My dear bookish friends!
How strange it feels to say 2021 is coming to an end. It is both a relief but also induces fear. What will the next year bring? But in these strange times it is more important than ever to look at the positives, and that is what I want to do now.
In the past few days I’ve been seeing “Favourite Books of the Year” types of posts all over Book Twitter, and while I love reading them, I couldn’t really do one myself. Why? Well, my problem is that I’m so bad at narrowing down my favourite books. There were just so many! And when X is on there so must be Y, and then I think of Z and so on and so forth… So instead I decided to write a different version of this post – namely about my bookish favourites of the year. What made my reading year of 2021 unforgetable? What can I not live without anymore? Let’s have a look!
I always thought I wasn’t the type to buddy read with others. I often read at night when others are long asleep, and sometimes, after a long day at work there are days when I just don’t read at all. But this year really has proven otherwise! While I might not be the best reading buddy ever (I’m sorry to those who had to notice that…) but I absolutely love it and if I take longer than planned then it is always work or something serious coming in the way, never lack of interest or me not taking it seriously. I feel like we have come up with a good reading dynamic individually, and I want to take this opportunity to say a big, big THANK YOU to my lovely reading buddies (you know who you are!) for all the fun, deep, enthusiastic, lovely discussions we had. And here’s to many more buddy reads together!
Over the years I have taken part in quite a few different blog tours, and while there are many great tour companies out there, I have to say TheWriteReads is special. And I don’t just say that because I’ve basically been part of the TWR gang from day one – the tours are just extra special! Not only have there been so many amazing ones this past year and I discovered so many great authors that way, there are also supportive tour chats with reminders and likeminded readers, you can share your posts and those of the others – and that way support the authors even more! I just overall loved all the TWR tours I took part in, and I can’t wait for the upcoming ones in the new year! Additionally, it was so much fun creating the tour banners – something I enjoy immensely. A big thank you goes to all the lovely people who said nice things about these banners so far – you always make my day!
Part of the TWR tours is also the lovely community – all thanks to Dave, the supportive friend of us bloggers who is behind all this! I know he has a few little helpers (I’m one of them myself!), but I am still amazed by how he does everything he does. All the tour organising, the blogs and reviews of the day (are you part of the TWR gang yet? If not you should retweet these posts and come join us in the bookish fun!), the book awards, and all the other behind-the-scene-things of TheWriteReads – it’s amazing!
The Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award – BBNYA in short – was another invention the mastermind I mentioned above came up with. Now it is a group effort of so many amazing book bloggers who organise, allocate, read and vote for great indie books by indie authors – and I loved being part of this journey from the start. It’s incredible to find hidden gems of the indie book world, and I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for us!
I have discovered many new-to-me authors in 2021, but one special one stuck with me: Lucy Strange’s books made me instantly fall in love with the author’s writing style, the language, the characters, the worlds that Lucy created in the two (and a half) books of hers I read so far, and she is now an insta-buy-author for me! I love how quickly that can happen – you pick up a book you have never heard of before and BAM – you don’t know how to move on without more reading material from them!
ARCs and Review Requests
The other day I had a look at my little ARC shelf and it made me think. When I first started out blogging about books a couple years ago (it’s actually been so long now, eeek!!) I didn’t even dream of getting one book sent to me to review, let alone many. And while I don’t have the same number of ARCs and proof copies some other bloggers do, I am so grateful for every single one I’ve been sent, and just looking at them makes me so happy and also a teenie tiny bit proud. I am forever grateful to the authors and publishers who send books my way, and I’m trying my best to read and review them in a timely manner, and shout about the ones I really loved. I actually have a post in the makings in which I want to explain what I review where, and I hope that will clarify some things. A special thanks goes to the kind authors who reach out to me who clearly have had a look at my blog or myy tweets or Twitter bio – you are awesome! (For the purpose of this post I will now leave out the ones who clearly just copy-pasted their message to me and who knows how many others…that is not the way to do it!)
Spooky Middle Grade
I always thought scary books aren’t for me (as I’m a huge scaredy cat!), but then I discovered spooky middle grade novels. And while they are a lot scarier than you’d think (given that they are intended for a younger audience), I started to read more and more of them, and now I think I’ve become addicted to the thrill they are giving me! I want to read more and more of them, and recommendations are welcome! Here is a list of some of my recent favourites in case you are interested too!
Book clubs are a lot like buddy reads – only there you have a bigger group of people discussing your reads with! It’s been almost two years now since my lovely friends Ellie and Holly and I have founded the Middle Grade Marvels book club, and we have since acquired some lovely members! I love our weekly discussions, and most of our reads have been super fun – so if you want to give middle grade a try or are looking for a group of likeminded reader friends, why don’t you check us out on Twitter or Goodreads? We’d love to have you!
And last but by no means least, I loved having you as part of my reading year 2021! If you are reading this, chances are you probably commented on a tweet of mine, replied to a review, or we talked on Book Twitter – and I wouldn’t do all this if it weren’t for you! So, a big and heartfelt thank you for being part of my reading journey, I hope you’ll stick around in the new year too!
As you can see, there were lots of great things that made my reading year 2021 amazing, and I am grateful for every single one of them. I am so happy that in 2018 I finally decided to take the plunge and join the online book community – without you all I would still bore my family and real life friends who aren’t that much into books! Lol.
What are YOUR bookish highlights of the year 2021? What are you looking forward to in the new year? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter!
Thank you all so much for reading!