Year of reading 2021 part 3

And after my list of 2021 favorites,
as well as my 2021 stats,
here is to a fun wrap up:

Year of reading 2021 part 3

There are a lot of those online, but these are my favorites. The idea is to finish the sentences and answer the questions exclusively with titles I read in 2021.

If you are intrigued by a title, just copy and paste it in the search button, and you will access the review. If nothing shows up, look it up in Goodreads

– When I was younger I was The Swedish Cavalier
– People might be surprised to discover that I’m The Code Breaker
– I will never be Le Mineur
– At the end of a long day I need Une Rose seule
– Right now I’m feeling (like) Living with a Dead Language
– Someday I want to (see) Les grands cerfs
– At a party you’d find me Looking for the Stranger
– I’ve never Gone By Midnight
– I really don’t enjoy Sad Cypress
– In my next life I want The Kingdom of God

– If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Old Capital
– Your favorite form of transportation: Compartiments tueurs
– Your best friend is Oscar et la dame rose
– You and your friends are Cats at the Louvre
– What’s the weather like: A Swim in the Pond in the Rain
– Favorite time of day: The Night Masquerade
– If your life was: The Archipelago of Another Life
– What is life to you: To the Spring Equinox and Beyond
– Your fear: The Stone Killer
– What is the best advice you have to give: Regarder le noir
– Thought for the Day: When All Light Fails
– How I would like to die: Death in the Clouds
– My soul’s present condition: The Half-Finished Heaven

I began the day with A Cat, a Man, and Two Women.
On my way to work, I saw Klara and the Sun,
and walked by La Vallée
to avoid The Black Lizard,
but I made sure to stop at The Hallowe’en Party.
In the office, my boss said, Some Prefer Nettles,
and sent me to research The Sound of Waves.
At lunch with The Romanov Sisters,
I noticed (a) Beast in the Shadows
under The Grid,
then went back to my desk (in) The Hollow.
Later, on the journey home, I bought Encre sympathique
because I have Nature humaine.
Then settling down for the evening, I picked up Cards on the Table
and studied (a) Trap for Cinderella
before saying goodnight to Monet & Oscar.

I have so much fun with this every year!
Have you tried with the titles of the books you read in 2021?


A big Thank You to all of you,
book bloggers
and other readers who subscribed to this blog
through email, bloglovin, wordpress, facebook, twitter,
linkedin, pinterest, instagram, youtube,
thanks for stopping by and leaving comments,
with great reading recommendations!
Thanks again for following this blog!

Happy year of reading 2022 to each of you!

Please leave the link of your post in a comment
if you did some of that fun stuff
with the titles you read yourself in 2021

Year of reading 2021 Part 2: Statistics

After the list of my 2021 favorites, here are my statistics.
Then tomorrow you can see the fun I had with the titles I read in 2021.

Year of reading 2021
Part 2: Statistics

Covid-19 disrupted the reading life of several book bloggers.
2020 was my best year of reading ever, and 2021 made that completely explode!
Go figure.

Let’s look at it more closely.

My total numbers of books read/listened to is actually the highest ever since I have started tracking it seriously through Goodreads and Google sheets:
92 books reads (90 in 2019), and 73 listened to (47 in 2020) = 165, which is an average of 13.75/month (123 books in 2020, with a monthly average of 10.25).

Books read in 2021:
. That’s an average of 7.6/month
Total of 21,654 pages (20,317 in 2020), which is an average of 59 pages/day (55 in 2020).
That’s an average of 235 pages/book (267 in 2020).

So I tend to read shorter books, but with a few huge books.

Books listened to in 2021:
[47 in 2020]. This is an average of 6/month (3.9 in 2020)
Total of 22,153 minutes (16,937 min in 2020) with an average of 60 min/day (46 in 2020)
That’s an average of about 5 hours/audiobook. (6 hours/audiobook in 2020).

As you can see, the major difference is another explosion in audiobooks:
from 2018-2019: 67% increase in audiobooks!
from 2019-2020: 55% increase!
Mostly thanks to my two audiobooks projects:

listening to the Old Testament and to the whole Hercule Poirot canon, as I did for Sherlock Holmes.

In graphs, this is what it looks like:

2021 pages_dayIn 2020, I had 4 months with an average of under 40 pages/day,
and never reached an average of 80.

in 2021: 3 months under 50, and 3 months above 80!

2021 minutes_dayIn 2020: 1 month with an average above 70 minutes/day
In 2021: 4 months above 70
And beside June, it was quite steady and consistent

2021 Genre

Nice diversity. About the same as last year.

2021 formatExact same print percentage as last year.
But 16% more audiobooks!

