Blog, Vlogs, Wrap Ups

2021 Wrap Up

What a year 2021 has been! I have a tendency to read more during times of stress or anxiety and in 2021 I made my way through 202 books. This is a stupidly large number of books and is o way sustainable I will no be aiming for anywhere near this number of books any time soon. My Goodreads goal for 2021 was actually 60 which I reach somewhere around Easter but I chose not to change my target so that I could feel a sense of accomplishment by meeting my goal so early in the year.

My fun stats are as follows:
202 Books
63,928 pages
Average Book Rating of 3.6 Stars

I’ve either had a smashing year or have been extra kind with my ratings. I think it may be a little of both as I do tend to round up rather than down.

When it came to picking my favourite reads of the year, I honestly thought that it would be as simple as just looking at my top read of each month…it was not that simple though! I knew that I didn’t want to include a reread in my top reads of the year and I was also positive that I wanted to have a top 10. I also had gone slightly off of one of my top picks since reading more books in the series plus I had 5 more books that I wanted to include. So suddenly my Top Ten had become a Top Fourteen. The easiest part was whistling this down to ten and honestly, deciding my Top Ten took me the best part of December!

My Top 10 Reads of 2021
(My copy of Duck Feet is currently on loan which is why it’s not in the stack)

As you can see, my Top Ten includes 7 Reads of the Month plus 3 books that I just couldn’t stop thinking about and very much deserved to be in my Top Ten. It’s pretty cool to see three authors on my 2021 Top Ten who were on my 2020 Top Thirteen (2020 was a tough year, I didn’t have the energy to whittle it down to just 10): Lucy Foley, Ayisha Malik, and L.L. McKinney have done it again.

If you want to see which book took which spot, this is all in the video below. but if you just want to know which book took my Number One spot…keep scrolling down past the video and all will be revealed. I honestly knew straight away that this book was going to be at least in my Top Four. I almost just went with a Top Three but then I had two books sharing a spot and Top Four felt weird.

My 2021 Wrap Up and Top Ten Reads of the Year

My winner of Caley’s Book of the Year goes to…

My Number One Book of 2021
Reviews

The Cat Who Saved Books

Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a boy who tended to be something of a recluse.

After the death of his grandfather, Rintaro is devastated and alone. It seems he will have to close the shop. Then, a talking tabby cat called Tiger appears and asks Rintaro for help. The cat needs a book lover to join him on a mission. This odd couple will go on three magical adventures to save books from people who have imprisoned, mistreated and betrayed them. Finally, there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt alone…

The Cat Who Saved Books is a heartwarming story about finding courage, caring for others – and the tremendous power of books.

I bought this book 100% based on the front cover, I’m not ashamed. I was at the till in Waterstones, making some purchases. I saw this on next to the till and thought ‘I love cats, I love books, this is a book about cats and books’. I bought it without even reading the blurb which was a risk. However, that risk paid off because I absolutely loved this book!

This was definitely a 5 star read for me. I could have finished this book over an afternoon but I chose to ration it to just a chapter a day (there are 4 chapters and 1 epilogue) as I did not want the book to end. It was such an easy and quick read but it just felt so impactful.

This entire book read like a love letter to books. Each of the various labyrinths taught the reader a little moral about loving books,; it’s not about how many you own or how many you read or how popular they are, a love of reading was dependant on your enjoyment of reading and what you take from a book.

The character development of Rintaro was lovely to read about. He was just a lonely kid who wanted to read books and be with his grandpa, he wasn’t sociable and had no faith in his skills at all. Tabby was such a good character, such a sassy cat and the friend that Rintaro needed. Someone who will force him out of his comfort zone and help him to grow as a person. I also loved Sayo, the class president. She called Rintaro on his nonsense.

This book was a whimsical delight. I’m a huge fan of fantasy, and of cats, and this book had the right amount of fantasy merged with reality. I could imagine the cosy little bookshop piled high with well loved books. The labyrinths were described so well that I could see them in my mind. This truly was enjoyable from page 1.

The book also covered grief as Rintaro had only just lost his grandpa and was about to lose the only home he had known. For such a short book, there really was a lot packed into it. I will definitely be rereading this book again and am so happy that the inside of this book was just as beautiful as the cover (that I totally judged it by)

And yes, this book made me cry. In my defence, I cry at anything heartwarming! My heart was definitely warmed after reading this book, I just felt so comforted and content. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a heartwarming read.

This book was just exquisite and every paragraph was so beautifully written. This book has joined a very small group of books that I have actually underlined. One of my favourite quotes was a book that has been cherished and loved, filled with human thoughts, has been endowed with a soul.