The books I read in 2021

My 2021 started with a lot of reading and ticking off a lot of books. This is probably because I spent four months in Sweden where I had a lot of time to read in the evenings and taking turns reading books with my mum.

After this period, my reading slowed down a bit and stayed pretty low for the rest of the year. I did however manage to read 24 books, including some really great ones that I will recommend to everyone asking.

Here they are in order and with my Goodreads ratings:

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – 5 stars. Loved it. Perfect first book of the year.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 4 stars. Entertaining, interesting, easy going.
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – 4 stars. Sweet, heart warming, tear jerking.
  • Nattsångaren by Johanna Mo – 4 stars. I love reading books about areas I know really well, and this one is all about where my family live – Öland
  • Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior – 3 stars. Cute and quirky.
  • Märkta för livet by Emelie Schlepp – 3 stars. Intense and thrilling. Good Swedish Crime.
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer – 4 stars. I am thinking about bumping this up to 5 stars, because I keep recommending it to people. Loved the language, the setting, the characters, and the way it described food.
  • Husdjuret by Camilla Grebe – 3 stars. Pretty good story. Good characters.
  • Skuggjägaren by Camilla Grebe – 3 stars. Similar to the one above, but the story was a bit better.
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron – 4 stars. It was one of the first books I read after returning to the UK in April last year, and I got it from my book bestie Steph. Such a cute, clever, and funny book with a bunch of good recipes.
  • Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior – 3 stars. When I look back, 3 stars feels generous. It was cute, just like Away with the Penguins which was written by the same author, but the story wasn’t at all as good.
  • And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman – 5 stars. Fredrik Backman is my favourite author, and of course this story made me sob like a baby. Beautiful, heart warming, brilliant, sad.
  • Hamnet by Maggie O´farrell – 5 stars. Brilliant story. Beautifully written and I loved learning more about Shakespeare’s life.
  • Skyddsängeln by Sofie Sarenbrant – 3 stars. Interesting thriller with good characters.
  • Vila i Frid by Sofie Sarenbrant – 3 stars. Same characters but slightly better story.
  • Andra Andningen by Sofie Sarenbrant – 3 stars. Sometimes I get into a crime story run, and all I do is listen to or read Swedish crime novels. At this time, I got into Sofie Sarenbrants books about Emma Sköld. Andra andningen was a pretty good read, too.
  • The Union of Synchronised Swimmers by Cristina Sandu – 3 stars. Very interesting read. Very different from what I’ve read before, but not amazing.
  • Ghosts by Dolly Alderton – 4 stars. Not quite as brilliant as her first book Everything I know About Love, but a great story with great characters. Funny, quirky and relatable.
  • All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle – 4 stars. Wonderful characters and a heart warming story which made me cry on the tube. A great description of loneliness and how damaging it can be. And how easy it can be to help.
  • The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman – 5 stars. Funny, clever, exciting. I loved the first one and was so excited to read this one too!
  • Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Taylor – 4 stars. Lowkey, clever, mellow and amazing. I actually love this kind of books, and know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s probably because it’s how I often write – no action, just thoughts and words and observations.
  • The Switch by Beth O´leary – 3 stars. Cute, funny, heart warming. Didn’t cut too deep and wasn’t too cliché. Just a little cliché.
  • Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers – 4 stars. Interesting story with some great characters. The story pulled me along and I couldn’t wait to hear how it’d ended. And then, the ending disappointed.
  • Benvittring by Johan Theorin – 4 stars. Again, I love reading books about places I know, and this book is also all about Öland. Exciting and well written thriller.

Top 3 books of 2021 must be Where the Crawdads Sing, Hamnet, and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, with The Man Who Died Twice just outside the podium.

Swedish crime books tend to generate a 3 star rating – good but not great, unless they are based around Öland which usually bumps them up to 4 stars. (I promise it’s not only because of the setting, I have enjoyed these books more, too.)

Which was your top 3 books of 2021?

What I am leaving in 2021

For me, 2022 will be about moving on and moving forward.

And to do this, I have to leave a few things in 2021.

  1. Passivity – I need to start going for what I want
  2. Fear – trying doesn’t equal failure
  3. Thinking I can do it on my own – ask for help
  4. Not prioritising my mental health – book time for therapy
  5. My writing block – just write

I think passivity is the biggest one for me to overcome. This of course have a lot to do with fear and not asking for help. And yes I am terrified. I am scared just typing this right now. But going for it, reaching out to people, and start working towards what I actually want is my biggest goal this year.

Wish me luck!

30.

Today I turn 30 years old.

It feels like a big thing, and there’s so many things that will change.

From today, I won’t be a Londoner in my 20s anymore. Will I be able to relate to the articles I usually read? Will I feel more pressure? Will 30 be the age where I finally figure out how to be my best self?

So many questions. So much in the unknown.

But I am also ready. It feels like a sexy age. Thirty, flirty, and thriving right?

Anyway, here’s a list of things I want to bring into this year.

  1. Therapy
  2. More writing
  3. More reading
  4. Daily morning runs
  5. Baking
  6. Taking more photos
  7. A drink trolley

This sounds pretty sexy right? Dirty thirty, here I come!

Once upon a time, there was a writer…

Wow, wonder how many times I can start this blog again without it getting embarrassing… Who am I trying to fool, it is 100% already embarrassing.

It has been a couple of mad years right? With the big C still roaming around us and the world trying to learn how to live with it whilst denying the fact that we will have to.

I did really well the first year (2020) and truly enjoyed this new lifestyle. It was a lot less stressful. In 2021, I did less well and really struggled with getting back out into the world. I quit a job, got a new job, quit that job, moved into a new flat, attended two weddings, went to Glasgow for Sweden vs Ukraine in the Euro Cup, wrote a bunch of articles, and started reading frequently again.

I am currently (in this very moment actually) trying to figure out what my next steps are. I know I have to take them, but I am just afraid I’ll trip over myself and not get up again. Actually, I am terrified.

My first tiny little step is to say Hello here again. Hi world.

My next little step is to turn 30. Which I will tomorrow. God help me.