21 Books on My 2021 Reading List

At the end of every year, we’re inundated with articles about the most anticipated books of the new year. 

I — like many of you — drool over the upcoming titles. But I — like I’m sure many of you — have plenty of other books purchased in the previous year and years past.

This is why I like to create a list of books I plan to read rather than talk about the books I’m excited about. Because I know it’s rare I’ll read nothing but books published in the year we’re in.

So, without further ado, here are the 21 books I plan to read in 2021.

  1. They Don’t Need to Understand by Andy Biersack
  2. Shit, Actually by Lindy West
  3. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
  4. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  5. Luster by Raven Leilani
  6. Journal Planning Magic by Andrea Gonzalez
  7. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  8. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  9. The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
  10. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
  11. Permanent Record by Edward Snowden
  12. Group by Christie Tate
  13. People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd
  14. Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
  15. The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan
  16. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  17. Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon
  18. The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup
  19. Providence by Caroline Kepnes
  20. The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
  21. Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durrant

These are in no particular order. I can’t promise I’ll read all of them. A few might be replaced by something else. But these are certainly the ones I am aiming to read this year.

What books are you most excited to read this year?

Setting 2021 Goals and Plans

Let’s be honest. This New Year’s Eve didn’t feel like the “wipe the slate clean” type of day it usually does. Because contrary to what people think, we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of the pandemic. 

We still need to be careful. Wear a mask. Social distance. Protect each other.

But 2021 can represent a fresh start in some ways. And despite the uncertainty, I created my annual list of goals and plans.

I don’t believe in resolutions. I believe in goal-setting. 

Is there a difference? To me there is. 

The reason I don’t like resolutions is the pressure it puts on us. We start out strong and then life gets in the way. We fall behind. We feel like failures and we resort to old habits because it’s easier. Negative self-talk begins. The vicious cycle continues year after year.

That’s no way to succeed. So I made the decision a few years ago to not set any New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I create a list of goals and work on them throughout the year.

What’s the difference between goals and resolutions?

Mindset for one.

The term resolution makes my stress levels rise. Goals don’t need to be completed in a month. I know they might take the whole year to finish, which is fine. 

When people create resolutions they want instant gratification. When they don’t get it, they quit. Turning resolutions into goals removes a lot of stress. You should also break them down into smaller goals.

For example, one of my goals this year is to publish at least 10 essays. This goal includes print and online publications. 10 for the year seemed like a good number. 

This larger goal is broken up into smaller tasks like:

  • Get a list of publications to submit to.
  • Generate a list of topics to write about.
  • Write for 30 minutes a day.

I’m a big believer in breaking larger goals down into smaller tasks. It always feels less daunting.

Some other goals for 2021 include:

  • Complete first draft of essay collection.
  • Draft screenplay.
  • Get 10-15 clients for my copywriting business.

Each goal is broken down into smaller tasks. I use Trello to keep track of them as well as update my progress. I also set a deadline for each task.

However you plan for the new year — whether you call them resolutions or not — remember to celebrate the little victories. 

Set realistic goals. Know your limits. Push them, but not to the point where you feel like a failure. Track your progress. Keep going even if you fall behind. 

Don’t let the term resolution frighten you away. Change your mindset. Write your goals down. Work on them a little each day. You got this! 

What are your goals/resolutions for 2021? Do you believe in resolutions? Have you found more success in making resolutions or setting goals?