Year in Review: 2020

While this was the second year of my blog, it certainly wasn’t a consistent year for me. While I started the year feeling quite productive, things took a drastic decline partway through the year. Anyone who reads this is going to realize that 2020 has been a difficult year. The year started out with insane wildfires in Australia, which at the time most people assumed would be the low point of the year. But then COVID hit. And things didn’t really improve from there. 

I never expected to live through a global pandemic, which I can admit now was a quite naïve way of thinking with the way viruses change and evolve even with modern medicine. I count myself as blessed to have been born – and continue to live my life – in Canada, a highly developed country with a lot of first rate medical, social, political, etc. advancements. But that does not negate the fact that viruses are unpredictable.

Thanks to COVID, 2020 was a strange time to be alive. I remained lucky enough to not lose my full time job at all during the pandemic and was able to safely work from home most of the time. Myself and my loved ones remain safe during these trying times, though I know many thousands of people have not been as lucky.

My point of making this post – both last year and this one – is to look back at how the year was in regards to my reading goals for myself. However, I first think that it’s important to acknowledge how trying this tear has been for many. To everyone who has suffered because of this pandemic: I am so sorry for everything you’ve had to go through. I hope that 2021 is a much better year for you. 

Of course, the pandemic was not the only awful thing to happen this year. This is also the year where Black Lives Matter came to a heated peak. The BLM protests in the State were some horrifically brutal and blatantly racist moments in recent history. In general, politics in the States were horrific. On a more global look, China asserted itself in ways that negatively impacted its relations with other countries around the world – including but by no means not limited to Australia and India. Britain officially withdrew from the EU, and having family living there I can say without a doubt that it had a negative impact on at least some parts of their economy. These are just a handful of the events that happened concurrently to the pandemic, but each played a role on 2020 as a whole. 

For those of you who made it through all that and are still reading this, the main things I want to look at in regards to my reading stats for 2020 are: How many books did I read this year? Each month? Did I reach the reading goal that I set for myself? How do some months compare to others? How did the pandemic effect my reading? Did it effect it at all?

If you’re interested in how my 2019’s stats went, you can check my stats out here.

Now, for a touch of brightness, here are some pictures of Yzma from throughout 2020:

Continue reading for my 2020 stats:


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Looking at my statistics for 2020, you can easily tell that some months were better than others for amount of books read. By a lot. The first thing I’m interested in looking at is how many books I read each month. Why were some months better for reading than others?

Total books read in 2020: 98 + companion stories

Total pages: 30,565 (avg. 312 pages per book)

January: 9 books; 3,666 pages (avg. 407 pages)

February: 16 books; 4,586 pages (avg. 287 pages)

March: 19 books; 6,290 pages (avg. 331 pages)

April: 6 books; 1,699 pages (avg. 336 pages)

May (including the Asian Readathon): 13 books; 3,986 pages (avg. 307 pages)

June: 7 books; 2,291 pages (avg. 327 pages)

July: 17 books; 3,805 pages (avg. 224 pages)

August: 6 books; 3,046 pages (avg. 508 pages)

September: 5 books; 1,196 pages (avg. 239 pages)

October: 0 books, 0 pages

November: 0 books, 0 pages

December: 0 books, 0 pages

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Looking at the numbers laid out like this, you can see a clear mapping of my reading in 2020. My best months were March (with 19 books read) and July (with 17 books read), while my worst months were October, November, and December (each with 0 books read). The explanation for this is quite simple – I was feeling COVID fatigue by the end of the year. I’ll admit I still haven’t picked up a book since then. That isn’t to say that I don’t want to read. I just don’t have the motivation to pick up a book and read it. I’ve been too exhausted mentally and emotionally the last few months to get into a book, no matter how tempting a read might sound. 

There were previous declines in number throughout the year, each tying to a much smaller reading slump that I’d found myself in. Sometimes you can have all of the best intentions in the world and things just don’t work out in your favour. 

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Since we’ve just looked at how many books I managed to read this year, I think it’d be interesting to look at how many books on my TBRs I didn’t manage to read. Below I’ve written down which books I haven’t yet read and the month(s) in which I planned to read them.

