Year of reading 2021: Part 1 – My top 18

Year of reading 2021
Part 1
 My top 18

To follow my tradition, here is part 1 of my yearly recap.
There is a total of 3 parts:

  1. my favorites, with my usual categories, see here below
  2. my stats
  3. my fun list with titles

Last year, I wrote that 2020 was my best year of reading ever, with a total of 123 books. Well, this record totally exploded with 165 books read/listened to in 2021!
Not too sure what happened. We may find some elements of answers with my stats post on Wednesday.

The final choice here below is based on the quality of the book, on how it resonated with me and my own experience, and on how it stayed with me. Some of these books may actually have got only 4 out 5 Eiffel Towers at the time I read them.
And choosing from 163 books was not an easy exercise!


click on the covers to access either my review,
or the Goodreads page for the titles I have not reviewed yet


Fiction Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
Midaq Alley The Samurai's Garden The Code Breaker Rider on the Rain


Fiction Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
L'Anomalie The Archipelago of Another Life Days of Reading The Black Lizard


Fiction              Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
      A Single Rose Rien ne t'efface


Klara and the Sun

Haiku This Other World

The Little Wooden Robot

The Beatryce Prophecy

Les deux châteaux

The Apothecary Diaries vol 1

The Kingdom of God

The Lost Spells

Out of the 18, my favorite is A Single Rose.
I notice that 6 are in French (33%), and Michel Bussi manages to win in two categories!






Nonfiction November: My Year 2021 in Nonfiction

Nonficnov 2021

#nonfictionbookparty: Instagram Daily Challenge
Click on the logo to see the detailed schedule

POST EDITED on 11/06: 
After visiting another blogger who mentioned Mary Oliver, I realized I forgot to include poetry, and I did read some awesome ones!!

Like every year, a bunch of really cool bloggers are co-hosting Nonfiction November.

Here is the topic for Week 1 (Nov. 1-5):


Hosted by Rennie at What’s Nonfiction
Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions:
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Here is the recap of the nonfiction I have read (the links will send you to my review when it’s posted).
So far, I have read or listened to 43 nonfiction, which is already 22% more than last year (I read 35 nonfiction in 2020).
And I may read a couple more before the end of the year.

Here are the titles. Obviously, most of these are Biblical books, as I finished my project of relistening to the whole Old Testament.

Bible and religious books:

  1. The Book of Psalms
  2. The Book of Job
  3. The Book of Proverbs
  4. The Book of Ecclesiastes
  5. The Book of the Song of Songs
  6. The Book of Wisdom
  7. The Book of Sirach
  8. The Book of Hosea
  9. The Book of Amos
  10. The Book of Micah
  11. The Book of Joel
  12. The Book of Obadiah
  13. The Book of Jonah
  14. The Book of Nahum
  15. The Book of Habakkuk
  16. The Book of Zephaniah
  17. The Book of Haggai
  18. The Book of Zechariah
  19. The Book of Malachi
  20. The Book of Isaiah
  21. The Book of Jeremiah
  22. The Book of Baruch
  23. The Book of Lamentations
  24. The Book of Ezekiel
  25. The Book of Daniel – so all the above were audiobooks.
    They count for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge
  26. The New Testament, by David Bentley Hart
    I read this new translation.
    It counts for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge
  27. Less Than Fully Catholic, by Trisha Day

About words and authors:

  1. Le Jourde & Naulleau, by Pierre Jourde and Eric Naulleau
  2. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders
  3. Languages of Truth, by Salman Rushdie
  4. Living With a Dead Language, by Ann Patty
  5. Sur la lecture, by Marcel Proust
    It counts for The Classics Club 
  6. History in English Words, by Owen Barfield
    It counts for The Classics Club 
  7. Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan

About science:

  1. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson

About history:

  1. The Romanov Sisters, by Helen Rappaport

About Japan:

  1. In Praise of Shadows, by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
    It counts for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge

On contemporary issues:

  1. The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, by Roger Duncan & Michael E. Webber

About nature:

  1. A Bird Watcher’s Guide to Blue Jays, by Katherine Ponka


  1. The Half-Finished Heaven, by Tomas Tranströmer
  2. The Lost Spells, by Robert MacFarlane & Jackie Morris
  3. Alphabet, by Paul Valéry
  4. Haiku: This Other World, by Richard Wright

I also reviewed 8 books published by Rockridge Press, but I didn’t read these books from A to Z as I would read other books, so I didn’t count them in my statistics.

So really, this was a big nonfiction year for me.
I’m very happy for the diversity of topics as well.


What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

A Swim in the Pond in the Rain    Languages of Truth

I had to choose two. And it was very difficult. I actually loved a lot titles 2 to 7 in my “words and authors” category above.

What nonfiction books
have you recommended the most?

The Code Breaker

Haiku This Other World

Do you have a particular topic
you’ve been attracted to more this year?
Besides religious topics, words and authors

What are you hoping to get out
of participating in Nonfiction November?
As usual, to get acquainted with more nonfiction readers
and find good titles unknown to me.



Recap on my 20 Books of Summer 2021

20 books of summer


Once again, organized the 20 Books of Summer challenge from
June 1-August 31.
I’m not going to be able to finish another book today, so time has come from my recap.

I’m super happy with my results:
I ended up reading 37 books (22 in print and 15 in audio). I had read 28 in Summer 2020, so that’s a lot more.
That’s a total of 6,646 pages, actually 10,053 pages if I convert my audiobooks in print, which is an average of 109 pages/day.

Of these 37 books, 13 were from my original list!
From my original 20 titles, I DNFed 3 books and decided not to read one, as I realized it was actually horror, not thriller, and I don’t like horror as a genre.
I’m planning on reading my last 4 books from that list very soon.

A few more stats from the books I read this summer:

  • manga: 3
  • literary fiction: 3
  • historical fiction: 3
  • nonfiction: 9
  • mystery: 20

19 titles were classics.
4 audio books were from the Old Testament – I’m done listening to all the books of the Old Testament.
9 audiobooks were for my project to listen to all of Hercule Poirot,

The biggest issue is that I reviewed very few of these books. I’m planning to do short reviews of them these coming weeks.

I would like to highlight a few favorites from this list, though so many were so good:

  The Code Breaker Midaq Alley  

  Tension extrème The Madness of Crowds  

Here is the detailed file with the books I read:
Feel free to copy the format if it’s of any help for you.

How did YOUR summer of reading go?
How many of these have you read?

Which one is your favorite?