Saturday, January 01, 2022

Happy to see the backend of last year


Happy new year! Welcome to 2022. As writer Steven Brust observed, hoping this year will be better than 2021 is a low bar to clear — and it’s also all too plausible that 2022 won’t make it over. But that’s all in the future. Today, while the year is shiny and fresh, I’ll be hopeful.


You’re presumably here for the revelation of my 2021 textual consumption. Well, the news isn’t great — but you were expecting that, weren’t you?



I listened to comforting music like the world was ending this year — because at times it felt like the world was ending. So no surprises in this list.


2021 Top 31 lol

Kate Bush, “Burning Bridge”

Shakira, “Whenever, Wherever”

ABBA, “Take a Chance on Me”

Air Supply, “Sweet Dreams”

Janelle Monae, “Dance Apocalyptic”

Janelle Monae, “Turntables”

ABBA, “Chiquitita”

Holy Boy, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)”

Billie Eilish, “everything i wanted”

ABBA, “Summer Night City”

Tears for Fears, “Mad World”

Andy Gibb, “An Everlasting Love”

Janelle Monae, “Coma Alive (War of the Roses)”

Rise Against, “Savior”

LP, “One Last Time”

Olivia Newton-John / Electric Light Orchestra, “Xanadu”

LP, “Someday”

Queen, “You’re My Best Friend”

Jorge Luis Chacin, “Sueltala”

Prince & the Revolution, “I Wonder U”

ABBA, “Fernando”

Haiku Hands, “Not About You”

The Doobie Brothers, “Long Train Runnin’”

Meg Myers “Running Up That Hill”

Sheena Easton, “You Could Have Been with Me

Deep Purple, “Hush”

George Michael and Aretha Franklin, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”

Max Webster, “Let Go the Line”

Queen, “Killer Queen”

Teena Marie, “Lovergirl”

Knife Party, “Destroy Them with Lazers”


While I was intentionally listening to familiar music much of the time, I was also too familiar with some of the library and therefore actively seeking new sounds. I added A LOT of music to my library this year. I owned approximately 18,200 tracks on January 1, 2021. That figure is approximately 22,450 today, and only 420 of them were unplayed by December 31. More than 900 songs in my library were played at least 10 times, including 17 full albums, and 134 were played at least 20 times. My top 31 tracks were all played at least 30 times.


In summer 2021, the Prince estate released a new album, which I’m still getting to know. And in addition to the LONG-awaited new ABBA album, the fall also provided a new Brandi Carlile album and a new LP album. These were my big purchases; otherwise, most of my acquisitions were dance/EDM or backfilling holes in artist catalogues. 


And with that, it’s time to reset the playcounts once again and hope that I can continue to track playcounts in 2022. Apparently the iTunes software isn’t keen on users being able to track their listening (although Apple is certainly keeping track).


Here’s to aural pleasure! What caught your ears in 2021?



This was another dismal year for reading, as my concentration continues to be poor. Still, I managed to read 126 books and am grateful to have hit even that. Here are some stats:


• 96 books by women

• 25 books by men

• 5 books co-authored or co-edited

• 17 books of poetry (plus some verse novels)

• 23 nonfiction titles

• 3 graphica titles (plus several comics I didn’t count)

• 1 novel that I edited


Here are the most noteworthy titles I read:


The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer (MG fiction, illustrated)

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer (MG fiction)

No Modernism Without Lesbians by Diana Souhami (nonfiction)

South Away by Meaghan Marie Hackinen (nonfiction)

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (fiction)

Knot of Shadows by Lois McMaster Bujold (novella)

Tell the Birds Your Body Is Not a Gun by Rayanne Haines (poetry)


Oh, hey, also I wrote an open-access grammar textbook, which will be uploaded into a OER repository later in 2022.


So, yeah. What books did you adore in 2021? 


Once again, cheers! Here’s to 2022. Please be better than 2021.


(And wow, the Blogger WYSIWYG interface sucks now, doesn't it? Jeez.)