Books, Gratitude

2021 Books

First, some numbers, because this is the fun part about tracking stuff.

Here were my “stats” for “number of days of intentional reading in the month” for 2021.

(From January- May I was strict on trying to do Gretchen Rubin’s “Read 21 in 21”, so those were all at least 21 minute blocks. After that, things started to fizzle some, so I generally gave credit for any intentional reading time- usually at least 10 minutes though.)

  • January – 24 days
  • February – 23
  • March – 22
  • April – 25
  • May -30
  • June- 19 (*was out of town at swim camp, didn’t track for full 7 days)
  • July- 14 (had a 10 day stretch of not using my habit tracker here also)
  • August- 7 (long vacation, 16 days of not using tracker)
  • September – 22
  • October- 16
  • November -15
  • December – 17

This works out to 234 days of the year that I read a book during 2021. (These were ALL physical, paper books- I read zero audiobooks this year.)

If you subtract out the 37 days that I was “unavailable” essentially, due to vacations, etc., it works out to a 71.3% average of reading on days that I could.

Not terrible! Granted, some of these reading sessions were only 10 minutes. But still. It’s definitely back to being a solid habit in my life, and it’s something that is consistently present, which I think is the most important thing.

Here is my grand total. 26 books. It still seems like SUCH a small number compared to other people’s lists (Lisa, Coco- talking to you guys….😁 ).

But 26 books feels okay to me! I was actually aiming for 30, but didn’t quite make it.

Fiction vs Non-Ficiton:

More numbers

53.8% Non-Fiction (14/26)

46.2% Fiction (12/26)

I am definitely partial to non-fiction reads, overall. I did make an effort to read more fiction this year, though, and especially at the beginning of the year I read several with my virtual book club (which I stopped attending….it was fun though…maybe I should rejoin….).

Favorite Non-Fiction Reads:

  • The Boys in the Boat. A fascinating book about nine college boys trying to make it to the 1936 Olympics in the sport of rowing, despite very, very tough odds and just a difficult time in the world, too. Ended up being SO INTERESTING and just really well done. Loved it.
  • Digital Minimalism & Deep Work. I really got into Cal Newport’s stuff this year, and greatly enjoyed finally reading two of his hit books. I read these back to back and got many good takeaways from these. Love his podcast, Deep Questions, too. (I actually submitted a question this fall, and he answered it right away on the next episode, which was exciting!).
  • The Glass Castle. I had heard such good things about this memoir and had it on my list forever, so I finally decided to read it this year. Initially I got the audio version, but listening to it was just not doing it for me. I abandoned it…but then decided to try the print version. And I loved it!!!! It was such a wild, crazy, but true, story, and the whole thing was just great. We watched the movie after.

Favorite Fiction Reads:

I read some great fiction this year! Despite me being kind of “meh” on fiction sometimes, some of these were really fabulous.

  • We Were the Lucky Ones. O.M.G. this was so good. SO GOOD! It’s a historical fiction (but inspired by true events) set in WWII Poland, and is the story of an amazingly resilient family who ends up spread across the globe in horrible and harrowing situations. It’s ultimately a story of triumph and it absolutely captivated me.
  • A Gentleman in Moscow. I loved this. This felt like pure joy to read. Something about the main character and his wise, quick-witted quips just delighted me. Set in Russia, in the 1920’s. Loved it so much.
  • The Giver of Stars. This was a book club read, and it was excellent. It’s another historical fiction, set in Depression-era America in Kentucky. The story of 5 extraordinary women who set out to spread the gift of books and literacy to the people of remote, uneducated Kentucky- with many odds against them. When I first read the summary, I thought it sounded…different? Wasn’t sure I would get into the storyline. But oh, was I wrong. I DID!!! It was wonderful.

I’m really happy with the VARIETY of books I read this year. A nice mix of fiction, non-fiction, different time periods, settings, etc. Reading is awesome. ☺

Gratitude Challenge Day 2:

Name 3 people you are grateful for, and why.

I’m going to take the cop out method here, and go for the obvious, I think:

1- My parents. Why? Well, I’m alive thanks to them, so, there’s that. 😉 Also, they are incredible and I am so close to them, and it’s something I’m grateful for everyday.

2- Ivan. Why? While he’s not perfect (neither am I) and we are actually pretty different in many ways, we have an “ease” that I’m very grateful for. Of course I love him and all of that as my husband, but specifically right now, I’m talking about feeling gratitude for this sense of ease in our marriage. He is open, accepting, and easy going in so many ways, and he “gets me” and deals with some of my complicated quirks so well.

3- The boys. Why? This is a given. So grateful for them, every minute of every day. They are my world!

6 thoughts on “2021 Books”

  1. I LOVED A Gentleman in Moscow.
    I’m intrigued by the Fast. Feast. Repeat.
    I also read both those Cal Newport books this year, and I think last year (?) I read and loved both The Glass Castle AND The Boys in the Boat!
    I know I read The Lazy Genius at some point, but now that I’ve listened to a few of her podcast episodes, feel like I should re-read it. Going to put it on my library holds list, along with that fasting book, right now!

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  2. this is actually very impressive! I’ll have to dig into that Glass Castle, I love memoirs. I also aim to read more fiction but it seems that I always finish not feeling as satisfied as when I read non-fiction, maybe I just haven’t found the genre that speaks to me. Will keep trying 🙂
    Gentleman in Moscow, I started and abandoned it 1/3, maybe I’ll restart again next year. I read recently that what books we read or like is a manifestation of our state of mind and life. so true.

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  3. I don’t count how many books I read, but it is probably half our yours. I don’t list them down or make an effort to schedule reading, because then it doesn’t feel like liesure anymore to me. I also read a mix of real paper books + some in my Kindle. Thanks for sharing, I’ll add some of these to my list of books I could read. 🙂

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  4. I read every day. I’m basically a compulsive reader. Ha! But even though I read more than 100 books this year alone, I’ve only read two of the books you have. There are so many books out there! I’m curious about A Gentleman in Moscow because it’s come up on several “best of” lists this year, so I might check it out.

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  5. You did great! I think the average American reads something like 2 books a year? I’ve heard a stat mentioned before and I think it’s 2? You read over 2 books a month on top of everything else you kept up with! I read an insane # of books. I actually hope I read fewer in 2022! I read 129, but I read a ton while nursing Will in the middle of the night. The pandemic has really boosted my reading, too, because we just don’t do much in general – so little socially, no eating out, etc. But really we wouldn’t be doing much anyways because of the ages of our kids. So I think my reading will REALLY drop off when our boys go to bed later and when we can be out and about more. So maybe in a couple of years?!?!?

    I didn’t do any tracking of my reading besides goodreads which doesn’t give great data on breakdowns between fiction, non fiction, etc. But I am using a tracking spreadsheet this year so it will be easier to get a sense for what I read!

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