i am running into a new year

Hi, folks,

I’ve been absent from this [blank] garden of mine – and I miss you. I’ve been doing a terrible job at catching up with the blogging community, writing and responding to comments, but life has been a blur these past three months. I am sorry and I will try to do better next year, because I love this bookish community of ours and it gives us all so much meaning. But, you know – 2021 was an endurance test for most of us, and I am counting my blessings. I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well, and that you are able to count your blessings, too.

2021 was not a particularly good reading year for me (as you will be able to see in a minute), but it brought me two very special gifts from nature. One of them I feel able to share now, and the other one you will have to wait a couple of months to know. Both will change our lives forever.

The 2021 gift I am sharing with you now is this lovely gentleman here:

We adopted Pipoca (Popcorn in Portuguese) back in February, and it has been the wildest ride ever since. He was 2 years old when he came to us, with a sad backstory of having been heavily abused by his previous owner. I am amazed at how much he improved since then, and I am happy to report that he is much more self-confident and relaxed now.

So much for 2021. I will stop my rambling now, because I know you are here for the juicy stuff – the books! Let’s pick our favourites, shall we?

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But first, some stats

(If you prefer, you can skip the stats and jump to my retrospective of the reading events in 2021, or to my best reads of 2021)

About my reading

This year, I’ve read 125 books – less than in 2020 (130), but the same amount I had read in 2019 (125), and more than in 2018 (120), 2017 (111), and 2016 (95). Although I read fewer books than in 2020, I read more pages:  30463 in 2021, against 30239 in 2020. On average, I read 243,7 pages this year, against 232,6 in 2020.

Number of books Average of Pages Min of Pages Max of Pages Sum of Pages Percentage
jan 18 210,4 61 512 3787 14,40%
fev 10 239,7 80 566 2397 8,00%
mar 5 148,0 11 243 740 4,00%
abr 10 250,2 100 453 2502 8,00%
mai 18 214,9 96 352 3868 14,40%
jun 10 131,8 50 240 1318 8,00%
jul 17 327,5 80 1152 5568 13,60%
ago 10 284,5 77 504 2845 8,00%
set 9 279,2 192 384 2513 7,20%
out 7 303,7 172 452 2126 5,60%
nov 4 198,8 150 234 795 3,20%
dez 7 286,3 80 390 2004 5,60%

52% of the books were four stars, and 16% were five-star reads, whereas in 2020 I has 63,8% four stars and 16,9% five stars. 27,2 % of my reads were just ok (three stars), compared to 16,9% in 2020; and 4,8% rather bad (one and two stars), compared to 2,3% in 2020 – and that’s what I meant when I said 2021 had not been a particularly good reading year for me.

About the books

19,2% of the books I read this year were published in the 2010’s (to 17,7% last year), and 25,6% in the 2020’s (to 6,15% last year). 12% in the 19th century (to 13,1% last year). By publication date, the oldest book I finished this year was Millenium Hall, by Sarah Scott, published in 1762.

Year of publication Number of books Percentage
<1800 2 1,60%
<1900 15 12,00%
1900-1909 1 0,80%
1910-1919 1 0,80%
1920-1929 4 3,20%
1930-1939 4 3,20%
1940-1949 3 2,40%
1950-1959 6 4,80%
1960-1969 7 5,60%
1970-1979 6 4,80%
1980-1989 3 2,40%
1990-1999 7 5,60%
2000-2009 10 8,00%
2010-2019 24 19,20%
2020-2029 32 25,60%

48,8% of the books I read were novels (to 48,5% in 2020). 32,8% were nonfiction books (to 29,3% in 2020).

Genre Number of books Percentage
Non-fiction 41 32,8%
Novel 61 48,8%
Play 1 0,8%
Poetry 5 4%
Short-stories 5 4%
Novella 12 9,6%

26,4% of the books I read were between 100-199 pages long (to 31,5% last year), and 32% between 200-299 pages long (to 40% last year). 22,4% were between 300-399 pages long (to 14,62% in 2020). The longest book I read was Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath (2020), by Heather Clark, which was 1152 pages long; the shortest was a play, The Purple Flower (1928), by Marita Bonner, which was mere 1 pages long.

