2020 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

January 2, 2021 Let's Discuss, Monthly Recap 22

As usual, I’ve adapted this from The Perpetual Page Turner’s End of Year Survey!

2020 READING STATS

Number Of Books You Read: 147
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy/Paranormal

And this is my pathetic reading for the year. Can you guess when I started reading for the Cybils Awards judging? LOL! It’s a darn good thing I did the judging because I was in a crazy slump!! I mean, look at June—I can’t remember the last time in my life that I only read two books in a month!

The vast majority of the books I read were MG speculative fiction, which makes sense because so many were for the Cybils Awards.

 

best-YA-books-2014

Best Book You Read In 2020?

No way I can do this, but I did come up with favorites for a bunch of categories (and even this was really tough for a few of these categories)

Middle Grade Contemporary: My Life in the Fish Tank by Barbara Dee
Middle Grade Fantasy: A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat
Middle Grade Sci-Fi: In the Red by Christopher Swiedler
Verse Novel: Alone by Megan E. Freeman
YA Contemporary: Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson
YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi: Malice by Pintip Dunn

 Most surprising book you read?  

Homerooms and Hall Passes was utterly hilarious. I was shocked by how much I loved a book about D&D (since I’ve never actually played).

Started: Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster
Sequel: Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Ender: Chosen by Kiersten White

Favorite new-to-you author you discovered in 2020?

I know everyone raves about Grace Lin, but Mulan: Before the Sword was the first of her books I’ve read. Absolutely gorgeously written! I will certainly be reading her backlist books in the future.

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read?

I don’t read many adult books at all anymore. Who knew that I would end up reading this book about life after a pandemic right before COVID became a thing? I LOVED A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

So many gorgeous books! Two examples of covers I love are Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie, which was illustrated by Jana Heidersdorf and Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega, which was illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gómez (which I also featured in my post, What Draws Me to a Book Cover?). Since we’re talking specifically about covers here, I’m putting in full-sized pics so you can see them well!

Most memorable character?

This one comes from The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson. I absolutely adored Yanka, a girl who ends up on a journey of self-discovery when her legs suddenly turn into those of a bear!

Most beautifully written book?

Several of the books I’ve already mentioned could fit into this category, but here’s one I haven’t had a chance to talk about yet: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller. Not only is the lyrical prose beautiful, but the book had me in tears at the end!

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book?

Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros helped me understand the plight of undocumented immigrants (and their families) here in the US. I felt such incredible compassion for Efrén. He juggles so much—school, taking care of his brother and sister, dealing with the secret of his parents’ undocumented status… the list could go on. But Efrén’s heart is so tender and his devotion to his family so complete that he willingly takes on these burdens. My heart broke for him and for their situation.

Book you can’t believe you waited until 2020 to finally read? 

I finally read Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and I definitely see what all the fuss was about!

Shortest & Longest Book You Read?

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

I don’t remember who it was who raved about New Kid by Jerry Craft (um, maybe everyone?), but after seeing it just about everywhere, I knew that I definitely needed to read it! And, yes, it’s as amazing as everyone says it is. Can’t wait to read the sequel!

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting in a Book You Read This Year?

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre takes place (mostly) on a living spaceship!

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

The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter by Aaron Reynolds had me laughing out loud!

Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I don’t think I saw any buzz about If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barret Smith, but I thought it was fantastic! (And this is another one with a unique setting—a treetop village).

Book That Made You The Most Mad?

A Game of Fox and Squirrels by Jenn Reese had me so angry on behalf of the main character and her sister. These two girls grew up in an abusive home, and though the story is a hopeful one, it’s hard not to want to scream at the way they were treated.

Best Indie/Small Press/Self-Pubbed Read?

I’m listing a YA and a MG for this one because I loved both of these books in very different ways: Man Up by Kim Oclon and Mulrox and the Malcognitos by Kerelyn Smith.

SOME MORE GRAPHS:

As you can see, I read a pretty even number of digital, print and audiobooks. And almost half of the books I read had a diverse (POC or LGBT) MC. As stated here, I didn’t count books with secondary characters who were diverse (I did keep a count of that for myself, but it’s not in graph form).

I found lots of my Cybils books from the library. Plus, almost all of the audiobooks I listen to are from the library.

As you know, I don’t post books that would get less than 4 stars (this occasionally includes books that would round up from 3.5 stars), but I do still rate them in my spreadsheet for my own information purposes. My page counts for this year are a bit lower than usual because I had some shorter Cybils books.

book-blogging

Favorite post you wrote in 2020?

I was thinking I barely wrote anything I loved this year, but then when I looked back, I actually found a few posts I wanted to mention! (Click on the pics to see the posts.)

Favorite non-bookish post?

I love all my junk art posts! (Click on the link to see them all!)

Favorite bookish related photo you took?

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

Well, everything was virtual this year, but the SCBWI Summer Conference was still great!

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?

Getting chosen as a mentor for Author Mentor Match! I’m co-mentoring with my good friend Megan E. Freeman and we’ll be choosing our mentee in January!

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

Hahahahahahaha! Can we just say 2020? I mean, basically I’ve never been less motivated to read, blog, write, etc… Here’s to a better 2021!

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Master List of 2021 Challenges has been my most-viewed post of the year!

And this post got the most comments: (Click on the pic to see it.)

