A Year in Events and Books I Read, 2021

A year reflected in events and the books I read, 2021, is a spin on a fun meme that I hope will define some memorable, turning point moments of this resilient year through the titles of novels I read…

Never before in my life had I imagined spending over one year at home, under lockdown nearly day in day out, with my husband and teen children. In the end, we could understand one another even if we were… Speaking in Bones (Kathy Reichs).

Yet as 2021 began the world was still firmly in the grip of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that first emerged in late December 2019… Two years ago already. This is not… A Conspiracy of Bones (Kathy Reichs).

Novel: new and different from what has been known before.

Merriam Webster Dictionary

My daughter started University in February and, as exhilarating and unique student life is, if my memory serves me right it does begin by feeling as it is written in… The Bone Code (Kathy Reichs). Pause to celebrate a temporary closure as I finished reading the entire (published) Bones, Temperance Brennan novels collection by Kathy Reichs!

It was about now when I decided that my WIP needs a prequel (almost done now), a moment I’d label as Dracula, Prince of Many Faces (Radu R Florescu).

A Year in Events and Books I Read, 2021. Targoviste and Vlad Dracula
Targoviste and Vlad Dracula

While I was queuing waiting for my first Pfizer vaccine shot I felt… Under the Knife (Tess Gerritissen). My sweet daughter had gifted me the Rizzoli and Isles DVD collection for Christmas 2020 and I am pleased (although feel a little lost too) to have finished reading in 2021 the entire Rizzoli and Isles book series by Tess Gerritsen published thus far…

Waking up at all the wee hours of the morning to write, running on coffee and adrenaline, I often felt like… The Surgeon (Tess Gerritsen), although wrestling characters and mending plot holes was more like a job for… The Apprentice (Tess Gerritsen).

This year I watched on TV the Olympics in Tokyo and it brought back many childhood memories, but seeing no spectators in the audience I felt like asking why, who is The Sinner (Tess Gerritsen)?

Some historical moments stood out for me during 2021, like this … Body Double (Tess Gerritsen): Kamala Harris becomes US Vice President and Maria Ressa receives the Nobel Peace Prize being the first ever Philippine native to have won one.

During the Taliban‘s return to power in Afghanistan I felt like watching an entire nation… Vanish (Tess Gerritsen). America ended the longest-ever war, 20 years, with Afghanistan.

Silent Heroes book Afghanistan military orking dogs Patricia Furstenberg

My daughter and I have a few TV shows we love to watch together, like Rizzoli and Isles, Gilmore Girls and Friends, so we couldn’t miss their Reunion! It was like attending… The Mephisto Club (Tess Gerritsen).

Something that lightened the moon during 2021 was cargo ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal. It was certainly… The Keepsake / Keeping the Dead (Tess Gerritsen).

Some events I want to remember witnessing during 2021 as nearly all happened in space… Ice Cold / The Killing Place (Tess Gerritsen). These are:

  • NASA entering the Solar atmosphere for the first time as a spacecraft has touched the Sun… It was NASA’s Parker Solar Probe that has now flown through the Sun’s corona, its upper atmosphere, sampling particles and magnetic fields;
  • the first private citizen entered space in his own spaceship, Richard Branson;
  • first all-civilian crew flew into space – Elon Musk’s Space X;
  • electric cars surpassed diesel sales in Europe – Elon Musk’s Tesla;
  • astronomers witnessed light coming from behind a black hole;
  • Captain Kirk of Star Trek finally made it into space… as William Shatner;
  • NASA’s Perseverance Rover using the carbon dioxide from Mars’ atmosphere to produce oxygen with an instrument called… MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment);
  • on Christmas Day we watched the LIVE launch of NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, at my son’s suggestion!

Moxie is a person full of energy, determination, courage.

Urban Dictionary

Some moments we witnessed during 2021 I’d define as…. Freaks (Tess Gerritsen) because they reflect how advanced global warming is:

  • it rained on the Greenland’s ice sheet on what is now the highest point;
  • National Geographic cartographers recognize the world’s fifth ocean (after Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic): the Southern Ocean encircles Antarctica;
  • human noise affects ocean life;
  • wildfires in Australia, heavy snowfalls in Athens, severe drought in America, extreme floods in Belgium and Germany, late monsoons in India.

During my first interview with Romania Insider I was as nervous as… The Silent Girl (Tess Gerritsen).

The last James Bond 007 featuring Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, let me whispering… John Doe (Tess Gerritsen).

When Romania Insider promoted my latest book Transylvania’s History A to Z (Patricia Furstenberg) I felt on top of the world, surely… Last to Die (Tess Gerritsen).

Die Again (Tess Gerritsen)… as Frances McDormand and Anthony Hopkins won big at the virtual BAFTA awards and the Oscars (fun to attend online, a bonus being the chat with my friend Jo from Film Serial).

I Know a Secret (Tess Gerritsen) … and I surely shared it with everyone during the LIVE chat with Steve Allison from Expat Life. It starts with a story, continues with music and memories, ends with laughter, more good music and an announcement!

