2021 was a weird year for reading. The ongoing, seemingly indefinite pandemic drained alot of my mental energy, as I’m sure it did for many of you. I also got a promotion at work, which although more rewarding, has been more tiring and stressful at times. As a result, I spent more time gaming, where I could escape without the concentration of reading.
Despite this, I still read about 35 books – I’ve listed a handful of my particular faves below.
Looking back at my year in blogging, I launched my SFF Badge Collection to start off the year, which so many people took part in. I really was amazed how well it was received. If you’d like to read more about the badge collection (because if you want to do it for 2022, why not?) check out my original post here. I hope you had fun if you decided to take part!
In March, I launched a one-off event, Fantasy Monster Week, in which I featured books with monsters in them, talked about various monster related topics and some guest posts too! You can find the posts from March here where all the Monster Week posts are located. Here was the schedule:
I also launched a Witcher Readalong discord. This was a spectacular failure, mostly because the majority of the other people were the same as me this year and just couldn’t be bothered to stick to a defined schedule. I’m going to 100% be reading every one of the books in 2022 instead though!
Planning for Norsevember began as early as the start of summer, and after the first Norsevember in 2020, I realised to pull it off I was going to need a little help this time around. It was still a huge undertaking, but I had some fantastic people help out with posts to fill out the weekly schedules.
You can find Norsevember posts, reviews and more on the Norsevember Hub section of my blog here or a roundup post of the whole of this year’s event here with a comprehensive list of basically everything myself and the community created during the event!
I didn’t read loads of books by community standards – 36 (plus a few DNF I moved on from without a review. This is why the majority of my reviews tend to be 3-5 stars, any less and I’ve stopped reading and therefore don’t review) – and a handful of the books I read were novellas. Compared to the average person I still read an awful lot though!
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a PS5 in January, and I’ve spent a lot of time on Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, Demon’s Souls and Spiderman: Miles Morales over the year, aswell as a few others! I’ve also been playing Warhammer II: Total War on PC as well as trying out Thrones of Britannia which I actually think is a great game despite the mixed reviews.
Perhaps I’ll get a little more reading done this year (in which I’ve decided to not take on any review requests) and am focusing on the books I own at home and already bought on my kindle. With Warhammer III and God of War: Ragnarök on the horizon, it remains to be seen whether these book plans will come to fruition; maybe less time scrolling social media will give me some extra time!
I’ve chosen my 5 favourite reads of the year below that really dig drag me away from gaming and scrolling:
1. Shackled Fates – Thilde Kold Holdt
2. Mickey7 – Edward Ashton
3. The Witch’s Heart – Genevieve Gornichec
4. Fury of a Demon – Brian Naslund
5. The Everspring – Joshua Gillingham
I read some other fantastic books too of course, but these made the very top of the list. Other 5 star ratings this year were given to (in Alphabetical Order):
A Ritual of Flesh – Lee C. Conley
Althingi: The Crescent and the Northern Star – Joshua Gillingham and Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad
An Altar on the Village Green – Nathan Hall
Artifact Space – Miles Cameron
Death Rider – Zamil Akhtar
Goodbye to the Sun – Jonathan Nevair
Ioth, City of Lights – D. P. Woolliscroft
Saga, Volumes 1-3 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Shadow of a Dead God – Patrick Samphire
Tales of Ioth – D. P. Woolliscroft
The Fall – Ryan Cahill
The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
Truth and Other Lies – Lyra Wolf
Well, last year’s badge collection was a lot of work, so it’s nice to pass on the baton to Ben, Bex and the gang over at SFF Oasis who’ve created their own version this year coming.
Norsevember will be back, but I do need to find a way to make it less time consuming. This year’s Norsevember will probably have a bigger focus on historical events, with such a big focus on mythology and culture the last two events.
I’ll also undoubtedly run a couple of shorter events – I’m thinking first contact stories and something a little piratey…
I’m not going to take on any requests and probably won’t sign up to any new tours as I want to whittle down my growing TBR list. Speaking of which, Matt the Womble has created a brilliant reading challenge here at RunAlongTheShelves – a book (or two) each month based on a particular prompt. I’ll be aiming to wipe out a chunk from my list of owned books, both physical and ebook.
I’d also love to do my first (successful) buddy read this year if anyone is interested. I’ll be reading the usual SFF as well as history and popular science.
I wish you all a great 2022!