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About Books Monthly Wrap-Ups Spotlight

2021 Wrap-Up + The Book, Cover, and Author of the Year

Happy Friday & Happy New Year’s Eve!

Whew! We did it. We made it to the end of 2021. I am forever grateful to books for getting me through this challenging year. I had a lot of great and profound reading experiences throughout the year. Good times I’ll remember fondly. Plus, the blog has grown and achieved a few new milestones, which I’m very happy about.

Without further delay, here’s my 2021 wrap-up along with my top favorite reads of 2021 and the cover/author/book of the year.

2021: Goodreads Reading Challenge

As of this post I’ve read 132 books (maybe 133 if I can finish this final read – A Dragon for Christmas by Zoe Chant – before the ball drops).

Screenshot of completed Goodreads Reading Challenge widget of 132 books of 100 goal for 2021.

December Reviews Posted

I posted 26 reviews this month of mostly 4-star reads. All in all, a good month for books.

Getting His Game Back  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wife by Wednesday  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I Am Enough  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Good Egg  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Cool Bean  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sunny Makes A Splash  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Only Mostly Devastated  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Introvert Doodles  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Strictly No Elephants  | ⭐⭐⭐
The Suite Spot  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2
Falling for Zeke  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2
Welcome to the Ballroom (Volume 1)  | ⭐⭐⭐1/2
Gratitude is My Superpower  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Red: A Crayon’s Story  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Garden We Share  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
House of Beating Wings (excerpt)  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I Am (Not) Scared  | ⭐⭐⭐
We Are (Not) Friends |  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Awakened  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Damaged Goods  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dragon’s Breath  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I’ve Loved You Since Forever  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Goodnight Moon  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wildfire Griffin  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
All Systems Red  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Restart  | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Favorite December Reads

My favorite December reads were Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales, The Suite Spot by Trish Doller, and All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

Favorite Blog Posts I Wrote

Below are posts I wrote from the past year that I had a lot of fun making and sharing.

Top Ten Tuesday: Purple, Gold, and/or Green Book Covers (Happy Mardi Gras!)
Book to Movie Adaptations I’d Love To See
Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had
Top Ten Tuesday: Colorful Book Covers
Outfits On Book Covers I Want In My Closet
My Favorite Book Mentors
Top Ten Tuesday: Older Reads I Loved and Will Always Recommend
Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Love An Update On

Top 12 Favorite Reads of 2021

My top 12 favorite reads of 2021 were Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune, At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis, Set to Music by Negeen Papehn, Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, Float Plan by Trish Doller, The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison, Brothersong by TJ Klune, Celestial by Olivia Wildenstein, Spy x Family (volume 1) by Tatsuya Endo, Thanks A Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas, Rock Hard by Nalini Singh, and Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert.

I highly recommend all of these 5-star titles!

Honorable Mentions:
Bloodsworn  ●  Unplugged  ●  Drawn Together

Covers of the Year

I chose Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune, You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao, and Bloodsworn by Scott Reintgen. for Cover of the Year. These stunning, beautiful covers took my breath away. I would gladly have these as wall art decor in my house.

Authors of the Year

For this category, I chose authors whose works I especially enjoyed and really want to read more from.

B.B. Alston  ●  TJ Klune  ●  Whitney D. Grandison

Nalini Singh  ●  Trish Doller  ●  Danielle L. Jensen

Courtney Ellis  ●  Annabeth Albert  ●  Chad Lucas

Book of the Year

This was probably the toughest choice I had to make this year but I chose two books that really wowed me, left a huge impression on me that still lingers, and brought me to tears. Book of the Year went to Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune and At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis!

Final Thoughts – Farewell 2021

While 2021 was a good reading year for me, it’s also put into perspective what I want for myself and this blog going forward. I’ve been slowly making changes in all aspects of my life and 2022 will see the beginning of those wishes implemented. But more on that in an upcoming January Happenings post.

