I am sure I am not alone in expressing this sentiment: I am THRILLED, ESTACTIC, HAPPY, RELIEVED, and so many other emotions to be saying goodbye to 2020. I have to say it is definitely not a year I would care to repeat anytime soon. I know I am very fortunate and blessed because I am have been able to keep my job the entire pandemic as has my husband.
Even with being happy to say goodbye to 2020, I do like to reflect back on the year. This yearly Reading Survey is done at Perpetual Page Turner and has been updated for 2020. If you are interested, I would love for you to participate and share your answers with me below in the comments. I did not answer every question as is quite robust and some of the questions, I simply did not have an answer for it.
I plan to do another post unpacking my reading a bit more as I kept a detailed reading spreadsheet with stats and charts, so I am going to post about it separately. So as far as specifics about numbers and such, that will be coming in an upcoming post so stayed tuned for that.
Best Books You Read In 2020?
Favorite Adult Fiction: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Favorite Nonfiction: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Favorite Middle Grade: The Trials of Morrigan Crowe
Favorite Audiobook series: The Diviners by Libba Bray
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Reborn Yesterday is the one that leaps into my mind as it was one that so many raved about, but I was not hooked into it as much as others. I like some of Tessa Bailey's other titles, but this one left me feeling meh.
On the Horizon by Lois Lowry was one of the most surprising reads--it was one of the last reads of the year for me and it was one of the ones that surprised me the most. It should not have since I generally like Lowry's writing but it did.
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Becoming by Michelle Obama as an audiobook and also, Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crowe by Jessica Townsend is the book I recommend to my students constantly.
Best series in 2020?
Best series in 2020?
I ended up reading more series in 2020 than I feel like I have been lately I devoured The Diviners by Libba Bray and Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson this year. They were my my favorite series this year.
Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?
Adult: Kate Quinn
Middle Grade: Jessica Townsend
Young Adult: Emma Lord with a close runner up Libba Bray
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I really started to get into adult mysteries and thrillers this year. I still do not like the gore or overly violent ones so I am not up to handling Karin Slaughter yet (not sure if I every will be truth be told), but I did read some more gruesome ones than I expected. So I am going to leave this as a whole genre answer. Ones I enjoyed this year include:
For this one I am going to have to say that Lois Lowry's On the Horizon is so poignant and staggering the amount of emotion she packed into the sparse verse, it is breathtaking.
Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?
One of the books that pops back into my mind consistently is Becoming by Michelle Obama. This is one I listened to right off the back and it was such a beautiful way to start 2020. I plan on listening to Barack Obama's A Promised Land this year at some point.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?
So many answers to this one: The Diviners, Becoming, and I picked up some classics again finally in 2020: Jane Eyre, Emma, and Rebecca to name a few. I plan on continuing to revisit and read some that have been on my long term reading lists.
My shortest book (excluding picture books) is Lauren Graham's In Conclusion Don't Worry About It, which is a whopping 52 pages long. It is an expansion of a commencement speech she gave.
My longest books surprised me: Lair of Dreams at 613 pages. I adored The Diviners series audiobooks this past year and HIGHLY recommend them.
Both of these books I experienced as audiobooks and it really shows how much I treasure and value audiobooks--no matter the style. If you have not given audiobooks a chance, I really do recommend them.
Best 2020 debut you read?
The best debut I read last year that is popping into mind immediately is Tweet Cute, which actually came out in 2020. I adored it.
Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The books that had the most vivid setting for me would be the The Diviners series. Those books are so amazing, I cannot stop raving about them (can you tell). I cannot believe I waited so long to read them. I know the last book just came out last year, but the others have been out for awhile.
I would also add that the Shadow of Night, book two in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness has a rich setting. The author is a historian and this particular book in the series goes back in time and you can see her using her historical research skills on full display in this book.
Lastly, The Guest List by Lucy Foley is another book that has a vivid setting. It is such an isolated setting, but it is unforgiving and unforgettable. This is another one that I listened to and I think it really helps bring out the richness of the setting because you can here the Irish lit in the production.
Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Tweet Cute again leaped into my mind and it was one that I could not help but laugh out loud during it. Emma at times made me laugh as well, which might be an odd choice to some too, but I found it quite funny at times.
