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When I was growing up, I used to read a lot. I read enough to win an iPod Nano in my local library’s summer reading contest. Naturally, I ended up majoring in English in college, where I also read a lot but under a lot of pressure. After undergrad, I immediately did a master’s degree in linguistics, which also involved a lot of reading under pressure. Shortly after I started college I stopped reading for fun, at first because I had too much assigned reading and then later because I had built a stress response to opening up a book. Then, on Christmas Eve 2020, something clicked in my brain when my wonderful husband Zak gifted me a copy of a childhood favorite, Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. I read the whole thing in about a day, then quickly devoured the rest of the series. I kept reading Tamora Pierce books, then more YA fantasy. It removed the association in my brain between reading and work.
After a while, I branched back out into other genres, and then I joined a book club to get exposure to things I maybe wouldn’t otherwise read. I decided to challenge myself to read at least 52 books by Christmas Eve 2021, or a book per week. Once I was in the late 30s and 40s of books read for the year, I started thinking about what I would do when I finished and decided I wanted to do a ‘year in review’ sort of thing. That idea developed into wanting to start a book review blog.
I completed my reading goal, reaching 53 books total.
As I mentioned above, I only started thinking about writing reviews when I was 30 or 40 books in. I didn’t write down thoughts about most of them as I finished them, so some of the reviews are pretty short. To make it easier to navigate the more substantial reviews at a glance, all reviews that are more than a paragraph long will have a ‘featured image’ so they take up more space on the homepage. There’s also a 2021 Book Index page that has links to all of the reviews as well as some fun stats about the year’s reading.
Every review page will start with a spoilerless description of the book, then the book’s cover art. Below the cover art is the review section. The review section can always contain spoilers.
Newer reviews (any past the first 9) will have a spoilerless recommendation section below the description, and their ‘review’ sections have been renamed ‘discussion.’ I have a post explaining this shift.
Thanks again for reading, and please let me know if you have recommendations for what I should read next!