Hi everyone! So we’re here again, the end of the year, the longest year in the history of all years, and I don’t know about you, but I am super glad that 2020 will soon be over. Anyway, with the end of the year, comes the annual End of Year Book Survey, created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner as a way of looking back and celebrating our year of reading and blogging. I always love doing this, but this year it feels even more important to be able to celebrate something, as there has been so little of that this year. You can find the questions on Jamie’s blog here:
2020 Reading Stats:
Number of Books You Read: 45 (or at least it will be by tomorrow!).
Number of rereads: 0
Genre you read the most from: Fantasy
Best In Books
- Best Book You Read In 2020?
Laura Bates’ Men Who Hate Women was definitely an eye opening, and slightly terrifying read, I knew a little about online misogyny (mainly Incels) but I had no idea the full extent of it, so I definitely learned a lot from this book. I don’t read much non-fiction but this one was definitely a very powerful read, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
This has to be Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Virtue and Vengeance, I had been super excited about it since I read the first book in Summer 2018, and I had really high expectations. Unfortunately, it definitely suffered from a severe case of middle book syndrome, the plot felt like it was going around in circles and the characters regressed.
3. Most Surprising (In A Good Or Bad Way) Book You Read?
The Gilded Wolves! I’d heard a lot of very mixed things about it, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I would think, but I ended up really loving it, it was one of my favourite books of the year. I can’t wait to read the sequel next year!
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read And They Did?
Again, I never really know what to respond for this question, as I tend to only push books on my IRL friends and I haven’t been seeing them as much as I’d have liked this year. I feel like The Gilded Wolves and The City of Brass are probably the two I’ve talked about the most here this year, so I’ll go with them!
5. Best Series You Started In 2020? Best Sequel of 2020? Best Series Ender of 2020?
Best series I started in 2020, I’m going to go with The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, it was such a fun read and I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Silvered Serpents next year.
Best sequel I read in 2020 was The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats and Piracy, I really loved Felicity in Gentleman’s Guide so it was great to have her take the starring role in this book and it was a super fun read. I’m really looking forward to the final Montague Siblings book next year.
Best series ender I read in 2020, I actually only read 3 but my favourite of those was definitely The King of Crows, the final book in the Diviners series. Sure the pacing was a little off in places, but it tied up in a really satisfying way which is what you want in a series finale.
(I realise only one of these was a 2020 release, but I read them all in 2020, so that counts!)
6. Favourite New Author I Read In 2020
Ah this is really hard because I read so many great new authors in 2020, but I’m going to go with S.A. Chakraborty as once I read The City of Brass in April, I enjoyed it so much that I quickly read The Kingdom of Copper and The Empire of Gold in the next couple of months.
7. Best Book From A Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
Laura Bates Men Who Hate Women, I’m not usually a non-fiction reader, but I really enjoyed that one and I’m definitely planning on getting to more of my feminist non-fiction next year.
8. Most action packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Not Even Bones definitely fits the bill for this one, it was a quick, action packed read that I flew through in less than two weeks (which is very quick for me).
9. Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be Most Likely To Reread Again This Year?
Probably none, I’ve pretty much accepted by now that I just have so many new books to read that rereads just aren’t really something I have time for anymore.
10. Favourite Cover Of A Book You Read In 2020?
VE Schwab’s books always have gorgeous covers, and this one is one of her best. I had an e-arc of this, but I also have a physical copy for my collection because it’s just such a gorgeous book. My copy is the Waterstones exclusive edition, it has gold stained pages, these beautiful endpapers, a secret cover under the dust jacket, it’s just one of the loveliest books I’ve ever seen.
11. Most Memorable Character of 2020?
Could I choose anyone other than Addie LaRue for this? Addie definitely has a lot more strength and endurance than me, I don’t think I could go through three hundred years being forgotten by everyone.
12. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2020?
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue had to be my choice for this one. It’s one of the most gorgeously written books I’ve ever read, I was completely in awe of it!
