End of the Year Post

My 2021 Reading Goals Wrap Up

Hi everyone, it’s Sabrina – and welcome to Wordy and Whimsical’s last post of 2021!  I’m glad you made it here.  Today I’m wrapping up all my goals for the year behind us – some I completed… some, not so much.  Still, I’m happy with what I did achieve and hopefully that’s good enough!  In January, I set myself some reading goals along with some miscellaneous goals which I then updated in June, and in this post I’m going to go over all of those as well as two of the reading challenges I participated in.  Let’s get into it! 🙂

MISCELLANEOUS GOALS

Stay on top of comments

I’m sure you know this if you’re here, but I am not consistent at all when it comes to comments.  I do try very hard, and I feel that I’ve been better at responding this year than I was in 2020, but it’s something I have to keep working on.  When I set this goal, I also set deadlines for my replies, but I’ve realised that is not practical for me.  I think I need to try a different method, like a priorities list, maybe.  That should help me in other areas of my life too.


Pin a tweet with my updated social media information ✔️

I did this! You can view it here, if you’re interested. I’m glad I actually completed this goal since it was probably the easiest on my list, lol.


Make time for writing

I didn’t do this at all. Well, okay, I did almost finish a short story, so I did make some time for writing – I just wish I had made more time (for example, the one hour a week I pledged to begin with) and/or actually finished the story 😅 I mentioned when I set this goal that I have never finished a story, so it irritates me a bit that I still fell into that trap, lol. I guess that’s a goal for next year. Again.


Reach a 100 day streak on Duolingo ✔️

Yay, another success! And this time, it’s one that actually took a sustained effort on my part. Not only did I read a 100 day streak, but as of writing this, I am up to 314 days. I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made in learning French and I hope I’ll keep learning it – albeit, slowly – over the years.

READING GOALS

Be more lenient about giving out 5 stars ✔️

I feel for sure that I have managed to do this – in 2020, I rated 11 books 5 stars on Goodreads and this year I gave that same rating to more than 20! I put some of this down to The Storygraph, because I can rate books more specifically on that website, which makes me feel less conflicted about giving a 5 star on GR to a book I didn’t find 100% perfect.


Read at least 5 books where sci-fi is the primary genre ✔️

Admittedly, some of these were novellas or quite short and for some of them it’s definitely debatable whether they’re primarily sci-fi or something else – however, the total comes to 12, so I think even taking those things into account, it’s fair to say I achieved this goal! These are the books I read for it, along with my ratings:

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
3.75 stars
Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
2 stars
A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna
3.25 stars
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
3.25 stars
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
4.25 stars
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
4 stars
Exhalation by Ted Chiang
3.25 stars
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
3 stars
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
4 stars
The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He
3.25 stars
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
3.25 stars
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
4 stars

Overall, my enjoyment of these books was not super high – my average rating (of these) was approximately 3.44 stars. Still, I did really like five of them, and compared to my overall average rating of 3.67 for the year, I’d say it’s not a bad result.


Pick up at least one book about genetics ✔️

I only read The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee this year, so I’ve technically completed this. Plus, it was a really chunky book so I really got what I was after out of this goal!


 Read at least five books that you already own ✔️

In the mid-year check in post I made, I wanted to increase this number to ten, but I didn’t make it, so I’m just pretending that never happened, lol. I did however read six books that I own (not including rereads), so I completed this goal 🙂

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
2 stars
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
3.5 stars
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
3.25 stars
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
3 stars
Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert
4.75 stars
The Legend of the Golden Raven by K Ancrum
5 stars

Read 100 books ✔️

I updated this goal mid-year from 52 books and I reached it! As of writing this, I’ve read 125 books in 2021! That’s the most I’ve ever read in a year by over 20 books.


Read at least 40% of my yearly books from countries outside the US ✔️

The majority of my reads are still from the US, but at the moment I’ve beat this goal by a little bit. My percentage of books read from outside the US is about 45%. I’m pretty happy with that. I think next year I might try and make this a 50/50 split.

OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE CHALLENGE

This is my second year of participating in Caro‘s Out of Your Comfort Zone Challenge, and unfortunately I didn’t quite complete it this time around – though I got fairly close! I picked four genres/categories I wanted to read more from this year and as of writing this, I’ve completed my goals for two out of the four, plus I am hoping to finish a third by the end of the year. You might have seen my update thread on Twitter over the course of the year. Here’s what I read:


NONFICTION (9/10)

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Arab, Australia, Other edited by Randa Abdel-Fattah and Sara Saleh
The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Last Butterflies by Nick Haddad
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty
Growing Up Disabled in Australia edited by Carly Findlay
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
currently reading

I’m really happy with the nonfiction I’ve read this year. It’s all been entertaining or informative or both, and all of it was well written and able to keep my attention. Two of these books – The Last Butterflies and In The Dream House – even made it into my favourites of the year list.


HISTORICAL MYSTERY (2/5)

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Slippery Creatures by KJ Charles

Unfortunately I didn’t love either of these books, though I’m glad I read them and was entertained by them. Ultimately though, that may be why I was less inclined to keep picking up historical mysteries over the year and never completed this part of the challenge.


TRANSLATED WORK (5/5)

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
4.75 stars
People From My Neighbourhood by Hiromi Kawakami
4 stars
Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura
4 stars
The Missing of Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos
4.25 stars
The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos
3.75 stars

As you can see, translated works ended up having a high average rating from me this year and as a result, I definitely intend to read more in the years to come.


MIDDLE GRADE (5/5)

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
The Bone Snatcher by Charlotte Salter
Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye

I didn’t fall in love with any of these middle grade books which was sad because I had such high hopes for them. I’d say I’m going to be more picky about the MG I pick up from now on, but I was pretty picky when it came to choosing these ones already 😅


BADGES & BINGO CARD

I earned four badges this year! One for finding a new favourite, one for reading a book over 500 pages, one for reading over 20 books out of my comfort zone and one for reading books from five different genres.

As for the bingo sheet, I almost filled it out, but I ended up missing two spaces – the “science fiction” spot and the “finish a series” spot. I did intend to finish two series as part of this challenge, but it wasn’t meant to be. And I suppose the sci-fi label could possibly include Warren the 13th. Either way, I definitely got a few bingos!

bing sheet image with four boxes across and five boxes down.  The boxes read, from left to right: free space, mystery, book with LGBTQ rep, historical fiction, nonfiction, free space, tome (500+ pages), book by an author of colour, an adult book, recommended by a friend, hyped book, romance, book about mental health, science fiction, free space, finish a series, fantasy, less than 5K rating on GR, middle grade, free space.

BUZZWORD READING CHALLENGE

I also joined BooksandLala’s Buzzword Reading Challenge this year, and it was a lot of fun! I loved picking out a book for each prompt (or several, for one month in particular) and recording it all on Twitter as it happened. I was also happy that I didn’t end up bending the rules as much as I was expecting to. Here’s a quick look at everything I read for this challenge:

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
3.75 stars
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
3.5 stars
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
unrated
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
3 stars
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
3.5 stars
The Wicker King by K Ancrum
5 stars
Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
3.5 stars
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
4.25 stars
The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
2.25 stars
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
3.5 stars
Lullaby For A Lost World by Aliette De Bodard
unrated
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
3 stars

As you can see, this challenge yielded mixed results in terms of my ratings, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and I will most likely be participating again next year.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Did you set 2021 goals and did you complete them? What about reading challenges? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned today? Let me know!

