2021 in Review

2021 was a wild year. Year two of our global pandemic. Like all years in recent memory, so much happened. January 6th, Among Us, Myanmar, Ever Given, Squid Game, NASA’s Ingenuity, Dune, James Webb Space Telescope.

For me, it was a year of transition. I spent my entire high school senior year online and was itching to go in person to university knowing all of the risks. Even with all the changes, I had a great time during my first semester at UT and have come to love Austin as a city.

Now that the year is over, I would like to take a look back and review my content diet. Yes… like the food pyramid that we learned about in elementary school, I can imagine a “content pyramid” – a triangle ranking media and art in how healthy it is to consume.

Content can feel like a sterile word sometimes. Content creator feels uninspired compared to artist but I do think it is a useful catch-all in a way that the word “art” isn’t.

Anyhow, here is what I watched, read, and enjoyed this past year.

Books I’ve read in 2021

  1. Autonomy: The Quest to Build Driverless Cars and How It Will Reshape Our World by Lawrence Burns (finished Mar 31, 2021)
  2. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (finished Apr 18, 2021)
  3. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (finished Jun 5, 2021)
  4. The Little Book of Skin Care by Charlotte Cho (finished Jun 6, 2021)
  5. The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu (finished Jun 23, 2021)
  6. Accidental Empires by Robert X. Cringely (finished June 27, 2021)
  7. Where We Come From by Oscar Casare (finished Aug 19, 2021)
  8. The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin, translated by Joel Martinsen (finished Aug 28, 2021)
  9. Dune by Frank Herbert (finished Nov 17, 2021)
  10. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (finished Dec 16, 2021)
  11. Dune Messiah by Frank Hubert (December 26, 2021)

As you can tell by the dates when I finished books, I took quite the break from reading during most of my first semester until the very end and this is something that I plan to avoid during subsequent semesters. I highly recommend all the books that I read this year but I’ll point out some of the standout ones.

Dune was an amazing find due to the movie and I shall definitely continue the series, at least until God Emperor of Dune.

The Three Body Problem was another series that I knew about all the way back in 2016 but I only finally found the interest to read it now and it was well worth it. While the writing style can be a bit dry at times, I thoroughly enjoyed it and enjoyed The Dark Forest even more. I recommend The Three Body Problem if only to get to The Dark Forest. I will read Death’s End this year when I get the chance.

Finally, Mistborn was incredible. It has been a while since I have loved a book so much that I made time to read it for an hour or two ever single day until I finished it. I have already finished the 2nd book in the series this year and I plan to continue to read more Brandon Sanderson.

Music that I listened to in 2021

Austin is known to the world as a live music hub and I took advantage of that as best as I could. I went to many local concerts with incredible musicians and also was able to attend larger concerts like that of JPEGMAFIA and 100 gecs. Here is what I listened to in 2021:

I feel that my greatest musicial find of this year was learning about underscores. They were the opener at the 100 gecs concert that I went to and I devoured everything that they released this year. Both Fishmonger and Fearmonger are amazing albums. This is hyperpop at its best.

As for the new year, I plan to read more, write more, and most of all, enjoy all there is to see in the world. It is as they say… the trick to reading more is to fall in love with it.