Best of 2020

Hi and welcome to my bookish 2020 wrap-up! Please bear with me as I waffle on about my bookish 2020 and show you which books (pub date 2020 and older) stole my heart last year.

You don’t need me to tell you what a crappy year 2020 was, I’m sure it was crappy to various degrees for us all. But whereas lots of people lost their reading mojo, I found mine and then some. And so, on the 31st of December 2020 I found I had read 313 books 😮

In order to quiet my racing restless mind, only one thing really helped take my mind off things: audiobooks. Whenever I was doing something that didn’t keep my brain cells fully engaged, I needed an audiobook to prevent me from worrying like crazy and going crazy. And working from home, I got to listen even more. Looking at the spreadsheet I kept, I think it’s the audiobooks that made the difference.

I was a very fickle reader in 2020, and truth be told, I don’t see that changing any time soon. I got bored easily, at which point I’d pick up another book. While I’ve always been a one-book-at-a-time kind of reader, suddenly I had four, five books on the go. But it did work, it did keep me reading.

I set only two challenges for myself at the start of 2020 – well there might have been more but I never made a proper list and I probably forgot half by the time March rolled around – but in any case there’s two I remember: my GoodReads Challenge was set at 200 (nailed it 😁) and my Spanish challenge: read 10 books in Spanish. I started in February and read one Spanish book each month, so I read a total of 11 Spanish books, which is about 10 more than I read in 2019, so I’m definitely calling that a win, and I will be continuing the challenge this year.

In numbers 2020 looks like this:

I read 579 pages across 6 graphic novels
I read 63 831 pages across 218 novels, novellas and short stories
I listened for 760 hours to 89 audiobooks

But out of 313 books, what were my favourites, what are the books that kept me glued to their pages and made me forget all else (no mean feat in 2020)?

Let’s start with some brilliant series I binged or continued in 2020:

The Six Stories series is and will forever be a favourite of mine. In 2020 I listened to Beast and I read Deity and both are 100% brilliant.

I have a new auto-buy author and his name is Thomas Enger. I binged his Henning Juul series in 2020 and his new Blix & Ramm series with Jørn Lier Horst is every bit as good, even better, top-notch Nordic Noir!

The Koli trilogy by M.R. Carey. The third instalment is out in March and it’s one of my most anticipated books this year.

The Diviners series by Libba Bray. I binged it on Audible, narrator January LaVoy takes a brilliant series and lifts it even higher. Set in NYC in the Roaring Twenties, the Diviners is the cat’s meow and the elephant’s knees and positutely swell 😉

Other series I’ve enjoyed before had a new instalment out that I had to include in my Best of 2020, as they were excellent and the very best yet: Deep Dark Night ft. Lori Anderson, The Curator ft. Poe & Tilly and The Big Chill ft. the Skelf family.

If you made it all the way here, great! Thanks for sticking around, cos I still need to talk about standalones!

Well, actually, I won’t talk, I’ll just show you, I’ve talked enough already, I’m sure you’ll agree 😬 Each of these is a little gem in its own genre, and I highly HIGHLY recommend each and every one of them:

Almost there, kids! Just more book left to show you: my book of the year:

Published in 2016, yet this is the book that defined 2020 for me, the book that broke me and gave me the HUGEST book hangover of the year, my bookish epiphany of the year: Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus.

Thanks for joining me today! Here’s to a whole new year of excellent books 🥂

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