2021 in Books

2021 was my second full year of reading and reviewing the books I read, after starting this journey in 2019. Now that I’ve been doing this for 2 full years (I started halfway through 2019), it’s been fascinating and fun for me to compare stats from this year to last year.

I read 126 books in 2021, hitting my Goodreads challenge of 125 books on Dember 29th. My total page count was 34,593, making my average book length for the year 275 pages.

Below are the books I read in 2021. The link is to my review for that book, and a link to the book on Goodreads is at the bottom of each review.

January

Maus** by Art Spiegelman (5 / 5)
The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (4 / 5)
A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter (3 / 5)
The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham (4.5 / 5)
The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus* by Jaime Jo Wright (2 / 5)
Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen (5 / 5)
Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (4 / 5)
The Warden and the Wolf King** by Andrew Peterson (5 / 5)
There I Go Again by William Daniels (5 / 5)
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein (4 / 5)
When Twilight Breaks* by Sarah Sundin (4 / 5)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (5 / 5)

February

Awake and Alive to Truth by John L. Cooper (5 / 5)
The Orchard House* by Heidi Chiavaroli (3.5 / 5)
The Cat Who Saw Red** by Lilian Jackson Braun (5 / 5)
Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein (3.5 / 5)
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (3 / 5)
Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea by Frank E. Peretti (4 / 5)
The Secret of The Desert Stone by Frank E. Peretti (3 / 5)
The Hiding Place** by Corrie ten Boom with John & Elizabeth Sherrill (5 / 5)
John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as retold by Gary D. Schmidt (2 / 5)
From this Moment* by Kim Vogel Sawyer (3 / 5)
Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game by Chris Grabenstein (3.5 / 5)

March

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz (3.5 / 5)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (4 / 5)
Maus II** by Art Spiegelman (5 / 5)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (2 / 5)
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (5 / 5)
Wingfeather Tales* by Andrew Peterson and other authors (3.5 / 5)

The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters (3.5 / 5)
Mr. Lemoncello and the Titanium Ticket by Chris Grabenstein (5 / 5)

April

The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey by Frank E. Peretti (4 / 5)
An Elegant Façade by Kristi Ann Hunter (3 / 5)
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (5 / 5)
When You Reach Me** by Rebecca Stead (5 / 5)
The Purple Nightgown* by A.D. Lawrence (4 / 5)
Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg (4 / 5)
The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden (4.5 / 5)
A Woman of Words* by Angela Hunt (3.5 / 5)
The Silver Shadow* by Liz Tolsma (2 / 5)
Crocodile Meatloaf by Nancy S. Levene (4 / 5)

May

Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham (4 / 5)
The Legend of Annie Murphy by Frank E. Peretti (3.5 / 5)
Schindler’s List** by Thomas Keneally (5 / 5)
Refugees on the Run* by Chris Brack & Sheila Seifert (5 / 5)
Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii by Lee Goldberg (3.5 / 5)
Tidewater Bride* by Laura Frantz (4 / 5)
Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers by Tessa Arlen (4 / 5)
The Cat Who Played Brahms by Lilian Jackson Braun (5 / 5)
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery (3.5 / 5)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (4.5 / 5)
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (5 / 5)
Redeeming Grace: Ruth’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith (3 / 5)

June

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes & Joe Layden (5 / 5)
Rabbits* by Terry Miles (2 / 5)
Mayday at Two Thousand Five Hundred by Frank E. Peretti (4 / 5)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (4 / 5)
Project Hail Mary* by Andy Weir (5 / 5)
The Widows of Champagne* by Renee Ryan (3 / 5)
No More Broken Promises** by Angela Elwell Hunt (5 / 5)
Welcome to Vietnam** by Ellen Emerson White (4 / 5)
A Forever Friend** by Angela Elwell Hunt (5 / 5)
Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu by Lee Goldberg (2 / 5)
The Compass by Tyler Scott Hess (2.5 / 5)
A Basket of Roses** by Angela Elwell Hunt (4 / 5)
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (3.5 / 5)
Hill 568** by Ellen Emerson White (5 / 5)
Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot (4 / 5)
A Dream to Cherish** by Angela Elwell Hunt (4.5 / 5)

