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My Year in Review on Goodreads 2021

Goals For This Year (I wrote this January 2021)

Reading 80 books for the Goodreads Challenge.

Reading 22 books by Kiwi Authors with the Book Loving Kiwis Group

And reading more poetry. The world needs more beauty.

Well the world certainly didn’t get more beauty in 2021!

All I can find to say about 2021 is that I am really looking forward to 2022!

Reading: I feel bad that I set a target of 22 NZ books & have only managed to read 17 (+ a dnf & a not yet finished) Pretty dismal record for books from my own country. I haven’t decided if I am going to set a Kiwi target in 2022 or not. I probably stuck too long with books that had turned into a chore. That isn’t to say I don’t do DNFs – I had five this year – but maybe I should have had a few more!

So without further ado… as usual I will get the not so good out of the way first.

Most Disappointing
The Once and Future Witches by Alex E. Harrow, because I love Harrow’s short stories so much! But this one felt endless!
Runner Up The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel

I had a feeling this one was not going to be great. Years of anticipation and hype and then this dull & uneven book. I didn’t plough on the way I did with The Once & Future Witches – this was a DNF.

Worst Cookbook
Other than this cookbook I didn’t have any bad non fiction reads – so that is a plus, right???

But I can’t recommend I Quit Sugar: Simplicious by Sarah Wilson

not because the recipes were all awful (I still make the Celery Soda) but because I couldn’t trust it! For a recipe book that said it was all about reducing waste… well I have never tried so many inaccurate & tasteless recipes and had to throw out so many ingredients, when I had carefully followed the recipe!

Worst Fiction
A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd. Wooden. A DNF

 Worst Overall
I Quit Sugar: Simplicious Nuff said.

So on to the Good Ones!

Best NZ Fiction

The flawed but brilliant Auē. Becky Manawatu is a writer to watch out for.

Best International Fiction – Reread
Cotillion – of course! My favourite Regency by my favourite author
Runner up A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Honorable Mention Arabella – also by my beloved Georgette Heyer!

Best International Fiction
I’m going to give it to Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
but Kingfishers Catch Fire by Rumer Godden is a very close second.
Honorable Mention Slow Horses Well worth the wait to acquire a copy!

Best NZ Nonfiction
The Years Before My Death9] by the late, great NZ Comedian David McPhail. Very little of his older work survived – TVNZ taped over them.
Runner Up A Wanganui Photo Album: Pages From the Past I wish I could remember the name of the main photographer – these old photos are works of genius! I would love to own a copy of this book.
Two Honourable Mentions; Ten Years in Wellington displaying the work of the wonderfully talented Michael McCormack
Opera for Lovers by Kiri Te Kanawa – part memoir, part opinion piece, always fascinating.

Best International Nonfiction
I can’t separate these two very different books.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou & Me by Elton John

Best Cookbook (NZ & International)
A Vegetable Cook Book

Best Nonfiction Overall
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou & Me by Elton John

Poetry Best New Zealand
Goddess Muscle by Karlo Milo. Wow!

Poetry International
Was a collection & my first audiobook. & what an audiobook to start with! Classic Love Poems narrated by the velvet voice of Richard Armitage.

Best YA
Fifteen by the late Beverley Cleary. Old fashioned and charming

Best NZ Children’s’ Book
Mophead Tu: The Queen’s Poem by the wonderful Selina Tusitala Marsh

Best International Children’s Book
The Last Noo-Noo by the late Jill Murphy. Jill you, will be very much missed!

Best New-To-Me Author
Margery Sharp I loved Rhododendrum Pie but her adult books seem difficult to find in NZ.

Best Book Cover
This wasn’t my favourite Fiona Kidman but I loved the cover. 

Infinite Air by Fiona Kidman
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is book-divider.jpg

& on to my stats. I read 82 books, including 5 dnfs. My average rating was 4.

I’ve given up trying to add my pie charts on Goodreads. I know the developers are doing a bity of housekeeping, but images not working properly wasn’t mentioned.

What these pie charts show.

  1. I still read way more women than men. I’m not expecting this to change.
  2. I’m not reading nearly enough books by Kiwi authors.
  3. I read mostly fiction
  4. Although I still read mostly 20th century books, the amount of 21st century books I read has increased. I’m reading a bit more non fiction & poetry, so that will be part of the reason.

So why couldn’t it be this simple on Goodreads?

So I’ll just say the constant bugs, changes that reduce the functionality for members, but don’t even seem to slow the spammers down and proposed changes to the book page that may make it harder for volunteer Librarians to do the edits are very frustrating.

All the best for 2022!

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