Friday, December 31, 2021

Books Read in 2021

[Books Read In 2021]

January
February
  • Wesley, Valerie Wilson - A Glimmer of Death (#1) (2021) - Crime Fiction/Cozy/Paranormal
  • Mlynowski, Sarah - If the Shoe Fits (Whatever After #2) (2012) - Fantasy/Middle Grade
  • Guillory, Jasmine - The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1) (2018) - Romance
  • Hawkins, Rachel - The Wife Upstairs (2021) - Romance
  • Mlynowski, Sarah - Sink or Swim (Whatever After #3) (2013) - Fantasy/Middle Grade
  • *Obama, Michelle - Becoming (2018) - Nonfiction
March
  • Russell, Rachel Renée - Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker (Dork Diaries #6) (2013) - Fiction/Middle Grade
  • Forna, Namina - The Gilded Ones (2021) - Fantasy/YA
  • Ravenel, M. - The Arrangement  (Plainclothes Tootsie #1) (2021) - Crime Fiction/Historical
  • Russell, Rachel Renée - Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star (Dork Diaries #7) (2014) - Fiction/Middle Grade
  • Neville, Kim - The Memory Collectors (2021) - Fiction/Magical Realism
  • *Penner, Sarah - The Lost Apothecary (2021) - Fiction/Historical
  • Davis, Kathy - Passiflora (2021) - Poetry
  • Russell, Rachel Renée - Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After (Dork Diaries #8) (2014) - Fiction/Middle Grade
  • Manansala, Mia P. - Arsenic and Adobo  (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) (2021) - Crime Fiction/Cozy
  • Voruganti, Thanvi - From the Inside: The Inner Soul of a Young Poet (2021) - Poetry
April
  • Russell, Rachel Renée - Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen (Dork Diaries #9) (2015) - Fiction/Middle Grade
  • Cleeton, Chanel - The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (Cuba Saga #4) (2021) - Fiction/Historical
  • *Dunbar, Kiley - The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (2021) - Romance
  • Russell, Rachel Renée - Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter (Dork Diaries #10) (2015) - Fiction/Middle Grade
  • Neill, Chloe - Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3) (2021) - Fantasy
  • *Acevedo, Elizabeth - The Poet X (2018) - Fiction/YA/Poetry
  • Russell, Rachel Renée - Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy (Dork Diaries #11) (2016) - Fiction/Middle Grade
  • Seanan, McGuire - Angel of the Overpass (Ghost Roads #3) (2021) - Fantasy
  • Wilder, Cheryl - Anything That Happens (2021) - Poetry
  • Russell, Rachel Renée - Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe (Dork Diaries #12) (2017) - Fiction/Middle Grade
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December


© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

First Sentences of Book Read 2021

Opening sentences are our first step inside a story. Some hook us right away while others ease us in. I started keeping track of first sentences years ago. I enjoy looking back on these opening lines and seeing what memories they stir up. 

Below you will find the first sentences of books I read in 2021.

*

OMG!Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess by Rachel Renée Russell


An old woman sits on the beach, a cushion strapped to her bottom, sorting algae that's washed ashore. ~ The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See


I keep my earbuds shoved into my ears on the minibus from Geneva Airport. ~ One by One by Ruth Ware


I wish for chocolate chip cookies, warm. ~ What Mothers Withhold by Elizabeth Kropf


OMG! ~ Tales From a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All by Rachel Renée Russell


Threads of steam rose from the warm tarmac. ~ Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg


It's a widely known fact that most moms are ready to kill someone by eight thirty A.M. on  any given morning. ~ Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano


Once upon a time my life was normal. ~ Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski


I sat at the table in my cabin, my sister's letter in my hand, and read it for the third time. ~ Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris


The office reeked of nutmeg. ~ A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley


I have a magic mirror in my basement and I'm going to use it. ~ If the Shoe Fits by Sarah Mlynowski


Alexa Monroe walked into the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco that Thursday night wearing her favorite red hells, jittery coffee, and with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne in her purse. ~ The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory


It is the absolute shittiest day for a walk. ~ The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


Should I pack a bathing suit? ~ Sink or Swim by Sarah Mlynowski


When I was a kid, my aspirations were simple. ~ Becoming by Michelle Obama


OMG!Tales From a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker by Rachel Renée Russell


