2021 Recap and 2022 Goals

2021

2021 was such an eventful year for us! My husband and I welcomed a little baby boy in July and he has been such a joy for us. I had a few months of maternity leave during which I actually got a LOT of reading done. I had gallbladder surgery and then went back to work right in the midst of a busy season so had to dive right into things. We were so blessed this year and it’s hard to believe how much of our life has changed.

So anyways! On to the meat of this post – to recap on the goals list that I had set for 2021:

  1. Participate in certain reading challenges:
    1. Bout of Books Challenge – BOB 31 (May 2021) – Did not participate in this challenge, was very busy with work and the last few months of pregnancy
    2. Book Bingo challenges! I’d like to participate in at least one bingo challenge again this year. Maybe the Ripped Bodice summer bingo but I’ll be busy in July and August so I’m not sure if that’ll work. We’ll see how things pan out but I do so much enjoy those so I’d like to participate in at least one. – I did the Ripped Bodice summer romance reading bingo, I was off for two months in the summer and it was fun!
  2. Keep reading my backlog list! At least one book per month – I was definitely able to accomplish this, I actually read 26 books of my backlog which I was super happy about. I still have 42 books to get through so I have to stick with it !
  3. Keep reading from my personal library! At least one book per month – I did this one too! I might’ve even gotten through more than one a month a couple times, but I also bought more new books in 2021 than I read from my library so have not yet been able to deplete my library at all
  4. Write at least one non-review and non-blog tour post a month – can be one of the structured posts like Top Ten Tuesday or it can be informative or whatever I feel like! – I did this for January, February, March, and April and then I kind of lost track of it. I had a great time writing the posts that I did get out though, especially the Girl Scout Cookie, wine and book pairing post I did in March.

This year was very different for me since we added a new family member. My maternity leave included a lot more reading than I ever would have expected but those late night feedings it’s so easy to read on a Kindle!

In looking back on my year of reading this year, I was able to read a comparable amount related to previous years. Below is a chart of the books I read by month this year vs previous years:

I also really like the functionality of the Goodreads Year in Books summary for giving an overview of what happened during my year for reading. I don’t record 100% of the books I read on here so it doesn’t always match up with my own figures but I love having all the covers in one place, it makes for a neat graphic.

And just for fun! Here are a few of my favorites from 2021:

Favorite Reads from 2021

  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – 5.0 stars – Also I watched the movie and I really liked it! There were pros and cons to it but overall I think it stayed really true to the book and it is definitely enjoyable
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry – 4.75 stars
  • Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan – 4.75 stars
  • Runaway Girl by Tessa Bailey – 4.75 stars
  • The Invited by Jennifer McMahon – 4.75 stars
  • It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey – 4.5 stars
  • Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey – 4.5 stars

Best New Author I Read in 2021

Last year’s best new author was Tessa Bailey and, even though she wasn’t a new author to me in 2021, I feel like I still have to mention her since I’ve been just gobbling up her backlog. I love a lot of the books I’ve read by her. But best new author I read in 2021 is a tie between Emily Henry (loved Beach Read!) and Nikki Sloane (who I heard about on the Fated Mates podcast).

Here we close out the 2021 year and we look ahead to the New Year!!

Happy New Year!

Looking ahead to 2022, I feel so grateful for all the ways my life has grown this past year. Some of those things will take away from my reading and blogging time and that’s an adjustment I’ve been getting used to over the last few months. Reading is still very important to me so I want to make time for it where I can, but many of my 2022 goals are going to be personal goals for outside the blog. That being said, there are some reading goals that I’m still hoping to achieve.

Looking ahead to 2022, here are some of the goals I plan to work on:

  1. Participate in certain reading challenges: Book Bingo challenges! I’d like to participate in at least one bingo challenge again this year. Maybe the Ripped Bodice summer bingo since I’ve done that one the last couple years and have enjoyed it.
  2. Keep reading my backlog list! At least one book per month
  3. Keep reading from my personal library! At least one book per month
  4. Write at least four non-review and non-blog tour post during the year – can be one of the structured posts like Top Ten Tuesday or it can be informative or whatever I feel like! I wasn’t able to keep up with the one a month schedule this past year so I’m hoping doing just four during the whole year will be more manageable.

I wish everyone love and joy in 2022, Happy Reading!

