2020: The Year-End Book Survey

This Year End Survey is hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner.

I love this opportunity to look back over the year of reading. I enjoy recalling new favourites, exciting characters and, of course, listing some of the (many) books I didn’t manage to read.
Here’s my 2020 Year End Survey.

2020 READING STATS

Number of books you read: 30

Re-Reads: 0

Most Popular Genre: I’ve read a variety this year.

BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2020?
(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2020 release vs. backlist)

           

          

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker
Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Endless Night by Agatha Christie. This was a case of going into the story expecting something totally different than it was. I didn’t dislike it, but I’d hoped for a different sort of a tale. I wrote more about this when I reviewed the book here.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

           

The Wayward Pines trilogy by Blake Crouch. I was surprised just how quickly I managed to read the whole trilogy. I couldn’t put them down.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I don’t think it’s happened.

5. Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel of 2020? Best Series Ender of 2020?

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal is the first book in the Glamourist Histories series and it was a delightful read and I was really glad it was the first of a series and there are more stories featuring these characters.

Best sequel I think is Wayward, book 2 of the Wayward Pines trilogy by Blake Crouch. Fast paced with plenty going on, it develops the story set out in the first book and ends in such a way that I had to go straight on to the final book to see what would happen.

The Poison Song has to feature here as the best ending to a series that I’ve read this year. It’s the final book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams. I didn’t want to let those characters go, having shared their amazing adventures for three books.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?

I’m going for new-to-me choices for this one….

Simone St. James – I read The Sun Down Motel in October and it was the perfect spooky read for that time of year. I was engrossed in the story of a haunted motel during two timelines. Great read.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I enjoyed Mexican Gothic and the writing was so good that I’m really looking forward to checking out Gods of Jade and Shadow, which was already on my TBR list.

Mary Robinette Kowal – The first book in the Glamourist Histories series, Shades of Milk and Honey left me enchanted and eager to check out more books by this author.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

This is a tough one as I don’t think I’ve ventured that far out of my reading comfort zone. I think probably Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe is worth a mention here. I don’t read many short story collections and I don’t think I’ve read any Poe before either.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

           

The Wayward Pines trilogy by Blake Crouch deserves a mention for being unputdownable. I don’t think I’ve ever read three books so quickly as I did with those. I had to know what was going to happen and how it would all turn out in the end.

9. Book You Read In 2020 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

There are many books, both new and backlist titles that I still want to read and my TBR pile is endless so I don’t tend to re-read books very often. I do keep thinking I might like to re-read The Dark Tower by Stephen King, but that’s a series I read a while ago, not during this last year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

           

             

               

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Mexican Gothic by Silvia-Moreno Garcia
Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang
A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
Hallowe’en Party (Poirot #39) by Agatha Christie
Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

11. Most memorable character of 2020?

           

Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.
Vintage from the Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams.
The double act that is Bram and Oscar from Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020?

     

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?

Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe. I can’t believe I’d never read any Poe until earlier this year.

14.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

     

The Sleep Tight Motel by Lisa Unger at only 48 pages is the shortest book I read this year.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry clocks in at a massive 964 pages, making it the longest book I read this year which comes as no surprise at all.

15. Book That Shocked You The Most?

I think the final third of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia delivered on the shock factor. I knew there was some awful secret to what was going on at High Place but I didn’t expect that.

16. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)?

Jane and Vincent from Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal are the first who came to mind. I love the way their initial misunderstandings turn to affection and later love, and the way it’s revealed is possibly the sweetest thing I’ve read this year.

17. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?

           

Bram and Oscar from Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi.
Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call from Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.
Vintage’s friendship with Tor and Noon from the Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams.

18. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

     

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver and The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

19. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure?

I’m not sure it’s happened this year.

20. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Um, okay, this is awkward. I have no idea…

21. Best 2020 debut you read?

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill was a very unusual tale.

22. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

     

High Place in Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern also had a vivid setting.

23. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

     

I’ve read a couple of the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett this year, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, and both of those had some comical moments.

24. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

     

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi.
The Sleep Tight Motel by Lisa Unger.

25. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill was very unusual at times.

YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?

I’ve followed quite a few new blogs this year and enjoy discovering what people are reading.

2. Favorite reviews that you wrote in 2020?

           

           

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal
Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Aside from book reviews and book tags I enjoy Top Ten Tuesday posts as they give the opportunity to think back to books I’ve enjoyed, and make lists featuring potential future reads. Here are some of my recent favourite Top Ten Tuesday posts…

Super Long Book Titles
Holiday/Festive Covers
Books I Want To Read Again
Colours of Autumn Book Covers
Books That Should Be Adapted Into Shows/Movies
Books I’ve Added to my TBR List

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Readers Imbibing Peril is the perfect way to welcome autumn, and I like the focus on the genres involved.
I would love to find out about readathons before they start so I have time to plan and participate. They’re great fun.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?

Taking part in Readers Imbibing Peril. I read more this year for that event than I ever have before.

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

In review posts The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James and Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and in Top Ten Tuesday posts my Holiday/Festive Covers post and Super Long Book Titles.

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Review posts in general. I’ve mentioned a few of my favourite reads of the year throughout this post already, so here are a few of the other books I discovered this year…

           

           

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang
A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Poirot #20) by Agatha Christie
The Sleep Tight Motel by Lisa Unger
The Other People by C. J. Tudor
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

8. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

That I actually quite like using my e-reader.

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed my Goodreads challenge, but I set a fairly low target.
I participated in Beat the Backlist and this year I did much better than I expected and read 24 books. I also had a go at the Beat the Backlist Bingo which became more difficult as the categories were filled.

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

This list could be endless. I’ll try to limit it to just a few…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

Stephen King has a new book coming out called Later.

3. 2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Feel free to send ideas my way as I’m always looking for new reads.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?

It’s a book that’s already out but I haven’t read it yet – Stoker’s Wilde West by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?

I think last year’s answer still applies. I would like to read more of my own books. I did quite well with that this year so I’d like to keep it up. The Beat the Backlist challenge is happening again and there are some really good categories on the Bingo and Prompts lists, so I think I may sign up. It’s a good incentive to read my own books.


So concludes this year-end survey. Congratulations if you made it all the way through to the end! What have you been reading this year? And what are you looking forward to reading next?

8 thoughts on “2020: The Year-End Book Survey

  1. Elyse LeMieux says:

    You did great this year! And you definitely read a variety of genres! Some of them I want to try to get to in 2021! And I also want to get to The Ten Thousand Doors of January and The Devil and the Dark Water next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pagesandtea says:

      Thanks 🙂 I’d really like to try and read a bit more fantasy, and try a bit of sci-fi too as I haven’t read much in that genre. I just got my copy of The Devil and the Dark Water so I’m definitely looking forward to starting that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elyse LeMieux says:

        I immediately got on the Holds list for The Devil and the Dark Water. Only 5 weeks, not bad! And I own the audio of Ten Thousand Doors so it’s just a matter of putting it near the top of my Audible library. lol.

        Liked by 1 person

    • pagesandtea says:

      I loved the Sun Down Motel, it’s definitely one to consider if you already have a copy. It’s made me want to read another Simone St. James book, I think I might try The Broken Girls next. I read a sample and it seemed like it could be as good as Sun Down.

      Like

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