2021 End of the Year Reading Survey

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

I’m doing The Perpetual Page-Turner‘s end of the year reading survey again this year! I really enjoyed sharing this survey last year and so I’m excited to be doing it again now!

For this survey, I used a combination of my Goodreads and Storygraph to summarize these, and in order to keep this post as concise as possible I’ve only linked the summaries and book info the first time it’s mentioned in the post!

**2021 READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 107
Genre You Read The Most From:

Here’s a breakdown of my genres according to my Storygraph profile!

Summary of 2021 Reading Genre Breakdown from Storygraph

By the way, this is one of the many awesome statistical breakdowns Storygraph is able to do! I’ve loved using them the past year for reading tracking, challenges, book recommendations, and more and I highly recommend checking them out!

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2021?

New Release:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyOne Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 1, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / Lesbian, Fiction / Romance / New Adult, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 432

*INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
*INSTANT USA TODAY BESTSELLER*
*INSTANT #1 INDIE BESTSELLER*


From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks...

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

"A dazzling romance, filled with plenty of humor and heart." - Time Magazine, "The 21 Most Anticipated Books of 2021"

"Dreamy, other worldly, smart, swoony, thoughtful, hilarious - all in all, exactly what you'd expect from Casey McQuiston!" - Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and Party for Two

Backlist:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyUnder the Rainbow by Celia Laskey
Published by Penguin on March 2, 2021
Genres: Fiction / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Small Town & Rural
Pages: 288

When a group of social activists arrives in a small town, the lives and beliefs of residents and outsiders alike are upended, in this wry, embracing novel.

Big Burr, Kansas, is the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone, and everyone shares the same values—or keeps their opinions to themselves. But when a national nonprofit labels Big Burr “the most homophobic town in the US” and sends in a task force of queer volunteers as an experiment—they’ll live and work in the community for two years in an attempt to broaden hearts and minds—no one is truly prepared for what will ensue.

Furious at being uprooted from her life in Los Angeles and desperate to fit in at her new high school, Avery fears that it’s only a matter of time before her “gay crusader” mom outs her. Still grieving the death of her son, Linda welcomes the arrivals, who know mercifully little about her past. And for Christine, the newcomers are not only a threat to the comforting rhythms of Big Burr life, but a call to action. As tensions roil the town, cratering relationships and forcing closely guarded secrets into the light, everyone must consider what it really means to belong. Told with warmth and wit, Under the Rainbow is a poignant, hopeful articulation of our complicated humanity that reminds us we are more alike than we’d like to admit.

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

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Published by HarperCollins on September 28, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / Witches, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 320

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.

Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.

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

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Published by Orbit on August 4, 2015
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Magical Realism
Pages: 512

At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this "intricate and extraordinary" Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. (The New York Times)

This is the way the world ends. . .for the last time.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

Read the first book in the critically acclaimed, three-time Hugo award-winning trilogy by NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

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

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
Published by HarperCollins on November 14, 2017
Genres: Fiction / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
Pages: 576

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Library Journal | Vulture | The Verge | SYFYWire

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty perfect for fans of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.

On the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, Nahri is a con woman of unsurpassed skill. She makes her living swindling Ottoman nobles, hoping to one day earn enough to change her fortunes. But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, during one of her cons, she learns that even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

Forced to flee Cairo, Dara and Nahri journey together across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire and rivers where the mythical marid sleep, past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises and mountains where the circling birds of prey are more than what they seem, to Daevabad, the legendary city of brass.

It’s a city steeped in magic and fire, where blood can be as dangerous as any spell; a city where old resentments run deep and the royal court rules with a tenuous grip; a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound—and where her very presence threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

*Finalist for the World Fantasy Award: Best Novel

*Nominated for the Locus Award: Best First Novel

*Finalist for the British Fantasy Award: Best Newcomer

Featuring a stepback and extra content including a bonus scene and an excerpt from The Kingdom of Copper.

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

Started:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyHeartstopper Volume Two by Alice Oseman
Published by Hodder Children's Books on January 2, 2022
Pages: 320

"*Soon to be a live-action Netflix series!* Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon. *Includes exclusive Tara/Darcy story!* 'Absolutely delightful. Sweet, romantic, kind. Beautifully paced. I loved this book.' RAINBOW ROWELL, author of Carry On. Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie's gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn't. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family ... and himself. Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie's lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. 'The queer graphic novel we wished we had at high school.' Gay Times. This is the second volume of Heartstopper, which is soon to be a live-action Netflix series."--Provided by publisher.