I want to thank you all for reading, commenting, and liking my posts. I am so happy to be in this space, blogging and gushing and reminiscing about all things books. You are the best!

I hope you all have a splendid weekend and a happy New Year!

 

Sincerely,

Christina


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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About Books Spotlight

The Best of the Best Books of 2021: here are my favorites

Hello, again! Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! It’s been a busy while relaxing, reading, and just enjoying my time off work. This break was much needed for everyone.

Today’s post is a rewind, reminiscing about all the books I read this year and sharing the ones that stood out and left big impressions on me.

This year seems harder than past ones because I read so many good books! It was difficult to choose just one for some of the categories I’m using below. But we’re book lovers. Choosing just one book rarely is an option.

In 2021, I surpassed my reading goal of 100 books and read 27,146 pages across 131 books.

I’m still reading “Operation Sisterhood” but will be able to finish before the year is over. That review will be posted January 4 (its release day).

Through much deliberation, here are the best of the best books of 2021:

Best Picture Book was:

Drawn Together by Minh Lê, Illustrated by Dan Santat

Honorable Mentions:
Eyes That Kiss In The Corners Bedtime Bonnet

Best Middle Grade was:

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

Honorable Mentions:
Thanks A Lot, Universe ● Unplugged

Best LGBTQIAP+ Fiction was:

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Image via NetGalley

Honorable Mentions:
Ana on the EdgeBat BoyBrothersong Feel the FireOnly Mostly DevastatedOne Last StopThanks A Lot, Universe

Best Young Adult Romance was:

The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

Honorable Mentions:
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for RomanceYou’ve Reached SamOnly Mostly Devastated

Best New Adult Romance was:

Celestial by Olivia Wildenstein

Honorable Mention:
Bat Boy One Last Stop

Best Adult Romance was:

Set to Music by Negeen Papehn &
At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis

Honorable Mentions:
Feel the FireRock HardFloat PlanA Lowcountry BrideHome to MeWaiting for YouAll Night Long with a CowboyGetting His Game Back

Best Paranormal Romance was:

Brothersong by TJ Klune

Honorable Mentions:
Wildfire Griffin The Boss

Best Fantasy was:

Bloodsworn by Scott Reintgen,
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, &
Celestial by Olivia Wildenstein

Honorable Mentions:
Roar A Swift and Savage Tide These Feathered Flames Gilded Serpent

Best Manga Volume was:

Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo (Vol. 1)

Honorable Mention:
An Incurable Case of Love

Best Standalone Novel was:

At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune, &
Set to Music by Negeen Papehn

Best 2021 Release was:

*For this, I’m listing all my favorites because there were too many new releases that I absolutely loved. This year I read more new releases than any other year.*

All Night Long with a Cowboy    Amari and the Night Brothers  ●  Ana on the Edge  ●  Be Dazzled  ●  Bloodsworn  ●  Celestial    Eyes that Kiss in the Corners  ●  Float Plan  ●  Gilded Serpent  ●  Home For A Cowboy Christmas  ●  A Lowcountry Bride  ●  My City Speaks  ●  One Last Stop  ●  Open Your Heart  ●  Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance  ●  The Right Side of Reckless  ●  Set to Music  ●  The Squire  ●  At Summer’s End   ●  A Swift and Savage Tide  ●  Thanks A Lot, Universe  ●  These Feathered Flames  ●  Trashlands  ●  Truly Tyler  ●  Unplugged  ●  Under the Whispering Door  ●  Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business  ●  You Can Go Your Own Way  ●  You’ve Reached Sam

 

So those were some of my top favorite reads from the year. It’s been another amazing reading journey that I’m going to remember fondly. Tomorrow I’ll be posting my wrap up along with my favorite book, cover, and author of 2021.

See you then!


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Miscellaneous

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Happy New Year, Bookworms!

Let’s make this year better, safer and more inclusive for all of us.
Wear a mask. Wash our hands. Socially distance. Be kind.