Best of the Best: 2015 to 2021 [Book Reviews]

January 14, 2022

Best of the Best: 2015-2021

2015-2021 Best of the Best (a young holds a huge stack of books in her arms and balances them under her chin

Image Source: Canva

Welcome to January and all the “Best Of” lists!

Inspired by Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, I’m putting together my own “Best of the Best” list.

Each year that I’ve been blogging, I’ve put together a most memorable reads of the year list. This year I thought it would be fun to follow Davida’s lead and list my top SEVEN reads of the last SEVEN years and rank them in order. I’ve only been blogging for five years, but I started keeping records seven years ago, so I’m including all seven years. I’m also linking to my blog posts so that you can see the runners up if you’re curious.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

2015:

The Intention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (cover) (white lettering over a goldish redish sky background) featuring a few small flying birds)

(Preblogging) The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
(reviewed the first year I started blogging)

2016:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi cover (yellow background with red and blue and black designs)

(Preblogging) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (not reviewed on the blog)

2017:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

(I didn’t choose a favorite this year because I chose to use categories.) Looking back at the list now, I will have to choose Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman as my favorite of the year (not reviewed on blog).  See my complete list for the year here: 2017 Really Recommendable Reads

2018:

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
See my complete list for the year here: Most Memorable Reads of 2018

2019:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cover)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
See my complete list for the year here: Most Memorable Reads of 2019

2020:

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
See my complete list for the year here: Most Memorable Reads of 2020

2021:

a woman dressed in a rose dress stands with her back to the camera overlooking a balcony and a gold wall

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn 
See my complete list for the year here: Most Memorable Reads of 2021

Ranked in Order:

(more…)

Big Lies in a Small Town [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

January 13,  2022

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
#throwbackthursday

Big Lies in a Small Town (cover)

 

Genre/Categories/Setting: Women’s Fiction, Light Historical fiction, Light Mystery, Southern Fiction, Art

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing an engaging and page-turning story, Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Equal parts character-driven and page-turning mystery …

“Two young women living several decades apart are focused on the same mural….one is creating the mural in 1940 and the other is restoring the same mural in 2018. In alternate viewpoints and dual timelines, we hear both stories, the mystery of what happened to the original artist is uncovered, and connections between the two are revealed.”

Secrets, prejudice, and making peace with the past ….

Continue here for my full review of Big Lies in a Small Town…

(including a trigger warning)



QOTD:

Have you read Big Lies in a Small Town or is it on your TBR?

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Most Anticipated Reads Q1 2022 #T5T

January 11, 2022

Top 5 Most Anticipated Reads Q1 2022

a graphic picture of a blond girl holding an open blue book

I’m linking up today with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads for Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Anticipated Reads Q1 2022. ( maybe have a list of 6!)

***This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Top 5 Anticipated Reads Q1 2022

1.

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman's Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson (cover) Image: old work boots sit atop a stack of books

I loved The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and it was my most memorable read of 2019 so I’m eager for the sequel!

2.

Passing by Nella Larsen

Passing by Nella Larsen (cover) Black and White Image: a young woman in a coat and hat pulled down to shade her eyes

One of my bookish resolutions in 2022 is to read one classic per quarter. This is my choice for Q1 of 2022. I also want to read it before I watch the Netflix adaptation!

3.

Quiet by Susan Cain and The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore

One of my bookish resolution in 2022 is to read more nonfiction: Quiet has been on my TBR the longest, and I want to make it a priority this year; I came across The Woman They Could Not Silence during Nonfiction November. Both of these titles are high priority on my Nonfiction TBR.

4.

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (cover) Image: grayscale image of a man standing outside a building holding a blue/yellow/red torn flag

Sepetys is an auto buy YA author for me, so I’m eager to read her new release on 2.1.2022.

5.

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn (cover) grayscale cover....a woman in a dark long coat walks into a grove of tall trees (red and black text)

Quinn is another auto buy histfic author, and I’m preordering her new release which publishes on 3.31.2022.



QOTD:

What is your most anticipated read in the first Quarter of 2022?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow [Book Review]

January 7, 2022

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland (cover) Image:  a blue and white gazebo decorated for a wedding sits among grassy rolling hills and flower gardens

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Animal Rescue, Found Family, England

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BoldwoodBooks for a complimentary eARC of #AWeddingAtHedgehogHollow upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A long-awaited wedding…….

As Samantha prepares to marry Josh, she discovers that someone has hacked into her bank account and emptied it. Is the future of Hedgehog Hollow in jeopardy? Will she be able to afford the wedding?

