2021: My Year in Reading

I read 57 books in 2021, which is surprising, given that I didn’t want to read all that much this year and went weeks at a time without cracking open a book.

I also started watching more TV this year. My TV watching has been abnormally low for the past few years—partly due to being distracted by the internet and partly due to self-consciousness and a reluctance to watch stuff by myself. I’ve always been this way: I don’t like using the TV to watch stuff no one else in the house is interested in. I love watching with other people, I’m just not comfortable using a shared TV to watch things only for me.

So this year, we set up a second TV in our back room where I can go watch by myself without worrying about it. It’s also a smart TV, so I can stream YouTube full screen and Bluetooth connect my noise cancelling headphones to it. (First world solutions for first world problems.) I spent a good amount of time catching up on some of the shows I’ve missed, which is nice.

Books Read in 2021

Asterisks (*) indicate titles I reviewed for Booklist.

Title Author
1 Crash Course: If You Want to Get Away With Murder Buy a Car Woodrow Phoenix
2 Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX * Eric Berger
3 The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine Thomas Morris
4 Fugitive Telemetry * Martha Wells
5 The Smallest Lights in the Universe Sara Seager
6 You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters Kate Murphy
7 The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling Stephen Cope
8 Chemistry for Breakfast: The Amazing Science of Everyday Life * Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim
9 Forged in War: How a Century of War Created Today’s Information Society * R. David Lankes
10 Titan Song * Dan Stout
11 Getting to the Heart of Science Communication: A Guide to Effective Engagement * Faith Kearns
12 Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World’s Most Successful Insects * Jonathan Balcombe
13 The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Virginia Postrel
14 The Science of Middle-Earth: A New Understanding of Tolkien and His World Roland Lehoucq, Loic Mangin, and Jean-Sebastien Steyer (eds.); Arnaud Rafaelian (ill.)
15 The Science of Jurassic World: The Dinosaur Fact Behind the Films * Mark Brake & Jon Chase
16 Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars * Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman
17 Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium * Lucy Jane Santos
18 The Restraint of Beasts Magnus Mills
19 The Maintenance of Headway Magnus Mills
20 Hold Fast through the Fire * K. B. Wagers
21 Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions: Our Universe, from the Quantum to the Cosmos * Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis
22 Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung Nina MacLaughlin
23 Robots vs Fairies Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe (eds.)
24 A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next * Tom Standage
25 Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet Chelsea Wald
26 Life Is Simple: How Occam’s Razor Set Science Free and Shapes the Universe * Johnjoe McFadden
27 A Thousand Ships Natalie Haynes
28 See What You Made Me Do: The Dangers of Domestic Abuse That We Ignore, Explain Away, or Refuse to See Jess Hill
29 The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence * Stephen Kurczy
30 The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Kim Michele Richardson
31 Rememberings Sinéad O’Connor
32 Aurora Burning Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
33 Autonorama: The Illusory Promise of High-Tech Driving * Peter Norton
34 First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human Jeremy DeSilva
35 A Perfect Union of Contrary Things Sarah Jensen with Maynard James Keenan
36 Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age Annalee Newitz
37 Frequently Asked Questions about the Universe * Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson
38 Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood Danny Trejo with Donal Logue
39 Ten Days in Physics That Shook the World: How Physicists Transformed Everyday Life * Brian Clegg
40 Sordaneon * L. L. Stephens
41 The Monster’s Corner: Stories through Inhuman Eyes Christopher Golden (ed.)
42 How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents Jimmy O. Yang
43 Project Hail Mary Andy Weir
44 Leviathan Falls * James S. A. Corey
45 Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law Mary Roach
46 The Bear Andrew Krivak
47 How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain * Ryan North; Carly Monardo (ill.)
48 Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern Adam Rogers
49 Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme—and Other Oddities of the English Language Arika Okrent
50 Mickey7 * Edward Ashton
51 The Shattered Skies * John Birmingham
52 Climate Chaos: Lessons on Survival from Our Ancestors Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani
53 Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain (eds.)
54 Sisters of the Forsaken Stars * Lina Rather
55 The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music Dave Grohl
56 Seek You: A Journey through American Loneliness Kristen Radtke
57 The Essence of T’ai Chi Ch’uan: The Literary Tradition Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo, Martin Inn, Robert Amacker, Susan Fo (trans. & eds.)

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