I could not be happier that this year is coming to a close. I know 2020 was awful, but for me personally, 2021 was far worse. A year opened by third, I think, lockdown in the UK, which basically lasted till April. And with NHS really overwhelmed proved very scary.
And then in April, construction of three blocks of flats started just outside my windows. It will go on till 2024. For the first month, I thought I can take it, the second month I bought a noise-canceling headset for work. Third I was surprisingly short-tempered for no obvious reason. By August I was exhausted and traumatized by the incessant noise. By the last quarter it was obvious we’ll have to move, as both of us work from home for the foreseeable future and it just became unsustainable. I could not focus on anything I was doing for more than 5 mins. That included reading. I certainly learned a lot about the impact of protracted exposure to noise and what it does to the brain.
And on my birthday in mid-December, I came down with covid, a cherry on the cake of 2021. Travel plans went out the window, and a mad scramble started to figure out when I would be able to stop self-isolating in a safe way. Thankfully my symptoms were very unpleasant, but not life-threatening, and I recovered pretty quickly. But I really cannot see the back of this year soon enough.
Reading wise I’ve been in a rut for a large part of the year. Still, I struggled to pick just 10 books so you’ll have 11. A nice mix of fiction and non-fiction, books that moved me in some way. Some of them transported me, others annoyed me to no end, yet others made me ask more thoughtful questions.
Here’s to a better 2022!!! Wishing you all the best!!!
- Frankissstein: A Love Story – Jeanette Winterson (r)
- How Much of These Hills is Gold – C Pam Zhang (r)
- 27 Śmierci Toby’ego Obeda – Joanna Gierak-Onoszko (r)
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think – Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund (r)
- The Tower of the Swallow – Andrzej Sapkowski (r)
- Death’s End – Cixin Liu (r)
- Free Will – Sam Harris (r)
- Contact – Carl Sagan (r)
- P.G. Wodehouse Volume 1: The Jeeves Collection – P.G. Wodehouse (r)
- Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata (r)
- My Tender Matador/Tengo Miedo Torero/Drżę o Ciebie Matadorze – Pedro Lemebel (r)
Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska
2 thoughts on “My Best Books of 2021”
I’m so sorry about the building work and the illness, how horrible for you. Our next-door neighbour (the side of our terraced house that has most shared wall with us, in the kitchen and bathroom bit) has been renovating his house since the start of lockdown in March 2020, he’s not living there and has taken out the floorboards, etc. etc. It’s not as much as your issue, of course, but even this has significantly affected my mental health and concentration. I hope 2022 is better and quieter for you.
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Hahaha I hope so too!!! Wishing you a wonderful 2022!! And an end to the neighbour’s renovation!! 😀
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