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?
Without divulging why, Before the Devil Breaks You, which is book three in The Diviners series, had me in tears or very closely. Another one that also had me tearing up a couple times this past year was The Alice Network.
Hidden Gems Of The Year?
I always feel that nonfiction does not get as much love as I would like so I think I am going to wrap up this tour of books I have read this year with spotlighting some of the amazing nonfiction titles I have read this year.
These are just a few more of the nonfiction titles that I read this year. Did you read any nonfiction that you loved? If so, please do share those titles with me below.
With serving on various award committees, upon accepting those positions, I promised not to post about books publicly during that time period, at least about the books that would be eligible for those awards. It also became a time commitment issue as well, with needing to be able to balance everything--my personal a.k.a my family life, professional committees, and then my work responsibilities--blogging was an easier thing to stop doing. With all of those appointments wrapping up, I am happy to be able to come back to blogging more regularly in 2020. It is my hope that I can continue the momentum that I built in 2021.
New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?
During my time away, I have been keeping up with YouTube, Bookstagram, and still reading blogs though I admit the blogs have not been near as much as they used to be. This year my focus has been making sure I have been diversifying my feeds, as I know many have been doing.
My favorite new person I have subscribed to this year is Rachael Fryman--she has both a YouTube channel and Bookstagram. She is another school librarian so we have a lot in common and can relate both with our reading interests and our jobs. She hosts a fabulous readathon--Golden Girls readathon typically in June if you want to check it out.
Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2020?
Simple, but represents me coming back to blogging again--one of the best reading months I had last year too.
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?
Just taking the plunge and coming back again. I know blogging is not popular any longer, but for me it has never been about it. I like the exercise in writing again. I hope that I can continue expanding my writing in 2021.
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
This is not surprising as so many people experienced it in 2020, but it was emotionally taxing on everyone and I am sitting in a place of privilege compared to many. I still struggled with motivation, depression, and anxiety. Truth be told, I am still battling that everyday even though I am forced to go to my school building every day Monday-Friday.
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I am going to break down my goals in another post, so come back and check in for more information on stats, reading goals check in, and what I am hoping to achieve in my next Let's Talk About It Post.
This is so difficult to answer but I do know I am planning on answering the Top Ten Tuesday post coming up on January 19th highlighting titles I meant to read in 2020 that I did not get to. So you will have to check back to see what I put onto that list.
Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?
So I bought this physical book from The Book Depository because it was out in the UK, but I enjoyed the audiobook of it so much I have not read it yet: Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson. I ADORED the audiobook. I have the audio preordered from Libro.fm (disclaimer referral link) that I am waiting on patiently (not so patiently actually) for March 2.
I am thinking of writing a separate Let's Talk About It post highlighting the titles I have down of the books I am looking forward to for the first quarter to half of the year since there are many books that are unknown still. This will include series books and those debuts that I have my eye on already too and I also know there is an upcoming Top Ten Tuesday post coming up about titles we are looking forward too. So in the hopes of not duplicating too much information this month, I am going to reframe from answer it here.
One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?
I am working on a huge Unhaul Project this year because I am a decluttering phase again in my house overall. I will write up a post about it, which will include my 21 Books for 2021, books I have to read this year that I have had for at least three years unread. If I do not finish them this year, then they are being unhauled.
I want to work on posting consistently--which for me means one time a week. That is not a lot I know, but that is consistently. I also want to post a minimum of 52 full length reviews. I do shorter reviews, where I will put two or three books together in one post, with highlighting each, but I want to do more in-depth reviews this year--with averaging at least one a week.
Whew, such a long post but it is always worth undertaking answering some or all these questions as a reflective practice. Linked at the very top is the link to the original post on Perpetual Page Turner's page so you can see all the questions. There may be some I did not answer that are a better fit for you to answer, but I did not have the best answer for so I did not include.
It is worth repeating so here it is again, if you do decide to answer any, all, or more of these questions, OR if you have some version of a 2020 reflective post (or series), I would love to see it/them. Please include a link below. I would love to read/view and comment.
Happy New Year! May 2021 be everything you hope for and more.