Some Ideas or Strategies For My 2021 Reading Life

Last year I loved doing many reading challenges. Irish, Japanese, Asian, German–you name it, I enjoyed it! I may still do some of those this year, too, but not with as intense a focus. Instead, I’ve come up with a few little plans that may help as I work in “fun” reading around my last 4 classes of my graduate certificate program.


I want to read a few books somehow related to each season while IN that season.  Here are a few of the winter books I’m considering to illustrate this point.

The unfortunate choice of Snow by John Banville (link is to my review) started this approach for me. I chose it partly for the title with its obvious winter tie.

Midwinter Murder, Children’s Blizzard, Winter and Rough Weather, and Wintering [I do not earn a cent off your clicks–these are just for your convenience, so you can read more about the book at Amazon]


My Stage of Life

I want to continue to find more books about women my age or at my stage of life. I’m not quitting reading other ages–that would be silly. I just want to try to find more set where I am at. Here is one I’m reading now–thank heavens my Mom bounced back fine from her horrific non COVID related illness in 2020.



Read What I Have

 Many people have sworn to read only books they already own. I’m not going that far! A print book or a forgotten Kindle book that I already own–at least one per quarter. That’s a “do-able” goal. Sometimes these work out to do double-duty in a challenge or on the list for a Classics Club Spin, too. That’s nice when it happens, but I want to read one regardless.

Some books I’ve enjoyed this year that I found buried on my Kindle.

The Hygge Holiday and The Groves of Academe: A Novel

Buy a Few More Novels

I usually get all my fiction from the library. Sadly, even here in Ohio with our great libraries and regional libraries, COVID has affected things for the worse. I have “given in” and bought some of the novels I want for my Kindle. I’m changing my mindset to “supporting authors.” Since I am hoping to start submitting my first novel this year I think that’s a great and long-overdue change.

Here are a few of the novels I’ve purchased recently.

Murder on Mustique. (Link is to my review). When We Were Young and Brave. (Amazon).

Treat Myself to an Audible Subscription

Twelve years of 2+ hours of workday commuting has made me a devotee of audiobooks. With the death of cds, the wait for library copies can now be months. (My car is 2014–it has a cd player so I could get things much faster that way). I used the free trial of audible to “jump the queue” and get my hands on Piranesi. I think I can afford a monthly subscription if only the cheapest one.



Continue to Try Reece Witherspoon’s “Hello Sunshine” Book Club Selections

I had good luck with several of her picks in 2020, so I’ll keep watching for others. I do regularly check the big book clubs to see what their selections are. Reece chooses women authors–that’s important to me, although I read both men and women authors and intend to keep it that way. My Great Aunt would only read women–it limited her selections.

I’m Still Here and The Guest List


Keep to Last Year’s Decisions

  1. No Longer Reread Books
  2. Continue tossing books with “icky” sex and mentioning my dislike in reviews
  3. Quit trying to like Dickens or sci-fi or fantasy books. 
  4. Read more books in translation
  5. Keep “traveling” around the world in books and tracking my progress
  6. Continue reading the backlist of favorite authors

Continue Last Year’s Success With Short Stories and Try to Add Essays to the Success

I always groan when I see these on reading challenges. In 2020 though I couldn’t put down Everything Inside–giving me hope that there are more short story collections out there that I’ll enjoy. Right now, over the weekend and tonight, I am sampling….essays! The most dreaded item this side of …poetry. And, guess what? Yep, I’m enjoying them. Here then are the winning short stories and a collection of essays I have not yet sampled.

Everything Inside: Stories (my review) and Vesper Flights (Amazon)


What about you? Are you making any changes this year? Leave me a comment or a link to your post.

13 thoughts on “Some Ideas or Strategies For My 2021 Reading Life

  1. I like this create-your-own-challenge approach to reading!
    I don’t think I knew you were writing a novel! What genre? I’d love to read an ARC!


  2. I am doing a few challenges, but am also planning on reading certain things each month such as romances in February, Reading Ireland in March, MG in April etc. but not limited to just those during the month. I didn’t know you were writing a book either, that is awesome and good luck, Lisa. Readers make the best writers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I decided to splurge on an audible account this year and it’s really helped fill in the gaps while I wait for books to become available on overdrive… especially some of those new releases!!

    I love that you included BUYING books as a strategy for your reading life this year! I’m looking forward to following along 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your idea of a seasonal challenge. I know many readers who change the nature of what they read according to the time of the year – more ghostly/spooky stuff in Autumn for example but not encountered anyone doing it all year round.

    Does your library system not have the ability for you to download audio books straight to your device? Ours does – the choice isn’t brilliant and there is sometimes a long queue but I’ve decided to stick with that and cancel my audible subscription. Since I no longer commute to work and the gyms are currently closed, my opportunity to listen has significantly reduced and the credits were just building up and up

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we have ebooks and e-audios. With Covid shutting down many small libraries though the wait has increased by about 4 months or more for most poplar titles. Still not too bad, but Anxious People was nearly a year. I still haven’t listened. Party, too, it’s the idiotic licensing deals the publishers extort from even the tiniest public library.


      1. I was astonished when the library contacted me on Friday to say one of my reservations was available. I thought they’d closed completely but click and collect at the door is still available. The wait times are longer though because they are not strictly enforcing the 3 week return policy

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s great. We have curbside or one-on-one apppointments (mask required in my county, but in Trumpland it’s safe to take their word that they have a doctor’s note than to demand proof). One-on-one includes masked, gloved Craft Time with Miss Whoever–the children’s librarian once per month. Story hour is at beyond capacity for their Zoom license!


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