Reading Challenge for 2021 Complete

Reading Challenge for 2021 Complete


Book Challenge 2021 Complete

Here is the completed list for my reading in 2021. You can see the instigating post here.

How did you do on it? Let us know in the comments your two favorite books of the year. In this way we can all get some ideas for what we might want to read next.

I read 64 books this year, 12 more than the 52 in this challenge. Four of them I’m completing in the next two weeks (they are shown in the photo at the bottom). The photo above is in random order of some of the things I read.

On this coming January 1, 2022, I’ll be posting next year’s Reading Challenge. I hope you participate in the coming year; it is helpful in expanding your horizons and owning all that you’ve taken in. Besides, it’s fun! To encourage you to participate, please tell me here what you want the challenge framework to look like, and what categories and emphasis you’d like it to include. I’ll try to take your preferences into account when I set up next year’s challenge.

Below see what I read this year. Where I blogged about the book, I include a link to my review, and otherwise I comment on why I didn’t review it as well as include a few other details.

Reading Challenge for 2021:

(Yay!) Favorite Books of the Year (also listed in their category):

1.)  Clear Seeing Place (5 star artist memoir)

2.)  Cloud Cuckoo Land (5 star novel)

Fiction (substancial):

1.) Cloud Cuckoo Land (5 stars)

2.) Shantaran (good; I’m 600+ pages in out of 900+)

3.) Name of the Wind (5 stars)

4.) Anxious People (5 stars)

(5.) Firefly Lane (low 4 stars)

Fiction (breezy):

1.) Good Eggs (3 stars)

2.) Musical Chairs (3 stars)

3.) The Beach House (4 stars)

(4.) We Ride Upon Sticks (two stars)


1.) People We Meet on Vacation (5 stars)

2.) The Flatshare (3 stars)

Historical Fiction:

1.) The Nature of Fragile Things (San Fransisco Earthquake 1906) (5 stars)

2.) The Sunflower Sisters (Civil War) (5 stars)

Mystery (Fiction):

1.) The President is Missing (3 stars)

2.) Magic Hour (3 Stars)

Black Lives Matter (Fiction):

1.) The Vanishing Half (4 stars)

(2.) Personal Librarian (4 stars)

Pulitzer Prize Winning Fiction:

1) Laughing Boy (not finished yet)

A Book about Books (Fiction):

1.) The Lost Manuscript (4 stars)

General Nonfiction:

1.) The Power of Myth (3 stars)

2.) Rising Strong (4 stars)

Historical Nonfiction:

1.) Mill Town (5 stars)

2.) How to Hide an Empire (5 stars)

Graphic Nonfiction:

1.) Life in the Studio (5 stars)

Nonfiction about a Woman or Women:

1.)  A Woman of No Importance (5 stars)

Black Lives Matter (Nonfiction):

1.) How to be an Anti-Racist (4 stars)


1.) The Big Leap (5 stars)

(2.) Untamed  (4 stars)


1.) The Luminous Web (5 stars)


1.) Clear Seeing Place (5 star artist memoir)

2.) Jeweled Highway (4 stars spiritual seeker memoir)


1.) Frederick Douglas (4 stars overly long)


1.) The Star by My Head (3 stars)


1.) Mostly Plants (5 stars)


1.) Landscape Painting Now (4 stars)

Religion or Spirituality:

1.) Discover the Power Within You (4 stars)

(2.) The Untethered Soul (4 stars)

Science or Nature or Sustainability:

1.) The Wizard and the Prophet (5 stars)

Taking Place Outside Your Own Country:

1.) The Exiles (England & Australia) (4 stars)

2.) Woman Who Heard Color (Germany) (4 stars)

3.) This is Happiness (Ireland) (5 stars)


1.) Among the Mad (Maise Dobbs #6) (series review)

2.) The Mapping of Love and Death (Maise Dobbs #7) (series review)

3.) A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8) (series review)

(4) Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9) (series review)

(5) Leaving Everything Most Loved (Maisie Dobbs #10) (series review)

(6) A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs #11) (series review)

(7) Journey to Munich (Maisie Dobbs #12) (series review)

(8) In This Grave Hour (Maisie Dobbs #13) (series review)

Professional Development/ Pursuing Interests:

1.) Landscape Painting Inside and Out (5 stars)

2.) Ram in the Thicket (still reading; long and detailed)

3.) Original Self (4 stars)

(4) Expressive Sketchbooks (almost done; good)

Older Books (Prior to 2000):

1.) Man’s Search for Meaning (3 stars)

2.) Country of the Pointed Firs (5 stars)

(3.) Lady of Quality (5 stars)

New Books (2019- 2021):

1.) Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (not a fan)

2.) Lions of Fifth Avenue  (Low 4 star review)

Books Recommended by Someone You Know:

1.) Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (3 stars)

2.) Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief (YA) (3 stars)

Secondhand Books or Loaned to You:

1.) The Muralist (4 stars)

2.) Mystic and Rider (4 star; fantasy; first of a series)

Library Books:

1.) Brave Enough (3 star)

2.) Oak Papers (3 star)

What are you looking forward to reading? What book have you read this year that you loved? Tell us in the comments!

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John gregory 2 years ago

    Vanderbilts; and American Dynasty…Anderson Cooper plus help!
    Delicious book bursting with insight into what you can do with a lot of money and a little taste.

    Noticed the Frederick Douglas book. Did he mention his close friendship with our former President?

  2. Dilys 2 years ago

    Thanks, Polly.
    Aside from many of your recommendations, and some which are still on my “to read list”, two favourites were “The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles, about those who kept the American library running during WWII and helped others who were not allowed to use the library, such as Jews, supplied with books – a very dangerous occupation! and “Thirteen lessons that saved thirteen lives” by John Voltanthen, about the rescue of the Thai boys in the caves. Both books were recommended by The Christian Science Monitor. I am looking forward to seeing what is coming up next year!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 2 years ago

      Thanks! I’ve added both to my to-be-read list.


  1. […] my 52 book goal. I’m still enjoying the range and quality of my reading, and doing our Reading Challenge with blog readers. I enjoyed intermittently participating in four book groups this year […]

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