Tuesday 28 December 2021

Books Read In 2021

I thought my reading was down on last year, there have been a few periods when I just haven't felt like reading and the number of books I read during December always drops off because I'm so busy, I think I've only read three books this month, but I'm completely on par with last year. I've read seventy five books this year, exactly the same as last year.

Last year, I finished my challenge of reading all of Agatha Christie's murder mystery books in chronological order so I was looking for a new challenge. I decided I'd start reading Miss Read's books, starting with the Fairacre series. I've read one each month, twelve in total, and there's more to go so that will take me well into 2022.

Again, I've found some new authors to read, along with some old favourites, and this year I seem to have had a bit of a chick lit fest. I think that has come about from picking books up in The Works, they have a 3 for £5 deal and many of the books they offer are from this genre. I have to say that I've enjoyed some lighter reading.

The Bermondsey Bookshop - Mary Gibson

Village School - Miss Read

Sheltering Rain - Jojo Moyes

Cilka's Journey - Heather Morris

The Man in Black - Dylan Rhys Jones

The Dinner Party - RJ Parker

Village Diary - Miss Read

A Watermelon, A Fish and A Bible - Christy Lefteri

The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes

Rendez-Vous in Cannes - Jennifer Bohnet

Storm in the Village - Miss Read

The Mother-In-Law - Sally Hepworth

The Boy Between - Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley

Wedding Bells for Woolworths - Elaine Everest

How to Raise and Elephant - Alexander McCall Smith

Miss Clare Remembers - Miss Read

A Sky Full of Stars - Dani Atkins

The Familiars - Stacey Halls

Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay - Ali McNamara

The Teashop Girls - Elaine Everest

Christmas With the Teashop Girls - Elaine Everest

Over the Gate - Miss Read

All the Lonely People - Mike Gayle

A Sister's Wish - Donna Douglas

An Ordinary Life - Amanda Prowse

Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah

Fly Away - Kristin Hannah

Mrs Miniver - Jan Struther

The Butlins Girls - Elaine Everest

Village Christmas - Miss Read

Mine - Susi Fox

Mine - Clare Empson

Fairacre Festival - Miss Read

The Love Square - Laura Jane Williams

Together - Julie Cohen

Letters From the Past - Erica James

The Salt Path - Raynor Winn

The Secrets You Keep - Kate White

The Last Charm - Ella Allbright

Where The Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens

Emily Davis - Miss Read

Between Sisters - Kristin Hannah

A Mother Forever - Elaine Everest

Escape to the Art Cafe - Sue McDonagh

The Switch - Beth O'Leary

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult

The Christmas Mouse - Miss Read

Miss Benson's Beetle - Rachel Joyce

Coming Home to Penvennan Cove - Linn B Halton

The Little Paris Patisserie - Julie Caplin

The Phone Box at the Edge of the World - Laura Imai Messina

A Cottage in the Country - Linn B Halton

The Little Cafe in Copenhagen - Julie Caplin

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love - Linn B Halton

The Little Brooklyn Bakery - Julie Caplin

The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman

Tyler's Row - Miss Read

The Northern Lights Lodge - Julie Caplin

The Secrets of Villa Rosso - Linn B Halton

Twopence to Cross The Mersey - Helen Forrester

Liverpool Miss - Helen Forrester

By the Waters of Liverpool - Helen Forrester

Lime Street at Two - Helen Forrester

Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage - Linn B Halton

The Joy and Light Bus Company - Alexander McCall Smith

A Village Affair - Julie Houston

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

A Greek Affair - Linn B Halton

The Patchwork Girls - Elaine Everest

Farther Afield - Miss Read

The Secret Cove in Croatia - Julie Caplin

Waiting to Begin - Amanda Prowse

No Holly for Miss Quinn - Miss Read

Never Greener - Ruth Jones

The Canal Boat Cafe Christmas - Cressida Mclaughlin

My stand out book of the year is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I nearly didn't bother with this but I'd heard about it in so many places and from so many people that I thought I'd give it a go. It's had some rave reviews and, in my opinion, rightly so. I absolutely loved all the descriptive writing and it does make you think about prejudice, intolerance and acceptance. I read a couple of other books which had won various awards and which people were raving about, The Salt Path and All the Light We Cannot See, but they didn't really do it for me. I did enjoy the latter but wouldn't give it more than a six out of ten, but I didn't get on with The Salt Path at all. I found it badly written, boring and couldn't get over the fact that someone who had just been made homeless, and at the same point in time their husband had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, would take themselves off to walk 630 miles along the South West Coast Path. Nor did I enjoy reading about them creeping into campsites after dark to use the facilities and then leaving without paying. Surely it would have made more sense to sort out their lives and arrange their benefits before embarking on a journey where they had to resort to petty crime. That's just my way of thinking, I know lots of people enjoyed this book.

