2021 Wrap-Up: Reading Stats, Favorite Books, Goal Reflection, and More!

Happy 2022 everyone!

What a weird couple of years we’ve had! Last night my husband and I were trying to reflect on 2021, but it just feels like such a blur. It wasn’t worse than 2020, but it also somehow wasn’t better? 2020 was awful in so many ways, but we also had some really great moments: getting married, getting our corgi, and getting to spend more (virtual) time with family than ever before. But in 2021… It was just a weird year I guess. But I’m optimistic 2022 will be better! Who knows? Maybe my husband and I will finally get to go on our honeymoon. Fingers crossed!

It was also a weird year in terms of reading. I ended up reading more, but I feel like the overall quality of what I read was less than the year before. For instance, most of my top books of 2020 would probably beat out my top books of 2021. But that’s okay! I still read some really great books this year.

Something I noticed after looking at my data for this year is that the majority of physical books I read were middle grade books. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it means that most of the physical books I read were borrowed from my own classroom library rather than being books that I actually own and keep on my bookshelves at home. This year, I’d like to prioritize reading some of my own books (to justify my book buying hobby!) in addition to reading some middle grade books for work (and for my own enjoyment; there are some great ones out there!).

In non-literary news, I started watching TV again more toward the end of the year! For whatever reason, when the pandemic started I kind of lost interest in TV and movies. I have no idea why! But my husband and I have really enjoyed watching some of the new Marvel shows on Disney+, Only Murders in the Building (on Hulu and we highly recommend it!), and we’re currently on season 6 of Schitt’s Creek which is amazing! We’re also most of the way through Game of Thrones – my husband has watched it before, but it’s my first time (better late than never!).

Back to books, though, every year I look forward to looking back and reflecting on my reading the previous year. My husband and I put on When Harry Met Sally and he helps me track all of my statistics and put them into graph formats. And I love using this to set goals for the new year!

Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of 2021:

2021 Reading Stats:

Books read: 103


Physical books: 46
Audiobooks: 57


Fiction: 75
Nonfiction: 28


Average rating of 2021: 3.9 (out of 5)
Highest monthly average: February (4.25)
Lowest monthly average: April (3.6)


Books by target demographic (adult, YA, children, classic):

Key: A=adult, YA=young adult, Ch=children, Cl=classic

2021 genres:

2021 reading moods:

Graph created by StoryGraph!

2021 pacing:

Graph created by StoryGraph!

Favorite Books of 2021

To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.

Top 4 Physical Books

1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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You can find a brief review in my July Wrap-Up!

2. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

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You can find my full review HERE!

3. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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You can find a brief review in my October Wrap-Up!

4. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

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You can find my full review HERE!

Top 5 Audiobooks

1. From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke

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You can find my full review HERE!

2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

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You can find a brief review in my May Wrap-Up!

3. Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Unfortunately, I never got around to reviewing this one! I went into this one knowing very little about it, but ended up finding it really powerful and thought-provoking. It’s also very short, which is nice. I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t already!

4. The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

You can find a brief review in my June Wrap-Up!

5. Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself by Jill Biden

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You can find a brief review in my December Wrap-Up!

Honorable Mentions:

2021 Reading Goal Reflection

  • Read 72 books:
    • Final: 103/72
    • Wow! I read a lot more than I thought I would. To be fair, I did read a lot of kids books and short audiobooks. But that’s okay!
  • Read (at least) 5 classic novels:
    • Final: 7/5
    • I definitely managed to complete this goal! I have discovered that I’m not the biggest fan of Jane Austen (at least not in audiobook form; I plan on trying a physical copy of Pride and Prejudice at some point!), but I’ve also discovered some really great classics! For instance, I really enjoyed Animal Farm, The Color Purple, and A Christmas Carol. They get me out of my comfort zone, which I really enjoy!
  • Read more non-fiction:
    • Final: 28
    • Compared to the measly nine nonfiction books I read last year, I’m really happy with this! It’s a little less than a third of the total books that I read this year. That means I more than tripled the amount of nonfiction books I read compared to the previous year! This was my favorite goal of 2021. I discovered that I really love narrative nonfiction, which really changed my view of the nonfiction genre as a whole (I used to think it wasn’t really something I was interested in). Now that I know this about myself, I’m excited to discover even more great memoirs!
  • Read (at least) 5 books in Spanish:
    • Final: 4/5
    • I didn’t quite meet this final goal, but I did get close! I’m currently in the middle of my 5th Spanish book for the year. I considered trying to read it really quickly on the last day of the year, but I knew I would miss out on a lot of great new Spanish vocabulary (and enjoyment) if I did that, and I’d rather take my time and get more out of it. So now it gets to be my first Spanish book of 2022! I love Spanish, but while I was learning it in school I never really had an opportunity to read whole books (mostly just scholarly articles), so this has been a great cognitive exercise for me! With each book I read in Spanish, I can feel myself getting more confident with it, so I’m excited to see how much more I can grow this year.

