At long last, I am writing another blog post, which admittedly is pretty late. In all honesty, I have spent the month of December soaking up time with family, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on my brand new Nintendo Switch, and wrapping up my goal of 100 books read in 2021. That's right, I read 100 books last year, double what I read in 2020! I haven't read this many books since middle school when reading was literally all I did!
I also spent a lot of time, about 6 hours a week, training for my second half marathon, which was January 8th at Walt Disney World, which was where I was for the first week of 2022 (check out my photos on my Instagram here) for Disney's marathon weekend!
Want a post about my half-marathon journey/experience? I'm considering it... just let me know!
So, while I had time to blog, I spared a lot of free time for additional priorities, including rest, and leaning into the many other parts of myself. Also, it was quite nice to not have any pressing priorities and just be, a post I plan on tackling in the near future.
Because I read 100 books this past year, I thought to myself, what better, simple post to push out for the start of a new year?
The following 5-star reads, I would 10/10 recommend considering adding to your 2022 TBR.
1) Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
This was the first book I read of 2021, and it is the one I think about most. Two different storylines interlaced throughout, this book tells the tale of a dystopian world with a frozen-over Earth from two perspectives; a spaceship returning from a mission to find no response from their home planet, and an old man, perhaps the last man on Earth, accompanied by a young, mute girl, and their travels toward a satellite to contact the astronauts. A beautifully crafted sci-fi dystopian with heavy topics of isolation and loneliness strewn throughout, wrapped up in a heartfelt bow and with an ending, you will not predict, this book easily became one of my favorite books of all time. I can't believe I haven't re-read it yet.
Originally recommended to me by a bookseller when I was looking for a new and exciting read, this feminist fantasy follows a girl, with no recollection of anything, not even her own name, who awakens in the arms of a prince who claims he has rescued her from an evil dragon, and he will be taking her to his kingdom, where she will be wed to him and together, they'll be King and Queen. She is given the name, Ama, and Ama spends most of the book uncovering her past, who she is, and the truth is jaw-dropping. Something I wouldn't have predicted in a million years! This is such an underrated read; it needs to be on most everyone's TBR, arguably just for its gorgeous writing and prose, or its important message against the damsel in distress, immediately.
3) The Long Walk by Stephen King (or Richard Bachman)
I devoured this King novel in one sitting while traveling this past Spring Break. Dropping you right into the scene, this book takes off, and you never want to let go. The story centers around 100 teenage boys who have to walk non-stop until only one remains. You cannot slow down, veer off the path, or stop, or else you get a warning. Three warnings and... well.... This was a terrifying read that I recommend to anyone in a reading slump or craving a gripping story.
4) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This book was perhaps the most beautiful book I have read in quite some time. A love story between a woman, Claire, and her husband, Henry, who is a time traveler, oftentimes out of his control, serves as a unique and romantic story that tore my heart into two several times. Although the book took me nearly a month to read due to its overall density, it was easy to read, and because the length was necessary to character establishment, I don't regret a thing. If you're searching for a heartfelt story with a dash of sci-fi and world-building, then this book is surely for you.
5) The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Read in one sitting on a dark, cold night in November with a glass of pinot grigio, this book gave me quite the fright but in the best of ways. This book is a haunting tale about a man who visits a secluded house for a few days in hopes of selling it, who is then met with terrifying experiences, coming face-to-face with an angry woman in black. Uncovering the secrets and occasionally racing for his life, this book certainly serves as a great thriller when in the mood for horror or an exciting adventure to settle down with beside a crackling fireplace and some soft jazz. I've been increasingly getting into horror, and this one, without a doubt, climbed to the top of that list.
And there you have it, my top 5 books of 2021. For more about the books I read and my ratings, be sure to follow me on Goodreads! :)
For 2022, I will be aiming to read 80 books (and I currently have two down so far). This is 20 books less than this past year due to the fact that I want to make it a goal to read more closely and carefully, as well as specifically choose books I want to read, rather than rush through several mediocre stories I don't really care for. I plan on covering this topic more in a coming blog post (evidently, I have a lot of posts to write, aha).
I hope you enjoyed these book recommendations, and I will see you in the next post!