2021 Monthly Status Update: December

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December went by in a flash. Between Thanksgiving last month and the holidays at the end of December, plus all the work to get done before the 12/31 deadline, it was a hectic month! The holidays were so wonderful, it was great to see our son’s first Christmas experience – even though he’s still too young to really know what’s going on. I didn’t have as much time as I had hoped to read over my “vacation” time but I did get some reading done. And I watched the new Hating Game movie, I thought it was pretty good! Here is my reading progress for December:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 6
# pages read this month: 2,099
# books read year-to-date: 110
# pages read year-to-date: 37,366

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren – 4.5 stars

Next Month TBR List:

  • Love at First Spite by Anna Collins
  • Made in Manhatten by Lauren Layne
  • How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan
  • Electric Idol by Katee Robert
  • You Can Run by Rebecca Zanetti

I’ll be posting a summary of my year sometime in the next couple days – I always like looking back at the past year and thinkin about what I want to accomplish over the next year. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Happy reading!

2021 Monthly Status Update: November

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November was such a busy month. Work has been steadily ramping up for me over the last month and I’m trying to really push through before the holidays and get everything done. Thanksgiving was a great celebration this year and we had so much to be thankful for. I didn’t get to read a ton this month but I have been enjoying the books I’ve been reading. Here is my reading progress for November:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 7
# pages read this month: 2,397
# books read year-to-date: 104
# pages read year-to-date: 35,267

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

I re-read Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole and still loved it. Also have been reading some of Nikki Sloane’s backlog and it is just fantastic.

Next Month TBR List:

I do have one schedule read for next month – its part of the Harlequin Dreamer series blog tour! Stay tuned for more details.

Other than that I am hoping to catch up on books for my Fated Mates podcast that I follow. They’re already into Season 4 and I am still reading along with Season 2 so I have a lot of catching up to do!

I always love doing my year end summary posts, looking forward to those later this month. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Happy reading!

2021 Monthly Status Update: October

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My favorite time of the year is almost over! Fall is the best – between the cooler weather and my birthday and all the Halloween decorations, I just love this time of year. We always have a big Halloween celebration and it’s just great. And this year we got to make lots of new memories with our son. I started back at work and it’s been hard at times trying to find a balance between work and home – this resulted in October being a slow reading month for me! Here is my reading progress for October:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 7
# pages read this month: 1,921
# books read year-to-date: 97
# pages read year-to-date: 32,870

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

BUT I just have to mention – I made it onto one of my favorite podcasts FATED MATES!! I called in and left a voicemail to talk about the book that “blooded me”  and they used my recording to conclude one of their episodes! I literally screamed in the car when I heard it, I was so excited!! It’s episode 27 of Season 2 and was an interstitial about sickbed scenes on romance novels. I HIGHLY recommend listening to the whole episode because it was a good one but if you’re looking to hear from me specifically, my message starts at minute 29:00!

Favorite books from this month:

Nothing really that stood out this month

Next Month TBR List:

Nothing on the TBR for next month, which is good because work is just so busy right now and I’m going to have trouble keeping up between my work load and a baby at home. I’m hoping to fit in time for reading when I can and just read stuff from my backlog or my library. I’ve also started going to clients and to the office again and have been listening to my podcasts! So hopefully I can read some books this month for catching up with the podcast TBR.

Happy November to everyone and enjoy Thanksgiving (safely)!

2021 Monthly Status Update: September

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My favorite time of the year is here. Fall is the best – between the cooler weather and my birthday and all the Halloween decorations, I just love this time of year. This past month was my last month of maternity leave and I read A LOT! I won’t be able to continue at this pace going forward as I’m starting back at work but I am hoping to still read some great books next month too. So! Here is my reading progress for September:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 15
# pages read this month: 4,808
# books read year-to-date: 90
# pages read year-to-date: 30,949

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

Beach Read by Emily Henry – 4.75 stars
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey – 4.5 stars

Next Month TBR List:

For October, I don’t have any scheduled reads but I wanted to do some spooky/witchy reads! So I’m going to be reading a mix of things from my backlog and my library that fit into my “theme” for this month:

  • The Ex Hex
  • Witches of East End
  • Witches of Eastwick
  • Sorrow
  • Look for Me
  • The Witchfinder’s Sister
  • The Vanishing Season
  • A Heart of Blood and Ashes

I’m back to work this month but hoping to ease in slowly so I just need to find a balance between work and family first and then I’ll be able to figure out where I can fit in more reading!

Happy reading everyone and hope you all have a spooky October!

