What I Read in 2021

Reading is clearly one of my favorite pastimes. This year, I loved finding new readerly podcasts that exposed me to new books, new authors, and new series that are now among my favorites. I read more this year than I have in any year, especially since I officially started tracking my reading here back in 2015. I can never pick just one favorite book, but I wrote about my top fiction and nonfiction reads of this year here.

Previous stats:

  • 2020: 71
  • 2019: 89
  • 2018: 55
  • 2017: 59
  • 2016: 69
  • 2015: 44

In 2021 I read 146 books.  I am proud of that.  I tracked the following statistics about my reading through out the year.  I always read more fiction than nonfiction, but I aim to read at least one nonfiction a month, and I more than doubled that goal. While I’m not surprised that I read more books written by women than men, I am proud that I sought out books by nonbinary authors, and found new authors I enjoy this year of a variety of genders. I read less Young Adolescent that usual, and I’m not sure why.  The Currently Reading podcast recommends lots of Middle Grades and YA books, but so many of them are fantasy, and I never think I’m going to like fantasy.  I am pleasantly surprised by the number of books I checked out from library this year. I am also proud to have purchased a number of books from independent books stores this year, though I didn’t track that.  I read more books that showed greater diversity and represented a wider scope of identities, but want to continue to grow that number. 

Reading Stats:

Fiction: 109

Nonfiction: 35

Poetry: 1

Young Adolescent: 20

Audiobooks: 16

Own Voices/ Author is of or plot addresses a different race/ethnicity, orientation, religion than me: 50

Female author: 113

Male Author: 36

Nonbinary Author: 5

Library books: 73

What I read

I mark my favorite books with ** to remember which ones I truly loved, or ranked 4 or 5 stars on GoodReads.

