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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Reading Re-Cap: 2021

Although turmoil in my personal life curtailed the volume of my reading in 2021, completing the fourth iteration of this series was not difficult. I had more than enough worthwhile reading experiences over this past year, despite all the upheaval. 

Please join me and tell others about some of your 2021 reading highlights, without regard to when a book was published. Use my headings or create your own.

Novel most likely to be recommended to casual readers:  American Dirt (2019) - Jeanine Cummins. Since this series began in 2018, I've used this heading to recommend a well written novel I'm convinced will have wide appeal. Ignore the controversy about cultural appropriation that engulfed the talented author and just allow yourself to be swept along by the pull of her unstoppable narrative.

Novel most likely to be recommended to discerning readers: Bewilderment (2021) - Richard Powers.

Novel and non-fiction book that most deepened my experience of living: The All of It (1986) by Jeanette Haien and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974) by Annie Dillard.

Most worthwhile re-read: Our Souls at Night (2015) - Kent Haruf.

Most intriguing: How To Change Your Mind (2018) - Michael Pollan. Of the six headings I've used for this series since its inception, picking a book I read this past year to fit under this heading was the easiest. Pollan's journey into "what the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression, and transcendence" was fascinating beginning to end. 

Most personally useful:  Old Age: A Beginner's Guide (2016) - Michael Kinsley. Another easy pick, for obvious reasons.  

Celebrate with me. Tell me and anyone who is reading about you, 2021, and books. As always, I reserve the right to change anything above should any book I finish between now and December 31 trump any of these selections. 


  1. Good morning, Pat. 2021, for me, was the most I've read in way too many years. I always have the intention, but ... Well, that's another topic I'm sure.
    As 2021 closes out I have read a total of 6 books. Although not too large a number, I do consider it something of a success since it's more than many previous years. I've not broken them down into the different categories, as you have, but here they are just the same: I read a wonderful book about Janis Joplin (Janis - Her Life and Music by Holly George Warren)) , an interesting story about time travel and the Black Death (Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer), Still Foolin' Em' (Billy Crystal), No Time Like The Future (Michael J. Fox), For What It's Worth (The Story of Buffalo Springfield by Einarson and Furay), and Positively 4th Street - The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez-Farina and Richard Farina (David Hajdu).
    As I've mentioned before, I seriously doubt I'll ever reach your level, but for 2022 I have set some higher goals, beginning with your recommendation of 'The Color of Water'.
    Be well,

    1. Bob, aka "anonymous"; Thanks for your 2021 reading re-cap. Six books, including three about music - helps me understand better why I like you! BTW, I haven't double checked (although I will) but I think I recall you setting a goal connected to my "Stop-Start-Continue" post this past January that had to do with you reading "..more.." in 2021 so, that means you succeeded. Congratulations. p.s. I'm going back right now to that early-in-2021 post to see if I'm remembering correctly

    2. #2 for Bob, aka "anonymous"; I was indeed remembering correctly. In a comment on January 4 you said in 2021 you were going to "start" - Eating better, exercising, practicing (X3), and, READING (more). There you are - growth!