24% of the books I read were paperbacks (to 30% in 2020). The percentage of ebooks slightly decreased: 44% ebooks (to 46% in 2020); and the percentage of audiobooks increased: 22% audiobooks (to 12% in 2020).

59,2% of the books I read came from my TBR, to 60,8% last year. 38,4% came from the library (to 36,9% in 2020).

About the Authors

I read books written by authors from 26 different countries (to 23 in 2020). 45,6% of them were European (to 57,7% last year). 10,4% were from South America (to 13,8% last year); 36% from North America (to 23,8% last year), 4% from Africa (to 0,8% in 2020), and 4% from Asia (to 2,3% in 2020). I read nothing from Oceania (to 1,5% in 2020).

98,4% of the books I read were written by women (to 90% in 2020). As Virginia Woolf once wrote, “Women alone stir my imagination“.

About the blog

According to WordPress, I published 98 posts in 2021 (to 138 in 2020), and a total of 107.550 words (to 167.251 last year). Considering that I haven’t posted anything since October, this is a pretty decent amount, I guess.

The most viewed post in 2021 was A trail of books: on Carolina Nabuco’s A Sucessora (‘The Sucessor’, 1934) and the plagiarism charges against Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938)., which was indexed by the Daphne du Maurier website.

The countries that visited my blog the most were the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, France, The Netherlands, and Brazil. Thank you, folks, whoever you are out there ❤

A curious fact: the most used search term that led to my blog was “marita bonner on being young and colored”, followed by “notion book tracker template” (because of this template I made available to you for free), and “this is the hour when roses are the roses that flowered in the persian gardens” (?). ❤❤

This year, I reviewed only 17,6% of the books I read (to 46,9% in 2020, 29,6% in 2019, and 54,7% in 2018). It has been a rough year, I guee you all agree.

It is also interesting to compare the stats about the books I read & the books I end up talking about on my blog:

  • The countries I read the most were United States (43 books), England (39), Germany (16), Brazil (7), and Germany (6).
  • The countries I reviewed the most were United States (7), England (3), and Brazil (2). I have not written about any of the German books I read!

Finally, the authors I read the most in 2021 were Virginia Woolf ❤(5 books, to 4 books in 2020), Daphne Du Maurier ❤ (3), Marghanita Laski ❤(2), and Barbara Comyns ❤(2). My heart belongs to all of them.

My Notion Template & Reading Spreadsheet

If you are curious about how I plan & log my reading, you can find out all about it my videos & posts about my Notion template, my reading journal, and my reading spreadsheet. You can download free samples of each of them here.

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2021 in Literature
Prizes

This year, I tried to read through the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 longlist:

Key:

  • Read books are marked as (✓)
  • Favourites are marked as (✨)
  • DNFed books are crossed off
  • Shortlisted books are in bold
  1. ✨The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  2. ✨ Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
  3. ✨ Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  4. How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
  5. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  6. ✓ No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  7. ✨ Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  8. ✓ Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
  9. ✓ Luster by Raven Leilani
  10. Summer by Ali Smith
  11. ✨ Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
  12. Consent by Annabel Lyon
  13. Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
  14. The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
  15. Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
  16. Because of You by Dawn French

Other Prize winners in 2021:

  • Booker Prize: Damon Galgut, The Promise
  • Camões Prize: Paulina Chiziane
  • Goldsmiths Prize: Sterling Karat Gold, by Isabel Waidner
  • International Booker Prize: David Diop, At Night All Blood Is Black, tr. Anna Moschovakis
  • National Book Award:
    • Translated Literature: Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho, tr. Aneesa Abbas Higgins
  • Nobel Prize in Literature: Abdulrazak Gurnah
  • The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses: Lote by Shola von Reinhold
  • Warwick Prize for Women in Translation: An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky, tr. Jackie Smith
My most anticipated 2021 book releases

