Mid-Year Summary

The first six months of 2020 have now passed and… wow. It’s been a wild six months. January and February felt so normal– and so long ago. Now there’s COVID-19 and quarantines, the Black Lives Matter protests that blossomed in the US and around the world, murder hornets, and now a gigantic dust cloud has settled over about half the US. Also, there’s a presidential campaign going on.

Go home, 2020. You’re drunk.

On the reading front, however, it’s been a great year for me so far. Something about staying home all the time and not going out to do things… I’ve finished 80 books so far, so I’m almost to my Goodreads goal for the whole year. I don’t see myself slowing down on the reading anytime soon, because who knows when we’ll be able to go and do things again or hang out with friends.

woman standing in front of a window

Photo by Eric Antunes on Pexels.com

I’m not going to list what I’ve read so far this year, because that would be too much. I’ll list my favorite new-to-me book, though, and some of my least favorites, and then go into the statistics.

Five Favorite books so far in 2020:

These books all contained brilliant writing, fascinating characters, and (save for The Mirror and the Light, which was based on a real historical figure’s life, so I knew exactly what was going to happen) plot turns I wasn’t expecting but felt like they flowed naturally out of the characters’ actions. I would be happy to read any of these books again and again.

Least Favorite Books so far in 2020:

Both of these books had mediocre writing, flat and frustrating characters, and plots that featured some major plot holes. I would have set these books aside, except that they were NetGalley ARCs, and I felt obligated to finish them. They’ve made me be even more selective about the ARCs I request.

Statistically Speaking:

  • 67.5% of the books I’ve read were written by women, 28.8% were written by men, and 3.8% were compilations with both men and women contributing
  • 63.8% were written by Americans, 20% were by English authors, 6.3% were written by Canadians, 2.5% each were written by Italians and Icelandic authors, and 1.3% were by Scottish authors. That’s not a great percentage, as the vast majority of what I’ve read this year has been from the Western English-speaking world. I own plenty of books in translation. I need to read them.
  • 50% of my books were physical copies, 28.8% were audiobooks, and 21.3% were ebooks.
  • 36.3% of the books I read were adult fantasy, 16.3% were young adult fantasy, 11.3% was historical fiction, 10% was nonfiction, 6.3% was science fiction, 3.8% was mystery; memoir, biography, and general fiction were each 2.5%, and philosophy made up the remaining 1.3%.
  • 53.8% of the books I read were from my own shelves, 31.3% were from the library, and 15% were from NetGalley.
  • The years of publication span 800 years– from 1220 to 2020.

The rest of 2020 is shaping up to be a great six months, reading-wise. There are several new releases I’m looking forward to, and I’m planning to read a lot more of the unread books on my shelves, and then going through and selling or donating the books I no longer want to focus on favorites (and favorite editions) that I want to keep, as well as favorite authors whose work I want to collect.

As for 2020 itself…

I’m just taking it a day at a time, which is, in the end, all we can do. If I can make it through summer, I’ll call it a success.

woman in pink dress sitting on bed while reading

I’ll just be inside, hiding from the heat and reading for the rest of the summer. Don’t mind me. Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

14 thoughts on “Mid-Year Summary

  1. Not that I’d ever wish for times like these, but at least when we encounter them we’re still able to find positive things in life to focus on and celebrate. And reading seems, at least to me, like a great positive thing to focus on. I’m glad to see Network Effect among your favorites. I do love Murderbot. My next in the series is Exit Strategy.

  2. Sounds like you’ve discovered and loved some pretty good ones in the first half of 2020. I am curious to see how much more chaotic 2020 can get with the remaining months in the year. I think the US elections will be the ultimate challenge too. Oh boy, it’s going to be so messy.

  3. “Go home, 2020. You’re drunk.” << LOL!
    Hope the rest of 2020 will be as successful reading-wise for you and hopefully 2020 will have worn itself out.

  4. I love this mid-year review. It’s a great reflection on reading! Did you disclude DNF’s from your least favorite books thus far options? Do you plan on making any changes to the back half of your year based on your stats to this point?

    2020 HAS been weird. I’m ahead of my own reading schedule, as well with 60-odd books read. I typically aim for 80 a year and will occasionally hit around 100. You are one heck of a fast reader! Do you keep track of total pages read? I bet that your page count is practically double of mine by this point. 😉

  5. I didn’t include the DNFs, as I only really had one by mid-year. I’m not up to… four I think. I think theonly reall changes I’ll make is to try to read more work in translation.

    Yeah, I’ve always been a fast reader. It’s both a good and bad thing…. I haven’t kept track of the page count. Goodreads will do that for me, assuming I want to keep track of it. I could find out if you wanted me to.

  6. I read my first work in translation this month! And thanks to you — The Order of Time is AMAZING. And went completely over my head often. I’ll need to re-read it at some point in the future.

    No pressure to check your page count. We’ll know at the end of the year at least! I’ll be curious to see how our page counts differ. It’s not a contest– it will just get me a better idea of how quickly you read compared to me.

  7. Sweet! Glad you enjoyed it! Did you listen to the audiobook, or read the text?

    There are a lot of audiobooks, so they don’t really add to the page count. But oh well! It’s definitely not a contest.

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