My 2021 reading round-up and reading recommendations (+ tips to find good books)

2021 started slow, and the fall and winter have been intense months of reading :D In total, I read 102 books in 2021. I’m not going to share all of them here, but only my favourites. I’ve also made a very conscious effort to diversify my reading in 2021, as you probably will notice from my recommendations! :)

Favourites

Novels for adults

Teen novels (I know I’m not a teen, I just love teen novels, ok?)

Documentary

Other

How I find books to read

A friend asked a few weeks ago where I find all these books to read, and I gave her a pretty long answer, so I thought I might as well share it here for anyone else who likes looking for inspiration!

Impulse buying I found an independent one close to where I live and every time I go I miserably fail to have self-control and leave with half a dozen books. Oops! (Also, I love public libraries - if you have a public library nearby, it might be a better option than a bookshop!)

Recommendations My recommendations usually come from friends, bookstagram, blogs or podcasts I like (usually not dedicated to books, but interviewing authors / mentioning books about the theme they focus on), groups like this one, etc. I also keep an eye on Kickstarter for self-edited books, and when I really love a book, I check out the publisher, which often has similar titles in the same collection. Also, many publishers have Bundles where you sign up to receive X books over the year as they come out, so you get suprise books at random times of the year. I love it!

Having a clear to-read list I regularly open my list and order one or two books from the bookshop referenced above. I also have a public wishlist that I share to my family and friends for Christmas and my birthday. When I didn’t have this list, I heard of a book, then forgot about it, so it didn’t drive my desire to read it. Now, I don’t forget, so when I’m out of ideas I just open the list and there I go again!

My publisher recommendations

Most of my favourite publisher are French, but here are two English language ones that brought me some of my best reads: Charco Press is a Scottish publisher focusing on translating books from Latin America to English. The books are usually amazing, the translations are really good (you can see how much they care about it), and the covers are really pretty! I especially loved Havana Year Zero from them. Tilted Axis Press also does translations and is also based in the UK, and I found out about them with their "Translating Women" Kickstarter at the end of 2019, which brought me 2 of my favourite 2021 books with Strange Beasts of China and Women Dreaming. Can’t wait for their 2022 subscription offer to be live!

Reading challenges

I took part in quite a few reading challenges this year! (Also, The Storygraph shows you which books others have added to prompts in your challenges, which is really useful for finding new reads.)

Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge is a classic and they just posted their 2022 prompts. They always have 24 prompts. 2021 Reading Women Challenge is also a challenge I love, as I try to read a large majority of books by women & people of marginalised gender identities. Silver Valkyrie's 2021 Reading Challenge is much smaller, I found it completely randomly, and it has guided a good part of my reading in 2021 so I’m excited to see the 2022 edition!

I also take part in two geographical challenges that span over several years:

Follow me

I also happen to track all of my reading, reviews, and MANY reading challenges on The Storygraph (like Goodreads but not Amazon-owned, and also prettier, and also cooler stats for the nerds out there), so feel free to follow/friend me!