2022 Reading Goal Setting

  • Read 72 books
    • This is my exact same goal as both 2020 and 2021! I exceeded it both years, but it just feels like a good number to me. I’d like to try to read fewer middle grade books (and more of my own “grown up” books) this year, which means I’d likely have a lower total (since I can’t read them as quickly). I also always like to try to make space for other hobbies and life circumstances so that reading stays fun and doesn’t start to feel like a chore.
  • Read (at least) 25 books that I physically own:
    • This one was actually my husband’s idea! I was looking at my reading statistics for the year, and was surprised to realize that nearly 2/3 of the physical books that I read were middle grade books that I borrowed from my own classroom library. Being an elementary school teacher, I do probably read more middle grade books than the average adult (and I enjoy them!). However, I also love to buy and collect books to keep on my personal bookshelves, and I’d really like to read more of those! Therefore, I’m aiming to prioritize my own books a little more this year (in addition to reading some middle grade books from my classroom).
  • Read more historical fiction:
    • Like my nonfiction goal from last year, this one is a little vague. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but after tracking my reading statistics over the last few years, I realized that I actually don’t read it that often anymore! Therefore, my genre goal for this year is to prioritize reading more historical fiction. That being said, I would like to also continue making an effort to read more nonfiction because I really enjoyed that last year!
  • Read (at least) 5 classic novels:
    • I’m repeating this goal from last year. I loved getting out of my comfort zone and catching up on some of the books that I didn’t have to read for school, and I definitely want to continue that journey! However, I decided not to increase it because if it’s too high it starts to feel kind of overwhelming and chore-like. Also, some of the classic novels I’d like to read are fairly long, so I don’t want to set myself up for failure.
  • Read (at least) 5 books in Spanish:
    • I’m keeping this goal as well since I didn’t quite accomplish it in 2021 (even though I came so close!). One of my life goals has always been to be fluent in Spanish, and literacy is a big part of that. While I am literate in Spanish, I don’t have a great amount of stamina when it comes to reading long passages in Spanish (since I’ve never really had to do it). So I’m excited to continue working on this!

2022 Blogging Plans

  • I have so much fun running this blog! I especially love doing Top 10 Tuesday posts and the Travel Thursday tag. I definitely want to continue doing these along with my reviews, and maybe over the summer I could even try participating in a new tag! There are so many great ones out there.
  • That said, I’ve been really busy with work lately and have been struggling to keep up with my blogging. Therefore, I’m planning on taking a one-month hiatus in January to give myself a little time to get on top of things again. I did that a couple times in 2021 as well to make sure I don’t get burned out and that this continues to be a fun and fulfilling hobby for me.
  • In addition to that, I may post every other week (instead of every week) through the rest of this school year to help myself keep on top of everything. But in the summer I could go back to weekly posts! I’m flexible on this and it’ll depend a lot on how things go with my job in the coming months.
  • Finally, as far as reviews go, I narrowed my focus to middle grade and YA mid-2021, but I think I’ll really focus on middle grade reviews moving forward. As an elementary educator, this just feels more purposeful for me (and I feel more qualified to write those reviews!).
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How did your reading go this year? Any stand-out books to recommend?

Let me know in the comments! And thanks for reading (my blog, but also just in general)!

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