2021 authors

10% less female authors than last year.
Male/female doesn’t matter for me,
as long as they know how to write well!
The diversity that counts for me is country of origin
and languages, as you can see below

2021 authors nationality

1 less nationality than last year,
still I’m happy with 16.
Hebrew nationality jumped from 14 to 22, because of OT authors

2021 languages

See details here below.
Glad to see that English books are less than 50%

In translation: 52 [48 in 2020]:

  • 23 from the Hebrew
  • 18 from the Japanese
  • 3 from the French
  • 3 from the Greek
  • 2 from the Spanish
  • 1 from the German
  • 1 from the Arabic (the chart should say 1%)
  • 1 from the Swedish

33 in original language: in French (29 in 2020)

Out of a Total of 105 authors (79 in 2020)
53 were new to me (50%. It was 43% in 2020)

Books by the same author: 69 [50 in 2020]
(which goes along with the above number):
32 by Agatha Christie
4 by Tanizaki and by Georges Simenon
3 by Natsume Soseki, Eugène Sue, Sébastien Japrisot
2 by Michel Bussi, Haruki Murakami, Nnedi Okorafor, Sylvain Forge, Salman Rushdie, Richard Wright, Patrick Modiano, George Perec, Natsu Hyuuga, Dennis Day.

28 Re-Reads:
24 Bible books
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
Rue des Boutiques Obscures, by Modiano
Le Créa, by Soyez
Oscar et la dame rose, by Schmitt

2021 publication year

Wow, only 35% of very recent books.
I read 91 classics, that is 55% of all my 2021 books

Oldest: The Book of Provers (8th BC)
Newest: Noor, November 16, 2021.

2021 source

Most books bought are part of my EStories audio subscription.
4% less books received for review than last year,
preferring to go with books on my shelf
or at
my public library (10% increase!!
Among the free books are a lot of audio through youtube

24 countries these books led me to (33 last year):
France (39), England (30)
Israel (25), US (23), Japan (20)
Japan (18), Israel (15), England (15), US (12)
5 were set in Egypt
3 in India, Italy, Russia, space!
2 in China, Switzerland, Greece
1 Nigeria, Namibia, Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Papua New Guinea, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Australia
Plus two in the old Babylonian empire and i in an imaginary country

I also visited 12 US States:
Arizona, Illinois (2), Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York (3), Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Shortest book: Gaspard, by Dennis Day –  23 pages

Longest book: Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson 896 pages

Shortest audiobook: The Book of Obadia – 4 minutes

Longest audiobook: Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi – 16H20

Funniest: The Labors of Hercules (Hercule Poirot #27), by Agatha Christie

Most Unique Book: La Disparition, by Georges Perec (great story without ever using the letter e. Available in English translation, with the same feat!: A Void)

Most tearjerker: The Romanov Sisters, by Helen Rappaport

Most disappointing: The Islanders, by Christopher Priest,
I had expected a lot from this one, and didn’t understand a thing!

Creepy: The Black Lizard/Beast in the Shadows, by Edogawa Rampo

Eye-opener: The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, by Roger Duncan & Michael E. Webber

Best reading companions:
Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders

Beautiful illustrations: The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess, by Tom Gauld

Biggest discovery: Haiku: This Other World, by Richard Wright

Favorite characters of the year:
Binti, Shinji+Hatsue (The Sound of Waves), Megumi (Hikikomori and the Rental Sister), DNA (Noor), Oscar (scar et la dame rose), Rodolphe (Les Mystères de Paris), Sachi+Matsu (The Samurai’s Garden), Brother Edik (The Beatryce Prophecy), Rose (Une Rose seule)

Classics I finally got to read:
I read 91 classics, that is 55% of all my 2021 books
Beside the Bible (Old and New Testaments):
The Sound of Waves, by Yukio Mishima
The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata
Le Village aux Huit Tombes, by Seishi Yokomizo
The Black Lizard/Beast in the Shadows, by Edogawa Rampo
Double Indemnity, by James M. Cain
The Swedish Cavalier, by Leo Perutz
Midaq Alley, by Naguib Mahfouz
The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares
A Man Lay Dead, by Ngaio Marsh
Les Mystères de Paris, Tome 1-3, by Eugène Sue
Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
Sur la lecture, by Marcel Proust
History in English Words, by Owen Barfield
The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
The Half-Finished Heaven, by Tomas Tranströmer
Alphabet, by Paul Valéry
Haiku: This Other World, by Richard Wright
3 books by Sébastien Japrisot
3 books by Natsume Soseki
4 books by Junichiro Tanizaki
4 books by Simenon
32 books by Agatha Christie

Books present for a while on my TBR that I finally got to read (other than the classics just mentioned):
Hikikomori and the Rental Sister, by Jeff Backhaus
L’Archipel d’une autre vie, by Andreï Makine
The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
The Grid, by Philip Kerr
Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan
The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy
Un Trou dans la toile, by Luc Chomarat
A Fine Line, by Dan Burns
The Samurai’s Garden, by Gail Tsukiyama

Which authors new to me in 2021 that I now want to keep reading?
Sébastien Japrisot, Robert MacFarlane, Kate DiCamillo, Gail Tsukiyama, Michael Crichton, Yukio Mishima, Edogawa Rampo, James M. Cain

New Series I want to pursue:
Constance (Constance #1), by Matthew FitzSimmons
Les Mystères de Paris, Tome 1-3, by Eugène Sue

Best title:
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Longest book title:
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders

Shortest book title:
NP, by Banana Yoshimoto








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!