Last year around this time we’ve been hoping for a better next year – well, with this crazy year almost at its end it’s kind of nice that at least this one thing hasn’t changed, and once again we are hopeful that 2022 will be better than 2021… 😉 With pandemic getting its second, third and fourth breath, four-month-long lockdown in Auckland and various restrictions in different places around the world, and large swathes of live inevitably altered, 2021 had certainly been an interesting year.
But at least in terms of blogging and reading, 2021 had turned out to be quite all right. While we haven’t experienced another huge jump in terms of visits, we also haven’t experienced a slump – in short, 2021 was more or less equal to 2021 in the number of views (roughly 15k) and surpassed last year in the number of visits (nearly 8k vs 7k last year). We’ve had similar number of comments, 2,5k, while the number of likes grew to over 3k – yay! There was a noticeable downward trend for things other than reviews on the blog, alas, as with Piotrek making some momentous life decisions and Ola branching out to painting and Youtube, tags and some such became a luxury ;). And yet, we still managed to churn out a few more posts than last year – we are very proud of ourselves 🙂
We are incredibly grateful for our lasting blogging friendships around the world and for finding new friends in all the corners of Earth. In those times of growing divisions, anxiety and anger it’s wonderful to find like-minded people. So big thank you to all of you!!!
Our most popular post in terms of views was Ola’s review of Mexican Gothic (on the podium for the second year in a row, with over 270 views), followed closely by a very civil yet still rather scathing review of E.J. Beaton’s The Councillor, and glowing reviews of two Neal Asher’s books: The Technician, with over 215 views, and The Line of Polity (knocked down from the first place to the fourth) with nearly 200 views. Piotrek’s love letter to Honor Harrington is still going strong, fifth this year, and a surprising sixth place with 175 views went to our The Worst of 2020 😉
Our most liked post this year was Ola’s post about her Etsy shop, nearing 70 likes, and two reviews with 60 likes each: a critical take on Alix E. Harrow’s popular The Ten Thousand Doors of January and, again, E.J. Beaton’s The Councillor. Among the most popular posts was also, unsurprisingly this year, a review of Dune. The most commented post, which broke the 100 comments barrier, was our birthday reveal: Birthdays, spicy reveals and even a tag, oh my! – again, thanks to all of you who visited and commented!
While we abstained from the majority of the big bloggish events this year, we did take part in Witch Week organized by Chris and Lizzie. This year’s theme was Treason and Plot, and we were very happy to be able to contribute with a post about one of our favourite authors, Roger Zelazny.
Ola: This was certainly a busy year for me, and with steep learning curves all around. I got my full NZ driving license, returned to painting, opened a Youtube channel and an Etsy shop… and received an swamp of books from NG, out of which I’m still dragging myself by the hair ;). GR continues to be a largely positive experience for me, though I see that it can be quite a treacherous place, too. But I found some new friends there, which is great, and I do write more short reviews, which is also a nice change of pace from time to time ;). This way, the majority of the books I read get at least a mention ;).
This year, I entered the wondrous world of manga, and I dove deep ;). There’s no going back now from this new addiction! While the number of manga reviews on the blog is relatively small, it will certainly grow as I go through the volumes like tornado (but the books remain intact!). And mostly because of manga, my reading stats went up quite substantially: as of 15th of December, I had 188 books read in 2021, which translates to nearly 44.5k pages.
Piotrek: Well, it’s been a great year in my offline life, not so much in blogging. I did several posts, some were more about my personal life than genres we all love… but, well, such is life, perhaps I’ll be more prolific in 2022. I tried to keep in touch with Re-E’s friends, follow & occasionally comment, and I hope I at least succeeded in that.
Reading went quite well. I bought my first Kindle in February, and ebooks accounted for about 40% of my reading this year. And almost 90% of my purchases. I need to rethink my books buying stats, as I often buy ebooks in bundles and I’m unlikely to ever read them all (even less than all the paper books I’ve been accumulating for 30 years…). At least I was able to reduce the pressure on my disappearing bookshelves, buying only 25 paper books – while getting rid of a few. I even put my complete (main storyline + some of the spin-offs) set of Honor Harrington hardcovers on sale, that will clear an entire shelf if I ever find a buyer… volume #1 is a special signed edition, maybe someone is interested ;)? Funny thing, that my post praising Weber is going strong for the sixth year in a row, but nobody reads my scathing review of what Honorverse turned into in a few later books…
I counted my re-reads for the first time, and there were 17… Zelazny’s Amber, several Buffy comics, Sherlock Holmes, Sandman, and a bit of Vonnegut, among other things. Good stuff worth revisiting!
I had less time for writing though, and not only because of the wedding – which is a time-consuming enterprise. And it became harder to find topics for my posts. My reading changes, and although I did read such pearls of genre literature as the first two Malazan novels, who needs one more review of Malazan Books of the Fallen when there’s a perfectly good one even on this very blog ;)? I re-read Zelazny, and I did write about it, during the Witch Week. But I’ve mostly read quite a bit of Polish non-fiction, something definitely unsuited for this blog, and mostly books about the wickedness of the local Catholic Church, it’s harmful influence on my nation’s culture, morality, politics and finances. There’s been a wave of publications, and some quite interesting. But not a material for Re-E. On this front, I hope for the disenchantment of the World to continue…
And here is the promised Christmas Tree, decorated 🙂
There will be Best of 2021/Worst of 2021 posts later, probably in January, but for now – that’s all, thank you all for being around this year, here’s for 2022 being an all-around better year!