2021 Reading Goals

I know that goal setting is not for everyone, but I find it incredibly motivating to reflect on my habits and set goals based on what I hope to accomplish. Tracking my 2020 Reading Goals each month held me accountable, so I will continue to track my goals this year in my monthly wrap up posts. Some of my goals for 2021 are habits I want to continue from 2020, while others are new!

Read 100 Books

At the beginning of 2020, I set my yearly reading goal at 75 books, although I secretly hoped to read 100. I ended up reading 203 books last year! The unique conditions of 2020 allowed me to read more than ever before. I don’t want to stress myself out trying to read 200 books again in 2021, but based on my current reading habits, I know that 100 books should be challenging yet attainable.

Read Diversely

I know that 2020 forced a lot of readers to take a hard look at their shelves and recognize a lack of BIPOC and Own Voices authors. I was no exception. Halfway through the year, I started making a conscious effort to read more books by authors from diverse backgrounds. I will not be tracking stats for this goal each month because my intentions for reading diversely are not to check off boxes or boast numbers, but this will be a consideration for my reading choices.

Finish 5 Series in Progress

Last year my goal was to finish more series with the intent to finish more series than I start. I did finish a lot of series in 2020, but I also started several new series. I can’t help it. I love series! In 2021 I’m not going to try to limit the number of new series I start, but I do plan to finish a few series I started before 2020 but didn’t get back to last year, and I think that putting a number on this goal will make it more meaningful.

Read 12 Graphic Novels

Last year one of my goals was to read one graphic novel each month. I reached that goal, and it’s a habit I would like to continue into 2021. My goal will always be to one per month, but this year I’ll be tracking the total number of comics and graphic novels I read if I read more than more within a month.

Read 12 Poetry Books

Poetry was a genre I was hoping to get back into last year, but I didn’t read nearly as much of it as I would’ve liked. In November I was reminded how good poetry is for the soul, so I decided to make it a goal for 2021 to read one poetry collection or novel in verse each month.

Read 6 Nonfiction Books

Nonfiction is another important genre I tend to ignore. My primary inspiration for reading is escapism, but last year I read a few nonfiction books that were incredibly moving and informative. I think reading one NF every other month is a good goal for me. One in particular that I hope to read is Stamped from the Beginning, which I didn’t get to in 2020.

Read 3 Classics

Last year my goal was to read 2 classics, so this year I’m bumping it up by one. One stipulation I’m setting for myself is that I must read at least book that was published pre-20th century. The two classics I read in 2020 were both modern classics (Agatha Christie and Shirley Jackson), and I felt a bit like I cheated. I’m planning to read Frankenstein around Spooky Season this year (since i didn’t get to it last year), so hopefully I have no problem reaching this goal.

Reread 10 Books

Another goal I’m carrying over from 2020. In 2019 I got very caught up in new releases and feeling like I didn’t have to reread books, but rereading an old favorite is magical. It reminds you why you love reading in the first place. I will be exploring plenty of new worlds in 2021, but I think it’s important to revisit some old favorites too.

Host Monthly Backlist Buddy Reads

Last year one of my goals was to buy fewer books and focus on reading my shelves, but I love buying new books so I struggled with that. I still think it is important to read what I own, so in 2021 I’m founding the #CarolibraryBookClub on Instagram to focus on reading backlist fantasy books. Since I also had wanted to start hosting more buddy reads, this is a perfect goal to combine two things I want to accomplish and guide me in choosing my book club picks. I’m reading The Shadows Between Us in January, and there’s still room in my chat group if you want to join the buddy read!

Keep Up With Reviews

Last year I had a reading log journal where I recorded my thoughts about books right after I finished reading them. This helped a lot when I was ready to type my reviews for my blog posts. However, I filled up my journal about halfway through the year, and even though I ordered a new one, I stopped keeping up with it. Since I typically post reviews on my blog about a month after I read the book, this made it challenging to write reviews! I have a new journal for 2021, and I’m hoping to do a better job keeping up with it. I’m also hoping to decrease the turnaround time between reading and posting reviews, but I have some catching up to do first. I plan to post reviews on my blog almost every weekday and on Instagram at least 3 times per week.


What are your reading goals for 2021? Let me know in the comments!

Series I Finished in 2019

Recently I shared the ridiculous number of series I am “currently reading,” so this week I’m sharing the series I actually finished or caught up on last year! A lot of these series I read entirely in 2019, but others span several years. You’ll also notice I frequently used audiobooks to reread initial books before I continued the series, a practice I’m continuing in 2020!

