Dancing Out of 2021 | Wrapping Up the Year, Goals and Reading Challenges

Man 2021, you had some pretty bad lows, you had some highs, but mostly I’m happy I’ve got to say goodbye to you. How was your 2021?


2021 was the year that many of us hoped that we were going to kick covid’s butt. Unfortunately covid continued to kick our butts. As I am typing this The Netherlands is in its 3rd big lockdown (shops, schools closed etc). I don’t think I’m the only one when I say that it is not feeling very encouraging after almost 2 years of this. It makes life so much harder than it already is for most of us.

We started 2021 with the second lockdown. The schools were closed until the second week of February. That kind of unstructured life was not good on Merijn who was just getting used to school. And it hit my depression and anxiety very hard. I hit a very hard low at the start of the year.

I spend most of the rest of the year still gathering myself back up. But a lot of the threats of school being closed throughout the year cost me a lot of anxiety. I am working hard on therapy. But it is a long process (aren’t trauma and fear always?) and my psychologist left at the end of December so I’m going to have to get used to a new person. That is challenging but I hope that I can continue moving forward with them.

Moving away from the negative. I think I made steps in taking more room for myself. I had a few stands at markets with my little etsy shop. And I was at a young adult event as well. Super fun. I’m still not a great sales person and online marketing, what even is that? I would like to make more money with it as a whole but doesn’t have to cover a whole salary or anything. And I don’t think I could at this time anyway.

A lot of this reflected back in my reading. My depression and shop have taken some time away from my reading. I still read plenty of great books though.

Goodreads & The Story Graph Challenge = COMPLETED

Unlike the optimism in my December wrap up I didn’t actually manage to finish Jade Legacy before the turn of the year. My ereader battery was too low. Meh. My initial reading goal was 120 for 2021 but as you know, reading didn’t come as easy to me the whole year and it wasn’t until November that it kind of started picking back up again.

So I changed the goal on goodreads and the Storygraph to 100. I ended up hitting that pretty easily because in November I just read so many (Patricia Briggs) books. I would have read more in December but with the lockdown and Merijn’s school closing down there just wasn’t enough room to read.

You can see that there is a different number here. Two less. There are two books I couldn’t enter in apparently. But I am also too lazy to go check through 110 books on goodreads to see which those were and if I could add them now. More books have been adding to the storygraph every month so… Oh well.

I find the pages goal interesting. Because I tracked my own pages and I thoguht it would differ because with different editions and page counts not always matching. But my count is 35,523. So that doesn’t actually differ that much at all.

5 Books I Think Will Be 5 Star Reads =COMPLETED

The City We BecameYes5 stars
The Year of the WitchingYes4,5 stars
The Outlaws Scarlett and BrowneYes4 stars
The Book of Dragons Yes4 stars
Men At Arms Yes5 stars

I actually read all 5 books this year! Go me. Only 2 were the expected 5 star reads but in the end I loved all the books and nothing was a disappointment in that regard.

Debut Author Challenge = COMPLETED

I did the Debut Author Challenge and I choose to go for 6 books. Basically you had to read 2021 debut authors releases. I read 11 books that counted so I totally completed this challenge. Go me.

Winter’s Orbit Everina Maxwell
The ConductorsNicole Glover
Amari and the Night BrothersB.B. Alston
Rea and the Blood of the NectarPayal Doshi
The UnbrokenC.L. Clark
Nora and the Sacred StonesLaura Hatch Ruper
A Strange and Brilliant LightEli Lee
A Dragonbird in the FernLaura Rueckert
Bad Witch Burning Jessica Lewis
Dark and Shallow Lies Ginny Myers Sain
Payback’s a WitchLana Harper +

+This turned out to be a pen name for another author but as this person they debuted so I’m making it count.

Pop Sugar 2021 – 60%

I thought I’d give Pop Sugar a try again but in the end this challenge doesn’t really work for me still. So I didn’t complete it but this is what I got done anyway.

A Book That’s Published in 2021Siege of Rage and Ruin
An Afrofuturist Book Riot Baby / The City We Became
Book with a Heart Diamond Club or Spade
A Book By an Author who shares your zodiac
A Dark Academia Book Ninth House
Book with gem mineral or rock in the title
A book where the mc works at your current or dream jobThe Lost Plot
A Book that has won the women’s prize for fiction
A book with a family tree The Year of the witching
A bestseller from the 1990’s Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook
A Book About Forgetting Cry Wolf
A Book You Have Seen on Someone Else’s Bookshelf Take a Hint, Dani Brown
A Locked Room MysteryOnce Ghosted, Twice Shy
A Book Set in a Restaurant By Book or by Crook
A Book with a black and white cover Alpha and Omega
A Book by an Indiginous Author
A book That has the same title as a song
A book about a Subject you are passionate aboutTilly and the Map of Stories
A book that discusses body positivity
A book found on black lives matter reading list
A genre hybrid A Master of Djinn
A book set mostly or entirely outdoors The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne
A book with something broken on the cover
A book by a Muslim Amercian author
A book published anon
A book with an oxymoron in the title Winters Orbit
A book about do-overs or fresh starts The Shadow of the Gods
Magical Realism
A book set in multiple countries Duftapotheke 4
A book set somewhere you’d like to visit in 2021
Book by online personality The Rogue’s Seduction
A book whose title starts with Q X or Z
A book featuring 3 generations Dragons in a Bag
A about a social justice issue The Unbroken
A book in a different format than what you usually read
A book with fewer than 1000 reviews on Goodreads The Conductors
A book you think your best friend will like The City We Became
A book about art or artist Hunting Ground
A book Everyone seems to have read but youMen at arms
Your Favorite Prompt from a past pop sugar