In this installment, we become acquainted with Phoebe who is desperate to escape her abusive family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha’s beloved rescue centre. Does the recent bank fraud have anything to do with her family?

My Thoughts:

(more…)

Lovely War [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

January 6,  2022

Lovely War by Julie Berry
#throwbackthursday

Lovely War cover

Genre/Categories: YA or NA Historical Fiction, WW1, Romance/Love Story, Mythology

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a creatively structured WW1 Historical Fiction story, Lovely War by Julie Berry.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Is love more powerful than war?

“During the years of WW1, Hazel, a shy and talented pianist meets James, a handsome soldier, at a dance. He’s shipping out to the front in a week. Is this enough time to fall in love? Two more characters round out the cast: Colette, a gifted singer from Belgium, and Aubrey, a member of the all African-American regiment and a gifted musician. The Greek gods narrate this story of love, music, and war.”

A story of love, music, and war….

Continue here for my full review of Lovely War…



QOTD:

Have you read Lovely War or is it on your TBR?

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Bookish Resolutions #T5T

January 4, 2022

Top 5 Bookish Resolutions

a graphic picture of a blond girl holding an open blue book

I’m linking up today with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads for Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Bookish Resolutions.

Top 5 Bookish Resolutions

1.

Keep more accurate and complete records of book recs. I love to thank the blogger or reviewer and give her credit, but I don’t keep the best records or I think I’ll surely remember until I don’t. I’ve improved a bit over the past year, but this area definitely needs improvement.

2.

Read more nonfiction. I’d love my reading to consist of at least 20% nonfiction (which would be about 20 books per year).

3.

I want to do better at writing reviews immediately after finishing the book. I’m fairly good at taking notes, but I need to transfer those notes to a rough draft in WordPress before I lose them! Too frequently I have found notes/book quotes after I’ve already written and published the review! At the very least, I need to designate ONE place to keep notes!

4.

I’d like to read a few more classics. Perhaps one per quarter might be a reasonable goal.

5.

I want to continue:
reading diversely,
reading authors of color,
reading own voices authors,
reading books from other cultures and countries.



white 2022 on a blue background surrounded by white sparklers

QOTD:

Do you have a reading resolution?
Do we share any resolutions?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

#6Degrees of Separation: From Rules of Civility to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

January 1, 2022

#6Degrees of Separation: From Rules of Civility to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

#6Degrees of Separation (collage of covers)

 

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Young women living in or near New York City (late 1800s to early 1900s)

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Making connections between books is challenging, creative, and fun!

Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain. The rules are:

  • Link the books together in any way you like.
  • Provide a link in your post to the meme at Books Are My Favourite and Best.
  • Share these rules in your post.
  • Paste the link to your post in the comments on Kate’s post and/or the Linky Tool on that post.
  • Invite your blog readers to join in and paste their links in the comments and/or the Linky Tool.
  • Share your post on Twitter using the #6Degrees hashtag.
  • Be nice! Visit and comment on other posts and/or retweet other #6Degrees posts.

Play Along?

This month’s prompt starts with Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, and even though it’s not one of my favorite stories, I have an idea for a chain that features…

“Young women living in or near New York City from the late 1800s to the early 1900s…”

I love New York City and stories set there (or near there) in the late 1800s and early 1900s are fascinating!

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (cover) Image: a woman in a long dress lies back in a lounge chair and a man sits beside her.....drinks are on a small side tableEven though Rules of Civility by Amor Towles is beautifully written and has received high praise, I remember feeling rather meh about the story when I read it years ago.

Amazon Summary: “On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.”


the way of beautyFIRST DEGREE. From Rules of Civility, it’s an easy leap to another young woman living in New York City, Vera in The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio.

My Summary: “As a child in the early 1900s in New York City, Vera Keller falls in love with a childhood friend who is nine years older than she. Through the years, they remain close. Although Angelo acts like her older brother, Vera is convinced that someday they will marry. One day she is shocked when he introduces her to his fiance, Pearl. Despite her heartbreak, Vera and Pearl become friends and Pearl introduces her to the Suffragette Movement. As Vera becomes entangled in their lives, her love for Angelo never dies. As a result of her love for Angelo and her commitment to Pearl’s cause, Vera has many challenges and difficult choices to make. The latter half of the book is told from Vera’s daughter’s perspective. Her daughter, Alice, enjoys benefits from the Suffragette Movement but also faces her own challenges in caring for her ailing father and in choosing between two men whom she loves.” My review of The Way of Beauty.


