2021 books read & favs of the year

It’s the most statistical time of the year.

I read 3 Canadians for each 2 international, so more, compared to the half and half last year. 

This year, 41 titles were read aloud with husband. 45 titles read were haiku or haibun.

69% were poetry compared to 30% poetry last year, but with judging a bisexual novel award in 2020, that skewed. Likewise 10% GLBTTQ2+  this year (slipped from 15% last year). 

69% poetry, 31% non-poetry, a basic world division, right?

Reading sat at about gender parity of 44% female, 41% male and the rest non-binary or multiple people. About the same once I noticed from 2012-2015 I read 15% more male-written books.

Last year 60% were published within the year, 85% within 12 years, so about the same as the year previous. This year a dozen book were a century or more old.

Each year I track more things. This year I read 4 books in French and 8 books in translation.

General poetry at over 52% and haiku at almost 17%, Novels and genre novels combined is almost 17%. 10 memoirs, 9 essay books, 8 history, 5 graphic fiction, 5 short fiction, 3 science and 2 zines.

Only 5.5% First Nations authors (slipped from 8% last year), 7% People of Colour, 7% Black, 3% disabled. 

33 452 pages read in completed books. About 640 pages a week.  I read twice as much in pages as last year and breaking any record for amount in the 10 years that I’ve kept track. 

Total read to completion in 2021: 272 titles. (More books abandoned early helped.)

One third of titles were chapbooks. (As opposed to 20% last year). 

180 titles read in 2021 were book-books so over 3 books a week and I reviewed 11. (I want to improve that ratio.) That doesn’t count the #recommended on twitter. [Twitter’s down, I’ll check that later.]

Where did it all come from? No evidence of night elves: direct from publishers: 16%, Amazon, 14%, subscription, 11%, new bookstore, review copy and direct from author at 10% each. Used bookstore and free online 7% each.

My favourite 40 reads:


70 Kippers: The Dagmar Poems by Michael Dennis and Stuart Ross (Proper Tales Press, 2020)

Alden Nowlan: Collected Poems, edited by Brian Bartlett (icehouse/Gooselane, 2017)

awâsis — kinky and dishevelled by Louise B. Halfe Sky Dancer (Brick Books, 2021)

Be Holding: a poem by Ross Gay (University of Pittsburgh, 2020)

Conjure by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan, 2020)

Creeland by Dallas Hunt (Nightwood Editions, 2021)

Deerness by Al Rempel (The Alfred Gustav Press, 2020)

earthshine by Chuck Brickley (Snapshot Press, 2017)

finish this sentence by leslie roach (Mawenzi House, 2020)

ICQ by Matthew Walsh (Anstruther, 2020)

La route des oiseaux de mer: haïku (Editions David, 2021)

Landmarks: A Haibun Collection by Ray Rasmussen (Haibun Bookshelf Publications, 2015)

Lines by Cameron Anstee (St. Andrew Books, 2021)

Locked in Different Alphabets by Doris Fiszer (Silver Bow Publishing, 2020)

My Red, The Selected Haiku of John Stevenson (Brooks Books, 2021)

On the Edge of a Very Small Town: poems old & new by Mark Jackley (Chinese Plum, 2016)

Orrery by Donna Kane (Harbour, 2020)

The Silk the Moths Ignore by Bronwen Tate (Inlandia Books, 2021)

The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon, 2019)

The Wild Fox by R. Kolewe (Knife Fork Book, 2020)

Their Queer Tenderness by Neil Surkan (Knife Fork Book, 2020)

Tokaido by Terry Ann Carter (Red Moon Press, 2017)

Toward a Blacker Ardour by Phil Hall (Beautiful Outlaw, 2021)

Undiscovered Country: new poems by Al Rempel (Mother tongue publishing, 2018)


All I Have is the Moment: An interview with Barry Dempster by Maureen Scott Harris & Maureen Hynes (A fieldnotes chapbook, 2020)

I Hope we Choose Love: A trans girl’s notes from the end of the world by Kai Cheng Thom (Arsenal Pulp, 2019)


Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (Harper Collins, 2021)

Beloved by Toni Morrison (Vintage Books, 1987)

Blood & Ash: A Snarky Urban Fantasy Detective Series (The Jezebel Files book 1) by Deborah Wilde (Ta Da Media, 2019)

Cardinal Divide by Nina Newington (Guernica, 2020)

No Parking by Valentine Wheeler (Ninestar, 2020)

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW, 2021)

Purple Springs: A novel by Nellie L McClung (University of Toronto, 1921, 1992)

record of a spaceborn few by Becky Chambers (Hodder Books, 2018)

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within: Wayfarers 4 by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager, 2021)

the long way to a small angry planet by Becky Chambers (Hodder Books, 2014)

The Time Machine by HG Wells (freeclassicbooks.com, 1895)


Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui (Douglas & McIntyre, 2019)

The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe: Compiled From Her Letters and Journals by Charles Edward Stowe (FreeClassicBooks, 1889)

Peace by Chocolate: The Hadhad Family’s Remarkable Journey from Syria to Canada by Jon Tattrie (Gooselane, 2020)