(Full list here)

January: 

  • A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders (nonfiction)
  • Let Me Tell You What I Mean, by Joan Didion (nonfiction)
  • An I-Novel, by Minae Mizumura, tr. Juliet Winters Carpenter
  • Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
  • The Limits of My Language: Meditations on Depression by Eva Meijer, tr. Antoinette Fawcett (nonfiction)
  • The Death of Francis Baconby Max Porter
  • The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez, tr. Megan McDowell
  • Violeta Among the Stars by Dulce Maria Cardoso, tr. Ángel Gurría Quintan
  • Nora by Nuala O’Connor

February:

  • In Memory of Memory, by Maria Stepanova, tr. Sasha Dugdale
  • Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
  • Keats by Lucasta Miller (nonfiction)

March:

  • Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley
  • Inventory of a Life Mislaid by Marina Warner (nonfiction)
  • The Gun, the Ship and the Pen by Linda Colley (nonfiction)
  • Painting Time by Maylis de Kerangal, tr. Jessica Moore

April:

  • Everybody by Olivia Laing (nonfiction)
  • Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz: The Rebellion of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, by Gail Crowther (nonfiction)
  • The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pymby Paula Byrne (nonfiction)
  • The High House by Jessie Greengrass
  • Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
  • Look! It’s a Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms, 1970-2020, ed.Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

May:

  • Second Place by Rachel Cusk
  • Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Real Estate by Deborah Levy (nonfiction)
  • Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell

June:

  • The Wife of Willesden, by Zadie Smith
  • To Write as If Already Dead, by Kate Zambreno (nonfiction)
  • Nobody, Somebody, Anybody: A Novel, by Kelly McClorey

July:

  • Things Are Against Us by Lucy Ellmann (nonfiction)
  • The Letters of Shirley Jackson, ed. Laurence Jackson Hyman

August:

  • The Women of Troy by Pat Barker
  • The Luminous Novel, by Mario Levrero, tr. Annie McDermott)
  • Occupation by Julián Fuks, tr. Daniel Hahn
  • Checkout 19, by Claire-Louise Bennett
  • Dante by Alessandro Barbero (nonfiction)

September: 

  • Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett
  • On Freedom by Maggie Nelson (nonfiction)
  • The Magician by Colm Tóibín
  • Oh, William! by Elizabeth Strout
  • Hannah Arendt, by Samantha Rose Hill (nonfiction)
  • The Strangers, by Katherena Vermette
  • Palmares by Gayl Jones
  • FrauenLiteratur: Abgewertet, vergessen, wiederentdeckt, by Nicole Seifert
  • Greek Myths by Charlotte Higgins (nonfiction)
  • The Water Statues by Fleur Jaeggy, tr. Gini Alhadeff

October:

  • Burntcoat by Sarah Hall
  • Another Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, tr. Damion Searls
  • H of H Playbook, by Anne Carson
  • Winter Recipes from the Collective by Louise Glück (poetry)
  • This Book Is a Song by Jarvis Cocker (nonfiction)

November:

  • Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Brickmakers by Selva Almada, tr. Annie McDermott
  • The Fell, by Sarah Moss
  • Burntcoat by Sarah Hall
  • Byobu by Ida Vitale, tr. Sean Manning
  • Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks, ed. Anna von Planta
Favourite 2021 book covers
Authors we lost in 2021 🤍
  • Martha Madrigal (Mexico, 1929 — 23 January 2021)
  • Maria Lúcia Alvim (Brazil, 1932 – Feruary 3, 2021)
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti (USA, March 24, 1919 – February 22, 2021)
  • Nawal El Saadawi (Egypt, October 1931 – 21 March 2021)
  • Beverly Cleary (USA, April 12, 1916 – March 25, 2021)
  • Friederike Mayröcker (Austria, 20 December 1924 – 4 June 2021)
  • Janet Malcolm (USA,  July 8, 1934 – June 16, 2021)
  • Roberto Calasso (Italy, 30 May 1941 – 28 July 2021)
  • Etel Adnan (Lebanon/ USA, February 1925 – 14 November 2021)
  • Robert Bly (USA, December 23, 1926 – November 21, 2021)
  • Marie-Claire Blais (Canada, 5 October 1939 – 30 November 2021)
  • Anne Rice (USA, October 4, 1941 – December 11, 2021)
  • bell hooks (USA, September 25, 1952 – December 15, 2021)
  • Eve Babitz (USA, May 13, 1943 – December 17, 2021)
  • Joan Didion (USA, December 5, 1934 – December 23, 2021)
  • Birgit Vanderbeke (German, 8 August 1956 – 24 December 2021)
  • Keri Hulme (New Zealand, 9 March 1947 – 27 December 2021)
  • Lya Luft (Brazil, 15 September 1938 – 30 December 2021)

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A restrospective of the reading and blogging events in 2021

The reading year started in a high note with our beloved Japanese Literature Challenge, hosted by Meredith, for which I read Floating Clouds, by Fumiko Hayashi (2006, tr. Lane Dunlop. Original: 浮雲, 1951). In January, we also had the Classics Spin #25 (January 30th, 2021), for which I read A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney (1958).

During the months of January and February, we had #Siberianary, hosted by @sofareader, and I read Isolde, by Irina Odoevtseva (2019, tr. Bryan Karetnyk and Irina Steinberg. Original: Изольда, 1929) & A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848). Still in February, Karen and Lizzie hosted the Reading Independent Publishers Month, for which I read Land of Smoke, by Sara Gallardo (2018, tr. Jessica Sequeira. Original: El país del humo, 1977), Strange Beasts of China, by Yan Ge (2020, tr. Jeremy Tiang, novel. Original: 异兽志, 2006), and Holiday Heart, by Margarita García Robayo (2020, tr. Charlotte Coombe. Original: Tiempo muerto, 2017). In Feruary, we also had our traditional ReadSoulLit, hosted by Didi, for which I read The Purple Flower, by Marita Bonner (1928), The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett (2020), Luster by Raven Leilani (2020), and Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi (2020).

From January to March, we could read our Booktube Spin #1, hosted by Rick, and I my spin was The Chinese Gardenby Rosemary Manning (1962).

In March, Cathy hosted our beloved Reading Ireland Month, and I read Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (2020). Also in March, we had the Wales Readathonhosted by Paula.

In April, Karen and Simon hosted The 1936Club, and I read The Beauties and Furies, by Christina Stead (1936).

In May, we had the amazing Springathon, hosted by Natalie (Curious Reader), Emma (A Cup Of Books), Doris (All D Books@booknaturalists), and Heidi (My Reading Life@booknaturalists), and I read Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, by Marta McDowell (2019), The Gardens of Emily Dickinson, by Judith Farr and Louise Carter (2004), Two Trees Make a Forest: Travels Among Taiwan’s Mountains & Coasts in Search of My Family’s Past, by Jessica J. Lee (2020), The Way Through the Woods: Of Mushrooms and Mourning, by Long Litt Woon (2019, tr. Barbara Haveland. Original: Stien tilbake til livet – Om sopp og sorg, 2017), World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (2020). Also in May, we had the Daphne du Maurier Reading Week, hosted by Ali. In May, we also had our Classics Spin #26 (May 31st, 2021), and I read The Old English Baron, by Clara Reeve (1777).

In June, we also had our Booktube Spin #2, hosted by Rick (June 30th), and my spin was Millenium Hall, by Sarah Scott (1762).

From June to September, Cathy hosted one of my favourite reading events, 20 Books of Summer, for which I managed to read 8 books: A Diplomat’s Diary by Julien Gordon (1890), Some Emotions and a Moral by John Oliver Hobbes (1891), Cecilia De Noël by Lanoe Falconer (1891), Keynotes, by George Egerton (1893), Iras: A Mystery, by Theo Douglas (1896), Millenium Hall, by Sarah Scott (1762), W-3: A Memoir, by Bette Howland (1974), and Desert of the Heart, by Jane Rule (1964).

