This Is How We Read [The 2020 Edition]

Every year we look back at our year in reading and reflect on this passion of ours.

wickedgood rip tbr

+ TANYA PATRICE +

# of books: 77. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to make time to read more books, so I set a goal of 72. The year started out well, but there was a massive reading slump in April and May. Somehow in June, I returned to reading and started including novellas TOO (11 total for the year). I’ve always mostly listened to audiobooks, but this year I started reading more physical and eBooks. The year ended with audiobooks accounting for 68% of my reading (53 audiobooks) as opposed to my usual 95+%.

The first book I finished this year was Miracle Creek, Angie Kim (A Few Reading Firsts For 2020). The last book I completed this year was Findlay Donovan is Killing It, Elle Cosimano which comes out in Feb. 2021.

Number + % new vs old – 21 new releases (2020 and 2021) and another 18 books were published the previous year (2019) which is about 50% of the total. Last year 78% of the books I read were published in the last 2 years.

Genres – Last year, the majority of books I read were mysteries / thrillers and contemporary. This year, while I still read more contemporary stories, they were more diverse, and I read more genre fiction than thrillers. This is probably because of reading more novellas – all of which are science fiction / fantasy.

  • Contemporary – 20
  • Fantasy & Magical Realism – 14
  • Horror – 12
  • Thrillers / Mystery – 10
  • Science Fiction – 10
diversedecember tbr

Diversity: It’s important to me to read books by authors of color. I usually average 30-40% and it was about the same this year, but I would say this year was different because reading diversely felt like it was part of my reading DNA. This means that it wasn’t something I had to remember to do. If I read 2 or 3 books that wasn’t written by an author of color or featuring a character of color, then I was automatically making sure that they next book was diverse. I didn’t feel like I had to “challenge” myself to read more diversely every month

The Good … Best of the Best – I shared my Favorite Audiobooks [The 2020 Edition] already and Ring Shout, P. Djeli Clark and Narrated by Channie Waites is the best audiobook performance of the year for me. I don’t think I can choose 1 favorite book read overall so instead I’ll share 2 of my favorite reading experiences this year.

ONE+ There are 3 instances when I read a book by a new to me author, and then promptly read all the rest of the books in the series or more books by that author – The Bear and The Nightingale, Katherine Arden … and the other books in the Winternight trilogy; All Systems Red, Martha Wells and all the 5 books (4 novellas and 1 novel) in the Murderbot series. And the short story – A Dead Djinn in Cairo, P. Djeli Clark (available to read free online) which lead me to read The Haunting of Tram Car 015 and Ring Shout.

TWO+ Rediscovering an old favorite author – Kate Quinn. I don’t read historical fiction often, but a few years ago, I read The Empress of Rome series and it floored me! “There are not many books that can take you out of the world when you’re reading in a public place, and that’s exactly what happened to me while reading this.” This year, I was going through a reading slump as I mentioned above – and I went back to Quinn’s books, starting with the 2 books in The Borgias Chronicles and then The Huntress. These books were again brilliant

BOOKISH EVENTS – I would like to show up in a more obvious way (i.e. post more on social media) for bookish evens I participated in, because these truly helped my reading. I read 7 books for #DiverseDecember and although I logged quite a lot of audiobook listening hours for Thankfully Reading Weekend.


+ KIM +

# of books: 77. This is double the amount of books I read for the past three years. My usual is somewhere around 40. I’m honestly shocked by this but I do admit that I made an extra effort to make more time for books this year.

  • The first book I finished this year was Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, Bernd Heinrich. 
  • The last book I finished this year was Call Down the Hawk, Maggie Stiefvater.

Number + % new vs old: The oldest book I read was Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse  which was published in 1922. 11 books were published in 2020. 23 published in 2019. The rest range from 2018 to 2003.

New vs Old Authors: Over half of the books I read this year were from new to me authors. Most of them I went on to read more from during the year. 

Tea on my desk

Genres Read: I read a lot more Contemporary Fiction than I typically do but I still managed quite a bit of Fantasy and Science Fiction- still my favorite genres. Again, I’d like to read more nonfiction. 

Diversity: I did a lot better on reading diversely this year as opposed to past years. This year I read several books from the LGBTQ+ community as well as several by authors of color. Among these I found several new favorite authors that I will be reading more from in 2021.

Best of the Best: I read a couple of books from both Simone St. James and Riley Sager and loved all of them. 

Did not enjoy reading: I mentioned this before but I really hated Life After Life, Kate Atkinson.


What genre did you read the most of this year?

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