End of Year Book Survey 2021

Hi everyone! We made it to the end of another pandemic year, congratulations to us! As ever with the end of the year, comes the annual End of Year Book Survey, created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner as a way of looking back and celebrating our year of reading and blogging. You can find the questions on Jamie’s blog here.

2021 Reading Stats:

Number of Books You Read: 24 (or it will be by the end of the day, I’m a couple of hours off finishing my last audiobook of the year).

Number of rereads: 0

Genre you read the most from: Fantasy

Best In Books:

  1. Best Book You Read In 2021?

This is the audiobook I’m currently finishing, but I will have by the end of the day, so I’m counting it! Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime is incredibly funny but also an extremely enlightening memoir about growing up in South Africa during Apartheid and the years following. I’m about 2 hours from the end, and it’s definitely one of the most entertaining memoirs I’ve ever read.

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Definitely Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn. I was so excited to read this book as it sounded like everything I usually love, found family, historical setting, heists…..it had everything that should have made it a winner for me. Sadly it ended up feeling rushed and messy, the characters were poorly developed and the found family vibes were practically non-existent because all the characters seemed to hate each other. Big disappointment.

3. Most Surprising (In A Good or Bad Way) Book You Read?

The Last Bookshop In London by Madeline Martin, and definitely in a good way! It was something I picked up completely on a whim after seeing it on someone’s Top Ten Tuesday post one week, and I had zero expectations because I knew hardly anything about either the book or the author, but I ended up really enjoying it, it was such a lovely story about community spirit during the Blitz and how a shared love of books brought people together!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read and They Did?

I recommended The Alice Network by Kate Quinn to my friend Hannah, she didn’t love it as much as I did, but oh well, you can’t win them all!

5. Best Series You Started In 2021? Best Sequel of 2021? Best Series Ender of 2021?

Honestly I have nothing for series starter this year! I’ve read a few series starters, but they were all among my least favourite books of the year (Dangerous Remedy, The Poppy War and The Bear and The Nightingale) so yeah, I’m going to have to go with nothing this year, for the first time in the history of me doing these surveys!

Best sequel of 2021 is technically also a series ender but I’m going to use it in this section as I have another book for series ender, and that’s A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown. I didn’t love it as much as the first book in the series, and the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I would have liked, but I loved the characters and the narration of the audiobook was brilliant.

Best series ender of 2021 was The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee, it was a really satisfying end to the series, and I loved getting to meet Adrian properly and seeing all three Montague siblings together at last.

6. Favourite New Author You Read In 2021?

This has to be Kate Quinn, both of her books I read this year, The Rose Code and The Alice Network made it into my Favourite Books of 2021 list, and I’m so excited for her latest release, The Diamond Eye to come out next year. She write female focused historical fiction mysteries, what about that is not to love?

7. Best Book From A Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?

I’ll go with Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime for this as though I’ve been attempting to read more non-fiction in recent years, it’s still not a genre that I reach for often. I want to change that though because I’ve had a lot of success with the non-fiction I’ve been reading recently, all three memoirs I read this year made it onto my Favourite Books of 2021 list.

8. Most action packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

This might be a strange choice, but I’d go with I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai’s memoir for this one, more for the unputdownable part than the other two. I found I Am Malala really engaging, and finished it in less than a week, which is very unusual for me.

9. Book You Read In 2021 That You Would Be Most Likely To Reread Again This Year?

Again, likely none. I just don’t really have time for rereads anymore.

10. Favourite Cover of A Book You Read In 2021?

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Could it really be anything else? This is possibly one of my favourite covers ever, not just from this year. It’s just so gorgeous and every time I look at it, it reminds me of Christmas, which is my favourite time of year.

11. Most Memorable Character of 2021?

Eve Gardiner from The Alice Network, without a doubt. Eve is such a firecracker of a woman, so feisty and brave and funny and just the exact kind of female character that I always instantly connect with.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2021?

Whilst I may not have loved it as much as everyone else did, I have to admit that The Song of Achilles was beautifully written. Madeline Miller has such a lovely writing style, I can’t wait to see what she writes next (and yes I’ve already read Circe).

13. Most Thought Provoking/Life Changing Book You Read This Year?

Definitely I Am Malala, Hannah and I talked a lot about the things that we found interesting about the book and it made me wish I’d appreciated school more when I was a teenager!

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Till 2021 to read?

