by Lex Croucher. I’ve been subscribed to Lex on YouTube for a long time because I really enjoy both her takes on the world and key social issues and her brilliant sense of humour. Reputation is a Regency comedy-drama which is being described as one for fans of Mean Girls and Jane Austen, both of which I love so I’m down.

Thanks so much M.T. for tagging me in this, it has been really fun answering these questions. This tag was started by Colton Beckwith and you can find the original post with the lowdown on how the tag is supposed to go here. Just to be clear again, I answered these questions because I was tagged but not to properly enter myself in for the award 😊.

Thanks for reading, bye for now!