Setting My 2021 Reading Goals

As we get closer and closer to the beginning of a new year, it’s time I take a consolidated look at all the bookish things I’m looking forward to in 2021. Over the past month, I’ve been adding books to my TBR list. Some of them aren’t released until next year, and others are ones that have recently crossed my radar and seem like books I’m absolutely going to have to read. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

2021 Launches

  • Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore (Jan. 19)
  • This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria (Feb. 2)
  • Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart (April 20)
  • Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb (May 11)

If you’re a regular of the blog, then Winterkeep will come as no surprise. I’ve already heard some good things about Cashore’s newest release, but I’m trying to avoid any and all details because this is one book I want to experience with no external influences. And because I love Cashore’s own style, when she tweeted praises about Rabb’s book, I naturally had to check it out. Lucy Clark seems like exactly the kind of protagonist I’m going to love meeting.

Victoria and Smart are both authors I have no experience with, but while I was browsing a list of YA being released soon, their two books caught my eye. Witches Steeped in Gold has a beautiful cover, and This Golden Flame gave me some light Steampunk vibes with its talk of automatons. Additionally, the latter book apparently has an aro/ace character, and we love us some queer representation.

Books Already Published

  • Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
  • The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • Scythe by Neil Shusterman
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard

Jane, Unlimited will be a reread book that’s part of a series of blog posts killing the time until Winterkeep’s launch. It’s not part of the Graceling Realm, but it was the most recent book published by Cashore, and so, it feels only right.

If you’ve visited my blog before, then you may recognize a few books on this list from a book haul I did recently. Stars, Mistborn, and Scythe were all books I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be able to get to this year, and so they’re just going to be carry-over into the next.

Mistborn and Poppy War are both books I’ve heard quite a lot of buzz about. Neither are super new; the former is a whopping fourteen years old and the later is two. It’s about time I gave both authors a go. Stoppard’s book is even older, published way back in 1966, but apparently it’s a really fun book that I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for a while now. And the last, These Violent Delights, is incidentally another Shakespeare homage. Not only is the cover stunning (and the title giving me Westworld flashbacks), but the synopsis sounds really intriguing.

Reading Challenges

This past year, I did a Middle Grade Reread Challenge that wound up being super fun. I almost immediately started planning some other reading challenges I might do. Already on the roster is a Romance Reading Challenge and a Translated Books Reading Challenge. Call me crazy, but the romance genre is one of my least favorites. As a reader, though, one of the best feelings in the world is to find a book you didn’t think you’d like and it winds up being exceptional. It’s like Russian Roulette, except without the gun. And although I strongly dislike heavy romance vibes in fantasy books, I wonder if it will read better if, because it will be the central plotline, it wouldn’t feel like it’s just a distraction.

As for the Translated Books Reading Challenge, this idea springboarded off the idea that I really wanted to read books from authors outside the US or Britain. What does the fantasy genre look like to other countries? The trick, of course, is in the translation; just because a book is great in its native tongue doesn’t mean it’ll translate well. So I’ve got a couple of really interesting books selected from various parts of the world, and we’ll see what happens.

My 2021 Goodreads Reading Goal

As always, I’ve kept track of the number of books I conquered this year through Goodreads. In the past, with school and work and my writing quotas, it was difficult to get much reading time in. But this year, unexpectedly, I managed to read 40. (It’ll probably be 42 by the end of the year.) I’m a competitive person, so naturally, next year, I want to crush that number and read even more books.

My 2021 goal? A nice, round fifty. It sounds like quite a lot, but then again, last year, forty would have seemed insurmountable. It helps, too, that I already have about twenty books queued up, so finding books to read shouldn’t be a struggle.

Let me know in the comments if you have read or are planning to read any of the books I’ve mentioned in my lists, or if you have any titles you think I should add to them. I cannot express how excited I am for all the books I plan on reading next year. They are, at least, something I can always look forward to.

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