Sequel:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty
Published by HarperCollins on June 30, 2020
Genres: Fiction / Cultural Heritage, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
Pages: 816

“No series since George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has quite captured both palace intrigue and the way that tribal infighting and war hurt the vulnerable the most.” —Paste Magazine

The final chapter in the bestselling, critically acclaimed Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and an idealistic djinn prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war.

Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt.

Series Ender:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyRecipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev
Published by HarperCollins on May 26, 2020
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Multicultural & Interracial, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
Pages: 448

From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another , clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition—this time, with a twist on Persuasion.

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? 

Rico Silva, that’s what.  

Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster. 

FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn't too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her. 

But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce...and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico.  Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion...? 

In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2021?

New-To-Me Authors:

N. K. Jemisin, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Elizabeth Acevedo, Alice Osman, Celia Laskey, Megan O’Keefe, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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

I read a lot more romance this past year and I loved finding new favorites in that genre and figuring out what tropes I do and don’t like! One of my favorite romances was One Last Stop!

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

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyCertain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on September 7, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy, Fiction / Horror, Fiction / Noir
Pages: 352

From Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic, comes Certain Dark Things, a pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore.

Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.

Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn’t include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.

Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Published by First Second on February 13, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Historical, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Romance
Pages: 276

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances—one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

This title has Common Core connections.

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

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on February 26, 2019
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / General, Fiction / General, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Gay, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Lesbian, Fiction / Women
Pages: 848

The New York Times bestselling "epic feminist fantasy perfect for fans of Game of Thrones" (Bustle).

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY:
AMAZON (Top 100 Editors Picks and Science Fiction and Fantasy) * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY * BOOKPAGE * AUTOSTRADDLE

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.


The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction--but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

11. Most memorable character of 2021?

Patsy

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyPatsy: A Novel by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Published by Liveright Publishing on June 4, 2019
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / Women, Fiction / City Life, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 432

Best Books of 2019: Washington Post • O, The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • People • Buzzfeed
A TODAY Show #ReadWithJenna Book Club Selection
Winner • Lambda Literary Award [Lesbian Fiction]
A Washington Post Lily Lit Club Selection
Longlisted • PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
American Library Association • A Barbara Gittings Literature Award Honor Book (Stonewall Book Awards)
Finalist • Aspen Words Literary Prize
Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize
Apple Books • Best Books of the Month
New York Times Book Review • Editors’ Choice Selection
Kirkus Reviews • Most Memorable Fictional Families of the Year
Longlisted • The Morning News Tournament of Books
A Rumpus Book Club Selection

A beautifully layered portrait of motherhood, immigration, and the sacrifices we make in the name of love from award-winning novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn.

Heralded for writing “deeply memorable . . . women” (Jennifer Senior, New York Times), Nicole Dennis-Benn introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine for our times: the eponymous Patsy, who leaves her young daughter behind in Jamaica to follow Cicely, her oldest friend, to New York. Beating with the pulse of a long-withheld confession and peppered with lilting patois, Patsy gives voice to a woman who looks to America for the opportunity to love whomever she chooses, bravely putting herself first. But to survive as an undocumented immigrant, Patsy is forced to work as a nanny, while back in Jamaica her daughter, Tru, ironically struggles to understand why she was left behind. Greeted with international critical acclaim from readers who, at last, saw themselves represented in Patsy, this astonishing novel “fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness” (Joshunda Sanders, Time), offering up a vital portrait of the chasms between selfhood and motherhood, the American dream and reality.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2021?

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyAnxious People by Fredrik Backman
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 6, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Humorous / General, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 352

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, the new novel from the author of A Man Called Ove is a “quirky, big-hearted novel….Wry, wise and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure” (People).

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Proving once again that Backman is “a master of writing delightful, insightful, soulful, character-driven narratives” (USA TODAY), Anxious People “captures the messy essence of being human….It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry” (The Washington Post). This “endlessly entertaining mood-booster” (Real Simple) is proof that the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope can save us—even in the most anxious of times.