Some archeological events that shone a bright light on 2021, as in… Take Height, Rutterkin (Millie Thom):

  • a 17 000 years old couch shell was discovered in the Pyrenees mountains, the oldest wind instrument ever known to have been used by man… about the same time a cracked skull was discovered over in the Transylvanian Alps;
  • just as old is an Australian rockart depicting a kangaroo;
  • a 3 000 years old lost ‘golden city‘ was discovered in Luxor valley, Egypt;
  • carvings of a 5 000 years old deer were discovered in Scotland, at Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, just as old as the Neolithic fortress of Turdaș, Hunedoara, Transylvania (here’s a book and a story about it: Conduct in a Neolithic Kingdom);
  • Russian scientists thawed and thus returned to life multicellular organisms frozen 24 000 years ago;
  • one of world’s oldest piece of art, a 51 000 years old deer bone carving was discovered in Harz Mountains, Germany.
Paleolithic Murder in Transylvania 100 words story
Paleolithic Murder in Transylvania 100 words story

I wondered if the apple falls far from the tree when 14 living descendants of Italian artists Leonardo da Vinci were discovered. Exciting thought as my WIP shares a timeline common with da Vinci’s lifespan… The Castilian Pomegranate (Anna Belfrage).

When South African scientists identified the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the world turned their back on South Africa I felt under a… State of Terror (Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny).

We haven’t went in a family holiday in over two years and I know we weren’t the only ones. One of the highlights of this year was the trip we took this December along the Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga. Incredible waterfalls and a long hike too… A Long Walk Home (D. L. Finn).

As memorable events took place during 2021 in the book word such as a first edition of Mary Shelley’s iconic Gothic novel ‘Frankenstein’ selling at a record price, USD 1.17 millions and South African writer David Galgut winning the Booker Prize with ‘The Promise’… I have great hopes that in 2022 my series of books inspired by… Dracul (Matei Cazacu)… will see the light of day or, even better, find themselves a snug place inside a Literary Agent’s heart!

Countless events of 2021 might not be remembered, much like the notes I made as part of my research and the additional read I did during 2021: academic papers on the history of Ottoman Empire especially Medmed the Conqueror; writings on medieval cuisine, on everyday life and medicine, women’s life status, gender difference, wills, medieval accounts from Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia; travel, local legends, weaponry, customs…

Like a puzzle, it is the sum of many events that builds the facets of one’s life, of one’s life year, of one’s work.

2021 was a good year, one I am grateful for. As I am thankful for you, the followers and readers if my blog posts.
Wishing you and yours a cheerful and blessed 2022, filled with inspiring moments!
Happy New Year!
~ Pat

30 Replies to “A Year in Events and Books I Read, 2021”

  1. Thank you, Patricia, for your list of writers and books you have read this year! I had never heard of Tess Gerritsen and checked out on her and added her on my “books to read” list!
    I wish you many great hours writing or reading good books:)

  2. Such a great pleasure, Martina 🙂 Nothing like a good read to help one unwind, isn’t it?
    I discovered Tess Gerritsen after watching the TV show ;Rizzoli and Isles’. The books I read are all from this specific book series, and I started with the first one, ‘The Surgeon’. The first five books focus on female victims and the crimes can be quite full of gore – you either stomach them or not.

    From all her books that I read the ones I loved and I know that I could recommend wholeheartedly are ‘Ice Cold’ (‘The Killing Place is another title for this book, depending on the UK/US market) and ‘Last to Die’.

    ‘Ice Cold’ is gear for a winter read as it is knee-deep in the snow.
    ‘Last to Die’ is in Botswana – closer to home for me.


    1. I am glad you think so, Jim. That was my intention too 🙂

      This year (and last one too) I really felt like a kid again ahead of summer holidays when I know I can fill up all those very many days with reading (in Romania summer holiday starts middle/end June till middle of September. Shorter only for students.) 🙂

    1. Thank you, Michael!

      ‘Nice’ is such an overlooked adjective, teachers prohibit it 🙂 I still remember this from my kids’ years of schooling. But just what a rich meaning it has. Nice!!

      I appreciate your comment, so in tune with the content 🙂

    1. Thank you, Cindy. I had fun writing this blog post. With all the lockdowns we had, 2021 was quite eventful 🙂

      There’s nothing wrong with tsundoku – buying reading materials and then piling them up. We lovingly and excitedly do it too!!

  3. You are very creative to weave your reading list into your 2021 wrap-up. Tess Gerritsen is one of my go-to authors when I need an entertaining, light read. Happy New Year! I look forward to your new work.

  4. Oh, man, everybody is praising your post and I can’t see it. 🙁 But I’ll be back. You know I will! Meanwhile… Happy New Year!

  5. OK! I’m back! 🙂 It seems I was a bit impatient. It took a while, but in the end I managed to enter your site. And it was worth waiting. I enjoyed your post as well. I’m happy and honored to be part of it. ❤️ Expect further noise and enthusiasm over the upcoming Oscars. 🙂 I must say that Kathy Reichs’ novels are next on my reading list, as well as your Transylvanian novel which I hope you’ll get to publish next year… in electronic form as well. 🙂 I’ll also remember Tess Gerritsen and Anna Belfrage. You made me curious. We make a great team you and I. I recommend movies, you recommend books. How cool is that! 🙂 Tonight I’ll raise a glass of champagne to that. Happy New Year!

  6. You are an encyclopedia of fun facts and details, Patricia. It’s always a pleasure to read so much information in one blog post. I love how you weaved in the names of books. Very clever and appropriate. I hope 2022 is a bright and beautiful year for you. May nature be kind and may humans be less careless and arrogant. 🙂

  7. Hi Patricia, Happy New Year!

    This was a really creative way to pair books and events in the same post. I hope you get the chance to read as many books in 2022.

  8. Pat, a terrific and creative post and I love the way you’ve linked the books you’ve read with the events in your life and the world. Wonderfully inventive and it flows perfectly! Wishing you a wonderful and creative 2022!

    Love your final thoughts:

    ‘Like a puzzle, it is the sum of many events that builds the facets of one’s life, of one’s life year, of one’s work.’

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