Bonus – 70%

The Longest book on your tbr The Book of Dragons
The Shortest book on your tbr Dragons in a Bag
Book on your tbr with the prettiest coverThe Beautiful Ones
Book on your tbr with the ugliest cover Fire with Fire
Book that has been on your tbr the longest
Book from your tbr that you meant to read last year but didn’tTilly and the Map of Stories
Book from your tbr you associate with a favorite person
Book from your tbr chosen at random A Winter’s Promise
A DNF book from your tbr
A Free book from your tbr In the Ravenous Dark

Diversity Reading Challenge = COMPLETED

For this challenge it was of course to diversify one’s reading. I committed to 5 to 8 monthly themes and I managed 8 so I am quite pleased with myself.

JanuaryDiverse Folktales/Retellings/SettingsDragons in a Bag
FebruaryPOC: Black African AmericanAmari and the Night Brothers
MarchOwn VoicesThe Unbroken
June Sexuality & Gender Identity A Master of Djinn
JulySexuality & Gender Identity A Strange and Brilliant Light
AugustMental Health Heartstopper Volume 4
September POC: Hispanic/Latinx The Book of Dragons
November POC: Native American Cry Wolf

There was also the chance to fill in the 8 letters of LGBTQQIA during Pride Summer. I only managed 3.

GayHeartstopper volume 4
BiFire with Fire
AsexualIn the Ravenous Dark

The 2021 SFF Badge Collection – 80%

Close, so close. I could have maybe hit this had I read a bit more sci-fi but this year was what it was.

The Artificial Intelligence BadgeFugitive Telemetry
The First Contact Badge
The Space Opera Badge Winter’s Orbit
The Epic Fantasy Badge The Shadow of the Gods
The Non-Human Badge Corpses and Cognac
The African Inspiration Badge Reaper of Souls
The Monster Badge Moonglow
The Debut Badge The Conductors
The SPFBO Badge
The Big Battle Badge Siege of Rage and Ruin
The New Release Badge Lava Red Feather Blue
The Animal Companion Badge The Bone Shard Daughter
The Big Un Badge The Book of Dragons | Jade Legacy
The Asian Inspiration Badge The Empress of Salt and Fortune
The Uncovered Diamond Badge Judgement Day
The Dragon Badge Fire with Fire
The Big Screen Badge
The Sea Setting Badge The Bone Shard Emperor
The Standalone Badge The Beautiful Ones
The Post Apocalyptic Badge The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne
The Collector 2021 Badge

Anderwereld Prompt Challenge – 84 %

Book Bought At Anderwereld
Novella Beginnings
Middle Grade Dragons in a Bag
LGBTQ+ CharacterSiege of Rage and Ruin
Out of Comfort Zone Firelight
Non-Western Culture The Unbroken
Different Expectations In the Ravenous Dark
Long Title (6+words) The Weirn Books Vol 1: Be Waryof the Silent Woods
School Setting Amari and the Night Brothers
Black Author The Conductors
Different Format Alpha & Omega
Animal MC CryWolf
True Story
Element in the Title
Took Effort A Strange and Brilliant Light
Death Author Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook
Title/Author reminds of own name
Dragons Fire with Fire
Graphic Novel Monstress Volume 5
Test/Exams/Riddles Rea and the Blood of the Nectar
Female MC A Winter’s Promise
Magic Reaper of Souls
Reread Mort
Mythology Tiril en de toverdrank
Fairy Tale Retellings The Tangleroot Palace

14 thoughts on “Dancing Out of 2021 | Wrapping Up the Year, Goals and Reading Challenges

  1. The pandemic is really difficult to deal with and I’m super ready for it to be over. Sorry to read about your anxieties and needing to find a new therapist — hopefully you find a good one!

    It looks like you had a real great reading year with some good successes on your challenges! I hope 2022 is just as awesome

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily for me I am a client at a large psychology practice so I am getting another psychologist in their practice and I am meeting them this Thursday. So at least I won’t have to put in extra effort for that.


  2. You did most of what you set out to do, that’s awesome! Unfortunate about the third lockdown, pretty sure we’re going to have it as well, just as things are starting to open up now. Do find something to keep you occupied, and all the best with your new therapist.

    Hope you have a good 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A third lockdown is a lot to handle. Here we are dealing with the possibility of a third lockdown, but the government is trying hard not to go that far. Thankfully they are listening to the professionals and not closing schools again after Christmas. In 2021, my daughter was home more than at school from January-June. She struggled a lot. And she has changed back to where she was before all of these lockdowns started since school started in September.

    I hope that things get stabilized soon so the lockdowns can ease up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so hard on all the kids. They need school in person. At least the schools are opening back up again here on the 10th. I hope that schools won’t close down for your daughter. 😦


      1. They announced today that the schools are online again until at least January 17. It’s so frustrating for the kids.


  4. I came close on the SFF Badge challenge, but I didn’t finish that one either. Oh well, at least it did help me broaden my reading and pick up some more SF! And I hear you on Popsugar. I am still doing the readathon this year, but I never have any expectations of finishing the Popsugar Reading Challenge. There will always be at least one of the prompts I’m not interested in, I think.

    I hope 2022 gets better and your lockdown isn’t too long!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And that is what the reading challenges are really for. If they help you in some way it is all good really. I guess that is something we need to remember more.


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