13. Most Thought-Provoking Book of 2021?

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyGood Talk by Mira Jacob
Published by Random House Publishing Group on March 24, 2020
Genres: Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs, Comics & Graphic Novels / Nonfiction / Biography & Memoir, Humor / Topic / Marriage & Family
Pages: 368

A “beautiful and eye-opening” (Jacqueline Woodson), “hilarious and heart-rending” (Celeste Ng) graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families,  and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Chicago Tribune • The New York Public Library • Publishers Weekly AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time BuzzFeed • Esquire • Library Journal Kirkus Reviews

How brown is too brown?

Can Indians be racist?
What does real love between really different people look like?

Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. 
 
Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.

LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/OPEN BOOK AWARD

“Jacob’s earnest recollections are often heartbreaking, but also infused with levity and humor. What stands out most is the fierce compassion with which she parses the complexities of family and love.”Time

Good Talk uses a masterful mix of pictures and words to speak on life’s most uncomfortable conversations.”io9

“Mira Jacob just made me toss everything I thought was possible in a book-as-art-object into the garbage. Her new book changes everything.”—Kiese Laymon, New York Times bestselling author of Heavy

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

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2021?

I don’t track these personally but I might start doing so in 2022!

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2021?

Shortest:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyA Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark
Published by Macmillan on May 18, 2016
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Fantasy / Urban
Pages: 32

Alex Award-winning author P. Djèlí Clark, A Dead Djinn in Cairo is a Tor.com original historcal fantasy set in an alternate early twentieth century infused with the otherworldly.

Egypt, 1912. In Cairo, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine.

What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and a plot that could unravel time itself.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Longest: The Priory of the Orange Tree

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveySorrowland by Rivers Solomon
on May 4, 2021
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / General, Fiction / Gothic, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Pages: 368

A TIME 100 Must-Read Book of 2021
A New York Times Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2021

Named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, The New York Public Library, Publishers Weekly and more!

A triumphant, genre-bending breakout novel from one of the boldest new voices in contemporary fiction.

Vern—seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised—flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future—outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it.

Rivers Solomon’s Sorrowland is a genre-bending work of Gothic fiction. Here, monsters aren’t just individuals, but entire nations. It is a searing, seminal book that marks the arrival of a bold, unignorable voice in American fiction.

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

Jane and August, One Last Stop

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Tané and Nayimathun, The Priory of the Orange Tree

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

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
Published by Ballantine Books on January 3, 2022
Genres: Fiction / General
Pages: 400

““As compelling as Tan’s first bestseller, The Joy Luck Club. . . No one writes about mothers and daughters with more empathy than Amy Tan.”
–The Philadelphia Inquirer

“[An] absorbing tale of the mother-daughter bond . . . this book sing[s] with emotion and insight.”
–People

Ruth Young and her widowed mother, LuLing, have always had a tumultuous relationship. Now, before she succumbs to forgetfulness, LuLing gives Ruth some of her writings, which reveal a side of LuLing that Ruth has never known. . . .

In a remote mountain village where ghosts and tradition rule, LuLing grows up in the care of her mute Precious Auntie as the family endures a curse laid upon a relative known as the bonesetter. When headstrong LuLing rejects the marriage proposal of the coffinmaker, a shocking series of events are set in motion–all of which lead back to Ruth and LuLing in modern San Francisco. The truth that Ruth learns from her mother’s past will forever change her perception of family, love, and forgiveness.

“A strong novel, filled with idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters; haunting images; historical complexity; significant contemporary themes; and suspenseful mystery.”
–Los Angeles Times

“For Tan, the true keeper of memory is language, and so the novel is layered with stories that have been written down–by mothers for their daughters, passing along secrets that cannot be said out loud but must not be forgotten.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“Tan at her best . . . rich and hauntingly forlorn . . . The writing is so exacting and unique in its detail.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

21. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

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

I don’t have any fictional crushes but if I could invite 5 characters to get dinner and hang out with it would be Jane from One Last Stop, Nahri from City of Brass, Ead from The Priory of the Orange Tree, Harley from Under the Rainbow, and Patsy from Patsy.

23. Best 2021 debut you read?

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
Published by Penguin on January 5, 2021
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / General, Fiction / Historical / General, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 400

Best Book of the Year
NPR • The Washington Post • Boston Globe • TIME • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Real Simple • Buzzfeed • BookRiot • PopSugar • Goop • Library Journal • KCRW

• Finalist for the National Book Award
• One of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year
• One of the New York Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year

• Instant New York Times Bestseller 

A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.

Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony.

With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets fearlessly reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.

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

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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

Heartstopper by Alice Osman

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyAnxious People by Fredrik Backman
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 6, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Humorous / General, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 352

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, the new novel from the author of A Man Called Ove is a “quirky, big-hearted novel….Wry, wise and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure” (People).

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Proving once again that Backman is “a master of writing delightful, insightful, soulful, character-driven narratives” (USA TODAY), Anxious People “captures the messy essence of being human….It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry” (The Washington Post). This “endlessly entertaining mood-booster” (Real Simple) is proof that the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope can save us—even in the most anxious of times.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyConvenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Published by Grove Press on June 12, 2018
Genres: Fiction / City Life, Fiction / Cultural Heritage, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 176

The English-language debut of one of Japan’s most talented contemporary writers, selling over 650,000 copies there, Convenience Store Woman is the heartwarming and surprising story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura. Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but when at the age of eighteen she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of “Smile Mart,” she finds peace and purpose in her life. In the store, unlike anywhere else, she understands the rules of social interaction—many are laid out line by line in the store’s manual—and she does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a “normal” person excellently, more or less. Managers come and go, but Keiko stays at the store for eighteen years. It’s almost hard to tell where the store ends and she begins. Keiko is very happy, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, increasingly pressure her to find a husband, and to start a proper career, prompting her to take desperate action...

A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and a world hidden from view, Convenience Store Woman is an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young (this one was not for me)

Blogging and Bookish Life

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

Translated Gems, Fiction Matters, The Stacks

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2021?

Book List: 15 Translated Fiction Reads for Autumn

My Queer Lit Readathon TBR!

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

B2Weird Book Club once again!

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

Getting to attend B2Weird meetings, starting a new favorite book, enjoying audiobooks through Libby, and more!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Needing to take an unexpected hiatus at the end of the year. I’m very glad it worked out so I could come back for the new year though!

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

Top Ten Tuesday: January 2021 Most Anticipated New Releases

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My personal favorite posts are my book lists and favorite reads recaps!

A local used bookstore and Little Free Libraries!

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

I completed some of my challenges but not all, but I’m planning on prioritizing my reading a little differently than participating in a bunch of challenges this year. Stay tuned!

Looking Ahead

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

Chaos Vector- I started this one after loving Velocity Weapon and couldn’t get into it as quickly, so I want to be able to finish The Protectorate Trilogy!

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyVelocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe
Published by Orbit on June 11, 2019
Genres: Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Science Fiction / Genetic Engineering, Fiction / Science Fiction / Military, Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Exploration, Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera
Pages: 544

NOMINATED FOR THE PHILIP K. DICK AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL * Dazzling space battles, intergalactic politics, and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, the first book in this epic space opera trilogy by award-winning author Megan O'Keefe.
Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction.
However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe.
Now, separated by time and space, Sanda and Biran must fight to put things right.



The ProtectorateVelocity Weapon

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

2022 Release:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyDelilah Green Doesn't Care by Ashley Herring Blake
Published by Penguin on February 22, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 400

A clever and steamy queer romantic comedy about taking chances and accepting love—with all its complications—by debut author Ashley Herring Blake.

Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
 
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
 
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to...

Backlist:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyJade City by Fonda Lee
Published by Orbit on November 7, 2017
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Fantasy / Urban, Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Pages: 600

In this World Fantasy Award-winning novel of magic and kungfu, four siblings battle rival clans for honor and power in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis. 

*Named one of TIME's Top 100 Fantasy Books Of All Time
​* World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, winner

Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for -- and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon's bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone -- even foreigners -- wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones -- and of Kekon itself.

Praise for Jade City: 

"An epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but set in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you'll forget you're reading a book." --Ken Liu, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author

"A beautifully realized setting, a great cast of characters, and dramatic action scenes. What a fun, gripping read!" --Ann Leckie, Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author

"An instantly absorbing tale of blood, honor, family and magic, spiced with unexpectedly tender character beats." --NPR

The Green Bone Saga
Jade City
Jade War
Jade Legacy

3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Debut Novel:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyFiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
Published by Penguin on January 4, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Asian American, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Pages: 288

NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2022 BY TIME * PARADE * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING * MARIE CLAIRE * THE RUMPUS * DEBUTIFUL * AND MORE!