Today is the Ritual of Purity. ~ Gilded Ones by Namina Forna


I peered through the slats of the blinds covering the glass on my office door and watched the dark, brooding man in the hallway. ~ The Arrangement by M. Ravenel


OMG!! ~ Tales From a Not-So-Glam TV Star by Rachel Renée Russell


The air beneath Evelyn's paper mask is hot and damp, and even though a shaft of sunlight from the open barn door reveals sawdust swirling in the air, she pulls the mask up to her forehead and allows herself a breath of cool air.  ~ The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville 


She would come at daybreak - the woman whose letter I held in my hands, the woman whose name I di not know yet. ~ The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner


Vision failing, she feels the leaves,
looking for butterly weed, a seedling
from her greenhouse for me take
in my efforts to flower a field. ~ Passiflora by Kathy Davis


I'M LATE! ~ Tales From a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renée Russell


My name is Lila Macapagal and my life has become a rom-com cliché. ~ Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala


A spring to never forget ~ From the Inside: The Inner Soul of a Young Poet by Thanvi Voruganti


The past twenty-four hours of my life have been so disgustingly NAUSEATING that actually starting to feel like a . . . puddle of . . . um, cat . . . VOMIT!! ~ Tales From a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen by Rachel Renée Russell


I am surrounded by forgotten women. ~ The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton


Borrow-A-Bookshop invites you to live out your dreams of running your very own bookshop in a historic Deveonshire harbour village . . . for a fortnight.  ~ The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar


Okay, I've tried REALLY hard to be polite about all of this!Tales From a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renée Russell


"An ill wind moves through Chicago," Lulu said, sniffing the air. ~ Shadowed Steel by Chloe Neill


The summer is made for stoop-sitting
and since it's the last week before school starts,
Harlem is opening its eyes to September. ~ The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo


Noooooo!! ~ Tales From a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy by Rachel Renée Russell


The majority of urban legends form around a small grain of truth, however misinterpreted or misunderstood. ~ Angels of the Overpass by Seanan McGuire


Until I was twenty, I believed anything
wouldn't happen to me. ~ Anything That Happens by Cheryl Wilder


SQUEEEEEE!! ~ Tales From a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe by Rachel Renée Russell


The first thing the ghost said to Jess was: 
Does your mother know you're a pengkid? ~ Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

We were  going to get caught. ~ A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver


The train that was delivering Junie to Trout River was just pulling out of the station and gathering speed, and already the compartment was filling up with cigarette smoke and the gregarious sound of sunflower seeds being cracked open. ~ Swimming Back to Trout River by Lina Rui Feng


As she woke up in the pod, she remembered three things. ~ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


It is not only in our brains that the memories of our lives are laid down. ~ Written in Bone by Sue Black


So much about the world baffled Dr. Trisha Raje, but she was never at a loss for how to do her job.  ~ Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev


I hitched the canvas strap holding the watering canister higher up on my shoulder and stretched to get the nozzle into the hanging plant. ~ The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison


Correction: I, Kelly Quinn, was cleaning. ~ Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan


Do you believe in magic? ~ Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris


At first, when Piper scanned the docks and didn't see the familiar rickety white-pine-and-fir fisherman's trawler, she thought nothing of it. ~ The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley


Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford.  ~ The Midnight Library by Matt Haig


"He's asking for you, Mrs. H." ~ Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley


I took a deep breath to settle myself, jerking the cuff of my gloves up to cover the bare patch of skin at my wrist. ~ Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison


I noticed the first crow when I opened the front door for the cat on the morning of my sixtieth birthday. ~ Becoming Crone by Lydia M. Hawkes


OMG! ~ Tales From a Not-So-Happy Birthday by Rachel Renée Russell


"Please, help me." ~ Death at the Crystal Palace by Jennifer Ashley


"Can you recommend a great book?" ~ I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel


I'd like to think I'm a good person, but I have no way of knowing for sure. ~ The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine


I predicted the future on my third birthday. ~ Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop by Rosselle Lim


I'm going to have the MOST. EXCITING. SUMMER. EVER!! ~ Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever by Rachel Renée Russell


The solid thud of David's car door shutting echoed off the stone face of the eight-story building we had parked beside. ~ A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison


The sorrowful beasts live in the north-eastern quarter of Yong'an City. ~ Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge


Dev Deshpande knows the exact moment he started believing in happily ever after. ~ The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun


Maureen Doherty stood at the window of her corner office on the top floor of Boston's William G. Bartlett Building. ~ Be My Ghost by Carol J. Perry


SPLORSH ~ Witch Hat Atelier, Vol 1 by Kamome Shrahama


 There's no way . . .Witch Hat Atelier, Vol 2 by Kamome Shrahama


You tremble for naught.Witch Hat Atelier, Vol 3 by Kamome Shrahama


Hammering my fist against the back of my closet wasn't one of my more pleasant dreams. ~ For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison


"Okay, Violet's Turn!" ~ Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross


The enigma arrived in the afternoon post, sealed, smudged, and devastating. ~ The Rose Code by Kate Quinn


Never mix vodka and witchcraft. ~ The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling


Sleeping Beauty is pretty much the worst fairy tale, any way you slice it. ~ A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow


The sky is a stranger color. ~ Cackle by Rachel Harrison 


They bind our feed and ankles, tear off our clothes, and douse us with alcohol. ~ The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke


"I'm going to kill her." ~ In the Company of Witches by Auralee Wallace


I leaned over the glass counter, squinting at the price of the high-grade redwood rods, safe in their airtight glass coffins like Snow White. ~ The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison


The strange occurrences that threatened to upend my marriage, my adopted city, and the potential happiness of tens of millions of children started on a December morning just nine days before Christmas with a frantic pounding on our bedchamber door. ~ Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings by Liz Ireland.


"You can't leave me," my best friend whispers into the phone, her voice urgent and filled with abject terror. ~ The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole


"But it's August!" said Carmen into the phone, putting down her book. ~ The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan


All I have are her bones. ~ The Real Valkyrie by Nancy Marie Brown


I pushed against the tavern's massive oak door, but it would no yield. ~ Live Like a Vulcan, Love Like a Wookiee, Laugh Like a Hobbit by Robb Pearlman


Oosh ~ Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 4 by Kamome Shrahama


Most of us Yard men would say that over time we develop an extra sense for danger close at hand. ~ Down a Dark River by Karen Odden


I am born on a Tuesday at University Hospital
Columbus, Ohio,
USA -
a country caught 

between Black and White. ~ Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson


"You want me to do what now?" ~ Walking in a Witchy Wonderland by Juliette Cross


this book smells like me ~ Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson


© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Year in Review: 2021 & Looking Ahead


One of my favorite ways to kick off the New Year is being able to take part in Sheila's (of Book Journey) First Book of the Year event, in which Sheila collects photos of readers and the first book they plan to start reading in the New Year to put together into a cool collage. The last couple years I have threatened convinced my family into taking part too. I am fairly sure I know which book I will begin the year with this year, but, until then, I reserve the right to change my mind. 

While 2021 did not feel nearly as long as 2020, it did, at times, feel just like an extension of 2020. It was quite the year. As life returned to some semblance of normalcy it was (and is) anything but. At the start of the year, I dove into blogging and reading and was on quite the tear. Until I wasn't. Even so, my reading year did not suffer too much this year even if my blogging did. I must have chosen the books I read wisely because I enjoyed them all. Not one fell below a 3 paw (good) rating. There were a couple of books I nearly gave up on, but my decision to persevere paid off in the end. 

Mouse and I spent a lot of time reading together at the beginning of the year, but she's taken to wanting to read more on her own in recent months. We still have our together reading time now and then--and share recommendations--but I sometimes miss cuddling on the couch and reading with her more often than we do. It comes with growing up. What does make me happy is seeing her go from a reluctant reader to really enjoying to read. 

Looking over my list of the books I read this year, I find I gravitated most often to lighter books, books that would make me smile or feel good. For the most part, I avoided reading books that were too dark or too heavy subject matter-wise. Although, there were exceptions--some among my favorite books of the year.

Some Fun Meaningless 2021 Reading Statistics:

Number Of Books Read: 81

Genres Read The Most:
(Some of what I read falls under more than one genre. Here, I count them under the genre I most identified with the book. Also of note, my categorization of each book by sub-genre using broad definitions).