Constellation series by Claudia Gray

Books & Dates Read:
1. Defy the Stars – Jun. 2017 (audio), May 2018, Dec. 2019 (audio)
2. Defy the Worlds – Jun. 2018
3. Defy the Fates – Dec. 2019

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Young Adult

My Thoughts:
This is one of my all-time favorite series. It’s a YA, sci-fi, space adventure with a dash of romance, but it’s so much more than that. This series tells the story of unlikely allies Noemi, a human soldier for the rebel planet Genesis, and Abel, Earth’s most advanced mech. The story has so much heart and grapples with some incredibly deep and important questions about identify, humanity, war, and free will. Defy the Stars is a masterpiece. Defy the Worlds takes the story in a surprising new direction and avoids the dreaded middle-book slump. Defy the Fates provides the perfect conclusion to the trilogy. This series is so underrated, and everyone needs to go read it right now.

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Books & Dates Read:
1. Six of Crows – Mar. 2018, Nov. 2019 (audio)
2. Crooked Kingdom – Nov. 2019

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Young Adult

My Thoughts:
I thought Six of Crows was really good, but Crooked Kingdom was phenomenal! It was one of my top reads of 2019, and it will remain a favorite for a long time. On a basic level, Six of Crows is about a band of criminals and misfits attempting to pull off an impossible heist. These characters are all so strong and bold, and I love them all so much! This series will keep you on the edge of your seat as you laugh, gasp, and weep your way through.

Caraval series by Stephanie Garber

Books & Dates Read:
1. Caraval – Jun. 2019
2. Legendary – Aug. 2019
3. Finale – Nov. 2019

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Young Adult

My Thoughts:
This series is about a magical traveling carnival is so enchanting and whimsical! The first book gave me a lot of Alice in Wonderland vibes, but the adventure takes a dark and dangerous turn as you’re never quite sure what is real and what is just part of the game. I love how the relationship between sisters Scarlett and Tella is central to the story. Legendary took the magic and the storyline to the next level, and Finale was a satisfying conclusion to the series.

To All the Boys… series by Jenny Han

Books & Dates Read:
1. To All the Boys I Loved Before – Aug. 2019 (audio)
2. P.S. I Still Love You – Aug. 2019 (audio)
3. Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Nov. 2019 (audio)

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Audience: Young Adult

My Thoughts:
This series was adorable. It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a YA contemporary since I can’t always relate to the characters, but this series struck the perfect balance between light, fluffy, teen romance and something with a little more substance. Laura Knight Keating did an excellent job narrating the audiobooks; I highly recommend that format for this series. The characters were so developed and had me laughing and crying in my car on my commute to and from work. I’m so glad I read the whole series before the next two movies come out on Netflix! SO CUTE.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Books & Dates Read:
1. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Sep. 2017 (audio), Sep. 2019 (audio)
2. Hunting Prince Dracula – Sep. 2019 (audio)
3. Escaping from Houdini – Sep. 2019 (audio)
4. Capturing the Devil –

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Audience: Young Adult

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed listening to these macabre mysteries around spooky season. These dark and sometimes gory Victorian tales revolve around Audrey Rose, a lord’s daughter who aspires to learn forensic medicine and solve crimes, and Thomas Cresswell, her uncle’s brilliant and dashing assistant. Each book takes place in a new location with a new murderer. Audrey Rose could be a very frustrating narrator at times, and I really didn’t love all of the storytelling choices in the last book, but overall I enjoyed this series and would recommend it to fans of the gothic.

Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French

Books & Dates Read:
1. In the Woods – Mar. 2016
2. The Likeness – Mar. 2016
3. Faithful Place – Sep. 2016
4. Broken Harbor – Jan. 2017
5. The Secret Place – Feb. 2019
6. The Trespasser – Jun. 2019

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆1/2
Genre: Mystery
Audience: Adult

My Thoughts:
I love these mysteries. I think they are beautifully written and I love the heavy imagery. However, if you are not the type of reader who oohs and ahs over a well-constructed metaphor, these are not the books for you. Each book is told from the perspective of a different detective on Dublin’s Murder Squad, so they can be read as standalones. I started reading this series several years ago, and I finally caught up with The Secret Place and The Trespasser this year. I’m not sure if there are plans for more books in this series, but I certainly hope so!

Firebird series by Claudia Gray

Books & Dates Read:
1. A Thousand Pieces of You – Apr. 2019
2. Ten Thousand Skies Above You – May 2019
3. A Million Worlds with You – May 2019

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Audience: Young Adult

My Thoughts:
I thought this series sounded perfect for me: traveling through alternate dimensions chasing your father’s killer only to fall for his doppelganger, and it’s by one of my favorite authors? Sadly, this series was a miss for me because it included the most unnecessary and eyeroll-inducing love triangle of ALL. TIME. It was always obvious who Marguerite was going to choose so the love triangle was pointless, boring, and took away from the exciting action! The first book didn’t pick up the pace until the last 100 pages or so. Books 2 and 3 were definitely better than book 1 and had some really surprising and interesting twists, but UGH THAT LOVE TRIANGLE really brought down the whole series. They have the most beautiful covers though, don’t they?

