Saturday 1 January 2022


Looking Back Over 2021, Looking Forward to 2022

Looking Back Over 2021, Looking Forward to 2022

Ad: Titles with an asterisk (*) were provided to me for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Looking Back Over 2021, Looking Forward to 2022

Happy New Year! It's now 2022 and time to look forward to this new year's reading, and the bookish goals for the year - or at least the things we hope to achieve.

But before I dive in to 2022, I'd like to take a very brief look at some of my favourite books read in 2021.

Favourite Books of 2021

I didn't have the best reading year in 2021. There were times when I just didn't read a huge amount, either due to not feeling it or not enjoying the book I was reading. And to be honest, there weren't a huge amount of books I really loved. So instead of my normal break down of my fave books in various genres/categories, I'm just listing the few that I really, really enjoyed last year. All images link to my reviews, except fot the last, as I've not reviewed it yet.

The Starlight Sea by Erin Morgenstern Lightbringer by Claire Legrand The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss The Bloodprint by Ausuma Zehanat Khan

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert Precious Catastrophe by Deirdre Sullivan Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall Girls of Fate and Fury

I read some long awaited second novels by authors whose first books I really loved, and I'm super happy to say I really enjoyed both Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea and Emily M. Danforth's Plain Bad Heroines. Though there were a few issues I had with both, I really enjoyed them overall.

I also read three series' final books. Lightbringer by Claire Legrand* was awesome; not the book I expected, but still unbelievably good! Precious Catastrophe by Deirdre Sullivan* also didn't disappoint! Since my review I've heard there's no plans to continue with the series, which is sad, because I think there's scope for at least one more book, but even so, I really loved Precious Catastrophe! I've not yet reviewed Girls of Fate and Fury by Natasha Ngan*, but my god, it was fantastic! Again, not necessarily what I was expecting, but still seriously awesome, and hugely emotional!

I also read two new-to-me series from beginning to end. The Hazel Wood series was a major surprise, and completely brillaint, and I'm super excited for Melissa Albert's next book, Our Crooked Hearts! The Khorasan Archives - starting with The Bloodprint - by Ausma Zehanat Khan was absolutely incredible, and I regret it took me so long to read it! Such a fantastic high fantasy inspired by Islam.

I continued with The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss with The Wise Man's Fear, and it was so awesome! I bloody love this series! I just wish Rothfuss would hurry up with the final book, though I think I'm starting to agree with other fans that we may not end up getting it. And I read Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall, a new to me author, and a bloody incredible YA horror that freaked me the hell out! I read the companion novel, Our Last Echoes, and I'm really looking forward to reading everything else Marshall has written!

Looking Ahead to 2022

I have a few bookish goals I’m setting myself this year, but “goals” is used loosely. I don’t like having set TBRs much, or books I absolutely must read; I feel too hemmed in and pressured, and as a mood reader, that just doesn’t work for me. So they’re not goals in that sense. My goals are a lot looser, more vague, and in the care of one, kind of abstract.

Let’s get to the abstract one first. While my reading was better in 2021, I do feel there was something missing from my reading experience. The sense of wonder, being completely captivated and enchanted and awed, reading books that feel like fairy takes that weave their own special kind of magic. This is a general kind of life goal this year - read more books that feel magical. But as it’s a goal around a reading experience, it’s not something I can plan for in any real way. I don’t know if a book will make me feel that way until I read it. However, what I can do is try to go for books that I think might tuck the boxes for me. So I’m keeping my eye out for books like The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern*. If you have any recs, so please share them!

I’m also hugely in the mood for high fantasy these days. I’m craving court politics and intrigue, and band of people on a quest! Fortunately, I have quite a number of high fantasies publishing in 2022 waiting for me to read - which will be mentioned in a blog post of some of my most anticipated fantasies from Jan-June coming next week - so I’ll hopefully some of those will satisfy the craving.

Something else I’m also craving are retellings of fairy tales other than those we all know about. I want I’ve just re-read The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivy, and currently re-reading The Winternight Trilogy, and feel I’d just love any Russian fairy tale retellings. I also feel I’d adore Scandinavian fairy tales. But also from other parts of the world! Basically, I want all the original stories and their retellings, please. They’re more myth retellings than fairy tales, but I’m so excited to read Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan* and The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh* this year!

I’m also going to try to keep a book journal. I’ve been inspired by Angie of Read with Angie’s 2022 book journal set up, and will try to do something similar (though minus Angie’s Way of tracking, as that just wouldn’t work for me). I’ll keep track if books read, pages read, reading challenges, and also have somewhere where I can write notes on books as I read, to help me when it comes to reviews. I’m looking forward to setting it up and seeing how I do. There will likely be a blog post about my set up at some point.

Speaking of reading challenges, I’m taking part in a few this year. Check out my 2022 Reading Challenges page for more details, but I started my own challenge! The Fairy Tale Retellings 2022 Reading Challenge! Do check it out! I’ll also be attempting to complete the 2022 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge; the 2022 Adult SFF Backlist Books Reading Challenge; the 12 Challenge, Representation Challenge, and A to Z Challenge, all hosted by @ShadowBooker (find all challenge templates in her templates highlight); the Series on My TBR 2022 Reading Prompt, the 2022 NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge, Hodderscape's 2022 Reading Challenge, and attempting to #BeatTheBacklog, as created by Lisa of Owl Be Sat Reading. Though I have to say, I more use challenges as trackers rather than goals. I don’t swear it if I don’t complete them. And as always, I'll be tracking the number of retellings I read this year, too.

So that's it from me! What were your favourite reads of 2021? Were any the same as mine? What are you looking forward to reading in 2022? And what are your bookish goals? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. I came across a book journal in this year end wrapup -> - it might have some ideas for you too. I'm thinking about keeping one too. It's such an awesome way to track challenges especially.

    1. Thank you! The wrap up post you linked to was really helpful, and inspired some of my own pages. I'm really excited to try and keep on top of my reading and track my challenges a little easier!