  1. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (Goodreads) [January, February, March, April, May]
  2. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto (Crown of Feathers, Book 1) [January]
  3. Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (Heart of Thorns, Book 1)[January, February, March, April, May]
  4. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (Goodreads)[January]
  5. Part of Your World by Liz Braswell (Twisted Tales, Book 5)[January]
  6. Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett (Blood and Salt, Book 1)[January]
  7. Flight by Katie Cross (The Dragonmaster Trilogy, Book 2)[January]
  8. War of the Networks by Katie Cross (Networks, Book 4)[January, February]
  9. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (Goodreads)[May]
  10. Wicked as you Wish by Rin Chupeco (A Hundred Names for Magic, Book 1)[May]
  11. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (Goodreads)[June]
  12. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (The Founders Trilogy, Book 1)[June]
  13. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee (Goodreads)[June]
  14. Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter (Goodreads)[June]

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Comparing this list to the amount of books I actually read this year, the number of TBR books I didn’t read doesn’t seem too awful. However, there’s also the fact that I only had 6 TBRs posted this year, rather than my usual 12. Thank you writer’s block/creative fatigue. I can only assume that this number would have been higher if I’d kept up with my TBR posts, especially since I didn’t get any reading done in the last quarter of the year. 

Leaving 2019, my goal for 2020 was to finish reading the books I’d left on my TBRs. It’s quite clear that I didn’t manage to do this – I only read 2 of the 19 books from my 2019 TBR unread list (Omens and Small Bones). Of course I still plan on reading all of these stories – it just won’t be within the original timeframe I’d considered. I hope to get at least some of these stories read in the near future – both the unread books from 2019 and 2020 – but I’m not going to pressure myself into picking any of them up. I’ve been in a reading slump for a while now, so my current goal is just to get back into reading. More specific reading goals are going to need to take the back burner for now. 

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I did, in fact, find some new reads this year that I would like to shout out here. As always I reread some of my favourite books – such as the Cainsville series (starting with Omens) by Kelley Armstrong – but it’s more the new reads that I’d like to shout out here. It’s easy to go on about books you’ve loved for years, so here are some newer reads (at least to me) that I fell in love with. 


The first of these books would have to be The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Anderson. In fact, the entire The Great Devil Wars series is fantastic. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of this series – both through book tours and from the author himself – and I am happy to say that I completely adored everything I’ve read in this series. The world itself is an interesting take on the afterlife, the characters themselves feel real enough as to be able to jump off the page, and the plot is both engaging and thrilling. There wasn’t anything I could pinpoint in this series that I didn’t enjoy – which is certainly why I can claim it was one of my favourite reads – either looking at each book individually or the series as a whole – of 2020. 


I would also like to shout out Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. While I give a much more detailed explanation into my discovery and subsequent fall down the rabbit hole that is Susan Dennard’s amazing writing in my actual blog post of this book, I do want to say that I truly fell in love with her (and her writing) when I discovered the perfect Twitter thread in The Luminaries. If you haven’t read this Twitter thread yet, I’d highly recommend it. 

In regards to Something Strange and Deadly, I must admit that I’m not a fan of zombie stories. It takes a really well written story with an interesting twist to the whole zombie trope to catch my attention. Something Strange and Deadly certainly did this. While it might be more accurate to call it a story about the undead and necromancy powers than “zombies” themselves, this is just the kind of twist that I adore in stories about the undead. Added with my recent adoration of the Steampunk genre, and this was a recipe bound to be a success. 


Gail Carriger was an author that I discovered this year and quickly fell in love with. Her Finishing School series can be greatly credited with helping me discover my love for the Steampunk genre. I picked up Etiquette & Espionage from the library, and before I knew it I’d devoured the entire series. In my opinion, this was a great introductory read to Steampunk. It showcased a bunch of Steampunk elements that I wasn’t familiar with, but also deal with a lot of other literary elements – such as espionage and badass female leads – that I already adored.

While I can understand that this read won’t be for everyone, I truly believe that it’s a fantastic look into what the Steampunk genre can offer. The mix of technology and the supernatural is truly eye catching in this story. The plot itself is predictable a lot of the time, but it’s written in a way that makes even the predictable enjoyable. Though of course it wasn’t predictable all the time.


Along the same vein, I discovered C. J. Archer’s works in The Last Necromancer. In case you couldn’t tell, this year I read some pretty great Steampunk novels. The Last Necromancer is certainly somewhere near the top out of all of those. Not only does the story make Victorian London seem real – and certainly creepy at times – but it brings the characters themselves to life. I also devoured the second book in the series, Her Majesty’s Necromancer, and fell even further in love with the world and Archer’s characters.