Carve the Mark duology by Veronica Roth

Books & Dates Read:
1. Carve the Mark – Aug. 2019 (audio)
2. The Fates Divide – Sep. 2019 (audio)

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Young Adult

My Thoughts:
This series is kind of like Star Wars in that it’s about interplanetary politics and people get powers from “the current” (aka the Force). Otherwise, it’s not really like Star Wars at all. It starts off pretty slow, but has some interesting worldbuilding. I think it is a true blend of science fiction and fantasy since current gifts can’t really be explained with science. I enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers relationship between Cyra and Akos. Book 2 had some truly crazy twists that I did not see coming, but again, it was slow, and the intricacies of the politics were sometimes confusing.

What series did you finish last year? Have you read any of these?

10 Series I Need to Finish

One of my reading goals for 2020 is to finish more series than I start. I currently have 19 SERIES IN PROGRESS. And that’s assuming I didn’t miss any when I counted (which is quite possible even though I scrolled back several years through my books on Goodreads). To put that into perspective, I started 10 of those series in 2019, but I only finished or caught up on 8 series last year.

Clearly, I have a problem. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the buzz-worthy series everyone is reading, but right now I feel like I’ve started them ALL and now I don’t know what to read NEXT. Hopefully this year I can get this situation under control and get some closure for all of these worlds and characters I’ve fallen in love with!

Today I’m rounding up some of the series I’m in the middle of, the progress I’ve made so far, and the likelihood I’ll finish in 2020.

1. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

The Series:
Renegades
Archenemies
Supernova

Progress: 1/3
Owned: 3/3
Priority: Very High

Thoughts:
Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite authors. I read Renegades as soon as it came out, but never got to the other books. I now own the entire series, and I just checked out the Renegades audiobook so I can reread it before starting the next two!

2. The Folk of the Air by Holly Black

The Series:
The Cruel Prince
The Wicked King

The Queen of Nothing

Progress: 2/3
Owned: 3/3
Priority: Very High

Thoughts:
I LOVE this series! I won TCP from a Goodreads giveaway when it was released, but I didn’t read it til last summer. I got TWK for my birthday and read it in the fall, and I just got QoN for Christmas!

3. Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

The Series:
A Darker Shade of Magic
A Gathering of Shadows
A Conjuring of Light

Progress: 1/3
Owned: 3/3
Priority: Very High

Thoughts:
I can’t believe I waited so long to start a Victoria Schwab series! I absolutely loved ADSOM and I can’t wait to read more of her books, but of course I need to finish this series first!

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

The Series:
The Assassin’s Blade
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire
Queen of Shadows
Empire of Storms
Tower of Dawn
Kingdom of Ash

Progress: 3/8
Owned: 6/8
Priority: High

Thoughts:
I wanted to read more of these last year, but I ran out of time. I haven’t totally fallen in love with this series like I did with ACOTAR, but I hear these get better as you go!

5. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

The Series:
Serpent & Dove
Blood & Honey (9/1/20)

Progress: 1/1 published
Owned: 1/1 published
Priority: High

Thoughts:
This is the only series on this list I’m currently caught up with, because book 2 hasn’t been published yet! S&D was one of my FAVORITE books of 2019. I will DEFINITELY be preordering B&H as soon as I can, and I can only hope there will more books in the future!

6. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

The Series:
The Last Magician
The Devil’s Thief
The Serpent’s Curse (4/7/2020)

Progress: 1/2 released
Owned: 2/2 released
Priority: High

Thoughts:
The Last Magician rocked my world when I got in a Litjoy Crate in 2017, but The Devil’s Thief was released during a reading slump so I didn’t pick it up. I thought this was planned to be a duology, so I was surprised to see that a 3rd book is coming out this year! Hopefully I can catch up in time for its release.

7. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Series:
Illuminae
Gemina
Obsidio

Progress: 1/3
Owned: 1/3
Priority: Medium-High

Thoughts:
Illuminae was one of the most shocking and creative books I read last year and I can’t wait to see what happens next. However, I don’t own the next books in the series yet, and I need to read more of what I own before I buy the sequels.

8. The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare

The Series:
Lady Midnight
Lord of Shadows
Queen of Air and Darkness

Progress: 2/3
Owned: 2/3
Priority: Medium

Thoughts:
Lady Midnight was my favorite Shadowhunters novel to date, but I was disappointed by Lord of Shadows. I didn’t pick up Queen of Air and Darkness when it came out because my enthusiasm for the series had faded and its size is SO intimidating! But maybe this is the year.

