One of my favorite parts of December for the past several years has been rounding up my year and doing a year-in-review post (2018, 2019, 2020). Of course, looking back at the year is fun, but looking back at the books I’ve read might be even better. This year-in-review might even be more necessary than most since I’ve not written a Reading Roundup since (gulp) July.
If you’re just here for the books, feel free to scroll down for my yearly infographic of the 250 books I’ve read this year.
Rather than a month-by-month breakdown, I’m going to give you some of the highlights in writing and picture form.
I embroidered a lot more in the early part of the year and through the summer than I did during my very busy fall. I’ve settled into a niche that I enjoy which is embroidering book characters, illustrations, and quotations. I’ve also done a few embroidery projects on birchbark instead of fabric which has been a challenge in it’s own right. I’m looking forward to getting started on some bigger projects again now that I’m not in school.
Jake and I started hiking in the Winter with a trip to Maine and a hike up the meager hill that is Baunegbeg “Mountain” and haven’t really stopped hiking since. We spent our 6 month anniversary on Mount Liberty, got a few hikes in while we were in Colorado visiting my parents, went to Acadia National Park, hiked and visited both of our summer camps, spent a lot of time in Franconia Notch, and most recently snuck in a very small hike in my parent’s neighborhood on Christmas Eve.
Friends and Family
The time I’ve gotten to spend with my family has been really important this year especially. My little sister Trella graduated from K-State in May (everyone in my family is now KSU alum!) and I made a flying trip to Manhattan, KS to see her graduate, Jake and I made three trips to Colorado including spending Christmas there, and I spent time in Kansas both at my grandparents and in my hometown for my cousin’s wedding. I’ve also had friends and family visit me in Boston which is making the East Coast feel more and more like home. I’ve also been able to get to know Jake’s family as we’ve seen them a lot this year which has been special. Plus, just being able to see friends in Boston a little more safely this year has been great and I’m hopeful for more game nights in the future!
In 2020’s year in review post, I promised that I was going to blog more consistently in 2021. That started promisingly with four posts in January alone, and then I sort of fell off the wagon. Regardless, some of my favorite posts this year have been: “Review: The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep,” “Contextualizing the Classics: The Borrowers and Front Desk,” and of course my Little Women related blogs “Drawing Little Women: Graphic Novel Adaptations of Alcott,” “Little Witches: Another Little Women Graphic Novel,” and “So Many Little Women, So Many Beginnings.”
School and Work
Perhaps the biggest announcements and life updates that I have to share are in the realm of school and work. In September, I started working one Saturday a month in Lexington, MA as a Children’s Librarian. Then, in December I finished coursework for my MA in Children’s Literature and my MS in Library and Information Science degrees. I moved to Boston just over two years ago to pursue these degrees, and it was bittersweet to get to finish my graduate school experience on campus after completely a majority of my program online. My degrees will be all official mid-January, but it’s nice to be done with school.
Perhaps even more excitingly, less than a week after finishing my coursework, I accepted a job as a full-time children’s librarian at the Brookline Village branch of the Public Library of Brookline (For all my non-Massachusetts readers, Brookline is a suburb of Boston). I started working at Brookline as a part-time library assistant last December and I’m excited to keep working with a really talented crew of folks in the Youth Services department as I start my professional career. If you ever find yourself in Brookline, pop into the children’s room and say hello.
Now onto the Books
Obviously the books are an important part of this roundup, and I love making an infographic every year. For reviews of all the books I’ve read (of varying lengths and levels of detail) you can always check out my Goodreads page.
Because the titles and authors are difficult to see on the infographic, here are my top 10 books of the year in no particular order.
- Front Desk by Kelly Yang
- Underland by Robert MacFarlane
- Katie the Catsitter by Colleen A.F. Venable
- The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
- The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep by Allan Wolf
- Ask Me How I Got Here by Christina Heppermann
- Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
- The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
- Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin
- Prairyerth by William Least Heat-Moon
I’d love to hear about your favorite books of 2021! Let me know if the comments and I’m looking forward to blogging for you all in 2022.