2021 Monthly Status Update: August

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What a great month August was! I have been spending lots of time with my new baby at home and have been reading A LOT. Plus we’ve been getting out and starting to do things as a family, like going to events and a local country fair. It’s been so exciting to go on adventures as a new family of three! During all this I read some awesome books, so here is my reading progress for August:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 14
# pages read this month: 5,068
# books read year-to-date: 75
# pages read year-to-date: 26,141

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

Runaway Girl by Tessa Bailey – 4.75 stars
You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart – 4.75 stars
Beach Read by Emily Henry – 4.75 stars

Next Month TBR List:

  • When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

September is one of my favorite months of the year, and this year especially I have a lot to look forward to! My mom and I both have our birthdays in September and we have a series of events planned. And with the new addition to our family this year we have even more to celebrate! I will still be on leave for the next month so there will continue to be some additional time for reading. I’ve been making great headway with my backlogs from prior years and I’ll hopefully continue to make progress with this.

Happy reading everyone!

2021 Monthly Status Update: July

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July was a busy month – we had a baby! With all the late night feedings I’ve been getting a lot of reading done still this month. Anyways, here is my progress for reading in July:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 13
# pages read this month: 4,207
# books read year-to-date: 61
# pages read year-to-date: 21,073

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt – 4.50 stars

Next Month TBR List:

  • Nothing on the TBR List for July!

Like I mentioned, I’m not sure what the next couple months will bring exactly so I purposefully didn’t commit to any reviews for August and only one in late September. I’ll still be trying to work on my backlog for the next couple months and also read something each month from my library. Other than that I’m just planning to wing it and see how things go!

Happy reading everyone!

2021 Monthly Status Update: June (& Blog Hiatus for July/August/September)

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June was a busy month for me outside of reading. I hadn’t mentioned it yet but my husband and I have been expecting! Our son was just born earlier this week, so there was a whirlwind of activity in June to finish getting ready – between our baby shower, trying to get everything in order at work, setting up the nursery and just general life – it was hard to find time to read in June! And since this is our first child, I’m not sure what to expect exactly over the next few months so I’ll be taking a hiatus for a couple months on the site and won’t be posting as much (if at all)! Anyways, here is my progress for reading in June:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 7
# pages read this month: 2,197
# books read year-to-date: 48
# pages read year-to-date: 16,866

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey – 4.50 stars

Next Month TBR List:

  • Nothing on the TBR List for July!

Like I mentioned, I’m not sure what the next couple months will bring exactly so I purposefully didn’t commit to any reviews for July and August (and only one in late September). I’ll still be trying to work on my backlog for the next couple months and also read something each month from my library. Other than that I’m just planning to wing it and see how things go!

Happy reading everyone!

2021 Monthly Status Update: May

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May was quite the busy month! Lots of work to be done but I’ve also been getting lots of rest and doing some reading. We went on a weekend trip to Boston and had a great time. Memorial Day weekend was a quiet one since it was cold and rainy all weekend. Anyways, here is my progress for reading in May:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 9
# pages read this month: 3,317
# books read year-to-date: 41
# pages read year-to-date: 14,669

Other Posts this month:

Nothing to report from this past month!

Favorite books from this month:

Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan – 4.75 stars

Next Month TBR List:

  • The Turnout by Megan Abbott
  • Neon Gods by Katee Robert
  • A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor

I’ll also be trying to continue working on my backlog for June and read something from my library. June will be a very busy month – we have a big arrival coming for our family at the end of June / early July and I’ll be taking it easy after that and may not be posting as much for a couple months. I’ll be sure to catch up everyone when I’m able to though!

Happy reading everyone!

2021 Monthly Status Update: April

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April has brought its ups and downs. There is still (as always) lots of work to do. But I was able to get off some time at the end of the month and that was a great break from reality. Spent a lot of that time watching TV but I was also able to fit in some time for reading! Anyways, here is my progress for reading in April:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 9
# pages read this month: 3,386
# books read year-to-date: 32
# pages read year-to-date: 11,352

Other Posts this month:

A look into the different Romance Genres

Favorite books from this month:

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon – 4.75 stars

Next Month TBR List:

  • The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
  • Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl (not out til July but I’ll be busy then so I’m reading a little early!)

I don’t have a lot on the list for this month but I will be trying to get a lot done with both work and my personal life so I’m ok with a light list this month! We have a lot of house projects this month that we’ll be having to deal with and the preparation related to those will I think take up a good amount of my free time. I’m trying to decide whether or not to participate in the Bout of Books read-a-thon in a week or so.

Happy reading everyone!