Wrapping up 2021 and Reading Challenges 2022

2021 was a slow year in terms of reading. Intentionally slow. It was a year of deep-reading, of savouring every book I picked up.

I pledged 20 books and ended up reading 37, so I count that as a win. I’d imagined myself stoically ignoring bookstagram, and google recommendations, and blog reccos. I imagined picking books free from it all.

As if that were even possible!

Of course I meandered. A lot. However I did manage to read some really good books. A lot of it stemmed from the fact that I read with the Read Write Inspire Classics Book Club. Check it out on Instagram for details in case you are interested.

I got to sample some classics that will stay with me forever (Anna Karenina, East of Eden). I discovered new authors (Kazuo Ishiguro) who quickly became my favourite. Then there were those I couldn’t like at all (Dr Zhivago) and yet, I’m glad I did read them if only to know what I DON’T like in terms of reading preferences.

I was also fortunate to pick from some really great contemporary reads – Shafak’s Three Daughter’s of Eve, Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea and Backman’s Anxious People are my tops picks.

Tryst with audio books

A year ago if someone had said I’d be listening to audio books I would laughed right in their faces. However ‘Never say never’. I ended up listening to and being completely engrossed in a few audio books. It’s still not my go-to format but I did realise that a good narrator could make all the difference. Since I’m a newbie, I’d love some recommendations. If you’ve listened to and loved audio books, do leave your reccos in the comments.

That’s what 2021 looked like for me in books.

Onto this year

Since I enjoyed the relaxed pace of reading last year I intend to do the same again. Instead of pledging 50+ books (my highest reading goal over the years) I’m going to aim for 20 books again not more, because I do not want to rush through anything.

I am assuming at least 12 of those will be classics and the rest will be easy reads, palette cleansers, as I call them. Or for the times I get swayed by Bookstagram. After all one cannot be completely immune to its charms. There really are too many good books being written all the time.

So there, that’s my target.

No challenges for me this year except the ones that allow me complete freedom to pick my books. And so I’m participating in the #TBRChallenge by Blogchatter and also, the Good Reads Reading Challenge.

Most of January is gone. I spent it recovering from Omicron and re-reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. The latter was a complete delight, the former not so much fun.

Hoping to discover new books and new authors this year.

What’s your reading plan for the year? Or would you rather go with the flow, reading whatever comes your way?

12 Replies to “Wrapping up 2021 and Reading Challenges 2022”

  1. I hope you are feeling better now.

    I too don’t have a lot of reading goals for this year. Just keeping a goal of 40 books. Just like you I don’t want to be reading a book just because of a challenge prompt because I am mood reader. I end up in a reading slump if read books just because I have to finish a certain prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I have done my share of reading to given prompts and enjoyed while it lasted. It does help one diversify one’s reading but it can get restrictive. Forty books is good healthy target.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you are feeling better now, Tulika.
    20 is good number to aim for. I never do any reading challenges or keep count of the books I read. This year I am trying to find out the number of books I read. My aim is 2 books a month. As you said, no rush, no hurry to keep any reading promises. My focus is on enjoying the journey.
    From your 2021 pick Beach Read is the only one I read. Saving this post for when I need a book suggestion.
    Happy 2022, Tulika!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah two books a month is a relaxed target. Adds up to 24 which is almost the same as my target. I hope you enjoy your reading journey Vinitha.


  3. This image looks wonderful! Did you enjoy Before the Coffee Gets Cold? It seems intriguing.

    I haven’t tried audiobooks. I might try a short read (maybe a short story, preferably a love story. Or maybe I can record Kuchh Ankaha Sa?☺️).

    This year, I have decided to go slow. To read at my own pace, without any pressure to review and all that. Decided to read 36. Two books down.

    Happy Reading. Looking forward to your reviews and book posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I hope you are feeling better now. Please take care.
      Also, I couldn’t finish Americana, which was surprising because I love Adichie’s writing. This one felt as though I was reading some other author (unpopular opinion).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m fine now Tarang. Also, I get why someone wouldn’t like Americanah. In fact Adichie said in an interview that her earlier book Half of a Yellow Sun was selling spectacularly well and so she indulged herself in this one and wrote it for herself only without thinking about readership. Her discourse on race gets lengthy in bits. I liked it because race and class fascinates me.


      2. Arey you must do the audio of Kuchh Ankaha Sa. There’s so much ‘thehraav’ in that story.
        I loved the concept of Before the Coffee Gets Cold but I felt it was a little bit lost in translation. That took away from the beauty of it.


  4. Sorry to hear you caught the dreaded virus, Tulika. I hope you are taking care and resting well.
    I’ve decided not to push myself to read too much this year – a no challenge year for me. I see a few books on your lovely collage (could it be called that?) that I have in my to-read list. Hope to catch up with them.
    I’ve yet to be converted to audio books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about audio books. It took a lot of self-persuation (and a great deal on Audible) to convince me. And while I loved one book, another one I didn’t care for. Like I said a lot depends on the narrator. Happy reading in 2022.


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