What’s up, 2021?

– What Happened

What DID happen? It all feels so long ago. December was a hectic time, or I would have written this post much sooner! But despite being hectic, I had a good month of reading, getting through six books in total.

First up was the utterly strange The Boy Who Walked too Far by Dom Watson, which I read as part of a Storytellers on Tour event.

I then read Hollow Road and shortly after The Archive, two fantastic books in Dan Fitzgerald’s The Maer Cycle. If you haven’t already checked this series out, you really should. Plus, it’s the perfect time to do so, with Shadow Spark releasing the final instalment this March!

Those were the last books I actually reviewed, however, I did read Ring Shout by P Djéli Clark, as I had a suspicion it might belong in my Top 10 Releases of 2020 list. I enjoyed this novella, but it didn’t make my top ten for the year. I may or may not post a review soon!

To finish off 2020, I read We Men of Ash and Shadow by HL Tinsley, a really impressive self-published fantasy debut, and Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell, one of my most anticipated books of 2021. I loved both, and hope to write reviews for each over the weekend.

Looking back at the year in full, I read 55 books – a personal record! I’m so pleased with this, and can’t believe how much my reading habits have changed since I started reviewing in March.

– The Damage –

First up, I invested in a new Kindle Paperwhite, since my eight-year-old model was starting to feel a bit laggy. I have to admit, there’s almost no perceptible difference between my old Kindle and the new one, so if you’re considering an upgrade, I wouldn’t rush into it.

Regarding book purchases, I got into the spirit of giving (to myself) this Christmas, and bought a few more books than usual!

Ebook Purchases

Physical Books and Pre-Orders

I was soooo excited that I found these signed copies of Hannu Rajiniemi’s Jean le Flambeur books at Oxfam! I just need to track down a signed copy of The Quantum Thief and my life will pretty much be complete. I also found an ARC of Krampus: The Yule Lord and was hoping to spend Christmas Day reading it. Unfortunately, it arrived one week too late and being an ARC, it didn’t include any of the art 😔.

The rest of the books on the left are all signed edition preorders. I think that cover art for Soulswift HAS to be some of the best of 2020, no?

I was surprised to see that I’ve bought an equal number of ebooks and physical books throughout the year. I’m also slightly alarmed by these figures and wondering how I still manage to feed myself…

– What’s Gonna Happen –

Well I can tell you January has been a dud for reading, between dealing with work and going through a breakup. So instead, I thought I’d share what’s ahead for the year!

It seems that recently, quite a few book bloggers have struggled to balance reviewing and personal life, and I’m certainly no exception. I was finding it hard to decide whether I was still enjoying myself with all the books I’d committed to reading. So, to try and balance an impossible amount of books on my TBR with life while making sure reading is still fun, I’ve made a few loose goals for 2021:

  1. Don’t feel pressure to review every single book I read
  2. Limit myself to one review copy per month
  3. Read at least one book that I already own each month
  4. Read one self-published book each month

That last one is more because my book buying addiction is getting out of hand.

I’ve already shared my most anticipated 2021 book releases, so here’s another 20 books (couldn’t decide on 10) I already own that I really want to read this year. In no particular order (except House in the Cerulean Sea 😍):

What are your reading goals for 2021?

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16 thoughts on “What’s up, 2021?

  1. Ahh I hope you’re well and I’m sorry you’re having a hard time, hope you feel better soon 🧡 We’re reading The City We Became during the entire month of February at Write Hive, if you wanna join? No pressure though, the way these months have been… Almost all of the books you mentioned are on my tbr too ✌️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As you know, my preferred genre of books is different to yours but I really enjoy reading your blog. With your inspiration
    i managed to read 38 books in 2020. I read a new Australian Author named Trent Dalton. His book, Boy Who Swallows Universe, was a very different read for me but I couldn’t put it down. Good luck not spending money on books you don’t have time to read , I’ve got boxes of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jake! I’m really sorry to hear that Jan was for you. Having goals is really great to help keep focus, and yours sound very healthy. I too want to read one self-published book a month. (I have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and I haven’t touched it for months–although I don’t really have a problem with that, since the money is pooled for self-pub authors.)

    OOOH, what is this “Soulswift” that I’m seeing? Beautiful! I’ll need to check it out. We Men of Ash and Shadow also sounds very promising. Looking forward to your review.

    I’m surprised you haven’t read The Obsidian Tower–simply because I feel like I’m the last one who hasn’t gotten to it. I’ve never read anything by Caruso, but I’ve heard great things. I recently bought The Tethered Mage, and hope to get to it by the end of the year.

    I hope you like Foundryside, it was one of my 2020 favorites.

    Here’s to a better Feb!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Rin 😊 yeah there are so many great self-pub books to discover, I feel I’m only missing out by prioritising trad pub.

    I hadn’t heard of Soulswift, but the cover is phenomenal! Apparently it’s quite heartbreaking, so I’m thinking there’ll be a time and a place for that one 😂

    The Tethered Mage blurb didn’t really capture my interest, but obsidian tower seems to have been received pretty well, and sounds a bit more unique.

    Hope you have a great Feb too! Read all the good books x


  5. Hello again! My January was a bit of a dud as well. 2021 didn’t start out all cracked up as I hoped it would be, haha. I like your simple goals for this year; they seem practical and realistic. I have done away with all challenges and personal goals this year and am just aiming for 100 books read. We’ll see how that goes… The City We Became is on my nightstand right now. I’m trying out a casual book club that reads books in anticipation of the Hugos. That’s one we think will make the shortlist. Hope your February’s off to a solid start, reading wise at least. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry to hear! I feel like a lot of people are still trying to settle into 2021.
    Yeah I think reading goals can be fun, and guide you if you can’t decide what to read, until they’re not and just stressful haha. I’m aiming for a book per week!
    Ah that’s great, I’m meant to be reading it this month as part of a Write Hive readalong on Discord! Let me know what you think 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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