My Top Reads of 2021

In the past, I’ve welcomed the new year with a recap of every book I’d read the previous year—and as fun as those posts were to write (and hopefully read!), they could become quite long depending on how prolific I happened to be. So this time around, I’ve opted to write about my favorite reads of 2021, and ended up with seven I wanted to particularly highlight.

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Blog Update

Greetings, travelers—it’s been a little while, hasn’t it? Between computer troubles, life changes (vague, I know), and some spells of creative block, the schedule for this blog has gotten completely off track in the past few months. That’s one reason I’ve decided to officially pause the blog for the month of December, and tentatively resume a more regular (though perhaps adjusted) schedule in 2022.

The other reason for the brief hiatus is because I need time to develop some posts that have been percolating in my mind and spirit for several months—posts that deviate from the usual writing and book topics, but retain the same themes and, hopefully, allow me to show more of my style and thinking than what I’ve shown here.

So fret not! More posts are coming in the near future. Don’t miss me too much this December. 😉

Rating all the Agatha Christie Books I’ve Read So Far

I’ve read 13 Agatha Christie novels this year (so far), not including an earlier reading of Murder on the Orient Express, and for a while I’ve wanted to do something more than the one review I did for Death on the Nile—but I have a difficult time coming up with how to assess these mystery books. Do I judge them by how well I guessed (or perhaps how well I didn’t guess) the murderer? Do I judge them on technical merits and originality, scrutinizing them more as an author than a reader? Do I judge them purely based on that hard-to-define and subjective thing called enjoyment? To be honest, I still don’t know the best way to approach them—so I’ve elected to speed rate them all, with a little bit of each of those metrics thrown in and with the disclaimer than my opinion could change tomorrow.

Warning—there might be spoilers for the follow titles: Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, And Then There Were None, Crooked House, The ABC Murders, Five Little Pigs, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Poirot Investigates, The Body in the Library, A Murder in Announced, Death in the Clouds, Peril at End House, and Dumb Witness. If you want to avoid spoiling any of the plots, proceed with caution!

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80 Instrumental Tracks for Writing and Studying


Do you listen to music when you write? While I don’t consistently (it depends on how focused I need to be!), I find that having a playlist of songs that capture the settings, characters, or moods of what I’m writing can help me immerse in the feelings of a scene when I’m having trouble doing so. Instrumental soundtracks are especially helpful when you don’t want to get distracted by lyrics, so I’ve put together a list of 80 of my favorite tracks to listen to when plugging away at my WIP. Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite!

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