I can really only blame my reading slump for not continuing on with the series as I made sure to pick up Beyond the Grave as soon as I’d finished the first two books. I know I said that I’m not placing any reading goals for myself right now other than to get back into reading, but I truly hope that I jump back into this world soon. It’s such a fantastic one and I can’t wait to learn more about it.


Finally, I’d just like to reiterate my absolute adoration for Shannon Messenger and her Keeper of the Lost Cities series. I started this series in 2019 with Keeper of the Lost Cities and haven’t wanted to stop since. I’ve acquired Unlocked since its release in November and look forward to diving back into this series… just as soon as my reading slump has left me. I might not be completely caught up with this series – and it’s certainly ongoing – but my love for this world and these characters is absolute.

This series quickly became one of my favourites of all time, and for good reason. The writing is excellent, the plot is engaging, and the dynamics between different groups and characters keeps me on the edge of my seat. All. The. Time. The characters have flaws – some glaringly obvious to everyone but themselves, some obvious even to them – which helps make them feel real. I cheer the main cast on when they’re winning and mourn their losses. I don’t think this series gets enough recognition… which is probably why I recommend it to everyone I can. (You should check it out if you haven’t yet!)

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Just like I said last year, I have a habit of picking up more books than I end up getting to by the end of the year. This constantly causes my TBR piles to grow at an exponential rate. Last year I mentioned that I hoped that I’d get better at this in 2020. I’m happy to report that I certainly was better at refraining from picking up a crazy amount of books. I can thank the multiple lockdowns and year long restrictions for helping me keep my buying in check. It was a conscious decision to not go crazy buying books online, but I will admit that I’m more likely to pick up a book I hadn’t planned on getting when I see them in person. Here’s hoping that 2021 sees the same kind of restraint in book buying – but without the pandemic and lockdowns forcing me to be good.

Like always, my personal reading goal for this year is 100 books. I technically made this goal in 2020 if you consider the companion stories I read (which I do and think you should, too. Reading is reading, and they’re just technically short stories). I’m lucky that my months of not picking any books up didn’t negatively impact this. I can certainly thank my insane reading speed for this – and some of the shorter books I got to this year.

I’m hoping that 2021 sparks this desire to read back up and I’m once again able to fly through 100 books. Fingers crossed!!

How did you find your reading year? Did you find yourself having better reading months than others – and if so, could you find a correlation between your reading and reading slumps? How did the pandemic impact the reading that you did? Did you find yourself in a reading slump – or multiple creative/reading slumps – like I did?

I hope you had a fantastic reading year and got done as much – if not more – reading as you’d hoped going into the year.

11 thoughts on “Year in Review: 2020

  1. I had the same thing happen to me! I seemed to shut down at the end of the year and couldn’t get through anything. While I wanted to be upset with myself, I’m ultimately at peace with it. That pandemic fatigue is a real thing. I recognize that if I were to have read some of the stuff I’m reading now it wouldn’t have resonated the same. I hope that you’re able to get back into it! I enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to reading more of your stuff in the future! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As much as it sucks to not be able to dive into a book and enjoy it, it’s also comforting to know that other people have been in the same boat. Pandemic fatigue is exhausting – I’m sorry that you’ve also had to deal with it. I’m glad that you’ve been able to fight through it and get into some reads that are able to resonate with you again.
      I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on books and reading in general!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How horrible that you can’t seem to pick a book and haven’t read in almost 4 months now. When I hit a slump like this, I like to go back to a favorite. It’s something familiar, something that has given you comfort before, shut off the news and social media, make yourself a cozy nest and get back to your favorite! I don’t know if it will help you, but it might?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a fantastic post! I notice that I tend to read a lot only in the summer hehe. When school starts I hit such a huge slump- because of all the pile of work I’d need to complete. I find myself in more reading slumps than creative slumps hehe

    Liked by 1 person

      1. oof yess, homework always tends to take out all the joy in the world lol. i read all the time but sometimes the homework just inserts itself in there hehe.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yess!! nothing is as great of an escape as reading is hehe:) esp during MATH homework or during late night study sessions- a good read is always welcome:))

        Like

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