This is going to be precisely what it sounds like! Today I’d like to share my quarter 1 reading wrap-up for 2021. Let’s talk about all the books that I’ve read in the first three months of the year.
Has time still been weird from anyone else? January and February went by so quickly, but now March is dragging. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of good books to keep me company. I read seven books in the first quarter. My goal is 25 books for the year, so I’m happy to say I’m on track so far.
I’ve also been on an unintentional book-buying ban. I have a small cubby that I use for my TBR shelf, and it’s currently stuffed completely full. So, I plan to get through some of those books before I get any more. It’s the one way to keep myself from going overboard and buying way too many books!
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A Tip for Reading More
If you’re struggling to read as much as you’d like to, I’d like to offer a suggestion that may seem obvious.
Read what you like!
I know it’s not just that easy, but it’s a good place to start. If there’s a book that seems really exciting to you, start with that one first.
Book advertisements and recommendations are everywhere. And that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t mean you have to listen to every suggestion you hear. There can almost be a kind of peer pressure to read the new popular book that everyone seems to be talking about. You can, of course, add them to your TBR, but these trends don’t have to dictate what you read. The same thing goes for the pressure of feeling like you need to read some classic or literary work or anything else.
Remember how hard it often was to read the assigned books in school? You don’t have to do that anymore! I’m a firm believer in going with whatever book sounds good at the moment.
When you are interested in what you’re reading, you’re going to naturally make more time in your schedule to keep reading it. You’ll prioritize reading it over doing other activities. And of course, you’ll get more pages read.
So if you’re in a bit of a reading slump, it’s totally okay to just pick up the book that sounds the best to you. Reading is supposed to be fun, so make it fun!
Quarter 1 Reading Wrap-Up
If you’d like to see all of these books in one place, check out my 2021 Reads list on Bookshop.org.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
I wanted to start the year off on a high note with a book I knew I’d enjoy. That’s why I chose Samantha Irby’s second collection of essays after loving the third collection, Wow, No Thank You. last year. Irby strikes the perfect balance between talking about serious things and making them hilarious with all the disgusting details.
In We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, she recounts her experiences with failed relationships, the trip to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, and the origin story of her cat from hell. Did I mention there’s plenty of bathroom-related humor? Reading these essays was such a fun and wild ride, and I can’t wait to see what she discusses in her other books.
Crush by Tracy Wolff
This is the sequel to Crave, so I don’t want to give too much away. Basically, teenager Grace gets sent to a boarding school in the remote Alaskan wilderness. Weird things start happening as she realizes that her classmates aren’t exactly normal. I’m talking about vampires, dragons, and more. It goes there.
I’ve seen the Crave series compared to Twilight, but I am so much more invested now than I ever was in Twilight. It’s a lot less sulking and brooding and a lot more action and actual conversation. I sped through both of the books so far, and the third book, Covet, came out earlier this month. I can’t wait to start on that one!
A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole
Another book in a series here. A Prince on Paper is the third full-length romance in Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series. (There are also two novellas.) You could read this one as a standalone, but I think they all make more sense when read together.
Nya is finally gaining her independence and learning about the person she wants to be. Johan is a prince known in the tabloids for his ridiculous behavior. This unlikely pair is so sweet together!
Not to mention, Alyssa Cole writes some of the best romance that I’ve ever read. If you’re looking for some escapism mixed with realistic characters, I highly recommend this series.
Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bacal
This is another one of those audiobooks that I picked on a whim. I didn’t know much about it, and the Goodreads reviews weren’t anything spectacular. Mistakes I Made at Work takes the form of interviews with 25 women who are successful in their careers but made some mistakes along the way.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I went into it looking for advice or just stories about the kind of embarrassing mistakes we all make, like emailing the wrong person or saying something awkward in conversation. Maybe that book exists, but this wasn’t it.
This book was more about large-scale “mistakes,” like choosing the wrong field, that often ended up not really being mistakes at all. Also, a lot of the women had business or communications-related jobs. As an engineer, a lot of the stories really weren’t relatable because of that.
Overall, it’s a quick listen, so go for it if you’re interested, but it didn’t do anything special for me.
Sula by Toni Morrison
I want to make it a bit of a goal to read more from Toni Morrison because I know she was such an influential writer. The only other book of hers that I’ve read was Beloved, which was assigned reading in high school. I wanted to see what the experience was like in a non-academic setting.
Sula contains a pretty large group of characters, but the main focus is the relationship between Nel and Sula throughout their lives. It takes place in the 1920’s and 30’s in a small, predominantly Black town in Ohio. There was a lot of symbolism, and it was a really eye-opening story for me. I rarely read books that are set in the past, so this was a change of pace.
It is definitely not a happy story, but I think it is an important one, and I’m glad I read it.
Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
There’s always got to be some kind of educational or non-fiction book in my wrap-up, and this time it was Broke Millennial. I’ve mentioned this series a few times because it has helped me so much in my personal finance journey.
In Broke Millennial, Lowry mixes sound financial principles and knowledge with personal experiences. It is specifically geared towards people in their twenties and early thirties and the kinds of money issues our generation faces. Wondering about student loans, splitting the bill when out with friends, or setting up a retirement account? Broke Millennial has you covered.
If you’re looking for more money-related content, check out this post all about practicing financial self-care.
Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
I’ll probably never be able to shut up about how much I love this series. Blue Mars is the final book in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. The sci-fi series explores, in great detail, the story of the first people to live on Mars. It’s such a beautiful, immersive world, and I’m so happy I went on that centuries-long journey.
If you’re not into lengthy descriptions of science, technology, and the Martian landscape, you’re not going to enjoy this one. But I found the characters to be so endearing, and the philosophical topics were super interesting. These are incredibly dense books, but I still just want to start reading them all over again!
So there are the books I’ve read this year so far for my 2021 quarter 1 reading wrap-up! I’m hoping that I can keep the momentum going and read even more amazing books for the rest of the year.
Also, I’d like to mention that each link for these books will take you to Bookshop.org. Bookshop.org is an online bookstore that financially supports local, independent bookstores. I love their cause, and I highly recommend shopping with them. As a Bookshop.org affiliate, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. I’m so grateful for your support!
How is your reading going lately? What’s your favorite book of the year so far? Let me know by leaving a comment!
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2020 Reading Wrap-Up