  1. ** Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson
  2. Leading While Female: A Culturally Proficient Response for Gender Equity by Trudy T. Arriaga, Stacie L. Stanley and Delores B. Lindsey
  3. ** The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister
  4. **The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
  5. The Survivors by Jane Harper
  6. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  7. The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  8. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
  9. The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
  10. **Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level by Laura Tremaine
  11. Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah
  12. A Promised Land [audiobook] by Barack Obama
  13. Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah
  14. ** To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
  15. ** Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  16. The Things We Do For Love by Kristin Hannah
  17. ** The Stranger by Harlan Coben
  18. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey [audiobook]
  19. ** The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  20. **The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
  21. Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison [audiobook]
  22. Dirt: Growing Strong Roots in What Makes the Broken Beautiful by Mary Marantz  [audiobook]
  23. Later by Stephen King
  24. ** Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering
  25. ** The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
  26. Win by Harlan Coben
  27. **Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
  28. Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View by Ramin Setoodeh
  29. **Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger
  30. Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
  31. **Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia
  32. ** Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
  33. When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris
  34. Broken (in the best possible ways) by Jenny Lawson
  35. ** Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy
  36. Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
  37. ** The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  38. ** Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  39. Wreckage of My Presence: Essays by Casey Wilson
  40. ** Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  41. Still Life by Louise Penny
  42. Hush-Hush by Stuart Woods
  43. Choppy Waters by Stuart Woods
  44. ** Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  45. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  46. ** The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  47. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  48. ** No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez
  49. Calypso by David Sedaris
  50. ** Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  51. When She Returned by Lucinda Berry
  52. Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
  53. Shakeup by Stuart Woods
  54. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
  55. Double Jeopardy by Stuart Woods
  56. **Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
  57. ** Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
  58. ** Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
  59. ** Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  60. A Fateful Grace (#2) by Louise Penny
  61. The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
  62. Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan
  63. The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry
  64. ** Start Here, Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community by Liz Kleinrock
  65. Starfish by Lisa Fipps
  66. ** Falling by T.J. Newman
  67. Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
  68. Carrie by Stephen King
  69. The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner [audiobook]
  70. Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
  71. Supervising Principals for Instructional Leadership: A Teaching and Learning Approach by Meredith I. Honig and Lydia R. Rainey
  72. ** The Pants Project by Cat Clarke
  73. We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin
  74. The Push by Ashley Audrain
  75. The Power of a Teacher: Restoring Hope and Well-Being to Change Lives by Adam. L Saenz
  76. ** Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  77. ** People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  78. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
  79. Haven Point by Virginia Hume
  80. ** You are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience edited by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown
  81. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas [audiobook]
  82. ** The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J.Klune
  83. ** Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
  84. ** Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  85. ** Miseducated: A Memoir by Brandon P. Fleming
  86. ** A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  87. Ghost (Track #1) by Jason Reynolds [audiobook]
  88. ** Misery by Stephen King
  89. Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro
  90. ** One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
  91. ** The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  92. ** Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena
  93. Beyond the Surface of Restorative Practices: Building a Culture of Equity, Connection, and Healing by Marisol Quevedo Rerucha
  94. Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
  95. Patina (Track #2) by Jason Reynolds
  96. ** 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard
  97. ** Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
  98. Roar by Cecelia Ahern
  99. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha
  100. ** The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
  101. Writers & Lovers by Lily King
  102. ** George by Alex Gino [audiobook]
  103. ** You Got Anything Stronger? Stories by Gabrielle Union [audiobook]
  104. ** The Cruelest Month (Gamache #3) by Louise Penny
  105. ** Billy Summers by Stephen King
  106. ** The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
  107. Girl A by Abigail Dean
  108. ** The Guncle by Steven Rowley
  109. ** Not All Diamonds and Rose: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives from the People Who Lived It by Dave Quinn
  110. ** The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller
  111. ** Pretty Things by Janelle Brown
  112. Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich
  113. ** A Rule Against Murder (Gamache #4) by Louise Penny
  114. **The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune
  115. ** Everything We Didn’t Say by Nicole Baart
  116. Raising Our Hands: How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place on the New Frontlines by Jenna Arnold
  117. ** Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan
  118. ** The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard
  119. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  120. ** Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
  121. ** Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
  122. ** Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent
  123. ** Little Women by Louise May Alcott
  124. ** The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters by Priya Parker
  125. ** This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel
  126. ** Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner
  127. ** A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley
  128. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  129. ** The Brutal Telling (Gamache #5) by Louise Penny
  130. The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
  131. ** Pony by R.J. Palacio
  132. ** One Two Three: A Novel by Laurie Frankel
  133. ** Under the Whispering Door by T.J Klune 
  134. ** A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
  135. ** TH1RT3EN by Steve Cavanagh
  136. ** Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May 
  137. ** The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  138. ** You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart
  139. ** The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
  140. ** The Collective by Alison Gaylin
  141. Will by Will Smith and Mark Manson
  142. Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
  143. So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta
  144. ** The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  145. ** We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza
  146. ** The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling

I plan to track my books in a spreadsheet next year that captures even more details than this. I’m not sure how I will report it out next year, so stay tuned!

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
This entry was posted in Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What I Read in 2021

  1. Andree Grey says:

    What a great year! So many ** books!

    Andrée Grey, Ed.D.
    Superintendent
    [signature_1834872040]

    From: Reflections on Leadership and Learning
    Reply-To: Reflections on Leadership and Learning
    Date: Sunday, January 2, 2022 at 8:38 PM
    To: Andree Grey
    Subject: [New post] What I Read in 2021

    ⚠ EXTERNAL: This e-mail originated from outside of Encinitas Union School District. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the source address and know that the content is safe. Please forward this e-mail to phishing@eusd.net if you believe this e-mail is suspicious.

    Amy’s Reflections posted: “Reading is clearly one of my favorite pastimes. This year, I loved finding new readerly podcasts that exposed me to new books, new authors, and new series that are now among my favorites. I read more this year than I have in any year, especially since I o”

  2. Pingback: The Reader in Me 2.0 | Reflections on Leadership and Learning

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