In 2021, I read a total of 10.3333 books and one comic book. Here’s a quick list:
Book #1 : Sweat the Technique by Rakim
I first started off listening to the audio version, read by Rakim himself — since it was available on Apple Music. It was cool to hear him not only tell his story, but also read his lyrics since most chapters featured or started with some classic Rakim lyrics.
Book #2 : Ms. Marvel: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson
This Ms. Marvel run started back in 2014. After reading the first trade issue I wanted to continue the story. I’m now up to volume 5, but I have two more volumes in my personal library. After that I will have to search for more.
Book #3 : CHILLING EFFECT by Valerie Valdes
This is the first sci-fi book I’ve read with a Hispanic protagonist. Val (the author) did a great job incorporating many of the phrases I grew up hearing in a Cuban household — there’s also a bunch of space cats, if you’re into that.
Book #4 : Press Reset by Jason Schreier
I read Jason’s first book, Blood Sweat and Pixels, where each chapter covered the development of a single video game. In Press Reset, each chapter follows different individuals and/or studios. It was cool to hear these stories from a different perspective.
You can catch my full write up on Press Reset here.
Book #5 : Yearbook by Seth Rogen
I’ve read many celebrity memoirs, and the cool thing about Seth Rogen is that he doesn’t mind sharing the stories that most celebrities won’t. It’s like he knows how strange the celebrity world is, and he feels the need to share it with us common folk.
Book #6 : Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
If you liked Ready Player One (the book or movie), you may or may not like the sequel. I thought it was fine, but my friend who also loved Ready Player One absolutely hated this book.
Ready Player Two was different enough from its predecessor to keep me entertained, although it did rely heavily on the reader’s nostalgia for things of the past, like in the first book.
Book #7 : NBA Jam by Reyan Ali
This book was published by Boss Fight Books which has a very interesting collection of books based on different games. Every book in the Boss Fight Books library focuses on a specific game in a totally different way. There is no formula to a Boss Fight Book, it’s basically whatever the game means to that particular author is what the book is about.
You can catch my previous write up of NBA Jam here.
Book #8 : Ask Iwata by Satoru Iwata (Edited by Hobonichi)
Ask Iwata is a collection of essays, posts and more from Nintendo Legend, Saturo Iwata. Even if you aren’t into video games, this is still a very good book to read. It focuses more on his business philosophies, which can be used in many industries today.
You can find my previous review here.
Book #9 : DUNE by Frank Herbert
My original goal was to read the entirety of DUNE before watching the new film on HBO MAX. I only made it through the first third before the movie was released.
I plan to continue reading DUNE (the book). After watching DUNE (the film), I think the characters, houses and locations will all be easier to digest.
Book #10 : Dream Master by Raheem “Mega Ran” Jarbo
Mega Ran has a very interesting story about how he mixed two of his dreams together to create something cool and new — hip hop and video games. He’s also been through a lot on his way to becoming who he is today.
Check out my previous write up here.
Book #11 : Coraline by Neil Gaiman
A few years ago I started reading books by Neil Gaiman. I read The Graveyard Book, Good Omens, The Ocean at the End of the Lake and possibly some others.
Although I have already seen the movie Coraline I thought I could read the book and re-watch the movie. Plus, it was short and I was able to sneak it in at the end of the year.
Book #12 : The Creative Gene by Hideo Kojima
This was the final book I read in 2021. Hideo Kojima is responsible for the Metal Gear series of games, he’s also one of the biggest names in video games. The Creative Gene is an homage to many of Kojima’s influences — books, movies, shows, music and more.
You can catch my full write up here.
So, I say 10.3333 books because I only read the first part of three in DUNE. I was trying to read the whole book before the movie came to HBO MAX, but I started too late. So, instead I read part one and put it down, which is fine because the movie doesn’t go very far past the first part.
I know I also read a few other comics, I’m just not sure if I finished them. I re-read part of The Vision, Hawkeye and read a bit of Iron Man 2020 and some others. I just haven’t finished them.
A total of 10-12 books is not a terrible number for a full year, especially when we take into account the whole virus thing. My goal for 2022 is not to double or triple the amount of books read. I have two goals for 2022 when it comes to reading.
Goal #1: Read more than last year.
This can mean reading ten or even twenty more books than last year, or it can mean just one or two more books. I don’t want to put a specific number goal down because I will never meet it. Instead I will reach the halfway mark of 2022, and become instantly overwhelmed when I realize how many books I haven’t read.
I’m almost done with my first book of 2022, so I estimate at this pace that I can maybe read about twenty books, but if I don’t that’s fine too. I know from the past that I can read three books in a row very quickly, followed by a couple of weeks or months of zero reading.
Goal #2: Read more books than I buy.
I love visiting Barnes & Noble and bookstores in general. Many times I end up buying some kind of book when I visit — usually a few books. I have tons of unread books in my collection, all over the place. I always have a small collection of books that are “on deck” to be read next.
Every time I finish a book, I pull out about five to ten books and decide what to read next. I’m usually searching for something that’s pretty different from whatever I just finished. If you look at the order that I read my 2021 books, you might notice that I try to change subjects, genres, or something about whatever I happen to read next.
Like with my credit card payments, my goal this year is to read (pay) more than I buy (spend) each month. I would like to slowly narrow down my current unread collection. There’s also the problem that many times I have my next book selected in my head, only to push it aside when I purchase something new I become more interested in.
No matter what happens, I will spend more time reading, writing and working on more creative projects in 2022.