End Of The Year Reading Survey 2020

12/30/2020

 I was debating what blog posts to make a priority in my 'End of the year wrap-up "series"'. In past years, I've done best, worst, surprising, disappointing, and DNF's. However, having read so many books this year I wanted something that would help me write about the middleman books. The ones I gave 3 or 4 stars but still thoroughly enjoyed. When you read close to 200 books in a year, it's very easy to forget to talk about some books that you enjoyed. I'll be trying my best to not repeat any answers throughout this survey, but don't hold me to that!

This survey was created by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. I did adapt/remove some questions that either weren't applicable to me or that I would've had repetitive answers for, so be sure to check out her post to get the full survey. 



S T A T S

Number Of Books You Read: 184

Number of Re-Reads: 5 (The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead)

Genre You Read The Most From: General Fiction. 


2 0 2 0   I N   B O O K S

1. Best Book You Read In 2020?

Know My Name by Chanel Miller. 2020 was the year that I fell in love with non-fiction as a genre. Know My Name is the memoir of Chanel Miller, a victim of sexual assault who overcame her demons and wrote this harrowing book that tore my heart into a million little pieces. The writing within this book was phenomenal, it may be the most well written piece of art (especially in non-fiction) that I have had the privilege of reading. I cried, felt warm, and grew incredibly attached this admirable woman. If you haven't read this yet, do it. It deserves to be read. (Naturally, huge content warning for sexual assault.)


2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

One by One by Ruth Ware. I have a complicated relationship with Ruth Ware as I've read her entire backlist but usually end up giving her thrillers a 3 star rating. The Death of Mrs. Westaway and Turn Of The Key seemed to of ended that streak by both coming in at a 5 star, but alas.. One by One was a huge letdown. It felt like her writing had backtracked by having a iffy plot, so-so characters that weren't very vivid, and mediocre plot twists. The atmosphere was exquisite, but it couldn't help save the book from being, well, boring.


 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman. I've always enjoyed Hoffman's writing but this book literally blew me away, I stayed up far too late reading and it yanked me out of a reading slump which was joyous. This is the prequel to Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic that follows a witch in the 1600's, who finds herself in Salem during the Witch trials. It's fast pace, historically frustrating, and has a great case of female characters. 


 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. Solely because I know of at least two people who I nudged into reading it sooner than they planned. This is the second book in The Brown Sister trilogy by Talia Hibbert, where career driven Danika Brown starts a fake relationship with hunky security guard Zafir Ansari and things quickly get steamy. This is a hilarious romance with such great characters. Talia Hibbert has quickly become one of my favourite romance-contemporary authors. 


 5. Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. I'm really enjoying myself with her Wayfarers series, and I'm hoping to pick up the third book Record of a Spaceborn Few in January. Her mix of sci-fi with a contemporary feel really works for me. 


 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?

Elizabeth Acedvedo. The Poet X had been on my TBR for years thanks to the unrelenting praise it gets within the online book community. However, it always took a backseat as I didn't own a copy and the one my library has always seemed to be loaned out. I randomly picked up her newest release Clap When You Land and it was incredible. I then proceeded to pick up The Poet X (Yay for Libby!) and though I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Clap When You Land, it was still a beautiful piece of art. The format of books told in verse has been a recent discovery for me and I'm thoroughly enjoying them. 


7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson. Gothic horror really isn't a genre I have experience reading, and though there is a decent argument to be made that this book reads much like a standard dark fiction, I really liked it! This is about two sisters, Constance and Mary Katherine Blackwood, who have been shunned out of their community after a tragedy took place in their home. This is a very polarizing book, people either adore it or hate it with a passion (like my husband). I personally found the dark ambiance rather poetic and it sucked me deep into the story.

  

8. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie. Look at the colors! This cover was the main reason I picked up this debut from the library, and it was honestly wonderful. It's majorly underhyped in the book community. In it, we follow Afi Tekple who is offered the opportunity to be married off to a wealthy man. Wanting to better her own life and that of her family, she agrees. However, the man is not who she hoped he be. This is a hard hitting contemporary about love, marriage, and the consequences of expectation in a marriage. 

