My year in books 2021

I did this meme last year but wasn’t really thinking of doing it this year. However, here I am on Christmas morning with, for the first time in decades, nothing much to do until we head out to lunch, so why not? The thing about these memes is that they remind us of some of the great reads we’ve had over the year, and that’s a good thing.

Lisa says she thinks it was Annabel at Annabookbel who led the way in 2020 with this annual Christmas meme… Karen at Booker Talk reminded her and would have reminded me too, except I saw Lisa’s first, and I like that she seems to have added in a “lockdown” question.

Here are the rules: Using only books you have read this year (2021), answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title. Links in the titles will take you to my reviews.

In high school I was  This mournable body (Tsitsi Dangarembga) … because, you know, puberty and bodies aren’t a happy match.

People might be surprised by A mouthful of petals (Wendy and Allan Scarfe) … because, well, wouldn’t you?

I will never be The believer (Sarah Krasnostein) … at least, not of most of the kinds in this book.

My life in lockdown was like Dreams they forgot (Emma Ashmere) … self-explanatory!

My fantasy job is (in) West Block (Sara Dowse) … because it’s a gracious old building and I love working in gracious buildings.

At the end of a long day I need (a) Bluebird (Malcolm Knox) rather than (a) Black cockatoo (Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler) … the happiness of the bluebird without the raucousness of the cockatoo.

I hate (being) The long prospect (Elizabeth Harrower) … because I’d rather be on the shortlist!

I wish I had A different kind of seeing (Marie Younan and Jill Sanguinetti) … because who couldn’t do with a new way of seeing in their lives?

My family reunions are Where the heart is (Irma Gold and Susannah Crispe) … because family just is.

At a party you’d find me with Girl, woman, other (Bernadine Evaristo) … because, sorry men, but woman do make safe company when there’s drink around.

I’ve never been to Bitter Wash Road (Garry Disher) … and am not sure I want to, either.

A happy day includesRural dreams (Margaret Hickey) … because, although I’m a small city-big town sort of girl, I do love to dream of the country.

Motto I live by None of us alone (Jonathan Shaw) … no man (or woman) is an island, and I like it that way.

On my bucket list is (exploring) Where the crawdads sing (Delia Owens) … when we can travel again (and if that happens in my lifetime).

In my next life I want to have Infinite splendours (Sofie Laguna) … wouldn’t you?

Sorry, but you only get two images, after two attempts to get a slideshow in. Methinks there might be a limit to the number of images in a slideshow and I exceeded it. Whatever, it wasn’t happening.

Anyhow, it’s time to get ready for my Christmas day’s activities, so I hope you all enjoy this little response to the meme, and, even more, that you have a peaceful, healthy, and happy holiday season wherever you are.

30 thoughts on “My year in books 2021

  1. Only those with the number of books under their belts such as you have can play this game !
    Or those whose tastes range far more widely than do mine, alas ..
    Thank-you for a brilliant ST year, you clever woman !

  2. In high school I was One for the Books (Joe Queenan); well, the yearbooks.

    People might be surprised by The Battle Cry of Freedom (James McPherson).

    I will never be Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun (Sara Lapido Manyika)–not that I recall what this would mean.

    My life in lockdown was like The Fate of Man in the Modern World (Nikolai Berdyaev)–though I might have read this in 2020, I’m not sure.

    My fantasy job is Speaking of Beauty (Denis Donoghue).

    At the end of a long day I need Marrow and Bone (Walter Kempinski)

    I hate Hunger (Knut Hamsun).

    I wish I had White Teeth (Zadie Smith).

    My family reunions are Adventures in the Atomic Age (Glenn Seaborg).

    At a party you’d find me with Austerlitz (W.G. Sebald) (mostly because that’s the one personal name).

    I’ve never been (to) Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (Wallace Stegner)–well, actually I have, but not to the Grand Canyon and the “plateau province”.

    A happy day includes Discourses and Meditations (Descartes).

    Motto I live by: You Know My Method (Sebeok and Uminer-Sebeok)

    On my bucket list is (I dislike this particular term and will skip it)

    In my next life I (don’t) want to have The Problem of Empathy (Edith Stein)

    • Haha George. Love your honesty re whether you read a book in 2020 or this year. I agree re bucket list … anyhow I enjoyed all of yours but I must say the older I get the more I also wish for you “I wish” answer! The ravages of age.

      BTW, you’ve read some tomes this year. I’ve only read, in the past, Austerlitz and White teeth.

  3. Happy holidays Sue. I hope you’re having a wonderful, safe time with your family.
    We are spending our Christmas week in the mountains. Although not exactly as we had planned.

    It was meant to be with the boys and their GF’s, but unfortunately one of them tested positive on Christmas Eve and we are now self-isolating for a week as close contacts, just the two of us. Mr Books & I have both tested negative with a RAT so far. This is the world we live in now!
    Thankfully we had stocked up on enough Christmas food to feed six, so we’ll be eating fancy every meal for the rest of the week!

    Thank you for another stimulating blogging year and for all your delicious food pics on Insta. Next time we’re in Canberra I hope to try some of them out 🙂

    • Oh what a shame Brona, but at least the mountains are a good place to be. We nearly had the same. Daughter was a contact here to a work colleague last thursday – tested on Friday and isolated until negative result on Saturday. Then RAT showed a vague positive on Tuesday, so tested and isolated until negative on Wednesday. All rey distressing as we were to be meeting her SO and she was so looking forward to it. Fortunately it has all worked out, and we are having a lovely time – though surprised how much here has shut down for the week. We thought that was just Canberra!

      So nice having you in WordPress, btw, though I think it’s over a year now? So enjoying better conversations. Roll on 2022 and more of them.

      • I believe it will be a year on the 28th. I now have plenty of time to write an anniversary post !!

        So glad your Christmas plans worked. Hearing from friends back in Balmain – people are dropping like flies – either positive tests or close contacts. That’s a lot of people who won’t be able to go to work for a week!

  4. Thanks for all your work on the blog this year Sue, and have a happy time in Melbourne! If Brona is in the mountains I suspect she is copping the huge thunderstorms we have rolling around in these parts! I am trying not to go to many places where I might be a close contact and have to test/isolate!

    I was just watching a video about the Apollo 11 moon landing and remembering we had a television set up in the science labs at Cheltenham GH where we all sat and watched it – makes me feel rather old! Rather wonderful to have lived through something like that though.

    Take care of yourself in these plague times, and warmest wishes to all here!

    • Yes. We watched it on TV at school too Sue. It does feel a memorable time to have experienced.

      I love having you among my readers and commenters. Keep well and safe. It’s hard to know how to live at present, isn’t it?

    • Thanks Melanie. It’s just a bit of end-of year fun. Merry Christmas to you too! It’s 2.45am here and I couldn’t sleep, so have got up. While I was tossing in bed, I thought, “I haven’t read Melanie’s lowdown post for this week”, so that’s actually where I was heading next! Being in MELBOURNE currently, I’ve got even further behind in my blog reading.

      • How kind of you to think of me when you’ve got insomnia, ha. I woke up many times the last few days for some reason. Either I just felt like I was done sleeping or I was having nightmares.

        • Oh, I’m sorry you have nightmares, Melanie.

          I often have insomnia, and it’s worse when I feel things are on top of me and l am not keeping up with all I want to – or should – do, which, unfortunately, is often. Life is just too interesting and I can’t keep up. Life, at my age, is also running out!

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