2021 Mid-Year Reading Check-In

As we head into June, I figured now would be as good a time as any to take a quick glance at my 2021 reading goals and see how we are doing. I’m going to refer back to my Setting My 2021 Reading Goals post for the books that I wanted to get to this year, but also throw a few more onto that list here and mention some of the highlights of my reading journey thus far. So, let’s begin.

Here’s Where I’m At Now

Who doesn’t love some stats? And, thanks to StoryGraph, I don’t have to do any calculations on my end, because it’s got it all listed for me. Bless.

  • I have read 22 books out of my goal of 50. (It might be 23 by the time this post goes live, depending on how quickly I get through my current read, Wings of Ebony by J. Elle.)
    • Apparently that’s almost 10,000 pages’ worth of reading, although a few of those books were obviously audio, which obviously don’t have actual pages, but oh well.
    • At this point in time, StoryGraph also says I’m a book ahead! Which is especially nice because I was actually a book behind for like a month. Thank god for audiobooks.
  • My two best months for reading were February and May, during which time I read six books each (although apparently the romance books I read in February were relatively short, because I actually read about 400 more pages in May than in February).
  • I’ve given out 8 five-star reviews, which amounts to a little over a third of the books this year! I’d say that’s a pretty good sign.
    • Although apparently my average rating is 3.61. Oops.
  • Seventeen of the books I’ve read thus far are fantasy, which means five are not. Which I was actually pretty pleased with until I remembered four out of the five were probably from my romance reading challenge, so I guess that’s less impressive.

Brisk Walk Down Memory Lane

If you don’t like numbers, that’s a-okay; I’m done with the stats. Now let’s take a look back, starting with some of those titles I wanted to get to this year.

I began the year knowing I would do two reading challenges. The first, done back in February, was the The Romance Reading Challenge. As with my Middle Grade Reread Challenge, I selected five books and managed to get through all of them. The second challenge, a Translated Fantasy reading challenge, probably won’t take place until September, and thanks to StoryGraph having a similar challenge posted and with a plethora of titles to choose from, I now have plenty of options to pick for my five.

I had eleven specific titles that I also wanted to get to in 2021, and, suffice it to say, I’ve already gotten through several of them. I’m organizing them based on the order that I read them.

  • Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore (January)
  • Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore (January)
  • Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (February)
  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (March)
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman (March)
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (April)
  • This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria (April)

Seven out of eleven? That’s not bad, eh? The remaining four are actually on my shelf already, thanks to some pre-ordering and a more than a few splurges at Barnes & Noble. They’re interspersed with the rest of my impulse-buys, but this is the order they appear amidst them.

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  • Poppy Wars by R. F. Kuang
  • Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
  • Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb

The Highlights Thus Far

I’ve read a lot of really good books, as I mentioned before, so picking out some of my favorites is going to be tricky, especially because the ones that I found myself really impressed with were ones that I hadn’t expected to like in the first place. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini are both stand-alones that I really loved. I think the biggest surprise 5-star rating was The Magician King by Lev Grossman, after rating The Magicians only 3 from my absolute loathing of Quentin Coldwater.

As for my least favorite, well. I have only rated three books as 1-star, and I feel like each of them earned it wholeheartedly. Both Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino made my blood boil in their own way, and then The Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade was such a disappointment despite having a relatively intriguing premise. I should have known that book was trouble 5 minutes into the audiobook, but alas, I pressed on, barely intrigued, and unsurprised when the end did not deliver.

And, Finally, My TBR For The Rest of the Year

I have an obscene amount of books on my physical TBR shelf. Once upon a time, I let myself get five books, max. Well, we’re past that by a long shot now. I have enough books to probably get me until the September reading challenge at least, so here’s to hoping I don’t buy any more until it’s time to purchase the translated books. But, below is the list of books in the order that I plan to read them.

  1. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Nga
  2. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
  3. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
  4. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  5. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  6. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
  7. Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  8. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  9. We Are the Fire by Sam Taylor
  10. The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
  11. The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  12. Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
  13. Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb
  14. Thunderhead (Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman
  15. The Magician’s Land (The Magicians #3) by Lev Grossman
  16. Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
  17. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
  18. The Coming Storm by Regina M. Hansen

I told you, there were a lot of books. It’s fine… These, plus the five translated books for the September challenge, will mean I’m only 4 books away from reaching my goal. I’m always looking for recommendations, though, so if any of your 2021 reads just hit different, drop them in the comments and I’ll take a look 😀


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