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror - 25
  • 13 Fantasy
  • 4 Middle Grade Fantasy
  • 4 Manga/YA Fantasy
  • 2 Horror
  • 1 Science Fiction
  • 1 Fantasy YA
Fiction - 20
  •  12 Middle Grade 
  •  5 Historical 
  •  1 General Fiction
  • 1- Magical Realism
  • 1 Poetry/YA (novel in verse)
Crime Fiction/Mysteries - 15
  • 6 Cozies (4 paranormal, 2 contemporary) 
  • 5 Historical
  • 3 Thriller 
  • 1 Science Fiction
Romance - 10
  • 7 Contemporary
  • 3 Paranormal/Fantasy (2 full length novels, 1 short story collection)
Nonfiction - 7 
  • 3 - Memoirs (2 of which were written in poetry/verse form)
  • 1 - Science/History
  • 1 - Science/True Crime
  • 1 - Hobby
  • 1 - Pop Culture/Humor
Poetry Collections - 4 

Of the books I read, 27 were print copies (hardcover or paperback), and 54 were e-books.

I shared my top fifteen books read in 2021 list earlier in the week, but here is a quick look at my top five 2021 reads:


The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See 
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson 
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 
What Mothers Withhold by Elizabeth Kropf 
Becoming by Michelle Obama

How was 2021 for you reading-wise? What were some of your favorite books? 


My Blogging Bookish Life in 2021

I got behind on my review writing this year and will be making up for it into the new year. My blogging also fell by the wayside about half way through the year. It was a combination of things, including a drop in motivation and time. Especially time. My new work schedule has not helped.  

In 2021, I continued to take part in Michelle's My TBR List feature at Because Reading, enlisting your help in choosing one book each month to read. I really enjoyed having you take an active part in selecting what I would read. It can be difficult to choose on my own with so many choices. You wouldn't believe the amount of time I can waste in deciding. Or maybe you can . . . I am grateful to Michelle for coming up with the idea. I plan to continue to participate in the meme in 2022, and hope you will join me! 

Books Read Because Of You (My TBR List Poll Winners of 2021):

• January: Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg
• February: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
• March: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
• April: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
• May: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers
• June: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
• July: Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim
• August: Blogging Break
• September: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
• October: Cackle by Rachel Harrison
• November: Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings (Mrs. Claus #1) by Liz Ireland
• December:  Blogging Break

I took part in quite a few challenges in 2021, all of which I completed successfully if one overlooks the fact that I did not get my reviews posted for many of the books I read. If you would like to see which challenges I participated in and what I read for each one, please check out my Reading Challenge Wrap Up post

My Goodreads 2021 Reading Challenge goal, which I rarely take seriously, was to read 10 books. I knew I would hit that mark early on, but I enjoyed seeing the percentage rise over 100% with each book I read after that.  I think 810% is a worthy completion rate, don't you?   


How are you feeling about your blogging as the year wraps up? If you took part in any reading challenges, how did you do? 


Looking Ahead to 2022 in Reading

As of this moment, I am not planning to sign up for any reading challenges this coming year. I have some of my own projects I would like to focus on. I told myself I was not going to make a list, but, here I go anyway:

1. Read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas over the course of the year ~ It sounds like my husband might be joining me for this one!

2. Catch up on my series reading ~ (inspired by Katherine of I Wish I Lived in a Library) This will likely be a long-term project and not just reserved for this year. A side goal is to update my series' lists so I can better track my progress.

3. Read more from my existing TBR ~ and not just those shiny ARCs, which I will continue to read  because I have little will power when it comes to books.

4. Catch up with my review writing and stay on top of it ~ There. It's in writing. 

Thank you to all of you for your visits and comments this past year. It means so much to me. Coming back from my recent blogging break has only been a reminder of how much I enjoy being a part of this community and connecting with all of you--whether through my own blog or yours. I have enjoyed visiting with you and look forward to seeing what this year will bring us, both in books and in life. 

Here comes 2022, ready or not! I hope you all have a great New Year.


© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

2021 Challenge Wrap Up

I was feeling quite ambitious at the start of the year and signed up for five challenges. This post summarizes how I fared. Unfortunately, I am behind in posting reviews and so did not quite meet that commitment for each of these challenges. Any missing reviews will be posted in the near future. 