13. Most Thought Provoking/Life Changing Book You Read This Year?
I think Men Who Hate Women fits really well for this section, because I learned so much from that book. I’m really amazed at Laura Bates’ bravery at going undercover in all those extreme misogynist groups because that was really risky to her own safety and I don’t think I could ever do anything like that!
14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Till 2020?
I mean it only came out in 2019, but if I’d known how much I was going to enjoy A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder, I would have read it as soon as it came out because it’s the best thriller I’ve read in a while, and another of my favourite books of the year.
15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?
“History is something you look back on, not something you really feel at the time. In the moment, you’re just….living” -The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, VE Schwab
This quote just feels really apt for what we’re living through right now. Like sure, it’s going to be looked back on in the future as this big historical event, but at the moment it just feels like something we’re trying to get through to the other side of!
16. Shortest and Longest Books You Read In 2020:
Shortest Book: Coraline by Neil Gaiman-162 pages
Longest Book; The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty-766 pages
The first year since 2017 that Sarah J Maas hasn’t been in the top spot, actually I didn’t read any Sarah J Maas books at all this year!
17. Book That Shocked You The Most?
Probably The Empire of Gold, there were a lot of shockers in the final chapters of that book, it was an incredibly intense conclusion!
18. OTP Of The Year
Honestly I feel like the relationships I remember most from this year are friendships more than romances? But I think Severin and Laila from The Gilded Wolves had pretty great chemistry, so I’m going to go with them.
19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship of The Year
I’m going with a group here, and say Severin, Laila, Hypnos, Enrique, Tristan and Zofia, their group dynamic was super fun and I can’t wait to read more of their adventures in The Silvered Serpents.
20. Favourite Book You Read In 2020 From An Author You Read Previously?
Is anyone going to be surprised when I say The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue again here? Good, I’m glad you’re not. Honestly VE Schwab keeps knocking it out of the park with every book and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
21. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based Solely On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Bookstagram/Peer Pressure?
I saw A Song of Wraiths and Ruin on one of many lists of upcoming books by Black authors in June, and ended up reading it in November and really loved it! Looking forward to A Psalm of Storms and Silence next year.
22. Newest Cinnamon Roll Character From 2020?
I’ve actually tweaked this one slightly from Jamie’s original survey this year, since the further away I get from YA age, the weirder it seems to say you have a crush on a fictional teenager! So instead, I thought I’d share my favourite cinnamon roll character from this year, the character I want to protect at all costs, and that would be Malik from A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. Honestly poor Malik really needs a hug and a nap!
23. Best 2020 Debut You Read?
I read a few debut novels this year, but actually only one of them was from 2020, so it was a really easy choice: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin! It was a super fun read and I cannot wait for the sequel in 2021.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
S.A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad trilogy definitely had the most vivid worldbuilding of all the books I read this year. Everything was really brilliantly thought out, with all the different Djinn tribes, the food, the languages, and it really took me away and completely immersed me in a different place.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most Fun To Read?
The Dead Queens’ Club was definitely a super fun read, it made me laugh out loud at points and made me smile a lot, I definitely recommend it if you’re a Tudor history nerd like me.
26. Book That Made You Cry/Nearly Cry In 2020?
I definitely almost cried at the end of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, it was incredibly emotional.
27. Hidden Gem of The Year?
One of my favourite books that I didn’t really see very many people talking about this year was Addie Thorley’s Night Spinner, it was a really cool take on the Hunchback of Notre Dame and I loved the arctic tundra like setting.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Without meaning to sound like a broken record here, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue again. Honestly, I’m still recovering from those final chapters.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?
It might not have been as good as I was expecting, but The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult was definitely one of the most uniquely structured books I read this year, with the two parallel stories and the interwoven flashbacks.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad?
Men Who Hate Women, not because it wasn’t a great book, it was my favourite book of the year, but because it made me really mad that there are men out there who treat women in that way!
