My 2021 Reading List

I started making my 2021 reading list sometime in the last quarter of 2020. I wrote down the names of books I’d read about or heard about (from friends and in the many book-focused podcasts I listen to). The list got longer and longer and continues to lengthen as I continue to add to it. It now comprises one-hundred-and-fourteen titles and I have started on some of them, and completed two (one audiobook at the end of last year, and one e-book this year). Oh, the list doesn’t include the eleven books that the book club I belong to has scheduled for this year, nor some of the book I am currently reading.

I don’t believe I will read all the books on my list, but it’s a useful list, obviously. My reading is guided by my moods and so, who knows what I will end up reading.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time since Malaysia’s first lockdown period began, in March 2020, cataloguing my book collection. Last week, I started on my South-east Asian (including Malaysian) books and have found myself thinking that I should spend a year reading only these books. I’ve also thought how lovely it’d be to devote a whole year doing nothing but re-reading. Maybe next year …

Books Read in 2020

I doubt I’ll finish another book between now and 1st January, so here are the books I read in 2020, not counting picture books.

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The IG Bookworm Challenge

I did the #bookwormchallenge on Instagram, but had to edit my answers because of the word limit.

Here is the unedited post, in case you’re interested in learning more about me and my reading-related preferences.

Why do you love to read?
I love stories, and I love reading about different lives, types of people, and worlds. Reading and liking a new book is like meeting a really cool person. Old books are like old friends.

My parents and my older sisters read to me before I could read, and the feeling of being read to is one of the best in the world. I enjoy listening to audio books and I do it when I’m cooking and hanging out/folding the laundry. The narrator has to be right though. Otherwise, it can spoil the experience and the book. Im struggling with the book I’m reading now (The Red Threads of Fortune) and the one before it (The Black Tides of Heaven), both by Neon Yang because the narrator puts on accents I find jarring.

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#WitchWeek2020: The end is nigh!

Burn that witch!

Lizzie Ross

If you’re reading this, you’ve lived to tell the tale of Witch Week 2020. When you do, make sure it’s a tale with dark corners, collapsed towers, and horrifying specters. Not to mention lots and lots of shadows.

Chris and Lizzie are grateful for the help of everyone who participated:

e-Tinkerbell of eTinkerbell, who, in typical English-teacher fashion, introduced us to a fabulous classic of Italian Gothic/Romantic literature;

Jean of Howling Frog Books, for guiding us on a tour through the world of M R James’ gothic horror stories and for participating so energetically in our read-along discussion;

Kristen of We Be Reading, who drew our attention to a modern gothic masterpiece set in Mexico;

Lory of The Emerald City Book Review, who joined Chris, Jean, and Lizzie in a lengthy and wide-ranging discussion of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book;

Citizens of the social media world…

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#WitchWeek2020 Day 6: MEXICAN GOTHIC and the Classic Gothic Tale

Mexican shadows …

Lizzie Ross

Wrangling the specters today is guest blogger Kristen M, who has been blogging at for most of twelve years and is the creator of March Magics (which annually celebrates Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett). She lives in Seattle, loves baking, tolerates yard work, and hates laundry. In this post, Kristen’s review of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s 2020 best-selling novel is framed within traditional Gothic tropes (similar to e-Tinkerbell’s use of classic plot arc to analyze The Betrothed), thus providing an excellent final post for this week of Gothick thrills.

When deciding on a gothic book for Witch Week (in my case, likely a reread since this is my most frequently read genre), I started getting curious about a book I was hearing a lot about and actually hadn’t read yet–Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  The gothic tale is typically held to be a British and American custom, based…

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