2021 Readings

2021 was productive and here are the books I read.

The year 2021 is going to end in a few days. Reminiscing the beginning of 2021, I promised myself to give way to my mental health and free myself from screentime as much as possible– it was a good practice, though; two weeks of constantly doing it, it becomes a habit and I couldn’t even be more grateful.

This year I surpassed my target of 15 books (by one! hehe). I’ve read 16 books and all moved me and has given me comfort especially during the on and off quarantine and lockdowns left and right. Books have taken me to a lot of good places (something that I don’t like doing physically because truth be told, I don’t like traveling that much). I’ve met a lot of people through the books I read – may it be the characters in the novels I indulged myself in or through fellow readers who gave great recommendations.

Reading is therapeutic and enhances my creativity. It was also a good practice to immerse ourselves in the wilderness and expand our vocabulary, keep our social distance (hehe in the pandemic), and ease of anxiety.

Below herein is the list of the books I’ve ticked from my list (in sequence) and some excerpts, thoughts, notes, and anything I want to share about the books (not a review and I won’t spoil):

Review's Resort: The Bridgertons (Booktober)
Photo from web

1 The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

If you have seen the series Bridgerton on Netflix, it was patterned by Julia Quinn’s book series. The Duke and I is the first book in that installment which was centered on the love story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset (Bridgerton Season 1). Hence, as I go forth with the book and its succeeding installment, I finally understood why Rege-Jean Page will not be appearing on the succeeding seasons of the Bridgerton series on Netflix.

The book is quite different from the series–there were characters in the TV series that aren’t in the book, but both are good! You may want to finish it in one sitting. I got hooked!

2 The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

I have a stressful life so reading romances is quite nice! Haha! This second installment of Julia Quinn’s book series is focused on the love story of Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sheffield (season 2 of the TV series). Anthony was the eldest of the Bridgerton siblings (the first letter of their names is patterned to their birth orders); he was his father’s successor as a viscount when the patriarch Bridgerton died and has then become the head of the family.

Kilig also! Something that you won’t expect from Anthony Bridgerton as he was stiffed and too focused as the head of the family. He also had the fear of the believed that he won’t be alive long because his father died at quite a young age. It was a safe and good love story (in my opinion) and it was just light and sweet!

3 An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

By far, my most favorite book in the Bridgerton book series! The books centered on Benedict Bridgerton and Sophie Beckett’s love story. It was like a Cinderella fairytale romance that is also quite steamy and hot, romantic at the same time, just like the previous two.

Bridgerton siblings’ birth order (for context hehe): Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth.

If there will be a book in this series that I’d probably read over and over, it’s this!

4 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This book was my backlog from my 2020 readings because I couldn’t get the strength to actually finish it, but I guess that was the purpose of the book–to make you think, wonder, and be surprised (cringe, too). It follows the story of Humbert Humbert, a professor, middle-aged man, who has this fetish and attraction to younger females (girls, aged between 12 and 14). He fell in love with Dolores Haze who, technically, was his step-daughter as he married Haze’s mother who was his former landlady.

I took a break from the Bridgerton series because Benedict and Sophie’s love story was toooooo good! Hehe

5 It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

The first book this year that made me cry! It hurts! Haha! But yeah, that was a good call by Lily Bloom to leave an abusive relationship no matter how good it gets sometimes because we cannot change people, we can only love them. Hee hee.

The rest of what I’ve read, I’d probably just list below and do a separate review on another post (there are just too many things I want to say!)

6 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

7 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

(see I took a rest from the Bridgerton book series because I need a rebound from Benedict and Sophie’s love story hehe)

8 Management Communication in the Global Era: Readings for the Asian Manager by Gloria S. Chan

This is one of the reference book our late professor, Dr. Felix Librero, asked our class to read. It was so memorable to me I could not even believe it will be our last encounter. I have learned a lot in his class. He was strict and thorough, but he was fair. May you rest in peace, Sir Lex. You are missed.

9 Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

After that semester, I went back to continue reading the Bridgerton book series. This installment third installment is the story of Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington and the last appearance of Lady Wistledown and how she was unveiled. It was perfect and one of the best books in the series, too!

10 To Sir Philip with Love by Julia Quinn

This book is the story of Eloise Bridgerton and Philip Crane. It was sweet and quite modern, if I may say so given the setting of the novels.

11 When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

In the Bridgerton TV Series, Franchesca Bridgerton wasn’t highlighted. This book tells the story of Franchesca Bridgerton and Michael Sterling, and their quest of love and challenges of having their kid of their own.

12 It’s In His Kiss by Julia Quinn

This book tells the story of Hycinth Bridgerton and Gareth St. Clair. Their story is also a good highlight of the book series, given that Gareth is also the grandson of Lady Danbury. Theirs is quite a battle but it was sooo good!

13 On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn

This is the second to the last book installment in Julia Quinn’s series. This book stressed me out hehe! It centers on Gregory Bridgerton’s love story, quite a challenge too. It left me a lot of ‘ugh’ and ‘no no no’ before I finally made peace and lean on the flow of the story hehe

14 Bridgerton, Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn

After you finished all the Bridgerton siblings’ love stories, you would wonder what their lives after all those and how Violet Bridgerton and Edmund Bridgerton began their story and create such a great brood, this book has it. It was a refreshing ending that will close all your ‘what now?’

15 Bared to You by Sylvia Day

One word: HOT! This book is so steamy yet so catchy! I think I’ve finished this one in just one sitting.

16 Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

I saw this in a book store in the cut-off prices section, but it turned out it was on its original price and was just left there; nevertheless, the book is funny and probably can be turned into a good film with either Amy Poehler or Tina Fey as Eleanor Flood, the lead character.

Life is one long headwind. To make any kind of impact requires self-will bordering on madness. The world will be hostile, it will be suspicious of your intent, it will misinterpret you, it will inject you with doubt, it will flatter you into self-sabotage.

Eleanor Flood

Life is a confounding and sadistic in its cruelty. That when things go your way, it never makes you as happy as you’d expected, but when things go against you, it’s a cold water jolt, an unshakeable outrage that dogs you forever.

Eleanor Flood

The worst thing a person can experience is being on the receiving end of “hatred and misunderstanding.”

The world isn’t your friend. It’s not designed to go your way. All you can do is make the decision to muscle through and fight the trend.

Joe, Eleanor’s husband

That’s it for me for the books I read this year! More on the next! I’ll probably will not make a list of the books I’m going to read because I’d like to be surprised, but for sure, I’ll probably target more for next year.

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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