“A knockout of a book.” Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer and The Committed

Fiona and Jane is the book I did not know I was waiting to be written. . . . Read this remarkable work of fiction and feel the world open up around you.” —Angela Flournoy, author of National Book Award finalist The Turner House

“Unsentimental, subtly subversive, and always surprising. . . . I love this book.” —Cathy Park Hong, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist Minor Feelings

A witty, warm, and irreverent book that traces the lives of two young Taiwanese American women as they navigate friendship, sexuality, identity, and heartbreak over two decades.

Best friends since second grade, Fiona Lin and Jane Shen explore the lonely freeways and seedy bars of Los Angeles together through their teenage years, surviving unfulfilling romantic encounters, and carrying with them the scars of their families' tumultuous pasts. Fiona was always destined to leave, her effortless beauty burnished by fierce ambition—qualities that Jane admired and feared in equal measure. When Fiona moves to New York and cares for a sick friend through a breakup with an opportunistic boyfriend, Jane remains in California and grieves her estranged father's sudden death, in the process alienating an overzealous girlfriend. Strained by distance and unintended betrayals, the women float in and out of each other's lives, their friendship both a beacon of home and a reminder of all they've lost.

In stories told in alternating voices, Jean Chen Ho's debut collection peels back the layers of female friendship—the intensity, resentment, and boundless love—to probe the beating hearts of young women coming to terms with themselves, and each other, in light of the insecurities and shame that holds them back.

Spanning countries and selves, Fiona and Jane is an intimate portrait of a friendship, a deep dive into the universal perplexities of being young and alive, and a bracingly honest account of two Asian women who dare to stake a claim on joy in a changing, contemporary America.

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

Upcoming Release:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyFevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 19, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Indigenous, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / General
Pages: 400

Return to The Meridian with New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Roanhorse’s sequel to the most critically hailed epic fantasy of 2020 Black Sun—finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Lambda, and Locus awards.

There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart. —Teek saying

The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.

The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?

As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.

And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?

Welcome back to the fantasy series of the decade in Fevered Star—book two of Between Earth and Sky.

Already Published:

2021 End of the Year Reading SurveyThe Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Published by Random House Publishing Group on January 8, 2019
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Magical Realism
Pages: 400

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

“A tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST FANTASY BOOKS OF THE DECADE

Vasilisa Petrovna is an unforgettable heroine determined to forge her own path. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

Praise for The Winter of the Witch

“Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy isn’t just good—it’s hug-to-your-chest, straight-to-the-favorites-shelf, reread-immediately good, and each book just gets better. The Winter of the Witch plunges us back to fourteenth-century Moscow, where old gods and new vie for the soul of Russia and fate rests on a witch girl’s slender shoulders. Prepare to have your heart ripped out, loaned back to you full of snow and magic, and ripped out some more.”—Laini Taylor

“Luxuriously detailed yet briskly suspenseful . . . a striking literary fantasy informed by Arden’s deep knowledge.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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

Have enough content scheduled out to be able to still have coverage on the blog in the case of more unexpected hiatus time needed! And continue to engage with my reading communities!

Bonus: What anticipated reads from my 2020 survey did I read?

I’ve seen numerous Booktube videos and other book blogging prompts about how much of the books I talk about do I actually read, and I thought it would be fun to investigate that specifically in regards to my 2020 survey! Let’s briefly check in on those reads:

A Book I Didn’t Get to in 2020 but would prioritize in 2021? I did read Network Effect by Martha Wells, #5 in the Murderbot Diaries; did read The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin; but I did not read The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (still on my TBR!)

A Book I’m Most Anticipating for 2021? I started but didn’t get very far into The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri but it is also still on my TBR and one I’ll probably read close to the sequel’s release date!

A 2021 debut I’m most anticipating? I did read The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. this year!

A series ending/sequel I’m most anticipating in 2021? I did not read Fevered Star because that release date is actually now April 2022. I also did not read Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells, #6 in the Murderbot Diaries but I did read the 5th book in the Murderbot Diaries this year.

So, of the 7 books I discussed, I read 3, 1 is still yet to be published, and 3 are still on my TBR! I’m curious to check in on more of my TBR lists and see how my reading and mood reads have changed!

There’s my 2021 edition fo the End of the Year Bookish Survey! Thank you so much to The Pertual Page-Turner for creating this, and if you participate or want to share your 2021 reading feel free to leave a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by!

Rae

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