In July and August, we had our beloved Spanish & Portuguese Lit Month, hosted by Stu and Richard, and I read the amazing Tender Is the Flesh, by Augustina Bazterrica (2020, tr. Sarah Moses. Original: Cadáver exquisito, 2017). Also during July and August, we had Das Dicke-Bücher-Camp, hosted by Marina, and I read Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath (2020), by Heather Clark.

In August, the Virago Modern Classics Group hosted the traditional Virago All August, and I read Millenium Hall, by Sarah Scott (1762) and Desert of the Heart, by Jane Rule (1964). Still in August, Meytal hosted our traditional Women in Translation Month, for which I read Your Story, My Story, by Connie Palmen (2021, tr Eileen J. Stevens and Anna Asbury. Original: Jij zegt het, 2015), Tender Is the Flesh, by Augustina Bazterrica (2020, tr. Sarah Moses. Original: Cadáver exquisito, 2017), and Letzte Reise, by Anna Enquist (2006, tr. Hanni Ehlers. Original: De thuiskomst, 2005). We also had Austen in August, hosted by Adam, and I read Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels, by Rachel Cohen (2020).

In September, we had our Booktube Spin #3, hosted by Rick (September 30th), and my spin was The Semi-Attached Couple, by Emily Eden (1860).

Then, Summer was over, and it was time for RIP Challengehosted by Carl, and for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Readathon, cohosted by the Ladies of Horror Fiction & Alex @the_bookubus. For both I read Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers, 1852-1923, ed. Leslie S. Klinger and Lisa Morton (2020), Weird Women – Volume 2: 1840-1925: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers, ed. Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger (2021), Monster, She Wrote, by Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson (2019), Death in Her Hands, by Ottessa Moshfegh (2020), Hangsaman, by Shirley Jackson (1951), The Love Child, by Edith Olivier (1927), The Sorrows of Satan, by Marie Corelli (1895), and Jamaica Inn, by Daphne Du Maurier (1936).

From June to October, we braved our way through George Eliot’s masterpiece, in A season in Middlemarch. In October, we also had The 1976 Club, hosted by Karen and Simon, and Victoberhosted by KateKatie, and Lucy. My Victorian reads during the month were The Sorrows of Satan, by Marie Corelli (1895), The semi-detached house, by Emily Eden (1859), The semi-detached couple, by Emily Eden (1860), A Sunless Heart, by Edith Johnstone (1894), and Red Pottage (1899) by Mary Cholmondeley. Finally, from Halloween to Bonfire Night, we had the Witch Weekhosted by Calmgrove and Lizzie.

Then, in November, we had our beloved German Lit Monthhosted by Lizzy and Caroline, and Nonfiction Novemberhosted by Rennie over at What’s Non-Fiction, Katie at Doing Dewey, Julie at Julz Reads and Leann at Shelf Aware. For both events, I read & loved FRAUENLITERATUR: Abgewertet, vergessen, wiederentdeckt (2021), by Nicole Seifert. Also in November, we had Novellas in November, hosted by Cathy and Rebecca, and I read Madame De, by Louise de Vilmorin (2006, tr. Duff Cooper. Original: Madame De, 1951).

