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.
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:
- The Mirror and the Light (Thomas Cromwell #3) by Hilary Mantel
- Network Effect (Murderbot #5) by Martha Wells
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- King of Scars (Nikolai duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
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.
- 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.