• My fave books of 2021

    02 January 2022

    I used to be a voracious reader in my teens, occasionally reading as many as 100 books a year. But in my twenties, when I began writing full time, I began reading less and less -- I was spending so many hours of the day focusing on my own words that reading began to feel like a bit of a chore. And then, when I became a published author, I started touring, and that ate into my free time a lot. I always HAD a book close to hand -- I just tended to spend quite a long time slowly going through each one.

     

    But I've got into the habit, over the last few years, of reading for an hour or two in bed each night, before going to sleep, and I'm pleased to report that those numbers of books read annually have started to creep up, for the first time in a couple of decades or more. 2021 saw me read a grand total of 59 new books, the most I've read in a year since 1992, and only the second time since then that I broke the 50 mark.

     

    I read a real mix of books. Mostly they're books intended for an adult audience, though I sprinkle in a nice few of books for mid graders and teenagers too. I read plenty of horror and sci-fi and fantasy, of course, but also a fair few thrillers, and other works that don't neatly fit categorisation. I have no master plan when it comes to choosing a book to read -- I just go with whatever catches my eye and looks interesting.

     

    I mark each book that I read on Goodreads, out of five stars. I like to think I'm a fairly generous reviewer -- I enjoy most books that I read, and even if a book doesn't really grab me, I usually find things in there to engage me and keep me happily turning the pages. I awarded three or four stars to the majority of the books that I read last year. But only THREE books earned a full five stars from me -- I'm very slow to dole out top marks, and only go to five for the books that REALLY strike a chord with me. And those three books, my top reads for 2021, were, in the order read...

     

    The Crow's Dinner, by Jonathan Carroll.

     

    When The Sky Falls, by Phil Earle.

     

    The Benefits Of Being An Octopus, by Ann Braden.

     

    If you'd like to check out the full list of what I read in 2021 -- and, indeed, every year before that, back to July 1987, which is when I started to jot down the titles of books as I read them -- you can access it on Goodreads by clicking on the following link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4643841-darren-shan

     

     

     

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