9. Most memorable character of 2020?

Zara from Anxious People by Fredrick Backman. This is easily in my top three books of the year, if you've been around these parts before then you're probably already sick of me talking about it. Zara was by far the best character I've read all year. She had so many layers and struck me as a truly realistically flawed human. Read my full review for Anxious People HERE


 10. Most beautifully written book read in 2020?

coffee days whiskey nights by Cyrus Parker. This is a 2020 released poetry collection that I was lucky enough to get an ARC of through Net Galley. It saddens me greatly that I haven't seen it pushed more online. Cyrus Parker did a phenomenal job at crafting a collection that seemed to have a story woven throughout it while still making it applicable to any reader who has had a history of depression and found hope. It was beautiful. 


 11. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read? 

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. What an absolute joy of a book! This Canadian Children's classic has sat on many of my shelves throughout the years but I hadn't ever sat down and read it in it's entirely. Anne is a wonderful character that had me laughing constantly. It felt a novel version of sunshine.


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

“Forgetting it is important. We do it on purpose. It means we get a bit of a rest. Are you listening? We have to forget. Or we’d never sleep ever again.”

― Ali Smith, Autumn


13. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

Shortest: Lou in Lockdown by Jojo Moyes (46)

Longest: 11/22/63 by Stephen King (740)


14. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes. I've read a good portion of this author's backlist, but her newest release was wonderful. This is a historical fiction based on the true events of women who grouped together to form a travelling library between the years of  1935 and 1943. There's been a little controversary around this book as it was speculated to be "heavily inspired" by another authors book, but I'm not sure what the outcome of that was. Either way, I enjoyed it and the audiobook was magnificent. 


15. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. The absolutely wonderful @@m.is.reading recommended this to me after we buddy read Colleen Hoover's 2020 release Heart Bones (which I didn't wholeheartedly love). HOWEVER, It Ends With Us was such a journey, I went into it not knowing anything and expected just your standard smutty romance, but oh boy. This book broke me. If it's been on your radar at all, I encourage you to pick it up. (trigger warning: domestic abuse, attempted rape)


16. Best 2020 debut you read?

I'm going to cheat a little and say Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid. This got published on December 29th 2019 but got popular in 2020. Honestly, this is a work of absolute art. The story is revolved around a young black woman who gets accused of kidnapping a white child (who she's nannying). That accusation starts a domino affect in the woman's life, starting drama with both her employer and "boyfriend". This is hard hitting book that reads like regular fiction. It will keep you thinking long after you turn the final page.


17. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. This was the only high fantasy book I read this year and it didn't disappointed. Was it as memorable as Mistborn? Nah, but it was very entertaining and I flew through it faster than I thought I would. By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished in this world. Two sisters have to navigate the insanity to find each other again. Who doesn't love a sisterly duo? There's also a talking sword which was undoubtedly the highlight of the story.


18. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Fangs by Sarah Anderson. This is a comic/graphic novel about a vampire and werewolf who fall in love. It was so wholesome and funny. A perfect read for Halloween! (I read this through an ARC provided by Net Galley)


19. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?

The Switch by Beth O'Leary. This is about a grandmother and her granddaughter who essentially "swap lives" for two months, with the Grandmother going to stay in London and the Granddaughter returning home to a small town. As I've already mentioned, I lost my Grandmother last year and this book just hit home in a completely different way. It was a fun read, but still shattered my heart from the joy. Maybe I'm just a Grinch. 


20. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill. This is a romance picture picture between two princess who fall for each other after a princess saves the other from a tower. I adore Katie O'Neill's The Tea Dragon Society series and this didn't let me down. As a standalone this was a flawless story, and I would happily buy this for my future children. It's a super quick read but even adults would get something out of it.


21. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I've been told to read this notorious book for literal years. (I'm not going to give a synopsis as it's widely known in the book community). I finally picked it up this month and dayum, it broke my heart, soul, and mental ability. What a beautifully tragic novel.

 

22. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?

Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson. I received this through Net Galley for a review, and I honestly did not know what to expect. This is the story of a unnamed woman who is coping through the trauma of a sexual assault, however the format of this book was insanely interesting. It was told through a stream of consciousness that was partly in "sections"? I have no idea how to explain it. If you're craving a book that's completely different to any other book you've read, pick this up. 



B L O G G I N G

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?

Drinking By My Shelf on Youtube. Emma is such a wonderful booktuber who speaks about a wide range of books that will forever end up with me putting in a new request at my library. She helped guide me to Emma Tobias, What Victoria Read, and leena norms. This year has really opened my eyes to the joy that is the booktube community away from the mainstream channels that always seem to be problematic. (Besides BooksandLala)


2. Favorite post you wrote in 2020?

Probably The Pisces by Melissa Broden Book Review just because it made me laugh so much.


3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2020?

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

I really enjoyed getting involved with the Mentalhealthathon Readathon as it not only helped me get to so many books on my TBR, but I gained a lot of interaction from my involvement.


5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?

Honestly, being able to interact with so many book creators on Twitter/Instagram. This community is incredibly kind and welcoming, it's helped with my virtual confidence. 


6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Am I being a cliché if I say Covid? I fell hard into so many reading slumps this year that really added to my already dwindling reading habits. I went at least 4 days without reading a single page in September which is uncommon for me, especially with mainly listening to audiobooks at bedtime. I guess my brain was louder than my listening ability. 


7.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I compiled a list of "20 books I want to read in 2020" post, which I failed miserably. But otherwise, my goals were mostly basic ass ones. Such as, "read more than 100 books", "read at least one non-fiction per month", or "read more classics". I have more specific goals for 2021 which I'm excited to share. Mostly, I feel like I accomplished my goals but were they really hard for me personally? No. It was an entire copout. 


L O O K I N G   A H E A D

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. A girl relives her life over and over. I honestly do not know anything more than that, and I don't want to. I've hardly read any books with this premise but I'm intrigued to read more, and so many people rave about Kate Atkinson as an author. The sole reason I haven't picked up this book yet, despite it being included in my "20 books I want to read in 2020" list, is that it's pretty huge. 500+ pages will always intimate me.


2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. A novel that semi ties into The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo? YES, PLEASE. I adore TJR and I've already preordered this absolute delight. 


3. 2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

One Carefree Day by Whitney Amazeen. This is Whitney's Amazeen's debut novel and it sounds bloody wonderful. To quote Goodreads: "For eighteen-year-old Willow Bates, anxiety is just a part of life. With her every decision ruled by intrusive thoughts, she's worried she sometimes seems a little odd. Despite Willow's efforts to hide her OCD from those around her, it isn't always possible. Her rituals are her coping mechanism, and Willow's past has left her with a lot to cope with.

But when Willow takes things too far, her mother breaks and gives her an ultimatum: Willow must finally start taking meds to treat her obsessive-compulsive disorder, or she'll have to move out within three months. But Willow is terrified of both options, and can't afford to support herself as a new cosmetology student."


 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert. I'm lucky enough to of received this through Net Galley but I'm waiting to read it closer to it's release date. I spoke above about The Brown Sisters trilogy and I'm so psyched to read the third installment. Act Your Age, Eve Brown weaves romance with autism rep and I'm hoping to be educated more on the condition. Hibbert can do no wrong.


5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?

I would like to start a Booktube channel but my self consciousness and fear seems to always prohibit me. I'm terrified of being made fun of or ignored within the community. Welp. Otherwise, I want to take part in more readathons socially, and not just take part silently, and perhaps make 5k on my bookstagram @BranchingPages. What about you?

Post a comment

Latest Instagrams

© Rooting Branches. Design by FCD.