I mean I only found out about The Alice Network because I read Kate Quinn’s 2021 release The Rose Code, so I didn’t exactly wait till 2021 to read it, I genuinely hadn’t heard about it before this year. I wish I had though, as if I’d heard about it earlier and known how much I was going to enjoy it, I would definitely have read it earlier.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2021?

“It’s going somewhere without ever taking a train or ship, an unveiling of new incredible worlds. It’s living a life you weren’t born into and a chance to see everything coloured by someone else’s perspective. It’s learning without having to face the consequences of failures, and how best to succeed….I think that within all of us, there is a void, a gap waiting to be filled by something. For me, that something is books….and all their proffered experiences.” -The Last Bookshop In London, Madeline Martin

This passage really captures what I love so much about reading!

16. Shortest and Longest Books You Read In 2021:

Shortest Book (comic!): Night of Knives #2 by VE Schwab-30 pages

Longest Book: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn-624 pages

Once again, I didn’t read any Sarah J Maas this year, so a different author had the chance to be longest book of the year again!

17. Book That Shocked You The Most?

I mean I have to go with We Were Liars by E. Lockhart for this one, I may not have loved it as much as I was hoping to, but that ending definitely knocked me off guard!

18. OTP of the Year?

Honestly I can’t remember feeling massively invested in any romances this year, again, it was all about the friendships and family bonds for me. If I was going to pick one, I’d probably go with Enrique and Zofia from The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi as I think they had the most convincing connection of the couples I read about this year.

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year?

I’m going to go with a sibling group here and choose the Montague Siblings, Monty, Felicity and Adrian from The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks. I loved finally getting to see the siblings all together, and seeing them get to know each other and bond throughout the course of the book.

20. Favourite Book You Read In 2021 From An Author You Read Previously?

The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks, I really enjoyed the previous two books in Mackenzi Lee’s Montague Siblings series, and Adrian’s book really did provide the perfect ending for the Montagues. It was such a long wait from Felicity’s book to Adrian’s (for completely understandable reasons), so I was so happy that Adrian’s book was such an enjoyable and satisfying read.

21. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based Solely On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Bookstagram/Peer Pressure?

I only picked up The Rose Code because I saw an ad on my Instagram about it and I’m so happy I did, because I loved it and now have a new favourite author in Kate Quinn.

22. Newest Cinnamon Roll Character From 2021?

This was originally fictional crush, but I decided to change it last year as I felt kind of weird describing the teenagers I read about as fictional crushes given that I’m now 25! So I decided to change it to cinnamon roll character, the sweet character that you want to protect at all costs, and this year that’s Adrian Montague from The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks.

23. Best 2021 debut you read?

I actually didn’t read any 2021 debuts this year! So I’m going to cheat slightly, and pick a 2020 debut that I read this year, and go with Andrew Cotter’s Olive, Mabel and Me, his memoir about his life with lockdown superstar Labradors, Olive and Mabel. The audiobook was only released this year, so I guess it half counts?

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Rose Code definitely had the most vivid setting, Kate Quinn really made Bletchley Park come to life with her writing.

25. Book That Put A Smile on Your Face/Was The Most Fun To Read?

Again probably Olive, Mabel and Me. Andrew Cotter is naturally a brilliant narrator and his stories of Olive and Mabel really made me laugh!

26. Book That Made You Cry/Nearly Cry in 2021?

I definitely almost cried at parts of The Alice Network, I won’t say what they were and risk spoilers, but if you’ve read the book, you know.

27. Hidden Gem of The Year?

The Last Bookshop In London definitely! I never would have known about it if I’d not seen on someone’s blog for Top Ten Tuesday and I think that’s such a shame as it’s such a lovely and heart-warming little book!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Alice Network. There were definitely a lot of moments that were emotional gut punches.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?

It wasn’t a favourite, but The Left-Handed Booksellers Of London by Garth Nix definitely wins for most unique book of the year, it’s a very quirky book with lots of different mythological influences, with the ancient world meeting the modern world and a group of magical booksellers who police the ancient world when it intrudes on ours. There were certain aspects of this book that didn’t work for me, but the idea was definitely very unique.

30. Book That Made You Most Mad?

Probably Dangerous Remedy because I was expecting it to be so good, and found it so bad!

