Could you sum up your nomination for your  Most Memorable  Book of the Year in a brief, 60 second voice note? If you could, then perhaps you entered Cape Talk Radio’s Book Club competition which announced the winning entries yesterday. Dictating a brief summary put readers in the running for a 15 book hamper to the winning entry. 

I listened to the selection of entries which revealed a mainly female readership, only three men entered  their choicess. Perhaps Cape Talk edited the entries, but I would guess that  women form the bulk of our national readership.  I’ve noticed the same phenomenon on Facebook reading group pages, nearly all the posts are from women.

The winning entry came from a  woman who  nominated Rise, by  Siya Kolisi ( the Springbok rugby captain). No surprise, because South Africa is sports mad, and rugby mad in particular.  Categories  were limited to kids’ books, Sports Books, non-fiction, fiction .   

Sports: that’s one of the genres I never read: I read widely, but I do exclude Romance and  Horror,  plus I tend to avoid historicals, and I seldom read crime.

At this time of year there are lists galore and posts by the dozen on the theme: Best Book/s of 2021. I read many of them, always interested in other people’s choices and  reviews . In fact, I post my own annual Best Books of the Year on my blog.  

I keep a running list of Best Reads throughout the year, but its difficult to cut it down to the best Ten Books.  Many readers opt for this number, which is illogical, given our 12 month calendar system. Maybe December is a bad month, too much shopping and partying,  and perhaps  in  the height of summer, even  dedicated readers go outdoors.

I refuse to set annual Reading Target.  Reading is not a competitive sport, for goodness sake!  According to my Book Journal I read 103 books in 2021. Consulting my tatty Journal, via Stone Age technology, i.e. pen and paper – Excel spreadsheets continue to elude me – I totted up the totals and carried out a rough (very rough!) survey. 

My reading was predominantly Fiction, with a small non-Fiction component, consisting mainly of Memoir and Nature writing. Otherwise it was Fiction all the way. Horror, Sport and  Romance didn’t get a look in, but General novels and Literary novels featured large.

I read far too many cozy mysteries, plus more SF than in previous years, and I lay the blame squarely on the pandemic. 

Because I read for pleasure and entertainment, this earnest analysis doesn’t matter one little bit. I read some spectacular books this year, which will be listed in my next post. Watch this space.



  1. Hello Mrs. Smith! I look forward to seeing your “best of” list. I’m not sure I’ll do one myself, as I’m an indecisive type and I find it almost impossible to narrow down my choices (I’m generally careful of my reading time, have a good idea about a novel’s style/content before I begin and, as a result, like almost all my reading choices). Like you, I read mostly literary fiction & never read books about sports; I do, however, enjoy the stray, well written horror novel. And I totally agree that reading is NOT competitive (but I do keep a yearly list of books read)!


    1. Narrowing down the choices is so difficult, isn’t it ? I also battle with the whole narrowing down thing, despite my book lists and reviews. Maybe you could go mad and select a Book of the Year? or not. Anyhoo, nice to find another reader with a similar approach to reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Cape radio program competition sounded interesting. I don’t set reading targets either as there is no way I would finish them. I am not that disciplined nor interested. Have a wonderful Christmas and a very good 2022. I look forward to seeing what you get up to next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Alison. I must admit, I do set targets for myself on Goodreads, which I fail dismally at every year, lol! But I refuse to lower it as I believe I shall surprise myself and have a good reading year at some point. Goodreads also gives a nice breakdown of all my books I’ve read for the year 🙂 I’m looking forward to your next post, it’s my fav 🙂


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