I knew before 2020 was over that I wanted to take part in a historical fiction challenge, and so when I saw mention of the 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Marg, the The Intrepid Reader I knew I had to jump on board. As with many of my other challenges, this one was quite broad in the types of books I could read for it, which is always good for a mood reader like me. I signed up to do the Victorian level which meant reading five (5) historical fiction books, but changed it mid-year to the Medieval level, committing to read fifteen (15) historical fiction books.  Here is my list of the books I read for the challenge: 

1. The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
2. Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder (#1) by T.A. Willberg
3. The Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #3) by Charlaine Harris
4. The Arrangement (Plainclothes Tootsie #1) by M. Ravenel
5. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner*
6. The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (Cuba Saga #4) by Chanel Cleeton
7. A Peculiar Combination (Electra McDonnell #1) by Ashley Weaver*
8. Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng
9. Murder in the East End (Kat Holloway Below Stairs #4) by Jennifer Ashley*
10. Death at the Crystal Palace (Kat Holloway Below Stairs #5) by Jennifer Ashley*
11. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
12. The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke (2021)*
14. Down a Dark River (Inspector Corravan #1 by Karen Odden*
15. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson*



I also took part in the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Shelleyrae of Book'd Out. I enjoy nonfiction, but sometimes need a little extra push to read it. I signed up for the Nonfiction Nibbler level and planned to read six (6) nonfiction books over the course of the year. I admit it was a bit of a struggle , especially as a mood reader who found it easier to pick up a fiction book to read. I am slowly making my way through one book in particular I had hoped to read for this challenge before the end of the year but have a feeling I will be carrying it into the new year with me. I was still able to fit another one in though just in time.

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama*
5. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson*
6. Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson*





I upped the ante a bit with the 2021 Poetry Challenge hosted by Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit this year with a goal to read three (3) books of poetry, which I raised to seven (7) mid-year. Although it isn't a part of the challenge, I also was hoping to put my subscription to Poetry Magazine to use by sharing about some of the stand out poems I discovered there. I did not quite manage the second part, but I feel satisfied with the books I did read. What I read:

1. What Mothers Withhold by Elizabeth Kropf
2. Passiflora by Kathy Davis
4. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo*
5. Anything That Happens by Cheryl Wilder
6. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson*
7. Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson*




This year's Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge (COYER) hosted by Michelle and Berls of Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life was a year long challenge, although divided into seasons and also included a community component. 

The Winter COYER Challenge (January & February) followed the more strict COYER rules: for books to count toward the challenge, they had to be in electronic format (e-books or audiobooks). Books read had to be free or nearly free. This included review books and books under $2 (audiobooks under $5). My goal was to read four (4) books for Winter COYER:

1. One by One by Ruth Ware
2. Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder (#1) by T.A. Willberg
3. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
4. A Glimmer of Death (#1) by Valerie Wilson Wesley
5. The Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #3) by Charlaine Harris
The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1) by Jasmine Guillory
7. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The Spring COYER Challenge (March - June) had similar rules to the Winter COYER, only not only did e-books and audiobooks count, but also physical books. My goal was to read twelve (12) books for Spring COYER: 
 
1. The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna
2. The Arrangement (Plainclothes Tootsie #1) by M. Ravenel
3. The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville
4. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner*
5. Arsenic and Adobo  (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala 
6. The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (Cuba Saga #4) by Chanel Cleeton
7. The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar*
8. Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3) by Chloe Neill
9. Angel of the Overpass (Ghost Roads #3) by Seanan McGuire
10. Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
11. A Peculiar Combination (Electra McDonnell #1) by Ashley Weaver*
12. Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng
14.  Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev*
15. The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley*
16. Murder in the East End (Kat Holloway Below Stairs #4) by Jennifer Ashley*

The Summer COYER Challenge (July through September) took a more relaxed, anything goes approach. I decided against making a numeric goal this time around and instead decided to give myself plenty of wiggle room and not set any hard and fast rules. My plan was to continue clearing out some of the books on my e-reader, including ARCs, catch up on a couple of favorite series, and read at least three nonfiction books. Mostly, I wanted to have fun with my reading. In the end I did not read any nonfiction books sadly, but I did fit in some ARC and series reading. That has to count for something, right? 

