2021 Reading Update

Now that we’ve passed the middle point of the year (July 2nd, unless its a leap year) I thought I’d share my reading update. I set myself an arbitrary goal of 50 books this year, there’s a blog post on my reasoning (or lack of) if you’re interested, so I thought this might be the perfect time to update you on my progress. Before I do the big reveal, I want to remind you that I’ve also included audiobooks in my reading and even more importantly, this is just for fun. I’m sure many of you will have read lots more than me and others a little fewer. Whatever the number, its the pleasure that counts.

*Drumroll please*

So far in 2021 I have managed to read 31 books. I’m actually super pleased with this as I was expecting it to be in the mid twenties, especially since I’ve suffered from more than one reading slump and I didn’t read anything during the whole of Ramadan, other than the Quran, which I’m not including ( but if I was I’ve read The Quran 3 times this year which is also quite a personal achievement). Below I’ve listed all the books I’ve read and the format, and I’ve tried to include a 6 word review for each book, but obviously I’ve failed in some instances. What I will congratulate myself on this year is borrowing lot’s of audiobooks from the library and also reading the books I already own, thus only spending a small fortune on new books! I’ve done my best to list the books in the order I’ve read them, but I did loose track near the end. So here goes:

2021 Books I’ve Read So Far

  1. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – Handmaids sequel. Gilead doesn’t end well.
  2. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong – Epistolary novel about immigration and love
  3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – White passing twins, choose different paths.
  4. The Vegetarian by Han Kang – Allegory of societies expectations of women.
  5. The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arupragasam – Finding connections during Sri-Lankan Civil war
  6. Sophia, Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand (nonfiction audiobook) – Infrequently told history of British Indian Princess
  7. Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam – Brilliantly paced thriller about human behaviour
  8. Dearly by Margaret Atwood – Beautiful, short, moving poetry
  9. Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis (essays) – Freedom is a constant struggle
  10. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (audiobook) – flu Pandemic and war ravage a maternity ward
  11. Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson – Love story to black culture and art.
  12. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – Intergenerational coming of age Black family life.
  13. Help Yourself by Curtis Sittenfeld – exquisite, contempory short stories
  14. Brutally Honest by Melanie B (audiobook, biography) Spice girl, stardom, riches and abuse.
  15. Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud – The exploration of love and trust.
  16. The Confessions of Frannie Langdon by Sara Collins – Historical novel of a Black woman on trial
  17. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – Ruminative, agonising quest to self discovery
  18. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a trilogy in 5 parts, by Douglas Adams (audiobook) – Hilarious science fiction.
  19. The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain (Audiobook) – British Pakistani family dealing with loss.
  20. Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (audiobook) – brilliant coming of age short stories.
  21. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (audiobook) – Female retelling of the siege of Troy
  22. Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – Wholesome Muslim “boy meets girl” story
  23. Are You Enjoying by Mira Sethi – Interconnected short stories from Pakistan
  24. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi – Disturbing mother daughter relationship in India
  25. Cut From the Same Cloth? edited by Sabeena Akhtar (essay collection) – Visibly Muslim Women speak their truths.
  26. Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi – Reflections on grief following fathers death.
  27. On Palestine by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe (essays) – On Palestine’s history, present and future.
  28. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata – Societies judgements verses personal happiness.
  29. Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld (audiobook) Psychic twins individually battle identity
  30. Who’s Loving You editied by Sareeta Domingo – Brilliant short stories by Women of colour
  31. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (Audiobook) – book 2 in THGTTG trilogy in five parts.

And there you have it, my life in books in 2021. This was actually really fun to do and reminiscing some of the books I’ve read this year makes me question time differently, January seems forever ago! I’ve discovered authors like Curtis Sittenfeld, whose work I’ve absolutely loved and have two more books lined up to read, Rodham and Eligible. I’ve also really enjoyed reading short stories this year and discovered that I can multiread! I like the mix of fiction and nonfiction and as always I’m grateful to my wonderful Instagram community for always recommending me books from all over the world. I’m not going to say what my favourite book has been so far, mainly because its too close to call with about five contenders, but overall I’d say its been a pretty fabulous year of reading so far.

I currently have three books on the go (yes, I’m slightly boasting about my newly found ability to read more than one book at a time) “Reckless” by R.J. McBrien (published later this month), “I Refuse To Condemn” by Asim Qureshi and Life, the Universe and Everything (Volume Three In The Trilogy Of Five) by Douglas Adams, which is an audiobook.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve read any of the above books or if you have also set a reading goal, how are you getting on? Of course I’m always up from some book suggestions too so let meknow what you think I should read in the next six months.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ok so I’ve read from your list books 2,3,4,15,16 and currently reading Cut From the Same Cloth and I have No 17. Transcendent Kingdom on my shelf to read.
    My goal is to read a book a week, but I usually set it lower so that I don’t feel pressure as the aim is to enjoy reading not achieve a goal. If I had a goal though it would be (and is) to read less mainstream British/American fiction and more from other cultures and by women in translation. But that’s a tough thing to achieve due to the proliferation of books from those dominant cultures.
    One of my favourite reads this year was The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, which I recommend, it’s set in Uganda and her previous book Kintu is also a favourite.
    Another favourte this year which I loved was Beyond Black There Is No Colour: The Story of Forough Farrokhzad by Iranian author Maryam Diener. I had not heard of this incredible and isnpiring woman and just loved how Diener portrays her life story. It’s a real gem.


    1. this_hybrid_reads says:

      Transcendent Kingdom is one of my favourite books of the year, although I have a few of those, I hope you enjoy it. I think I only managed to read two books in August, I just wasn’t really in the mood. I agree, the goal should always be to enjoy what you read.
      I’ve been wanting to read First Woman for ages now, I need to order it, and will look into Beyond Black There is No Colour, it sounds interesting – what a great title.


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