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End of the Year Book Tag: My 2021 Reading Journey

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

December has arrived and it is time to look back on all the books I have read this year! Technically, I still have December to continue reading, but it is going to be such a busy month for me that I doubt I will have too much free time to read many novels. So I will wrap up my journey as much as I can here. I’m pretty satisfied with the fact that I have made time to read 124 books up to this point! This tag is one I have seen most of the BookTubers I watch do, and I think it’s a fun way to talk about my reading journey this year.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

As of right now, I have started and have yet to finish four books. I started reading Orientalism by Edward W. Said over the summer and have been reading through it very slowly. The text is a heavier one that can get a bit confusing for me, so I’m just taking my time with it so that I feel like I am properly understanding all the information I’m reading.

Another one I started over the summer is The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. I am reading through the full set, so it includes books one to three. Right now, I am on the third book! I really enjoyed The Broken Earth trilogy earlier this year and picked this one up soon after. Last week, I started reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and two nights ago, I began reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle! I hope I can finish these before the end of the year.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Hmm… instead of autumnal, I’ll pick a more ~winter feel~ book. When I think of winter, I think of either being in Boston, sitting in my living room with some hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies with my family, or I think of spending Christmas with my family in the Dominican Republic, hanging out by the beach and soaking up the sun. If I were to go with a book that I could associate more with hot chocolate and family time, then I would pick If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I only keep up with upcoming releases for my favorite authors. Right now, I can think of the novel Babel by R. F. Kuang that is anticipated to be released next year in August! I loved her The Poppy War trilogy so much. I cannot wait to continue reading her amazing work.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Outside of the books I haven’t finished this year, I would say my top three to read this year would be: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, and She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I highly doubt this. Not to say that I don’t think any of the books I read this month are going to be amazing, but since I don’t think I’ll have too much to read for pleasure this month, I can’t say I will be reading my favorite book ever before the end of the year. I already read so many amazing and life-changing books this year!

Have you already started making reading plans for 2022?

Considering the fact that at the beginning of the year I will be studying abroad, I am not too sure I will have much time to read for pleasure. Reading could be a nice activity for me to wind down at the end of the night before bed, but I don’t want to set high expectations for my reading goals next year. I always want to read as a hobby that will bring me happiness, and I don’t want it to become something to be stressed about.

That’s it for the tag! Being at home during the pandemic really revived my love for reading and I want to continue allocating time out of my day to read. I have learned so much this year and have really stepped out of my comfort zone to try out different genres of work. I’m very excited for what next year holds for me! :)

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Genesis Medina

U Mass Amherst '23

Genesis Medina is a junior double majoring in Public Health Sciences and Psychology. She likes to read, watch movies, and spend time with her friends and family.