One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is to reflect on the reading year that was, and Jamie aka The Perpetual Page-Turner makes this very easy to do by providing this list of questions.
Number Of Books You Read: 86
Number of Re-Reads: 2 (but I didn’t count them in my 86 as they were for school & I only skim read them.)
Genre You Read The Most From: literary fiction/YA (not really genres, I know – but in those categories I read a lot of thrillers, mysteries, realistic fic)
1. Best Book You Read In 2020?
(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2020 release vs. backlist)
I think I am going to have a hard time picking the best book I read this year because, honestly, I read a lot of them. How about a Top Five list.
- Hello Goodbye – Emily Chenoweth
- The Roanoke Girls– Amy Engel
- Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout
- Where All Light Tends To Go – David Joy
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I was excited about Verity by Colleen Hoover because everyone was talking about it. It sounded deliciously dark but it was just over-the-top stupid.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
I was probably most surprised by Olive Kitteridge. That book has been languishing on my TBR shelf pretty much since it came out and I finally got around to it. I was sure I wasn’t going to like it when I started and I was so wrong.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I spend a lot of time encouraging people to read books – both in my classroom and just in general. A couple books I recommended a lot were One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus and Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy
5. Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?
Well, I am not really a series reader. Probably One of Us is Lying could slide into this slot as I finished the year with its sequel One of Us Is Next.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?
There are a few authors I discovered this year that I will definitely be reading more from including Amy Engel, Roz Nay, Lucie Whitehouse, Gillian French, Tom Ryan, and Emily Chenoweth
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Yeah – I don’t generally read outside of my genre (so no fantasy or sci fi for me) and nothing is really outside of my comfort zone. I have a pretty high tolerance for ick.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I read a LOT of page turners this year, books that had me turning the pages way past my bedtime. I think I might have read Daisy Jones & the Six in one sitting. I was just enchanted by that whole book and really couldn’t put it down.
9. Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I am a re-reader, but I am not sure there’s anything on this year’s list that I might re-read with the exception of The Fountains of Silence as it may end up as something students read.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?
11. Most memorable character of 2020?
Olive Kitteridge and Jacob McNeely from Where All Light Tends To Go are two characters I won’t soon forget.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020?
I dunno. Ahhhh. I read some beautifully written books this year. It’s a toss up between Olive Kitteridge (I am starting to see a pattern here) and Hello Goodbye.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?
Where All Light Tends To Go was a really visceral experience for me in the same way Our Daily Bread was when I read it in 2013.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?
Olive Kitteridge. I am sorry I waited so long to make her acquaintance; however, what a delight it was to spend time with her. Truthfully, I have so many books on my TBR shelf, there’s always something I’m taking too long to get to.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?
I never think to do this and then I never have anything for this category. I am definitely going to keep it in mind for next year, though!
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?
Longest: Stephen King’s The Outsider, 561 pages
Shortest: I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf, 128 pages
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Green had a pretty amazing twist for literary fiction
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) (OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Bronwyn & Nate 4eva: One of Us Is Lying
Honourable Mentions to: Daisy & Billy: Daisy Jones & The Six; Charlie & Fran: Sweet Sorrow
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
James and Bob in A Street Cat Named Bob. Of course, as a cat lover, I was 100% rooting for these two crazy kids. The movie is a delight if you have not yet seen it.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I can always count on Lisa Jewell to deliver a well-written page-turner, and I thoroughly enjoyed both books of hers that I read in 2020, but I am going to have to go with The Family Upstairs. I always have an unread book by Jewell on my shelf, in case of emergencies.
21. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:
Thanks to Litsy I have added so many books to my TBR shelf, which is I think how My Dark Vanessa ended up in my hands. It was grim, but I enjoyed it. I also read Homegoing because a former student now colleague literally put it in my hands and said it was the best book she’d ever read.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?