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I haven’t done much with it yet, but The StoryGraph looks like an actual decent alternative to Goodreads. I doubt I’ll ever completely switch over, but I love that there’s a possibility…

 

looking-ahead-books-2015

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

As always, this could be an endless list, but why on earth have I not read Five Dark Fates yet? Why???

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

I’ve been so terrible about keeping up with series lately. But I’m looking forward to reading the rest of The Celestial Trilogy by Sangu Mandanna. Book one was on my favorites list for 2018. but then I never read the sequel. The final book, A War of Swallowed Stars, comes out in 2021, though, so now’s the ideal time!

A 2021 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Alone by my good friend Megan E. Freeman. This Island of the Blue Dolphins retelling is incredibly unique and gorgeously written, and I’ve already been telling you all that you need to read it. Watch for Megan’s Top Ten Addictions and a review, coming next week!


If you’d like to see my Goodreads Year in Books, click on the link!

And don’t forget to link your year-end wrap-ups to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up!

Did you write a 2020 wrap-up? Link me up in the comments! If not, tell me one of your favorite things about your blogging or reading life in 2020.

22 Responses to “2020 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)”

  1. Emily

    Happy new year, Nicole! It does look like you got to read some great books this year. For 2021 I would love to explore more middle grade novels such as the rest of the Aru Shah series.

  2. Erica Robyn

    I love this!! I’ve split my end of the year posts up into a few different ones because one of mine last year got out of control! I’ll have them posting over the next couple of weeks 🙂 I’ll be doing the Goodreads Survey on the 5th! 🙂 I hope you have a lovely reading year in 2021!

    Erica Robyn recently posted: 2020 Highlights
  3. Sam@wlabb

    I am curious where the paywall will come in with Storygraph. I am way too lazy to log my books in four places, and after I did the initial migration, I kept forgetting about Storygraph. I like seeing everyone’s charts though. I was excited to see Johnson’s book on your best list. Yeah! I love her books so much.

  4. Greg

    Ooh graphs. 🙂 Seriously though, you did good this year! My reading was down so much, it was a pathetic year for me, but hopefully I’ll rebound in 2021. I love that cover for A Wish in the Dark, and Mike Chen- I need to read more of his. Honor Among Thieves sounds good.

    Happy New Year!!

  5. Jenna @ Falling Letters

    It feels like it’s been years since we read Homerooms & Hall Passes haha. I think there’s a sequel out now! Sophie Anderson is an author I should really pick up this year. I’ve seen three people (myself included) complete this survey so far and we all said “hahaha” to the question about most challenging thing 😛 As someone who ‘binge read’ the Three Dark Crowns series in April I am with you there – how have you not read Five Dark Fates yet?? Haha, okay this comment has gone on long enough. Happy New Year!

    Jenna @ Falling Letters recently posted: Wrapping Up 2020, Looking Forward 2021
  6. Literary Feline

    It was definitely a different kind of year for reading. It looks like you read quite a few good ones, Nicole. I am really interested in Curse of the Night Witch and My Life in a Fish Tank. Honor Among Thieves is on my TBR. I hope you have a great reading year this year!

  7. Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings

    Not a pathetic reading year at all! You read some great books and supported some great authors! I set up my StoryGraph account this last week. I am still undecided about it. I like that there is another option (particularly one without ties to Amazon), but so far it’s missing the community feel for me that Goodreads has. But…..I am still hopeful!

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    I am not organized enough to do all these fun graphs, etc. but I do love seeing other people use them. Great job on your reading in 2020! I really loved New Kid and Man Up as well. Scritch Scratch is a need-to-get book for me.

    -Lauren

  9. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to reading Alone. I can’t pass up a survival story. I will write a 2020 wrap-up, but I’ve barely started working on it. I track a lot of statistics.

  10. Cee Arr

    I read *so* much less in 2020! Not in time – I spent the exact same amount of *time* reading as I always do, but my thinking power, attention span, etc., are completely shot right now, so the number of books I’m reading has more than halved. *sigh*

    Cee Arr recently posted: Nerd Church - Dear 2021...
  11. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I still need a writing accountability partner. I’ve lost the ones I’ve had in years past, and it definitely shows in the lack of writing I get done. And those days are behind us for awhile anyway until things get back to normal and I can go sit in the library and write. I love the little buttons you made for your favorite posts! Those are cute! I also always love seeing your graphics every year. I’ve still got to figure out my Ultimate Book Blogger now so I can look at number of pages read, hours listened to audiobooks, etc. Great post!

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: The DNF Report for December 2020
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  13. Marie @ drizzle & hurricane books

    Ah it’s so exciting that you are mentoring for Author Mentor Match! I’m on the other side of this, ahah. Mentoring must be such an amazing experience, I hope you’ll have a fantastic time.
    I’m so happy you loved Every Other Weekend, it’s one of my favorites as well, such a stunning read! <3

  14. danielle hammelef

    Excellent wrap up post! I received In the Red for Christmas and devoured it. I also loved Class Act even more than New Kid, so I’m a huge fan of this author/illustrator. I know I will enjoy Every Other Weekend–just need to get myself a copy and maybe clone myself so I can get to more books LOL. Dead Pets was also another Christmas gift from my husband (I only asked for books, can you tell?) and I loved it so much that my husband preordered the sequel for me!!!

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