The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis (cover) Image: a woman in a yellow dress stands with an open book inside a large museum type roomSECOND DEGREE: Another story of a young woman living in New York City features Laura in The Lyons of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. One other fascinating aspect is that the setting features the New York Public Library.

My Summary: “Told in two timelines, The Lions of Fifth Avenue tells the stories of Laura Lyons (1913) and Sadie Donovan (1993) and their experiences at the New York City Public Library. In 1913, Laura’s husband is the superintendent of the library and their family actually lives in an apartment inside the library. Laura wants more from life and is bored at home with her two children, so she enrolls in journalism school and becomes involved with a radical group of  women feminists meeting in Greenwich Village. Meanwhile, valuable books are stolen from the library and her family is under suspicion. In 1993, Sadie is the Curator at the New York City Public Library and also shares a secret connection with the famous essayist, Laura Lyons. The library experiences the theft of a few valuable pieces and Sadie’s job is in jeopardy. Truths come to light regarding Sadie’s family history as the case is investigated.” My review of Lions of Fifth Ave.

(more…)

December 2021 Reading Wrap Up

December 31, 2021

December 2021 Reading Wrap Up

December Reading Wrap Up (collage of titles)

How was your December reading?

Welcome to the last monthly wrap up of the year!
My December reading consisted of mostly light, escapist reads.
Out of 8 books completed, I had one 5-star read, six 4-star reads, and one 3-star read.
I’ve now read 119 books towards my year end goal of 100. Do you set a year-end goal?
(see my reading stats and new goals post here)

My favorite fiction read of the month is Sisters of Night and Fog (for it gripping content).


Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links or my linked reviews
.
ARC=Advanced Readers Copy (complimentary copy for review)


Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck (two women wearing hats and business suits walk away from the camera in a field of low fog)

Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck

5 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction, WW11, France, Resistance Movement. (Pub Date: 3/1/2022)


Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner (cover) Image: three young women walking arm in arm toward the camera, red text and ...

The Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

4 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction, London. (Pub Date: 5/17/2022)


A Vicarage Wedding by Kate Hewitt (pink text over

A Vicarage Wedding by Kate Hewitt

4 Stars. #3 in a Series, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Romance.


The Golden Girls Getaway by Judy Leigh (cover) Image: white text against a blue sky and three women sitting in camp chairs with their backs to the camera on a green expansive lawn area

The Golden Girls’ Getaway by Judy Leigh

4 Stars. (ARC) Contemporary Fiction, Coastal England and Wales. My review of Golden Girls.


The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

4 Stars. Contemporary Fiction, Book About Books, Diverse Read.


A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland (pinkish red text over a background picture of a country gazeba decorated for a wedding)

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessical Redland

4 Stars. (ARC) #4 in a Series. Contemporary Fiction, England. (Pub Date: 1/6/2022)


A Vicarage Homecoming by Kate Hewitt (a young man and woman walk through a quaint rural village)

A Vicarage Homecoming by Kate Hewitt

4 Stars Contemporary Fiction, England, Family Drama, Romance.


The Joy and Light Bus Company by Alexander McCall Smith (cover) Image: graphic drawing of a blue bus with orange markings drives along a country road...rust colored trees and scenery including a statue of a rooster

The Joy and Light Bus Company by Alexander McCall Smith

3 Stars. (#22 in a Series) Contemporary Fiction, Botswana, Diverse Read.



QOTD:

What was your favorite December read?
Did we read any of the same books?
Which of these books is on your TBR?



ICYMI:

December Blog Posts:

2021 Reading and 2022 Goals
Top 5 Memorable Hisfic Reads 2021
Most Memorable Reads of 2021
Top 5 New-To-Me Authors 2021
“Uplit” Recommendations and A Vicarage Christmas Review
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Review
Winter 2021 TBR
Meet the Blogger, Christmas Version
The Golden Girls’ Getaway Review
The Girl With Seven Names Review
Christmas in Briarwood Review
Book Ideas For Gift Giving
#6 Degrees of Separation: Ethan Frome
The Stranger in the Lifeboat Review
The Beekeeper of Aleppo Review



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book covers are credited to Amazon.

© http://www.ReadingLadies.com

 

2021 Reading Stats and 2022 Goals

December 30, 2021

Happy New Year Book Worms!

2021 Reading Stats and 2022 Goals

Reflection: 2021 Reading and 2022 Goals (white text over a background of an open journal, pen, hardbbackbook and holiday candles)

Image Source: Canva

Brace yourself for a nerdy post, bookaholics!

