2020 End of the Year Book Survey

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Quarantine is the perfect time to reorganize your bookshelves! 

This year was surreal for a lot of reasons. All of the exterior circumstances had a huge impact on my choices in reading material. I read Biden and Harris’ memoirs before the election. I read many books on social justice to push myself to a deeper understanding of diversity issues. I started a virtual book club, Pandemic Pages, with a few of my closest friends and we had a blast connecting on zoom. And then, when it all became too much, I signed up for Audible Escapes for a month and sunk into some mindless clean YA romances to give my brain a break.

Quarantine for me meant life at home with two kids (ages 1 and 4) while trying to work. It’s been hard. It also included a LOT of books! I read plays for the American Theatre Critics Association’s new play award. I listened to tons of audiobooks to keep my sanity while at home. I reread many old favorites and returned to authors I hadn’t read in years. And I curled up with my kindle or a real book when I needed a moment's respite from the stress of this year. Here are some of my favorites from 2020.  

Number of Books You Read: 212
Number of Re-Reads: 12
Fiction: 115 
Nonfiction: 48
Plays: 33
Graphic Novels: 4
1. Best Books You Read In 2020
Classics — If Beale Street Could Talk, Death on the Nile, and Go Tell It on The Mountain 
Historical Fiction — Lovely War 
Mystery — A Madness of Sunshine, Little Secrets, The Guest List 
Literary Fiction — Anxious People, Nothing to See Here
Nonfiction — Talking to Strangers, The Body, Furious Hours, The Hiding Place, and I'm Still Here 
Fantasy — The City We Became 
Play — Every Brilliant Thing, Silent Sky, and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
YA — Clap When You Land and Piecing Me Together
Science Fiction — This Is How You Lose the Time War 
Children’s — Ramona Quimby series and Gooseberry Park
Graphic Novel — Pumpkinheads

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and The Glass Hotel 

3. Most surprising (in a good way) book you read?
I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics 

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Clap When You Land and The Hiding Place 

5. Best series you started in 2020?
To All the Boys I've Loved Before 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?
Elizabeth Acevedo and Georgette Heyer 

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Untamed, I'm not a big self-help fan, but I got a lot out of this one! 

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Wylding Hall, an unputdownable, gothic gem for sure. 

9. Book You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, I learned so much. I know I'll return to it to refresh my cooking skills in the future. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?
With the Fire on High, Shadow and Light, Twisted, and The Vanishing Half 

11. Most memorable character of 2020?
Sheba from South of Broad, Emoni from With the Fire on Hire

Scenes from a quarantine life of reading in 2020.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020? 
This Is How You Lose the Time War and If Beale Street Could Talk 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020? 
So You Want to Talk About Race and I'm Still Here

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?
Go Tell It On the Mountain and The Hiding Place

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?

“The world changes, the ground shifts. We still make plans. We still find gifts.”       - Gmorning, Gnight!

“I think that control might actually be the opposite of love because control leaves no room for trust. And love without trust is not love at all.” - Untamed

“It’s true that we haven’t done very much recently other than keep two small people alive.” - The Guest List

“Traveling changes you. It open to up to in ways you never imagined and makes you appreciate home.” - Piecing Me Together 

“One of the benefits of being a journalist is that I get to be nosy for a living.” - The Year of Living Danishly

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” - Atomic Habits 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?
Silent Sky - 64 pages 
Angle of Repose - 569 pages 

17. Book That Shocked You The Most?
Talking to Strangers, the way he unfolds how the training of police officers has led to our current situation was enlightening and heartbreaking. 

18. Favorite Couple?
Dash and Lily

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of The Year?
Everyone in Anxious People and Hig and his dog Jasper in The Dog Stars

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From an Author You’ve Read Previously?
How the Light Gets In and the rest of the Inspector Gamache novels 

21. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A
Recommendation From Somebody Else?
The Soul of the Octopus 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?
Peter Kavinsky and Dash

23. Best 2020 debut you read?
The Jane Austen Society 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The City We Became, The Searcher, and House of Salt and Sorrows

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The House in the Cerulean Sea and the Christy Miller marriage and baby series. 

