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I Read 87 Books in 2021, And Here Are The Best Picks

I Read 87 Books in 2021, And Here Are The Best Picks

At the beginning of the year, I set out to read 100 books. I was so confident in my ability to devour novels that I even debated setting myself a 200-book goal, but I thought, ‘Nah, let’s start out with child’s play, and we can impress everyone at the end of 2022.’ Well. I was not impressive, and it was not child’s play…

Sadly, I only got through 87 books, seriously underestimating the sheer enormity of how many books 100 books is. Okay, it was partly my fault due to the fact that I didn’t pace myself right. I took a month-long break in the middle of the year (smart), and by beginning of December I was only up to 80 books, so I took my foot off the gas and just enjoyed reading. I still got through 7 books in December without pushing myself, so I reckon next year I can make it to 100. (Famous last words – it’s probably going to be 92 or something. This’ll end up being a lifelong struggle.)

I did read some fantastic novels this year, and ones that I think deserve to be read. Sci-fi novels like To Sleep In A Sea Of Stars by Eragon’s writer Christopher Paolini; or Hail Project Mary, a extremely scientific but also extremely funny novel about saving the planet, and… aliens!

There are fantastic novels that I recommend more than anything; that were so good I couldn’t even bring myself to review them because I wanted to soak up every word of adventure and love and grief and heartbreak without having to put it into words. Books like A Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller, or Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell.

Some great non-fiction works are included if dystopias or historical epics aren’t your thing, like Remember by Lisa Genova, a great work on why we remember some things and not others, and how we can improve our memory with a few sneaky tricks. Why Women Are Poorer Than Men is a great novel that emphasizes the importance of unpaid labour, and above all, learning about money. This Pākehā Life may be a little niche to non-New Zealanders, but I think it’s an important read nonetheless, discussing how we can live with respect as descendants of colonials in an indigenous community.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. In the meantime, I’ll be embarking on my next tall mountain of 100 books, hoping to reach the peak this time. Wish me luck!