Your Blogging/Bookish Life
- New Favourite Blog/Bookstagram/Youtube Channel you discovered in 2020?
I’m so bad at keeping track of these, and even moreso this year because I’ve just sucked at keeping track at anything, but I think I started following Beth from BooksNest’s Instagram feed this year and she’s got such a lovely one, so definitely recommend following her.
2. Favourite Post You Wrote In 2020?
It’s quite a recent one, but I really enjoyed doing this Writing Corner post about being critique partners with my IRL best friend Hannah.
3. Favourite Bookish Photo You Took In 2020?
I actually did take quite a few this year, I’m not the world’s best photographer, but I really liked this one I did of some naked hardcovers:From left to right we have: The Gilded Wolves, The King of Scars and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
4. Best Bookish Event You Participated In (author signings, festivals, virtual events etc)
Well as we all know, no YALC this year, so instead I’ll go with the online Tolkein lecture panel, with VE Schwab, R.F. Kuang, Terri Windling, Kij Johnson, Adam Roberts and Lev Grossman, they did a talk on Fantasy In Times of Crisis and I thought it was really great. Definitely check it out on the Tolkein Lecture Youtube Channel because it’s still up!
5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life In 2020?
I’m actually going to go with a writing one for this one, I’ve really enjoyed swapping chapters with my friend Hannah, so that’s probably my favourite “Bookish” thing I’ve done this year, it really got me back into the writing swing after a year away.
6. Most challenging thing about your blogging/bookish life this year?
Weirdly, taking a break! I was really worried that when I went to Cape Town in January and took somewhat of a step back from the blog for the first time in six years that I’d come back and none of you would be reading anymore! Thankfully that didn’t happen and I’m really grateful for all your support this year, and every other year I’ve been doing this blog.
7. Most Popular Post On Your Blog This Year (by comments or views)?
I’m going to do views again this year as it’s much easier to keep track of! This year my most viewed post was my review of Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House, which was a massive surprise as I’m so used to my reviews being the least viewed of my posts!
8. Post You Wish Got A Little More Love?
I’d love it if my most recent Quarterly Rewind post got a little more love, as they take a very long time for me to write!
9. Best Bookish Discovery This Year?
You know what, I don’t think I actually had one this year? I discovered a lot of great new authors, so let’s go with them!
10. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges or Goals You Set For Yourself This Year?
Yes, you’ll hear more about them when I post my End of Year Check In tomorrow.
- One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Top Priority In 2021?
It’s not actually a 2020 release, it’s a 2019 release, but I meant to read Sorcery of Thorns as part of a reading challenge I was doing this year and I just didn’t get to it, so it’s definitely one I want to prioritise next year.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non debut)?
The Mask Falling, the fourth instalment in Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season series. I read The Song Rising in 2017, and we’ve all been waiting a long time for this, so I’m super excited to find out what happens to Paige and Warden next.
3. 2021 debut you are most anticipating?
Honestly I have very few 2021 debuts on my radar, but I think the one I’m most anticipating is Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne, which I have an e-ARC for that I can’t wait to read.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating In 2021?
Ah so many, but I think I’ll go with City of Spells here, the second and final book in Alexandra Christo’s Into The Crooked Place duology, I loved the first book when I read it in 2019 and am really looking forward to seeing how things end.
5. One Thing You Hope To Do/Accomplish In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?
GET MY NETGALLEY RATIO TO 80%. THE ELUSIVE GOAL. I’ve been stuck on or near 70% for years now, so I’d really like 2021 to be the year I finally do it.
6. A 2021 release you’ve already read and recommended to everyone?
None actually, I’ve been catching up on my final 2020 e-arcs at the end of this year, so haven’t got started on my 2021 e-arcs yet. Got a lot waiting though!
How was your 2020 reading year everyone? What are you looking forward to reading in 2021? Let me know in the comments!