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20 thoughts on “My 2021 Reading Goals Wrap Up

  1. I think you did really well on the goals you set for yourself, especially the reading ones! Even if we plan something, I don’t think we necessarily have to reach everything. Life just doesn’t accommodate some things sometimes 🙂 I hope you’ll find a way to set goals for yourself in 2022 that you’ll enjoy working on as well!
    As for comments, ignore if this is not your thing at all, but I always make sure to reply to things before I post a new post. That way it’s like a “deadline” of sorts as well, but not one with a certain time frame, as it entirely depends on my posting schedule. For me, personally, that works quite well, but I understand everyone is different.

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  2. Congrats on achieving some of your goals this year, I think you did really well! I loved that you reached 45% of books outside the US, that’s really great. I definitely wanted to prioritise books outside the US too, I haven’t been great at tracking my books this year but I know achieved some. But 45% is great and I hope you get to 50/50 in 2022.
    I can struggle to stay on top of comments at times as well. This year (well the second half) I think I have improved. I have been using the app more and I used to think I had to do all my comments in one go whilst now I just do one comment in between tasks or something. It has been a really beneficial change for me.
    I failed at making more time for writing this year too *sad face* I really wanted to make it a top priority but I struggled a lot. Hopefully next year. Best of luck to you going forward 🥰
    You did so well on your reading goals and challenges though. That’s amazing and I loved this wrap-up! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sophie!! I hope so too. It’s definitely something I need to make more of a conscious effort to do because so many of the books I see people talking about come from the US, and those end up being the books I am more likely to read – and they’re the books my library is more likely to have, too.
      Yay for improvement! I can definitely relate to that. I’ll have to try out your new method, haha!
      Aw 😦 Yes, hopefully in 2022 though! Thanks!
      Thanks again Sophie! Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved reading your goals wrapup! 🥰 I also sometimes struggle to keep up with comments, especially when they pile up. I do have a little table in Notion where I keep track of what post I need to answer comments on! I still think you did really well with the Out of Comfort Zone Challenge! 💗 I hope you enjoy The Anthropocene Reviewed, I read and loved it this year 😊 I wanted to read more Historical Fiction, but it’s always the genre I reach for the least 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Caro! ❤
      Yeah, the piling up can make it feel too overwhelming to even start sometimes 😅 Ooh that sounds like a handy tool! I’m going to have to look into Notion.
      I did enjoy The Anthropocene Reviewed and I managed to finish it before the new year too 😀 I’m glad to hear you loved it as well! John Green really does have a way with words.
      I have this perception (whether it’s true or not, I don’t know) that historical fiction books are longer than anything else, so I know that plays a part in my lack of reading them :’)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on hitting over 100 books! Great job! My sister got really into Duolingo over the summer. She’s trying to learn Italian as our dad’s side is from Italy. I have yet to download the app but maybe one day if I have time. Happy new year!

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  5. I loved this wrap-up! As someone whose challenges are set extremely loosely, it’s really interesting to read other people’s. I’ve also been trying to get more into non-fiction, so I get back to that list eventually (I’m especially interested in Sitting Pretty).
    Also, congrats on your 300+ streak for French! I love learning languages, but I find that kind of consistency super hard to achieve, so it’s truly impressing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay for your Duolingo streak. I’ve hit a 561-day streak with the use of many a streak freeze. It was my one goal of the pandemic to try and learn something new. I still can’t really speak German but I can muddle through. I think I need to try and learn a new language now. It’s also awesome that you’ve managed to stick to so many goals and make a good attempt at reading challenges. I’ve joined the Buzzword challenge this year so hopefully, I’ll do as well as you did in 2021.

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    1. Unfortunately I immediately lost my streak this year and haven’t gone back until today :’) Wow 561 days is seriously impressive!! Good on you!! And congratulations on learning so much German!
      Ooh yay for the Buzzword challenge – I hope you have fun with it!

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  7. Honestly I’m super impressed with how you did on all of your goals because it really looks like you tried your hardest for most of them, even if you didn’t quite end up achieving them. I was also pleasantly surprised by how I did with my goals in 2021. If I ignore the TBR related goals I set, I did really well!

    Liked by 1 person

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