Mid-Year Reading Wrap Up 2021 & Blog Updates

Today’s Brew of Choice: Earl grey milk tea with tiramisu foam

Good morning everyone! Instead of doing my standard reading wrap-up for the month, I thought I’d do a post about the most memorable books that I’ve read this year! I figure this will give you a snapshot of my year (so far) as a whole, and pick out the books that have stuck with me the most.

Don’t forget to stick around for blog updates, and mid-year goal celebrations! I have lots of exciting stuff for you with this one! Sit back, enjoy some coffee, and read my rambles about my reading year so far. And how incredible it has been!

Most Memorable Books of 2021
(so far)

Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur

Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur, book cover and review. Beautiful story written for Asian Diaspora members. Science fiction and fantasy story that blends folklore, science, healing and grief.

Thoughts

Folklorn was one of those books that was groundbreaking in my personal development. It was the first book that I’ve ever read that centered around Asian diaspora identity. I’d read books with Asian protagonists, but never something that discussed and explored identity. I can tell you that this book changed my life. Thank you Angela so much for that.

  • 🌏 East Asian Rep
  • 😭 Emotional
  • 🌳 Family Focused
  • 🧭 Immigrant Experience

Review | Goodreads Amazon Book Depository

How to Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming

How to be less stupid about race, by Crystal M Fleming, book cover and review. An anti-racist book that everyone should read.

Thoughts

This isn’t a fiction book, but this book taught me so much. Crystal Fleming is brilliant and delivers a wonderful book to help people teach themselves about race. It’s written so well and I constantly think that this book is something I want to give to everyone I know.

Favorite Quotes | Goodreads Amazon | Book Depository

Spark to Shadow by Atima Kim

Spark to Shadow by Atima Kim, book cover and review. Thailand inspired fantasy with a bachelorette style competition and strong female leads.

Thoughts

This is my favorite self-published book ever. It has everything you want and somehow it all works. Dragon riders, witches, a sex-positive matriarchy, a bachelorette style competition, and more! I’ve been screaming about this book for so long and you need to read it.

  • πŸ‘‘ Non-European Royalty
  • πŸ’ž Young Love
  • πŸ† Strong Female Lead
  • 🌏 East Asian Rep

Review & Aesthetic | Goodreads | Amazon Book Depository

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The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

The Infinity courts by akemi dawn bowman, book review and cover. a ya fantasy science fiction about a girl who goes to the underworld and it has been taken over by an AI similar to siri.

Thoughts

This was the first book that I got for free from a book tour, and honestly the cover is so stunning. Not to mention Nami is a mixed girl saving the world! That representation isn’t explored really, but honestly any kind of mixed Asian representation means so much to me. This book was so fun and I loved the concept! I absolutely can not wait for the second book!!!

  • πŸ“– Couldn’t Put It Down
  • 🌏 Mixed East Asian Rep
  • πŸ“š First in Series
  • 🎲 Plot Twists

Review & Aesthetic | Goodreads Amazon Book Depository

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

A pho Love Story, book cover and review

Thoughts

This book was the first book that I have read that was so unapologetically Vietnamese that it made me proud to have a similar heritage. Not to mention the romance was so sweet and so perfect I had butterflies the entire time! This book is honestly so perfect, I cannot recommend it enough!

  • πŸ’ž Young Love
  • 🍜 Food Focused
  • πŸƒ Easy Reading
  • 🌳 Family Focused

Review & Aesthetic | Goodreads Amazon | Book Depository

Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace

firebreak by nicole kornher-Stace book cover and review

Thoughts

Firebreak surprised me. I knew it would be good, but it’s perfect and epic! I’m honestly so obsessed with this book, I read it what feels like forever ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. The statements on technology and capitalism were just so cool to see. Plus the kickass friendships that are just as important as romances? Throws it over the edge for me, I’m in love with this book.

  • πŸ’₯ Dramatic Ending
  • πŸ’œ Nomance
  • 😭 Emotional
  • 🌺 Friendship Goals

Review & Aesthetic | Goodreads Amazon Book Depository

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Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee, book cover and review. A YA historical fiction on the Titanic with the six survivors of Chinese descent.