Year-long challenges & personal projects

Here you can find my projects for 2021. Let’s see how I went:

For Invisible Cities, a reading project hosted by Yamini (shakespeareandspice);  Nicole (nicole is here to learn); Natalie (Curious Reader); Stephanie (time to read!); Michael (Knowledge Lost); Wil (MyBookishEmpire); and Agnese (Beyond the Epilogue), I read:

  • ArgentinaLand of Smoke, by Sara Gallardo (2018, tr. Jessica Sequeira. Original: El país del humo, 1977)
  • JapanFloating Clouds, by Fumiko Hayashi (2006, tr. Lane Dunlop. Original: 浮雲, 1951)
  • MoroccoLes chants de la Tassaout, by Mririda n-Ayt Attiq (1959, tr. René Euloge)
  • ChinaStrange Beasts of China, by Yan Ge (2020, tr. Jeremy Tiang, novel. Original: 异兽志, 2006)
  • ColombiaHoliday Heart, by Margarita García Robayo, tr. Charlotte Coombe
  • EgyptWoman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi, tr. Sherif Hetat
  • MexicoThe Book of Anna, by Carmen Boullosa (2020, tr. Samantha Schnee. Original: El libro de Ana, 2016)
  • Libya: “From Door to Door” (short-story. Original: Min Bab Ila Bab), by Maryam Ahmed Salama, tr. Ethan Chorin (In: Translating Libya: The Modern Libyan Short Story, ed. Ethan Chorin, 2008)
  • Equatorial GuineaLa Bastarda, by Trifonia Melibea Obono (2018, tr. Lawrence Schimel. Original: La Bastarda, 2016)
  • PeruNine Moons, by Gabriela Wiener (2020, tr. Jessica Powell. Original: Nueve lunas, 2009)

For Back to the Classics, hosted by Karen, I read:

    • 19th century classic: Keynotes, by George Egerton (1893)
    • 20th century classic: Pastors and Masters, by Ivy Compton-Burnett (1925)
    • Classic by a woman author: The Victorian Chaise-longue, by Marghanita Laski (1953)
    • Classic in translation: Asphyxiaby Violette Leduc (2020, tr. Derek Coltman. Original: L’Asphyxie, 1946)
    • Classic by a non-white author: Floating Clouds, by Fumiko Hayashi (2006, tr. Lane Dunlop. Original: 浮雲, 1951)
    • Classic by a new-to-you author: The Chinese Gardenby Rosemary Manning (1962)
    • New-to-you classic by a favorite author: The Skin Chairs, by Barbara Comyns (1962)
    • Classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title: Appius and Virginia, by G. E. Trevelyan (1932)
    • Humorous or satirical classic: A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848)
    • Classic play: The Purple Flower, by Marita Bonner (1928)

For the European Reading Challenge, hosted by Gilion, I read:

      1. France: Asphyxiaby Violette Leduc (2020, tr. Derek Coltman. Original: L’Asphyxie, 1946)
      2. Norway: Zero, by Gine Cornelia Pedersen (2018, tr. Rosie Hedger. Original: Null, 2013)
      3. Denmark: Childhood, by Tove Ditlevsen (2019, tr. Tiina Nunnally. Original: Barndom, 1967)
      4. Russia: A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848)
      5. The Netherlands: Your Story, My Story, by Connie Palmen (2021, tr Eileen J. Stevens and Anna Asbury. Original: Jij zegt het, 2015)

For the Australian Women Writers Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth, I only read Keynotes, by George Egerton (1893). For the Deal Me In Challenge, hosted by Jay, I read the collections  Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers, 1852-1923, ed. Leslie S. Klinger and Lisa Morton (2020), Daughters of Decadence: Women Writers of the Fin de Siècle, edited by Elaine Showalter (1993), and  Weird Women – Volume 2: 1840-1925: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers, ed. Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger (2021).

As for my personal projects, from my Winter TBR, I finished:

    1. A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848)
    2. O, The Brave Music by Dorothy Evelyn Smith (1943)
    3. The Skin Chairs, by Barbara Comyns (1962)
    4. Childhood, by Tove Ditlevsen (2019, tr. Tiina Nunnally. Original: Barndom, 1967)
    5. Strange Beasts of China, by Yan Ge (2020, tr. Jeremy Tiang, novel. Original: 异兽志, 2006)
    6. Zero by Gine Cornelia Pedersen (2018, tr. Rosie Hedger. Original: Null, 2013)
    7. A Change of Time, by Ida Jessen (2019, tr. Martin Aitken. Original: En ny tid, 2015)
    8. The Book of Anna, by Carmen Boullosa (2020, tr. Samantha Schnee. Original: El libro de Ana, 2016)

