This Year in Books 2021

Each year I write a quick overview of the books I read. Since my senior year of high school, I’ve had the goal of reading at least one book per month, on average. In 2021, I made it right at 12 books.

This year in data about the books I read

I read:

  • 12 books
  • 25% written by female authors
  • 83% fiction
  • On average 31 years between when the book was written and when I read it (range 2-84 years)
  • 7.6/10 average score (my personal subjective scoring, range 6.5-9)
  • 0 books in August and December

2021 Book List

Author Title Month Year_Written Genre Rating
DK Bonsai: Techniques, Styles, Display Ideas September 2014 Non-Fiction 6.5
Herbert, Frank Dune February 1965 Science Fiction 9
Herbert, Frank Dune Messiah March 1969 Science Fiction 7.1
Herbert, Frank Children of Dune June 1976 Science Fiction 6.4
Herbert, Frank God Emporer of Dune July 1981 Science Fiction 7.7
Herbert, Frank Heretics of Dune September 1984 Science Fiction 7
Herbert, Frank Chapterhouse Dune October 1985 Science Fiction 8.5
Hurston, Zora Neal Their Eyes Were Watching God January 1937 Fiction 9
Lefteri, Christy The Beekeeper of Allepo May 2019 Fiction 7
Murakami, Haruki Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage November 2013 Fiction 6.4
Owens, Delia Where the Crawdads Sing November 2018 Fiction 8.9
Pais, Manuel; Skelton, Mathew Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow April 2019 Technology 7.6

Bonsai: Techniques, Styles, Display Ideas By DK

Bonsai became my pandemic hobby. It started with a random YouTube video watching someone prune a $10 box store shrub into a beautiful work of art. I have a handful of trees I’ve managed to keep alive for 2 years or so. This book helped with that. I remember DK as the equivalent of a coffee table book in elementary schools, something left out on a table in the library or in the reading corner of the classroom for students to pick up and be excited to read. They have short descriptions with high quality images on large layouts. This was an excellent beginner’s guide to bonsai.


Dune, by Frank Herbert

Now that the movie is out, I imagine less people will bother to read the book, at least for a few years. I know that’s difficult for me. I enjoy getting lost in a story and if I know what is going to happen (because I’ve seen the movie) it’s hard for me to immerse myself fully. I read the entire series leading up to the movie for that reason. Often credited with kicking off the science fiction genre, Herbert quite masterfully world-builds. The universe of Dune is simple and compelling, requiring less of a leap for readers. If you haven’t dabbled in science fiction, I’d recommend starting here.


Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neal Hurston

I listen to a rapper, Milo, whose lyricism I find mesmerizing. One line in his song The Gus Haynes Cribbage League reads, “You’re a white supremacist if you wonder what country Obama was birthed in, and went all through high school never reading Zora Neal Hurston.” The novel explores themes of gender and race, centered around protagonist Janie Crawford’s life. This was the highest rated book I read this year, on my entirely subjected 10-point rating system.