1.  Death at the Crystal Palace (Kat Holloway Below Stairs #5) by Jennifer Ashley*
3. The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine*
5. A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows #4) by Kim Harrison*
6. Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge*
7. Be My Ghost (A Haunted Haven Mystery #1) by Carol J. Perry*
8. For a Few Demons More (The Hollows #5) by Kim Harrison*
9. Witches Get Stitches (Stay a Spell #3) by Juliette Cross*
10. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The Fall COYER Challenge (October through December) brought a tightening of the rules--but just a bit. Format and price did not matter but the books had to fall into the Scavenger Hunt List categories (unlimited books per category). My goal was to read five books that met the scavenger hunt list requirements. I think I did well with this one.

1. A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables #1) by Alix E. Harrow* ~ 7. Retells a fairytale or 19. a book by an author I previously gave 5 stars
2. The Ex Hex (#1) by Erin Sterling* ~ 4. Cartoonish Cover
3. Cackle by Rachel Harrison* ~ 22. One word title
4. The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows #6) by Kim Harrison* ~ 28. Strong female protagonist
5.  The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown ~ 17. Nonfiction
6. Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings (Mrs. Claus #1) by Liz Ireland ~ 6. Christmas theme
7. Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 4  by Kamome Shrahama & Stephen Kohler, translator* ~ 10. Manga
8. Down a Dark River (Inspector Corravan #1 by Karen Odden* ~ 15. book with a male protagonist
9. Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson* ~ 36. An author with three names



I added the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Carol of Carol's Notebook at the last minute because I had to sign up for a mystery challenge if I was participating in reading challenges for the year. I took on the Amateur Sleuth level, reading between 5 to 15 mysteries and upped the stakes mid-year to the Detective level, to read between 16 to 25 mysteries. I liked that the challenge allowed for a broad range of subgenres.

1. One by One by Ruth Ware 
2. Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder (#1) by T.A. Willberg
3. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
4.A Glimmer of Death (#1) by Valerie Wilson Wesley
5. The Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #3) by Charlaine Harris
6. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins 
7. The Arrangement (Plainclothes Tootsie #1) by M. Ravenel
8. Arsenic and Adobo  (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala
9. Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3) by Chloe Neill*
10. Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
11. A Peculiar Combination (Electra McDonnell #1) by Ashley Weaver*
13. Murder in the East End (Kat Holloway Below Stairs #4) by Jennifer Ashley*
14. Death at the Crystal Palace (Kat Holloway Below Stairs #5) by Jennifer Ashley*
15. The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine*
16. Be My Ghost (A Haunted Haven Mystery #1) by Carol J. Perry*
17. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows #2) by Kim Harrison*
18. Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows #3) by Kim Harrison*
19. A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows #4) by Kim Harrison*
20For a Few Demons More (The Hollows #5) by Kim Harrison*
21. The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows #6) by Kim Harrison*
22. The Lighthouse Witches C.J. Cooke*
23. In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B #1) by Auralee Wallace*
24. Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings (Mrs. Claus #1) by Liz Ireland*
25. Down a Dark River (Inspector Corravan #1) by Karen Odden*


Did you have any reading goals this year? What reading challenges did you take on? How did you fare?  

© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Read in 2021 [well, 15 if you are counting . . .]


Top 10 of 2021 is hosted by Books of My Heart.
Also linking up with 
Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Artsy Reader Girl, and
Connect Five Friday, hosted by Book Date.

The Top Ten Tuesday topic today is the Best Books I Read In 2021. Is it cheating to bend the rules for a post like this? I tried to narrow the list down to ten but then realized there was an easier way--and I could include all of my top rated books in the process! I can be stingy about giving out 5 paws to the books I read, but five managed to earn my highest rating this year. There were a number of books though that came really close, ten of which I have listed below along with my top five. (Check out my list of Top Ten Covers of 2021 if you haven't already!)
                        
 
My Five 5 Paw Reads


The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See


Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo


What Mothers Withhold by Elizabeth Kropf


Becoming by Michelle Obama


 
My Top Ten 4.5 Paw Reads


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers


Murder in the East End (Kat Holloway Mysteries #4) by Jennifer Ashley


The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke


I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel


Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev


The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley


A Peculiar Combination (Electra McDonnell #1) by Ashley Weaver


The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner


The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun


Down a Dark River (Inspector Corravan #1) by Karen Odden

What were some of your favorite books read this year? 




© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.