26. Book That Made You Cry in 2020?
Lovely War

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I loved Mythos and Heroes by Stephen Fry, but I've heard almost nothing about them. They retell the Greek myths with famous art, illustrations, and Fry's clever commentary. 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
If Beale Street Could Talk and Every Brilliant Thing

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?
Endurance, a nonfiction book that is set in space! 

30. Book That Made You the Maddest?
The Great Alone, that ending, ugh. 

31. Best Audiobook?
Arabian Nights and the Inspector Gamache series 

32. Best Book to Film Adaptation?
Dash and Lily 

Thanks to Perpetual Page Turner for once again hosting this survey! It’s always so much fun to look at everything I read throughout the year and think about what I loved/hated. 

Photo by me.

Dewey 24 Hour Readathon!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

********  UPDATED HOUR 8********
This is my 18th readathon (see links below).
Today you can find me posting on Litsy and as @avidreader25.

My first readathon was in April 2011, when my dog Ollie (pictured) was just a tiny pup. I wasn't planning on reading today, because we've been going through a hard health situation with him for the past month. After nine vet visits, a trip to an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist, and a CT scan, we still didn't have an answer about what was wrong. Last night we got the results and it looks like an infection possibly caused by a tick or spider bite. It's been a crazy stressful process and honestly, I couldn't face a readathon without my favorite reading buddy. 

I'll be reading just a bit today. I couldn't miss out on one of my favorite events!

Reading Stats:
Pages Read:
Currently Reading: The Book of Will 
Books Finished: 
The Great Gatsby graphic novel, A Promise is Forever
Snacks Eaten: Lots of coffee

Introduction Quiz:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 

The Great Gatsby graphic novel

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? 

S'mores tonight while we have a fire pit and the kids paint pumpkins. 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! Quarantine with two kiddos and an introvert husband has been HARD! Looking forward to a week at a beach house in Alabama next month. 

5) If you participated in the last readathon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? We have a full day planned to celebrate Halloween with our kids and friends. I'll be reading less because of that. 

April and October 2011 / April and October 2012 / April and October 2013 April 2014 / April and October 2015 /April and October 2016  /  April and October 2017 / April and October 2018April and October 2019. April 2020

Dewey 24 Hour Readathon!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

********  UPDATED HOUR 16 ********
This is my 17th readathon (see links below). Here's a link for more info about the Dewey Readathon. Today you can find me posting on Litsy and Instagram as @avidreader25 as well as here. For years Heather and Andi have hosted this amazing event. This is their very last time as the hosts. The readathon will continue, but they will be missed! 

My first readathon was in April 2011, when my dog Ollie (pictured) was just a tiny pup! Since then I've met friends and read thousands of pages during the readathons. I've read while hugely pregnant, while sitting next to someone I love in a hospital room, on road trips, and more. It's become something I look forward to. Throughout the year I set aside books I know would be perfect for the readathon. In short, it is a community that I love and means the world to me.

Reading Stats:
Pages Read:
Currently Reading: Farewell Summer and Everything, Everything 
Books Finished: Every Brilliant Thing, How to Be a Good Creature, Fox 8, The Princess Diarist
Snacks Eaten:
Spinach eggs, mint chocolate almonds, pickles, chips & salsa

My Readathon Memories

Introduction Quiz:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 

Every Brilliant Thing

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? 

Dark chocolate mint almonds

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! My second kiddo just celebrated her 1st birthday this week! I also love to travel and see live theatre.

5) If you participated in the last readathon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I usually leave the house to get a cup of coffee and read somewhere else for awhile. Since we are still quarantined I will be at home the whole time. We'll see how that goes.

April and October 2011 / April and October 2012 / April and October 2013 April 2014 / April and October 2015 /April and October 2016  /  April and October 2017 / April and October 2018April and October 2019.

Photos by me.