9. DC Icons by Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, and Matt de la Pena

The Series:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Batman: Nightwalker
Catwoman: Soulstealer
Superman: Dawnbreaker

Progress: 1/4
Owned: 4/4
Priority: Medium

Thoughts:
This is a series of standalone novels. I liked Wonder Woman, but I didn’t love it. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this series so I’m not in any hurry to finish it, but I already own them all so it’s pretty likely I’ll read them to clear my backlist.

10. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

The Series:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords

A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
The Winds of Winter (????)
A Dream of Spring (????)

Progress: 3/5 published
Owned: 5/5 published
Priority: Low

Thoughts:
These books are long, dense, slow reads. The story is good, but they are so hard to get through! I read books 1 & 2 in 2014 and book 3 in 2017. I want to finish this series someday, but for now watching Game of Thrones is good enough for me. Maybe I’ll pick up the next book when The Winds of Winter gets an actual release date.

Other Series in Progress:

The Casquette Girls (1/3)
Cormoran Strike (3/4)
The Darkest Minds (2/4)
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (1/3)
Red Queen (2/4)
Simon Snow (1/2)
Sookie Stackhouse (3/13)
Spindle Fire (1/2)
The Winner’s Trilogy (2/3)

How many series are you “currently reading”? Have you read any on my list?

2020 Reading Goals

Hello, everyone! I’m Caroline! For my first post, I want to share my reading goals for the new year. I’ve thought a lot about what I accomplished in 2019, and how I want to keep growing in 2020!

Read 75 Books

It’s so difficult for me to choose a number of books to read that is challenging but still attainable. In the past few years, I’ve had some really great reading years (90 books in 2017!) and some not so great (25 books in 2018). Based on this, my 2019 goal was to read 30 books to help me rediscover my love of reading without the pressure to read a ton. Well, I ended up finishing 75 books in 2019, so I know I can do it again in 2020. I would love to read 100 books this year, but I don’t need to put that kind of pressure on myself by making that my official goal.

Explore More Genres

My favorite genres are YA fantasy and thrillers, with a sprinkling of sci-fi, and my 2019 reading reflects those preferences because my goal was to fall back in love with reading. Toward the end of the year, I started branching out a bit. I read a couple horror and paranormal books around Halloween. I discovered the joys of the contemporary romance genres. I used to love poetry, but I haven’t read any in awhile. Of course I’ll be reading lots of fantasy and thrillers this year, but I’m going to mix it up and stop judging books by their genre.

Buy Fewer Books

My shelf situation is out of control. I got 16 new books in December alone (most of those were gifts, but still). I need to read what I own before I buy more books, and make sure I’m only buying books I will love. I’m not giving up my BOTM subscription, but I’m avoiding add-ons. I can take advantage of my local library when I really want to read a book I don’t already own. I know I will buy some new releases by favorite authors and books in series I’m reading, but for the most part I will shop my own shelves.

Finish More Series

In 2019, I started a lot more series than I finished. I discovered so many amazing new worlds, but got very little closure. I recently made a list of all my series in progress, and it’s ridiculous. I’m planning a future blog post to share the series I want to finish in 2020, but I don’t think I can make it through ALL my unfinished series in a year. What I do know is that I don’t need to start any new series until I finish what I’ve started.

Reread More

It’s so easy to get caught up in new releases and the overwhelming number of unread books out there that we neglect our old favorites. This is a mistake. Those are the books that made us fall in love with reading in the first place, and why we keep on reading. I’ve worried that rereading an old book will take time away from reading something new. Oh, well. My favorite books are a part of me, and it’s important to make time to revisit my favorite characters and worlds. Audiobooks are a great compromise to make time for old books while still keeping up with the new, but I want to make time for a few physical rereads this year too.

Read At Least 2 Classics

I did not read any classics in 2019. In fact, the last time I read a classic was 2017. I don’t think that readers have to read a lot of classics to be “good readers,” but I’m also an English teacher, so I feel like it’s time. Classics tend to be slower reads for me, but I think one every six months is manageable.

Read 1 Graphic Novel Each Month

I started teaching a Comic Book elective this year, but I am far from an expert on the subject matter. Since graphic novels are quick reads, it shouldn’t be too hard to fit in one each month.

Grow My Blog & Bookstagram

Starting this blog is the first step to reaching one of my biggest goals for the year! I’ve wanted to start a blog for YEARS but I never could decide if I wanted to start a crafting blog or a beauty & fashion blog or a TV & film blog or WHAT. But last year bookstagram reminded me that my #1 love always has been and always will be books, and starting a blog felt like the next step. Instagram has been a great creative outlet, but I need a writing outlet too.

This blog is still a work in progress. It is not yet everything I want it to be. I don’t even know everything I want it to be. But that’s okay. It is DAY ONE. I’ve got plenty of time to figure it out, and I’m so happy you are here on this journey with me!

What are your reading goals for 2020? Let me know in the comments!