Your Blogging/Bookish Life:

  1. New Favourite Blog/Bookstagram/YouTube Channel you discovered in 2021?

I find it super hard to keep track of these, and honestly I’m not sure I really did? So instead, I’m going to go slightly off course, and talk about a favourite new Twitter account I followed this year, which has absolutely nothing to do with books (well okay, she has written books so it’s slightly to do with books, but the reason I followed has nothing to do with books) and talk about Blair Braverman (@BlairBraverman) whose posts about her sled dogs have really been a bright spot this year. If you love dogs, I highly recommend following her for entertaining dog tweets (and cute pictures!).

2. Favourite Post You Wrote In 2021?

The post I had the most fun doing this year is one from back in January, the Evermore Book Tag. I love doing Taylor Swift themed book tags, and this one had such good prompts!

3. Favourite Bookish Photo You Took In 2021?

I really loved this one as it gave me an excuse to use one of my snow globes in a Bookstagram picture, The Mask Falling is set in Paris and the snow globe I used was one from Paris (in case you can’t tell, I know it’s kind of small in the picture!).

4. Best Bookish Event You Participated In (author signings, virtual events, festivals etc):

Once again, another year without YALC, so instead of that, I’m going with the livestream of Andrew Cotter’s book event with Olive and Mabel. I would have loved to have seen them in person, but I still found the livestream really enjoyable.

5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life In 2021?

It’s kind of hard to pick for this year as obvious things like in-person book events haven’t really been happening, but I did have a fun bookish video call with Hannah and Hannah earlier in the year where we basically just sat and chatted about books for a couple of hours which was really fun.

6. Most challenging thing about your blogging/bookish life this year?

I think that I’ve been in such a slump this year! Without audiobooks, I really would not have read much this year at all, so I’m very grateful to them. I’m hoping that next year will be a better year for physical books and that I’ll read a lot more books than I have this year.

7. Most Popular Post On Your Blog This Year (by comments or views?)

I’m doing views again this year as I find it easier to keep track of. This year my most viewed post was my review of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, in a big surprise, all of my top five most viewed posts were reviews, which is very unusual as they’re usually my least loved posts!

8. Post You Wish Got A Little More Love?

I’d love it if my Quarterly Rewind posts got a bit more love as they take me so long to write! This is my most recent one if anyone would like to check it out:

9. Best Bookish Discovery This Year?

I don’t know if I had one!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

Yes! You can find more details about that in my End of Year Check In post here.

Looking Ahead

  1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2021 But Will Be Your Top Priority In 2022?

I really wanted to get to Liberte, by Gita Trelease this year as it had been two years since Enchantee came out and I was really excited to read the sequel. I didn’t manage to get to it this year, but it’s definitely one I want to prioritise for next year.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non debut)?

Naturally, I’m super excited for the latest VE Schwab book, Gallant, to release in March as her books are always favourites of mine!

3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Definitely Grace D. Li’s Portrait of A Thief, IT’S COLLEGE STUDENTS AND HEISTS. What is not to love? Hopefully nothing!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating In 2022?

The final book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, Until The End, releases in March and though I don’t entirely trust Derek when he says this is the end (he has said it once before), I’m excited to see how the series wraps up. I do still need to read Book 14 though!

5. One Thing You Hope To Do/Accomplish In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?

Once again, I have the noble but probably unlikely goal of making my 80% Netgalley ratio. It probably won’t happen but a girl can dream.

6. A 2022 release you’ve already read and recommended to everyone?

None actually, given how much I struggled getting through my 2021 arcs on Netgalley this year, I thought it would be wise not to request any more!

How was your 2021 reading year everyone? What are you looking forward to reading in 2022? Let me know in the comments!

This is my final blog post of 2021, so I hope you all have a good New Year’s Eve, however you’re spending it, and I will have my first blog post of 2022 for you guys up next week, it will likely be my first Top Ten Tuesday of the year. In the meantime, Happy New Year everyone and I’ll see you in 2022!

2 thoughts on “End of Year Book Survey 2021

  1. Time for tales and tea 01/01/2022 / 11:57 am

    I totally agree about I am Malala! It’s a well-written book and since reading it I really admire Malala.

    The Last Bookshop In London reminds me of The Paris Library, which is also a book about books set during the Second World War. The Paris Library was one of my favourite books of the year, so I’m definitively interesting in reading more stories like it!

    • iloveheartlandx 04/01/2022 / 8:09 pm

      Yes it was such a good book. I actually also have The Paris Library on my TBR, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it so much 🙂

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