2021: The Year-End Book Survey

This Year End Survey is hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner.

I love this opportunity to look back over the year of reading. I enjoy recalling new favourites, exciting characters and, of course, listing some of the (many) books I didn’t manage to read.
Here’s my 2021 Year End Survey.

2021 READING STATS

Number of books you read: 24

Re-Reads: 5

Most Popular Genre: I’ve read a variety this year.

BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2021?
(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2021 release vs. backlist)

TenThousandDoorsOfJanuary      GoblinEmperor      SecretHistory

DevilandtheDarkWater     NOS4A2      ThisIsHowYouLosetheTimeWar

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I’m not sure I have anything for this one this year.  I’ve looked through my list and I enjoyed everything I’ve read.  Anything I was really excited about did turn out just as good as I’d hoped.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Noise

The Noise by James Patterson and J. D. Barker.  I hadn’t heard of this, it wasn’t one I knew anything about at all.  I came across it totally by accident and loved every moment of mystery and danger that the story provided.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I don’t think it’s happened this year.

5. Best series you started in 2021? Best Sequel of 2021? Best Series Ender of 2021?

Gunslinger      DrawingoftheThree
WasteLands      WizardandGlass

The Dark Tower by Stephen King counts for each of these.  It’s an ongoing series reread and something I’ve wanted to do for a while.  I’m enjoying the series just as much second time around, and picking up things I missed on my first read too.  I’m halfway through at the moment and hope to carry on with the rest of the series soon.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2021?

I’m going for new-to-me choices for this one….

TenThousandDoorsOfJanuary

Alix E. Harrow – The Ten Thousand Doors of January was my first read of this year and a great choice as it was my first 5 star read.

SecretHistory

Donna Tartt – The Secret History was a book I’d wanted to read for such a long time that I’m glad I enjoyed it as much as I did when I finally picked it up.

GoblinEmperor

Katherine Addison – The Goblin Emperor was so enjoyable that I decided I’d also read The Witness for the Dead by the same author and set in the same world.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

ThisIsHowYouLosetheTimeWar

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.  This was totally different from anything else I’ve read this year, and I can’t recall that I’ve read anything quite like it before.  Such a good read and I’d definitely like to find more like it.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Noise

The Noise by James Patterson and J. D. Barker.  So much mystery, so many twists and turns, and I had to keep reading because I couldn’t imagine how it would all turn out in the end.

9. Book You Read In 2021 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

SecretHistory

The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  I doubt I’ll end up doing this as I’ll be continuing with my Dark Tower series reread which I’m halfway through at the moment.  Those books are really long so not sure how much more rereading I’ll do beyond that series.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2021?

TenThousandDoorsOfJanuary      Gunslinger      Later

GodsofJadeandShadow     DevilandtheDarkWater      WizardandGlass

HomeBeforeDark      SalemsLot      Noise

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King
Later by Stephen King
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
The Noise by James Patterson and J. D. Barker

11. Most memorable character of 2021?

SecretHistory      Gunslinger      NOS4A2

DevilandtheDarkWater     Later

Henry Winter from The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Roland Deschain from The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
Vic McQueen from NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Arent Hayes and Sara Wesell from The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
Jamie Conklin from Later by Stephen King

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2021?

SecretHistory      ThisIsHowYouLosetheTimeWar      TenThousandDoorsOfJanuary

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2021 to finally read?

SecretHistory

The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  I’m mentioning this book rather a lot, I know, but I owned it for years and kept meaning to read it.  Once I’d finished I definitely had the feeling that I wish I’d read it sooner.

14.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2021?

AllMyDarkestImpulses      NOS4A2

All My Darkest Impulses (House of Crows #1) by Lisa Unger has 56 pages and is the shortest of my 2021 reads.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill clocks in at a pretty huge 995 pages.  I’m actually surprised that one of the Dark Tower books wasn’t the longest thing I read this year.

15. Book That Shocked You The Most?

Naturalist

The Naturalist by Andrew Maybe delivered a few pretty shocking moments as the lengths that lead character Theo Cray went to to help solve a case became more outrageous.  It’s a great start to a series that I’d like to read more of.

16. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)?

Gunslinger      DrawingoftheThree      WasteLands

Eddie and Susannah from the Dark Tower series by Stephen King would do pretty much anything for each other, and they work well together as they adapt to the new world in which they’ve found themselves.

17. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?

Gunslinger      DevilandtheDarkWater

Roland and Jake in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King have an interesting relationship, almost like father/son, which is interesting to see develop given events of the first book (don’t worry, no spoilers here!)

Arent Hayes and Samuel Pipps in The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton have a Holmes/Watson sort of dynamic going on which I enjoyed.

18. Favorite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

DevilandtheDarkWater      Later

NOS4A2      GodsofJadeandShadow

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
Later by Stephen King
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

19. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure?

I’m not sure it’s happened this year.

20. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?

Um, I have no idea…

21. Best 2021 debut you read?

SecretHistory

I’m not sure I actually read a 2021 debut, but I did read The Secret History by Donna Tartt (which I’m sure I may have mentioned already throughout this post!) and that was her debut, so I’ll say that.

22. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

GoblinEmperor      GodsofJadeandShadow      DevilandtheDarkWater

Gunslinger      DrawingoftheThree       WasteLands

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

All these books/series had incredibly vivid settings/worlds and they’re all pretty memorable to me.

23. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

GoblinEmperor

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.  It was a gentle fantasy tale with a lovely lead character in Maia.  I could read another volume featuring Maia and the characters at the Untheileneise Court.

24. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

AllMyDarkestImpulses      FogDescending

CirclingTheDrain      LoveTheWayYouLie

House of Crows by Lisa Unger is a collection of four short stories that link together to create one bigger tale.

25. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?

ThisIsHowYouLosetheTimeWar

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.  I don’t think I’ve read anything quite as unique as this.  It packed such a lot into quite a small number of pages.  I could have read much more about Red and Blue and their encounters across time and space.

YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2021?

I’ve followed quite a few new blogs this year and enjoy discovering what people are reading even when this leads to countless new books being added to an already endless TBR list.

2. Favorite reviews that you wrote in 2021?

SecretHistory      Later      DevilandtheDarkWater

AllMyDarkestImpulses      TenThousandDoorsOfJanuary     WasteLands

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Later by Stephen King
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
House of Crows by Lisa Unger
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Alongside reviews and tags I enjoy Top Ten Tuesday posts as they give the opportunity to think back to books I’ve enjoyed, and make lists featuring potential future reads. Here are some of my recent favourite Top Ten Tuesday posts… 

Books on my Autumn 2021 TBR List
Books With Numbers In the Title
Books that Made Me Want to Read More Books Like Them
The Colours of Mardi Gras
The New-to-Me Authors of 2020
Books I Meant to Read in 2020 but Didn’t Get To

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

RIPXVI

Readers Imbibing Peril is one of my favourite reading events.  It’s the perfect way to welcome autumn, and I like the focus on the genres involved.

I would love to find out about readathons before they start so I have time to plan and participate. They’re great fun.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?

Taking part in Readers Imbibing Peril.

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

In review posts The Secret History by Donna Tartt and The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King, and in Top Ten Tuesday posts my Colours of Mardi Gras and Books that Made Me Want to Read More Books Like Them.

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Review posts in general.  I’ve mentioned a few of my favourite reads of the year throughout this post already, so here are a few of the other books I discovered this year…

CrookedHouse      HomeBeforeDark      AllMyDarkestImpulses

NOS4A2      Naturalist

Crooked House by Agatha Christie
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
House of Crows by Lisa Unger
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne

8. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I’m still quite enjoying using my e-reader.

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed my Goodreads challenge for which I usually set quite a low target.

I participated in Beat the Backlist again this year and managed to read 16 books in total.  I also had a go at the Beat the Backlist Bingo which became more difficult as time went on.

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2021 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2022?

This list could be endless. I’ll try to limit it to just a few…

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?

Laura Purcell has a new book coming out called Something Wicked.

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont also sounds interesting.

3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook looks good.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2022?

Not a new one, but I am looking forward to getting back to my Dark Tower reread and reaching the final book of the series even though I doubt I’ll want it to end again.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?

I think last year’s answer applies again here.  I would like to read more of my already-owned books.  I read quite a few this year so I’d like to keep it up.  The Beat the Backlist challenge is returning for its sixth year and there are some good categories on the Bingo and Prompts lists, so I’m probably going to sign up. It’s a good incentive to read books I already own.


So concludes this year-end survey. Congratulations if you made it all the way through to the end! What have you been reading this year? And what are you looking forward to reading next?

11 thoughts on “2021: The Year-End Book Survey

  1. Tammy says:

    You had a really good year! Im glad you discovered The Secret History, it’s a book I’d love to reread one of these days. I may do this tag too, I had forgotten all about it😁

    Like

  2. Elyse LeMieux says:

    I still need to read This Is How You Lose the Time War! And I also want to read The Once and Future Witches and Piranesi in 2022. Among a billion other books! lol. I think my most stand-out 5-start book in 2021 was The Devil and the Dark Water. I was just blown away and so captivated by it. I also loved Arent and Samuel’s relationship!

    Like

  3. Jess says:

    This is such a cool survey! I’ve been meaning to read The Goblin Emperor for a long time now (and my book depository order for it hasn’t arrived yet even though I placed it in mid-November, alas). Also, this might sound weird, but I’m glad not everyone has read a TON of books this year. You can have a successful blog and reading life even if you don’t read 100+ books or have a highly ambitious goodreads goal — but it can be hard to remember that sometimes, at least for me. I hope you have a wonderful 2022 and find a new favorite book in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • pagesandtea says:

      Hope you enjoy The Goblin Emperor when your copy does arrive. It was really good, and I’ve just read The Witness for the Dead too which I also enjoyed.
      On GR I usually set quite a low goal because I often seem to choose really long books which take me ages to read (currently rereading the Dark Tower series).
      Hope you find some new favourite reads in the coming year too.

      Liked by 1 person

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