Welcome to 2021 Dear Readers!
It’s a new year and a fresh start. I’m feeling inspired and motivated and in charge. I overcommitted on book tours last year and with everything else going on (hello world pandemic) it seriously stressed me out. It’s taken me this long to realize I just can’t read books because I “have to”. It bears repeating that this “job” of ours should never make you cry or lose sleep (unless your current read is so good!)
If I’ve learned anything from this book blogging journey it’s that we have limited time and energy and we should spend our time on things that make us happy and feel fulfilled. I want to read, write reviews, make a weekly blog post, and see my book friends at least once a month. This year, what I’ve missed most is the creative writing aspect. I like to think of this blog as a love letter to books and a legacy too. Which will stand the test of time AND best define me? My Instagram feed or this blog?
Okay – on to the fun stuff. I’m joining Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for her fun reading recap survey. I love reading everyone’s best-of lists, but I think questionnaires like this are a bit more nuanced and give a better feel for my reading year. Let me know if you’ve read any of the same books – let’s discuss in the comments!
Number Of Books You Read: 118
Number of Re-Reads: 5
Genre You Read The Most From – Contemporary Romance & Mystery Thrillers
BEST IN BOOKS
1. Best Book You Read In 2020? The Family Ship by Sonja Yoerg (pub 2/23/21)
2. Book(s) You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune Evvie Drake Starts Over. by Linda Holmes
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? The Stranger In The Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I have no idea!
5. Best series you started in 2020?
Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020? Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith and Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz
6. Favorite new author(s) you discovered in 2020? Gregg Hurwitz, Rachel Caine, Kennedy Ryan, Laura Pavlov
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? His and Hers by Alice Feeney (psychological thriller) Desperate Measures by Katee Robert (erotic romance)
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz
9. Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Oona Out Of Order by Margarita Montimore
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020? No real standouts this year. Lots of illustrated covers. I’ll pick My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell for the butterfly. And the UK edition of Addie La Rue. Honorable Mention for Creatures by Crissy Van Meter (I didn’t read this one yet, but it would be my top choice.)
11. Most memorable character of 2020? Zelda from When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020? Ordinary Grace by William Krueger
“That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.” ― William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace
13. Most Thought-Provoking or Life-Changing Book of 2020? Mercy House by Alena Dillon
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read? Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (2015)
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?
“Sometimes I believe personalities are shaped more by damage than kindness.”
― Colleen Hoover, Heart Bones
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020? Shortest: 56 pages – The Naughty List by Ellie Mae MacGregor Longest: 776 pages – Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.) If You Tell, A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood by Gregg Olsen
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) Luc and Oliver from Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott from the Robert Galbraith series. (I may not be able to say it’s non-romantic much longer… I haven’t read Troubled Blood yet.)
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner The Guncle by Steven Rowley
21. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.: The Happy Ever Playlist by Abby Jimenez
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020? Harrison Montgomery from Peacekeeper by Laura Pavlov
23. Best 2020 debut you read? My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? A Very Bossy Christmas by Kayley Loring
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020? Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Sickened: The Story of a Lost Childhood by Julie Gregory
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020? The Black Flamino by Dean Atta
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur
YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE
1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020? Always Doing, Vee Reads, Bel Canto Books, Book Nerd Kat, DJ Reads Books, As Seen In Life, Read It & Share It
2. Favorite posts you wrote in 2020? Top Ten Bookish Discoveries I Made in 2019, Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag, Ten Books That Make Me Smile
3. Favorite bookish related photos you took in 2020?
4. The best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)? SuperBook on the Queen Mary and Bloomingdales Event
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020? For my birthday month in September, I posted random acts of kindness all month and encouraged others to join in. In November I hosted a NonFiction Book Party and featured new and favorite nonfiction books with a big giveaway at the end of the month.
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? I was blindsided when all events were canceled due to the worldwide pandemic. I had just sent out my first newsletter and was working with independent bookstores to coordinate author meetups and bookstagram events. Once we went into lockdown, I couldn’t spare the mental energy to tap into my creativity and write any posts beyond the bare minimum.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? Book Review: The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman (from 2019!)
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? N/A
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Bel Canto Books in Long Beach! Libro FM! Bookshop.org
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Yes! I passed my goal of 100 books!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number One Priority in 2021? The Star Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)? Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
3. 2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? We Can Only Save Ourselves by Alison Wisdom
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021? Rebel by Laura Pavlov (1/5/21)
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021? Simplify. Less Book Tours. More consistent reviews. Weekly posts.
6. A 2021 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable): The Family Ship by Sonja Yoerg and The Guncle by Steven Rowley
>>>If you want to purchase any books I’ve mentioned, please search my online bookstore HERE ⇒: BookShop.org (Find and support your local bookstore using this link.) <<<
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Fun recap Jaymi! 1. I read Ordinary Grace this year, too, and loved it. My fav quote of the year is from that book: “In your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise it will light your way.” 2. I loved Fall of Marigolds and it’s my fav Meissner book! 3. I didn’t see a beach/books picture in you collection of pictures! Those were my fav! Looking forward to a brighter 2021 and, hopefully, some eggs Benedict!
I’m so glad you found Rachel Caine this year. I hope you continue to enjoy the books she wrote in during her lifetime.
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