From my Spring TBR, I read:

    1. Three Rival Sisters, by Marie-Louise Gagneur (2020, tr. Anna Aitken and Polly Mackintosh. Original: Trois soeurs rivals, 1861)
    2. Life and Death of Harriett Frean, by May Sinclair (1922)
    3. Pastors and Masters, by Ivy Compton-Burnett (1925)
    4. Appius and Virginia, by G. E. Trevelyan (1932)
    5. Trio, by Dorothy Baker (1943)
    6. The Victorian Chaise-Longue, by Marghanita Larski (1953)
    7. Pin a Rose On Me, by Josephine Blumenfeld (1958)
    8. The Finishing Touch, by Brigid Brophy (1963)

In July, I did my Mid-Year Check In | 2021.

From my Summer TBR, I finished:

  1. A Diplomat’s Diary by Julien Gordon (1890)
  2. Some Emotions and a Moral by John Oliver Hobbes (1891)
  3. Cecilia De Noël by Lanoe Falconer (1891)
  4. Keynotes, by George Egerton (1893)
  5. Iras: A Mystery, by Theo Douglas (1896)
  6. Millenium Hall, by Sarah Scott (1762)
  7. W-3: A Memoir, by Bette Howland (1974)
  8. Desert of the Heart, by Jane Rule (1964)

From my Autumn TBR, I read:

    1. Jamaica Inn, by Daphne Du Maurier (1936)
    2. The Sorrows of Satan, by Marie Corelli (1895)
    3. The semi-detached couple, by Emily Eden (1860)
    4. Red Pottage, by Mary Cholmondeley (1899)
    5. Daughters of Decadence: Women Writers of the Fin de Siècle, edited by Elaine Showalter (1993)

From my list of New-to-me Authors to read in 2021, I read:

From my most anticipated books released in 2021, I finished:

    1. Let Me Tell You What I Mean, by Joan Didion (2021)
    2. Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz: The Rebellion of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, by Gail Crowther (2021)
    3. Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (2021)
    4. Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller (2021)
    5. Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, by Rivka Galchen (2021)
    6. The Divines: A Novel, by Ellie Eaton (2021)
    7. The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020, by Rachel Kushner (2021)
    8. The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym by Paula Byrne (2021)
    9. Milk Fed by Melissa Broder (2021)

For my Century of books project, I finished:

    1. 1877 – “A Toy Princess”, by Mary de Morgan (fairy tale)
    2. 1848 – A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848)
    3. 1859 – The semi-detached house, by Emily Eden (1859)
    4. 1860 – The semi-detached couple, by Emily Eden (1860)
    5. 1893 – Keynotes, by George Egerton (1893)
    6. 1894 – A Sunless Heart, by Edith Johnstone (1894)
    7. 1895 – The Sorrows of Satan, by Marie Corelli (1895)

From my Classics Club list, I read:

    1. Floating Clouds, by Fumiko Hayashi (2006, tr. Lane Dunlop. Original: 浮雲, 1951)
    2. The Chinese Gardenby Rosemary Manning (1962)
    3. The Purple Flower, by Marita Bonner (1928, play)
    4. A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848)
    5. The Old English Baron, by Clara Reeve (1777)
    6. Life and Death of Harriett Frean, by May Sinclair (1922)
    7. Trio, by Dorothy Baker (1943)
    8. Keynotes, by George Egerton (1893)
    9. Millenium Hall, by Sarah Scott (1762)
    10. The Love Child, by Edith Olivier (1927)
    11. The semi-detached couple, by Emily Eden (1860)

From my Virago Modern Classics list, I read:

