What I Read In 2021

First of all, time feels absolutely bizarre right now. I set a reading challenge for the first time in 2021, because toward the end of 2020 I subscribed to Roxane Gay‘s Substack newsletter, The Audacity, which is a pithy weekly recap, a showcase for emerging writers, and a book club.

One of her first newsletters summed up ALL the books she read in 2020, and I thought, “How cool! *I* want to know all the books I read last year too!”

This now feels like it was 100 years ago.

Anyway. 2021 was the first year I really tried to keep track. I set an arbitrary goal for 30 books (I read a lot, what the hell); I read 17.

My favorite was:

Build Your House Around My Body, by Violet Kupersmith

The one(s) I’m SO glad to have read was:

The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

The most fun was:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (this was a re-read but so much fun)

Best nonfiction:

Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson / Catch & Kill by Ronan Farrow (it’s a tie)

Worst book:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I read this as market research for a fantasy series I’m editing… it was informative as a comp title but pretty terrible.

Author I’m most excited about right now:

David Mitchell

What’s up next?
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

After that, who knows?

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?