Some characters I have loved include: Cooper (The Roanoke Girls), Darius (Darius the Great Is Not Okay), and Abby (My Best Friend’s Exorcism)
23. Best 2020 debut you read?
Our Little Secret by Roz Nay had all the things.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Both My Best Friend’s Exorcism and We Are Still Tornadoes shot me straight back to the 1980s, a decade I am supremely fond of.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Daisy Jones & The Six was a blast to read even though it was angsty (but as I love angst even that made me smile.) You Were Never Here was also a delight to read because it’s set in my home province. (There are other delightful reasons to read this book, but this was especially awesome.)
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?
Hello Goodbye by Emily Chenoweth was a heartbreaker
Where All Light Tends To Go by David Joy also broke my heart
Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls also made me teary
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
For me, The Roanoke Girls. I bought it in the 3 for $10 section at Indigo and I tore through it in pretty much one sitting. I would read anything this author wrote. There’s nothing better than falling in love with a book and author you’ve never heard of before.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Gotta be Where All Light Tends To Go. I rooted so hard for the main character, Jacob, to find his way out of the hell of his life.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?
Daisy Jones & The Six, a story told as an oral history, which was way more fun to read than you might think.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I am mad that I wasted money on Verity. I am mad that Delia Owens ruined Where the Crawdads Sing with that crap ending. I am mad that translations don’t figure out how to get dialogue right. (The Hypnotist, I Remember You). I am mad at the tripe that is Blind Kiss for wasting my time.
1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?
I don’t know whether I discovered her this year or not, but I love watching Jen Campbell on YouTube. A little closer to home, I enjoy @kittslit on Instagram.
2. Favorite post you wrote in 2020?
I find my scathing review of Verity quite comical. I am not often scathing, but that book was infuriating.
3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2020?
I don’t really have a photo game, but here are a couple I like. You’ll notice a theme.
4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?
I was very happy to talk about dystopian fiction on CBC radio during the lockdown. I also attended a virtual YA panel hosted by The Lorenzo Society which was a lot of fun.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?
It always makes me super happy to interact with authors whose books I have enjoyed.
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
I had a great reading year, actually. Yeah, Covid sucks, but when schools closed on March 13 I suddenly had a lot more free time on my hands because it took the government some time to figure out what the rest of the academic year was going to look like. We couldn’t go anywhere, but I didn’t need to because I have books enough to last me the rest of my life.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My blog stats for 2020 are as follows:
- 7204 views
- 4858 visitors
- Normal People got the most love with 156 visits
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I keep saying this and it’s mostly true: I keep this blog mainly for myself. If I do a radio spot, I get a spike in views. If I tweet about a book I’ve loved and the author retweets, that often pays dividends. Mostly though, I am content in my little spot on the WWW. That said, sometimes I write something that I wish somebody besides myself had read. For example, I wrote a post about abandoning books which I quite liked (I Just Can’t Seem To Quit You) and did another on Shopping my Own Shelves.
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Oh Reader , a new-to-me (and the world) magazine devoted to all things bookish. ::heart::
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yes, indeed. See my year-end wrap up at My Reading Pledge
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?
I am very much looking forward to reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and The Heart’s Invisible Furies two books that have been on my reading radar for a while.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?
Either of those books, plus Red, White and Royal Blue, which I am hoping is as sweet as everyone claims.
3. 2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Don’t really keep track.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?
Not a series reader, really.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?
I would like to hit 100 books – so less time on social media and more time with a book in my hand. Perhaps make better use of my Instagram.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies is magnificent! I’ve been meaning to read Olive Kitteridge for years. It’ll happen in 2021 thanks to your reaction to it. A gem that made it to my best of 2020 list was recommended by a friend: The Lord God Bird by NS author Tom Gallant. Beautiful writing!
Thanks for your rec; I will add it to my list. Olive Kitteridge is quite astonishing. Everybody has loved The Heart’s Invisible Furies, so I am looking forward to finally getting to it. Happy New Year!