Have you ever set a reading goal or considered a reading challenge?

Reading in 2021

I’d love to hear from you if you analyze reading data at year’s end. Although I’ve always been analytical, I think my appreciation for using data to plan was heightened during my tenure as a teacher when I poured over student data to inform my teaching. Now, instead of looking at student achievement, I’m paying attention to my own numbers as it relates to reading achievement. I realize that while numbers are not that important in a rewarding reading life, they do reveal some trends and inform future reading choices. It’s important to me that I’m reading diversely, supporting women authors, and increasing my nonfiction percentage. While this post about the numbers is mostly a self-reflection, I hope you find it interesting and possibly motivating toward considering your own reading achievement during the past year and setting some goals for 2022.

If you’ve read ONE book this year, you’re a reader and I encourage you to celebrate that read and accomplishment!

Blog Feedback

I’d also like to know (in comments) what you’d like to see more of or less of on the blog for 2022. Has the variety this year been satisfactory for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts! In fact, I may put together a survey in January.

2021 has been another challenging year, but I’m also so grateful for wonderful books and delightful bookish conversation! Thank you to each of my followers and visitors! Thanks for the views, comments, and shares! I appreciate EACH one!
giphy

Best of 2021

See this post for a list of my most memorable reads in 2021 and this post for my top five memorable histfic reads of 2021.



Let’s Talk Numbers!

Total Books Read: 119

Remember….it’s really not about the numbers! It’s about the enjoyment of reading.

This number is down a bit from last year’s high of 131, but as long as I’m above 100 I’m satisfied. I averaged 25-30 books a year when I was teaching full time and the majority of those were read during the summer. For me in this season of life, 100 books is a comfortable number. I average two books per week and the weeks when I can only read one dense nonfiction or a 500+ page fiction are balanced out later when I can read 3 lighter, shorter books in one week.

My Year in Books (stats from Goodreads)



Books Abandoned (DNF): 7

I’m getting better at knowing my reading tastes and passing on books/genres that I know won’t be to my taste. I’m also not reluctant to abandon books that aren’t working for me. There are too many great books waiting to be read to make myself finish something that isn’t right for me at the time. Are you a fearless abandoner or a committed finisher



Women Authors: 102!

One of my goals in starting this blog is to support women authors writing about strong women and I feel like I’ve had success in this area. We’ve certainly come a long way since the days when women had to publish under a man’s name!



Diverse Reads: 20

For this number, I counted the books that take place in a culture other than my own, whose characters are ethnically different from me, and whose author is an author of color. It was my focus this year to intentionally read and promote authors of color. I have read other books in a broader sense of diversity, and it’s always my goal to read more diversely.

Library Books:

One stat I enjoy tracking each year is the percentage of books I read that are from the library.

Library = 41 (34%)
ARC (advanced readers copy from the publisher) = 40 (34%)
Own = 38 (32%)

I didn’t realize until I counted them up that the percentage is evenly distributed! Between library books and ARCs, 68% of my books are free! Great kindle deals help me buy books to own.



Fiction: (Broken Down by Sub-Genre): 107

The sub-genres add up to a more than 107 because a few books fall into more than one category.

Historical Fiction: 29
This is obviously a favorite sub-genre! See my top five memorable histfic reads in this post.

Literary Fiction: 4
This is a category that brings about some debate among readers….the most simple definition is that literary fiction is not genre fiction. Also, it’s character driven (usually) and known as literature written to explore the meaning of life and its issues….for example, most prestigious award recipients and national prize winners are categorized as literary fiction. My favorite title this year in the category is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

Women’s Fiction: 57
Wow! This is the first time I’ve ever read this much “women’s fiction”! There were months when these books were a balm to my pandemic brain! Again, a reader’s definition may vary….for me they are books in which most characters are women and the plot centers around women’s concerns and issues….some in this category are lighter reads that readers refer to as “beach reads” or “vacation reads.” Two of my favorites in this category are Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb and Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce.

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Science Fiction: 8
Clearly, I don’t read too much in this category because real life is scary enough….mainly, the books I read in this category are best sellers that I want to form my own opinion about. Although I rarely read scifi, my favorite read in this category is the audio version of Project Hail Mary…simply fabulous!

Issue Centered: 5
The main purpose of these stories is to focus on a certain issue. I usually enjoy these books unless they are heavily agenda driven by the author. My favorite title in this category is The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (what if God appeared to you when you called out?)

