That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2021 Edition

So this year, as it does every year, Goodreads compiled a list of the books I read, making a nice little ― or not so little ― tapestry of covers, along with a few details. You can check out the list at Goodreads here, or, if you like to spend a lot of time watching a huge* image load, you can wait for the screen capture below. But first, a few notes on this year’s list:

  • If you think this year’s longest book, the Earthseed omnibus (my rating: ★★★), was long at 880 pages, just wait until you see next year’s longest book. The one I’m reading now is The Seventh Sword, an omnibus of several novels by Dave Duncan, which according to Goodreads tips the scales at 3,168 pages. That’ll supply fodder for even more Teaser Tuesdays than Infinite Jest (my rating: ★★★★), which was only** 1,088 pages long, did.
  • My average rating for this year is 3.3, which has inched up a bit from my average rating in 2020 of 3.0. I happen to know, from taking an early peek at the report, that my average rating was going to be 3.2, but a last minute ★★★★ rating for Predator’s Gold kicked it up to the next decimal point.
    • In case anyone was wondering, my favorite book this year was The City & The City, by China Miéville (my rating ★★★★★, natch).
  • My least popular book, Jane Yolen’s The Great Alta Saga (my rating: ★★★, but would have been ★★★★ if the last book in the omnibus hadn’t failed to live up to the rest of it), was even less popular than my least popular book from last year, The Flesh Market (my rating: ★★★★), with 472 other, uh, “shelvers”, vs. 738 for The Flesh Market.
  • I didn’t read as much in 2021 as I did in 2020; I’m down nearly 4,000 pages, from just over 18,000 to 14,342, and the number of books is down from 45 to 35. I’m thinking this may be because I bailed out on more books in 2020 than I did in 2021 (a theory supported by 2020’s lower average rating); Goodreads doesn’t have a built-in DNF shelf, meaning you have to roll your own—mine is called “Failed to Finish”—and while it’s possible, I think, to remove a book from the built-in “Currently Reading” shelf back to the no shelf at all, I don’t do that with a DNF, I move it to “Read”, which means it still counts against my end-of-year summary. Let’s go do the math! Let’s see, from counting my shelved books, I put six books on DNF this year, vs. nine in 2020. I DNF’d twelve in 2019, four in 2018, and nary a single one in 2017. Guess that was a good year for books. (For those who are keeping track, I read 53 books in 2019, 47 in 2018, and 41 in 2017.)

    Anyway, it seems like my “Failed to Finish” shelf is in fact not responsible for 2020’s being so far ahead of 2021 when it comes to books read. Maybe I can blame it on Mad Men instead …
  • I read a lot of omnibuses this year, apparently.

And now, without further ado, I present the giant tapestry of books for 2021!

* I mean, it’s only 11MB, it’s not actually huge, by today’s standards. Although I did use a computer with a 20MB hard drive back in the day, so by those standards, it’s ginormous.
** “Only”

6 thoughts on “That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2021 Edition

    1. Oh I squeeze it in somewhere amid writing this blog, writing the animals’ blog, being back to writing my own book again (at least for now), working full-time, and grocery shopping/cooking/doing yard work on the weekends …


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