Sigh, what to say about 2020? I know so many of us, including myself, had so many big plans for this year before the metaphorical rug was pulled straight out from under us. However, it’s important to recognise the good things that came from this crazy year, no matter how small — I started my bookstgram, this blog and I met so many new, lovely people in the book community, none of which would have happened if I wasn’t stuck at home twiddling my thumbs.
A major upside of 2020 for me was that I had an absolute knock-out reading year! I read more this year than I ever have before, read out of my comfort zone and found so many new favourite books and authors to take with me into this year.
I see the annual Reading Survey pop up every year in the blogosphere and around booktube so I thought this year I’d have a go at using questions as prompts for my wrap-up! I’ll also be including stats from my Goodreads Year in Books and my own reading spreadsheet I kept throughout the year which was a template by Ali at HardbackHoarder.
This is going to be a very long post so maybe grab a brew, get yourself comfy and lets get started.
Total Books Read: 50 Rereads: 1
Physical: 38 Audiobooks: 11 eBooks: 1
Standalones: 25 Series: 25
I’m really happy with how my reading went this year. My goal for the year was to read 35 books and I managed to hit that in October! This is the first time I’ve ever managed to surpass my goal for the year and I’m really proud to have done it. I only managed to get one reread in this year which was If We Were Villains, one of my favourite 2019 reads. I’m going to try to get more into my 2021 TBR but I like to annotate as I reread so they usually take me much longer to get through than other books.
My best months for reading were — shock! — the ones where the UK was in a lockdown and I was on furlough. In April, I completed Book Roast’s O.W.L.’s Readathon and managed to read 7 books, then in November I read 9 books while I was re-furloughed from work just before Christmas. For some reason though, I’m just never in the mood to read when it gets to summer! July was without a doubt my worst reading month – I finished a grand total of zero books, and you know what? That’s fine, too.
Unsurprisingly, the physical book reigned supreme once again for me this year — being a bookseller and having access to a discount means this one is pretty much guaranteed to always stay on top. However, my love of audiobooks only grew stronger this year and I even tried out a few books I’d previously dnf’d in their physical form, such as Illuminae and Welcome to Night Vale, with a new appreciation for them in this format. I also discovered eBooks at the end of the year, which I’ve never tried before, after finally deciding to make use of my long-neglected NetGalley account. I’m looking forward to continue using it in the new year, I’m already really lucky to have my hands on some of my most anticipated releases which I can’t wait to share my thoughts on.
Are you ready for some pie charts? (Who am I kidding? of course you are!)
I managed to really branch out this year when it comes to genres – if I had one of these in previous years, there would have been far fewer portions. I’m a little surprised by how few Sci-Fi books I read as its definitely still my favourite genre but I’m even more shocked to see Horror, Romance and Paranormal appear on here at all! I’ve never really taken interest in any of those genres before but found myself really enjoying this year.
This one, I’m super happy to see. I think we can get caught up sometimes in the expectation to — how do I put this? — not be too generous with ratings. But here’s the thing: I’ve been reading for a long time now. I like to think I’m pretty good at choosing books I think I’ll enjoy, so it stands to reason most of the books I choose to pick up end up being upwards of 3 stars. The fact that the 4 and 5 star reads occupy most of the chart is something I’m really pleased with. I only ended up DNF’ing two books this year, Kudos which was just not for me and The Goldfinch was without a doubt my least favourite book of the year.
Let’s take a look at just a few of those 5 star reads, shall we?
Jade City by Fonda Lee
— I read so many amazing books this year that it was really difficult to pick a favourite. However, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and it would be criminal not to give my Best Book of the Year title to Jade City by Fonda Lee. The world-building, the characters, the plot twists, this book literally had it all. I also really loved and appreciated the relationship between the Kaul siblings and the way that would risk everything for one another no matter what. I have so much love for this book and I’m so excited to continue on with what I strongly believe is set to become a new all-time favourite.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
— I know what your thinking: Quinn, how did it take you until 2020 to read The Song of Achilles? And, you know what? I don’t have an answer. I’m as shocked as you are, in fact I am kicking myself that I didn’t pick this one up sooner because I honestly cannot remember the last time a book made me cry as much as this one did. I remember finishing this just before dinner one day and literally sitting down with my family just numb from finishing the book and so overwhelmed by how much I loved it. If there’s one book from 2020 I reread this year, I’m determined to make it this one.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
— The main reason I decided to picked up this next one, aside from all the hype, was because it is my dear friend Cossette from teatimelit‘s favourite book. I’ve never been very interested in romance books before so this was definitely a bit of a wild card for me but to say I ended up loving it would be an understatement. I adored everything about this book, to the point where I ended up passing my copy on to 3 other coworkers just so we could all cry about it together. Such a beautiful story which gave me a love for both a brand new author and a whole new genre I’ve never thought to look into before. Catch me reading way more romance in 2021!
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Next up on ‘Quinn reads outside her comfort zone’ is a horror pitched as Buffy meets Desperate Housewives, which means there is no version of reality that exists where I wasn’t going to love it. I honestly don’t think I stopped talking about this book for a solid month after I read it and it still makes giddy thinking out how amazing it was. It was a super quirky, fun read but with such dark themes and commentary
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
— The fact that thriller made it to my favourite books of the year is such a shock to me. Every one I’ve tried has either fallen flat or I haven’t been able to get into it and I just generally don’t find myself drawn to them very often. Three Hours was different. Three Hours is a book I couldn’t put down and haven’t been able to stop thinking about since the moment I did. This book is an absolute masterpiece and the fact that its so under hyped is insane to me. I think I might post a full review on here at some stage as I think I’ve had enough time to reflect on it now after reading but just know it absolutely blew my mind and I hope more people start picking it this hidden gem.
I’m so happy to have read so many titles in 2020 that I ended up loving it! I feel like I’ve really managed to pin point exactly what kind of books I’m going to enjoy this past year while still venturing outside of my comfort genres. I can’t wait to try out even more new genres, authors and series this year and hopefully find many more 5 star reads.
Phew, okay. We made it. I feel like this post is probably long enough at this point so I’ll leave it here for today. If you made it to the end of this post, thank you so much! Please let me know some of your thoughts on your own reading year in the comments. I’d also love to hear from you about your stats – do you track your reading as you go? Do you wait until the end of the year for your Goodreads wrapped? Let’s chat below!
Lots of love,