Middle Grade: 12
I love a great Middle Grade read! There’s some enjoyable and engaging literature in this category for adults! Two of my favorites are Ghost by Jason Reynolds and Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga.

I’ve started a Newbery Project which you can find in my blog’s menu pages.

Young Adult: 6
I didn’t read in this category as much as in previous years. One of my favorites this year is Firekeeper’s Daughter.



Nonfiction (broken down into sub-genres): 12

This is a definite area for improvement for me in 2022! My goal is to have a 20% nonfiction percentage. In this second year of the pandemic, I have been more drawn to escapist reads! My favorite nonfiction in 2021 is The Day the World Came to Town (don’t miss the Broadway musical Come From Away streaming on AppleTV +).

Memoir: 6
Memoir is a favorite form of nonfiction.

Biography: 1

Narrative Nonfiction: 1
Nonfiction written in story format.

Essay: 4



Story Graph

You may have heard about Story Graph, an alternative book tracking app to Goodreads. I decided to use both Goodreads and Story Graph this year to compare them (a blog post about this coming soon). One of the delights of using Story Graph is that it provides you with neat charts and graphs to help summarize your reading. My Story Graph handle is reading_ladies_blog. Here are a few of my 2021 charts/graphs:

Story Graph 4

Story Graph 1

Story Graph 2

Story Graph 3



Let’s Consider New 2022 Goals

(please share yours in comments):

Goal 1:

Goodreads Reading Challenge (determine how many books you’d like to read and track them through the Goodreads app). This is the easiest of the goals/challenges as it simply involves setting a number. This number can be adjusted throughout the year if you are reading above or below your goal. I recommend setting a reasonable goal and then raising it if necessary. My goal is 100 books. I met this goal in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, and it’s reasonable that I will meet it again. Retirement and pandemic isolation help tremendously! The 2022 Goodreads challenge will be available at the first of the year. Are we friends on Goodreads?

My Year in Books (stats from Goodreads)

This year I used StoryGraph concurrently with Goodreads to compare and contrast the two platforms. A blog post about that is coming soon.

Goal 2:

I want to curate a satisfying reading life in which I read what I want, when I want! (Thus, no other challenges for me this year.) I’ve come to the conclusion that life is hard enough without adding book challenges.

My goals are simple: read at least 100 books in 2022, read widely and diversely, and increase my nonfiction percentage.



What reading goals do you have for 2022?

goal make things happen



Happy New Year! I hope you’ve experienced some pleasurable and challenging reading in 2021 and are eagerly anticipating the reading year ahead!

giphy

giphy-1



QOTD:

Did you meet your reading goal for 2021?

What is your 2022 Reading Goal?

Do you use a method for tracking your reads during the year?

Have you considered your best read of the year? (see my most memorable reads of 2021 in this post and my top five historical fiction reads in this post.)



Happy Reading Book Worms!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

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Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Memorable Histfic Reads 2021 [Book Reviews] #T5T

December 28, 2021

Top 5 Memorable Historical Fiction Reads 2021

5 Memorable Histfic Reads of 2021

Background Image Source: Canva

*Titles are links to my reviews which contain Amazon affiliate links.

I’m linking up today with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads for Top 5 Tuesday. This week I’m narrowing the prompt of Top 5 Books of 2021 to Top 5 Historical Fiction Reads of 2021.

ICYMI: See all my most memorable reads of 2021 in this Top Ten Tuesday post.

Top 5 Histfic Books

1.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

a woman dressed in a rose dress stands with her back to the camera overlooking a balcony and a gold wall

Well written and researched, historically interesting, compelling characters with a side of mystery, England.

2.

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

Gold and Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (cover) Image: white text against a dark blue background

Page turning escape, refugee, found family, Afghanistan.

3.

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner (cover) Image: blue-toned picture of a woman and young girl holding hands and walking down railroad tracks with backs to camerai

Histfic (SF earthquake) with a side of mystery and page-turning suspense.

4.

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman (cover) Image: two girls sit on a wing of a plane

Women in the war effort (WW11, Hawaii), friendship.

5.

The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck

The Invisible Woman by Erica Robuck (cover) Image: a woman stands with her back to the camera and shadows of airplanes on the ground surround her

Biographical, a brave woman in the Resistance Movement (WW11), France.



QOTD:

Have you read any of my Top 5 Histfic reads?
What is one of your Top 5 Reads of the year?
If you read histfic, what was your most memorable read in that genre?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com