Thoughts

Luck of the Titanic showed me that Asian people can be in historical fiction. It’s honestly such a small thing, but it seriously had not occurred to me that people who looked like me could have been present in major historical events like this. That idea alone is so powerful that this book will be engraved into my brain and my heart. We were there, and we have stories too.

  • πŸ“œ Historical Fiction
  • 🌏 East Asian Rep
  • 😭 Emotional
  • 🌳 Family Focused

Review | Goodreads | Amazon Book Depository


Reading Goals

My goals for the year were basically to stop reading books by cishet white men. This is actually the reason that this blog was created! Sometimes it’s hard to find books with diversity, and so I wanted to make sure I could do my part to make it easier for people to diversify their bookshelves.

I can honestly say that reading exclusively diverse books has skyrocketed my enjoyment of books. If you’ve ever wondered why all my reviews are pretty positive, it’s because I’ve finally learned how to select books that I already know that I will like. I follow my own heart for reading, and don’t let the popularity of some books draw my attention away from what I know I love. That doesn’t mean I don’t experiment, but I can truly say that I’ve never loved reading more than I do now.

I’ve read 60 books this year so far, and that puts me 10 books ahead of schedule! I’m so happy that I’ve been able to read so much, it has been a true joy. Not only that, but I get to read with all of you! Thank you so much for being on this journey with me, and I hope that I’ve helped you find a book or two to add to your to read list.


Mid-year book stats?

I do these monthly, but it’s really interesting to see how it has stacked up for the whole first half of the year. You could say that I really like adventurous, emotional, young adult fantasy. You’ve probably already noticed! Here are some fun stats to look at for my reading journey this year so far:


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Bookish Brews Best Posts

I’ve written so many blog posts since starting this with all of you, but I just want to share some of the posts that I’m most proud of. To no surprise, it’s mostly my book lists. They are hard work, but they are so much more interesting and so much fun to make. I always end up adding so many books to my to be read list when making them!

  • The post that I’m most proud of at this moment is: What is Cli-Fi? A list of Diverse Climate Fiction Books and Short Stories I’ve gotten so much positive feedback, and I’ve made some author friends because of this post! Plus climate fiction is so important, I’m so glad I could bring some attention to it!
  • I’m also still obsessing over this post: Book List: Diverse Books with Magical Competitions, because I adore magical competitions. I just want to read all of the books (that I haven’t already read!) on this list. They all look so good, and I’ve gotten so much feedback on people about how important some of these reads were to them.

Bookish Brews Blog Highlights

As for blog updates and highlights, I’m proud of how far this blog has come since its launch five months ago! To anyone who is with me now, I appreciate you so much and I can’t wait to see where we can go together! Here are some exciting blog developments that have happened since we began:

  • I am proud to say that you can find me on many social media platforms! I’ve created a presence on each of them, and I’m only watching it grow steadily. If you haven’t already, please join me on your preferred social media:
  • I’m humbled to have been featured on a few outlets in the past month. I’ve shared them on social media, but it’s really exciting to see my blog taking off enough to have respect from trusted news sources to speak with me! See me talking about why I started Bookish Brews here:
  • Plus my first guest post too! I reviewed Instructions for dancing over at Lovely Audiobooks. Working with Eline was so much fun and I’m so glad that I was able to work with her!
  • Another really exciting thing for me is that I’m getting even more traffic from google as of recently. I’m so proud of this, because getting google to trust you is no easy achievement. I still have a long way to go for how much traffic I want to be getting from google regularly, but I’m still so proud of this growth!

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A big thank you to my readers

I just wanted to take another moment to say thank you to all of you. I know I’ve said it a few times in this post, but I’m truly so happy to have you around. I’m so grateful to be able to share my reading journey with all of you and I can’t wait to see where this takes us all together. I hope that you’ve gained some value from this blog, even if it’s just a fraction of what you all have given me. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much!


Let’s Chat!

What are you most proud of from the first half of this year?
Have you crushed some of your goals?
What are some of your goals moving forward into the second half of the year?


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Congrats Bookish Brews on an amazing year of reading and crushing some goals!