July

A Love to Cherish by Linda Ford (2 / 5)
The Much-Adored Sandy Shore** by Angela Hunt (4 / 5)
‘Tis the Season by Ellen Emerson White (4 / 5)
Love Burning Bright** by Angela Hunt (5 / 5)
The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket (4 / 5)
Stand Down by Ellen Emerson White (4 / 5)
The Chance of a Lifetime** by Angela Hunt (5 / 5)
Murder at the Manor by Catherine Coles (3 / 5)
The Cryptographer’s Dilemma* by Johnnie Alexander (4 / 5)
Star Light, Star Bright** by Angela Hunt (4 / 5)

August

The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White (4 / 5)
Hangman’s Curse** by Frank Peretti (5 / 5)
The Glory of Love** by Angela Hunt (3.5 / 5)
A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden (3.5 / 5)
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (4 / 5)
The Eagle and the Lamb** by Darlene Mindrup (5 / 5)
Night of the Twisters** by Ivy Ruckman (5 / 5)
Trace of Doubt* by DiAnn Mills (2 / 5)
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (4 / 5)

September

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen (4 / 5)
The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney (3 / 5)
Independence Hall by Roland Smith (4 / 5)
Socks by Beverly Cleary (5 / 5)
All That Is Secret* by Patricia Raybon (2 / 5)
Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa* by Jake & Luke Thoene (5 / 5)
The Princess Bride by William Goldman (4 / 5)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (5 / 5)
Escape from Fire Lake* by Robert Vernon (5 / 5)
Terror from Outer Space* by Robert Vernon (4 / 5)

October

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (4 / 5)
Night Song by Tricia Goyer (4 / 5)
Fan Fiction* by Brent Spiner (3 / 5)
Nightmare Academy** by Frank Peretti (5 / 5)
The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun (5 / 5)
Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan (5 / 5)
Once Upon a Wardrobe* by Patti Callahan (3 / 5)
Poison at the Pump by Chris Brack & Sheila Seifert (4 / 5)

November

Lost in Darkness* by Michelle Griep (3.5 / 5)
Return to the Hiding Place by Hans Poley (5 / 5)
Princess in Love by Meg Cabot (4 / 5)
The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket (2 / 5)
The White House by Roland Smith (4 / 5)
Elinor* by Shannon McNear (3 / 5)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (5 / 5)

December

Lead Me* by Matt Hammitt (5 / 5)
Shadows of Swanford Abbey* by Julie Klassen (4 / 5)
Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh (3.5 / 5)
Chapter and Curse* by Elizabeth Penney (3 / 5)
Merry Humbug Christmas by Sandra D. Bricker (4 / 5)
The Smartest Kid in the Universe by Chris Grabenstein (4 / 5)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone** by J.K. Rowling (3.5 / 5)
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt (4 / 5)
Winnie-the-Pooh* by A.A. Milne (4.5 / 5)
To Kill a Mockingbird** by Harper Lee (4 / 5)
The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket (2 / 5)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets** by J.K. Rowling (4 / 5)

This list includes 28 ARCs (marked with a *) and 25 re-reads (marked with a **). My favorite book from 2021 was Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. During the last year, I started 22 series and finished 10 series, caught up on 4 series (meaning the author plans to release more in the future), and decided not to continue 6 series (after being at least 2 books into the series). I currently have 10 series in progress. I also DNF’d 1 book (not listed anywhere in this post).

Considering that I gave only 3 5-star ratings out of 47 books in 2019, 38 out of 126 this year is pretty great. I don’t think my standards for what makes me like or dislike a book have changed, either. I think I’m just getting a little better at vetting books before I read them. My average rating for the year is up a little from last year too.

Here is a break-down of the ratings I gave (there were a few books I read twice during the year, so I only counted them once each):
1 star: 0
1.5 stars: 0
2 stars: 11
2.5 stars: 1
3 stars: 13
3.5 stars: 15
4 stars: 42
4.5 stars: 6
5 stars: 38
Average rating: 4

I’m going to stick with 125 books as my reading goal on Goodreads. I almost didn’t finish it this year, though I can also see that as 125 being the exact right number, since it took me right up until the end of the year to hit it.

My ever-changing short list of to-be-reads, as well as a flag for the book I’m currently reading and an ongoing list of those I’ve read and posted about can be found here. I’m also keeping my Goodreads page updated with a more extensive list of to-be-reads, if anyone is interested in that.

What did you read last year? Let me know in the comments, and even feel free to link to your own summary post!

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