    1. The Skin Chairs, by Barbara Comyns (1962)
    2. Sisters by a River, by Barbara Comyns (1947)
    3. Life and Death of Harriett Frean, by May Sinclair (1922)
    4. The Beauties and Furies, by Christina Stead (1936)
    5. Keynotes, by George Egerton (1893)
    6. Millenium Hall, by Sarah Scott (1762)
    7. The Love Child, by Edith Olivier (1927)
    8. The semi-detached house, by Emily Eden (1859)
    9. The semi-detached couple, by Emily Eden (1860)

*

A glimpse into 2022

My main project for 2022 is to take part in #PilgrimageTogether, a group readalong of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage, hosted by Kim and Brad (More info here). I also plan on reading through my British Library Women Writers, Lost Ladies of Lit, Classics Club & Reclaim Her Name lists. I would also like to make my way through Barbara Comyns, Jean Rhys, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shirley Jackson’s body of work.

As usual, I made a list of New-to-me Authors to read in 2022:

  1. Cora Sandel
  2. Marthe Bibesco
  3. Martha Gellhorn
  4. Diana Tutton
  5. Winifred Boggs
  6. Paule Marshall
  7. Eliot Bliss

Inspired by the project Annabel’s Shelves, I’d also like to read my way through my bookshelves from A-Z, combining it with a post format similar to my Know Thy Shelf posts, and randomizing my reading choices.

And now, on to my favourite section of this post:


*

The good, the bad, and the ugly
Best novel 

Appius and Virginia, by by G. E. Trevelyan

  • Appius and Virginia, by G. E. Trevelyan (1932)
Best novellas (in no particular order)
  • O Caledonia, by Elspeth Barker (1991)
  • A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848)
Favourite short-story collections (in no particular order)
  • Land of Smoke, by Sara Gallardo (2018, tr. Jessica Sequeira. Original: El país del humo, 1977)
  • Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, by Kathleen Collins (2016)
Favourite poetry collections (in no particular order)
  • Uma reserva de sutilezas, de Aline Aimée (2021)
  • Meus Fantasmas Dançam no Silêncio, by Nadia Camuça (2021)
  • Risque esta palavra, de Ana Martins Marques (2021)
Best nonfiction books (in no particular order)
  • Betrachtungen einer Barbarin, by Asal Dardan (2021)
  • Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath, by Heather Clark (2020)
  • FrauenLiteratur: Abgewertet, vergessen, wiederentdeckt, by Nicole Seifert (2021)
  • The Brontë Myth, by Lucasta Miller (2001)
New favourite authors that I’ve discovered this year
Pleasant surprises
  • Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi (2020)
  • Nine Moons, by Gabriela Wiener (2020, tr. Jessica Powell. Original: Nueve lunas, 2009)
  • Tender Is the Flesh, by Augustina Bazterrica (2020, tr. Sarah Moses. Original: Cadáver exquisito, 2017)
  • Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, by Rivka Galchen (2021)
Disappointments:
  • Breasts and Eggs, by Mieko Kawakami (2020, tr. Sam Bett & David Boyd. Original: 夏物語, 2019)
  • Zero, by Gine Cornelia Pedersen (2018, tr. Rosie Hedger. Original: Null, 2013)
  • Milk Fed by Melissa Broder (2021)
  • Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers, by Lauren Burke and Hannah K. Chapman, illust. Kaley Bales (2021).
Bookish highlights of the year

THANK YOU

Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. Our blogging community is a source of joy to all of us. May the new year be gentle on us; may we be generous towards one another.

I’ll be signing off now, folks. I wish you all a Happy New Year, and I leave you with a poem by Lucille Clifton, from the book Good Woman: Poems and A Memoir 1969-1980:

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twentysix and thirtysix
even thirtysix but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me


Yours truly,

J.


Mary Delany
Mary Delany

6 thoughts on “i am running into a new year

  1. Amei esse post, Ju! você é uma inspiração em organização de leituras, amo essas listas! E fiquei muito feliz de ver meu livro nas suas escolhas de poesia ❤ ❤ tô sentindo falta do podcast! Um beijo, e feliz 2022 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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