Yearly Roundup

2021 in books!

Hey friends! It’s the last day of the year and I’m so grateful to be here, writing, creating and putting stuff out there! I had such an interesting year. I was unhappy about 40% of the time, and for me, that’s a good year! As expected, 2021 was filled with ups and downs, but I’m here, so that’s all that matters! Reading gave me comfort on days/nights when everything seemed so bleak. I know this post is supposed to be about 2021 in books, but can we chat for a bit?

I’m very proud of myself for being as consistent as I could be on the blog and on social media. I also gave myself permission to take breaks as required. It started to pay off a bit as my following grew and more people engaged with the content I put out. Which is the goal… to encourage more people to read.

I started earning from social media. It wasn’t a lot of money, but I was so estatic and proud of myself. It was something I’d been talking to my friends about. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m taking things one day at a time, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I read a total of 60 books. Goodreads and Storygraph made it easier to keep track of my reading. (It was a bit frustrating that some of the books I read weren’t on these platforms and I had to manually add a few of them myself… I eventually got lazy)

I’ll be breaking down 2021 in books!

So, I’ll make this easy to follow through. I’m not a fan of complicated roundups. I read more fiction (51) than nonfiction (9) which is not shocking. What is surprising is that I was able to read 9 non fiction books. I’m usually not patient enough for them but I found myself gravitating towards them.

I haven’t read some of the books in this photo. (These were just the nonfiction books on my shelf this year)

I read light this year and by light, I mean books with less trauma. Usually, I tend to find comfort in reading stories that centre around heavier themes and I think this is because somewhere in my head, I’m telling myself “There are worse things that could be happening to you, Tos”. This year was a lot for me especially physically. My health took a big dip! One day, I’ll be comfortable enough to share my story. I haven’t gotten to that point yet. It’s all typed out but I’m hesitant and I always like to follow my feelings.

I read 18 romance novels and 10 mystery novels and I loved almost all of them. It was beautiful to get lost in a world where happily ever after exists. I shared my top 8 romance books of the year here.

Some of my favorite romance books!

I didn’t make a conscious effort to read books written by people of colour but I somehow ended up reading 36 books written by people of colour and I’m so happy that even without planning, they dominated more than 50% of my reading year.

Most people don’t like short stories and I used to be one of them until about 2 years ago when I realized I actually liked them more than I like to admit. In 2021, I read 6 collections of short stories and they were mostly all fantastic! My favorites were Love in Colour, Dreams and assorted nightmares & The secret lives of church ladies.

I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction novels mostly because they often require my undivided attention and I’m usually easily distracted. I have to want to read them to enjoy them properly. This year, I read a total of 6 historical fiction novels.

I’ve read everything here except “The Mountains sing”

I always say this with my chest everytime and everywhere. Women write better stories (in my humble opinion) and I tend to prefer to read stories written by women. In 2021, I read 51 books written by women and this is probably my favorite part of this round up! Haha

Lastly, I’ll be highlighting books written by Africans. I read a total of 20 books by African authors this year. When I started reading in high school, I mostly read books written by non-Africans because they felt more interesting and magical to me. That changed a few years later and I remember when I started documenting my reading on social media in 2019, I made a conscious effort to read more African literature and shockingly realized I enjoyed them. I initially felt silly for not having picked them up earlier but better late than never right?

I know a lot of people have put out their anticipated 2022 releases but I think I’ll stick to how I did it this year which was to put it out monthly. So expect my January 2022 anticipated book releases!

I hope everyone had a good New Year’s, and if you didn’t, please know you’re not alone. The new year brings with it new prospects, which may be daunting at times. Start with little goals, be thankful for today, take life one day at a time, and remember to breathe. You made it to 2021, which is more than enough right now.

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