In 2022 I'm going to continue to read Miss Read books. I've still got some of the Fairacre series to read and then I shall move onto the Thrush Green series. I've also decided that I'm going to start reading some classics. In preparation for this I added a few different book ranges to my wish list, though didn't specify any particular title. I've had a good few books bought for me as gifts throughout the past year and I'm looking forward to getting started on them. I've also decided to consciously cut back on my reading this year. There was a time when I only read in bed, and though I don't want to go back to doing just that, I do want to give myself extra time during the day for other things. I did say the same thing last year so I'm going to have to make myself put down my books more in order to achieve this.

Have you set yourself any reading challenges this year?


  1. You beat me this year, but as you say reading does take up loads of time, I'm crafting more so this year I think I found my balance.

  2. That's an interesting selection of books, Jo. I hope you like Persuasion - it's my absolute favourite Jane Austen. To me, it is a very Autumnal book. It will be interesting to hear how you get on with it. Reading will be high on my to do list again over the coming year.
    Best wishes and Happy Reading

  3. There was a period this year when I hardly read any books at all, most unusual for me. I've recently got back into reading again though, a new to me author (recommended by a friend) is Jessie Keane, she writes in a similar style to Martina Cole (gritty East End sort of gangster/family sagas), but with a lot less swearing and repeating herself!

  4. Well done one your reading Jo, that's an impressive amount of books. I always set my ready challenge on Goodreads on New Years Day. I don't always meet my challenge, I only read when I go to bed, I don't sit and read in the day although If I go out alone for the day I will take my book.

  5. Wow. You are so organised with your book reading, I feel I should be also. Thank you for sharing your book recommendations. I have found some cracking reads through blogworld.

  6. Fantastic, that's a great achievement! Roll on next year and all those wonderful books that are still out there.

  7. You've done so well on your reading.
    I don't ever count the number of books I read over a year, I just pick a few up at the charity shop and/or library and repeat through the year as necessary, it works for me :)

    I am currently reading a Kate Morton book.

    Enjoy these last days of December and good wishes for 2022.

    All the best Jan

  8. You have been a busy reader, Jo. I keep telling myself, if I didn't read so much through the day I could do other things when I sat down like knit or crochet or cross-stitch. Then I get my book out and start reading! 😁

  9. Reading seventy five books a year, in fact a hundred and fifty books in two years is impressive. I agree the story line of The Salt Path sounds very improbable. I have a problem with my right eye and short-sighted in the other eye so reading in itself is a challenge. I have had a book for Christmas, an easy read so I'll see how I get on with it.

  10. Well done. I probably reread more books then new reads this year.
    Reading some classics is something I sometimes think about doing.
    I don't do reading challenges, or keep a list of books I've read.
    Happy reading. xx

  11. That is one impressive book list !

  12. The salt path sounds awful! That's a very impressive reading list.xxx

  13. You've done REALLY well this year! I must admit I've been slacking on my reading, but I have been listening to audio books. I'm currently listening to Bob Mortimer's autobiography which is very enjoyable so far.

    I hope you had a lovely Christmas. All the best for 2022!

  14. Wow, that is a lot of books! I think I have probably read about ten to fifteen books this year, I only read at bedtime and even then not every night. Sometimes I only managed a few pages. I also have about five unfinished books on my bedside table!

    I love Miss Read, I have several of her books collected when I was a teenager.

  15. Oh my! That's an impressive list. I think I read just one :)

  16. Happy Christmas! I had to change my name to start writing again. I am at:

  17. I read several of those titles, Jo. I loved Where the Crawdads Sing, too. I didn't count and don't set a challenge, but I'm sure I read more than 50. Maybe it would be fun to keep track. Happy New Year! P.x

  18. Wow that's quite a list Jo, I have read quite a bit too but no where near as many as you, I'm using Borrowbox I find reading ebooks more restful for my eyes and it keeps list of the books you have read. Wishing you all the very best for 2022. xx