"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020 End-of-the-Year Book Survey


2020 End-of-the-year
book survey
  • Number of books read and completed: 142
  • Number of re-reads: 8
  • Genre you read the most: Literary fiction, at least I think so. This year was a very strange year for me as far as reading selections. I found myself reading lots of poetry and more essays and short stories compared to other years.
  • Number of books started but not finished: 20
  • Number of children's books read: 29
  • Number of poetry books read or reread: 17
  • Number of memoirs and nonfiction books read: 55
Reading Survey:
(Click on book title if you want to read my review of it.)
1. Best Book You Read In 2020?
2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love, But Didn’t?
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 
4. Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read (And They Did)?
  • I didn't do any book pushing this year, unless you count me pestering my husband until he read (and finished) Lonesome Dove.

5. Best series you started in 2020?

  •  Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King
Best Sequel of 2020?

Best Series Ender of 2020? 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?
  •  Jenny Offill (author of Weather)
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
9. Favorite Book Club Selection Based On the Discussion?
  •  Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler. It was such a strange year with book clubs meeting over Zoom calls or shivering outside on the porch, wearing masks. I liked this book and thought everyone contributed to the conversation.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?
11. Most memorable character of 2020?
  • Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019?
  • “It’s a particular kind of pleasure, of intimacy, loving a book with someone.”
    Lily King, Writers & Lovers
16. Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2020?
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, longest, 858 pages
  • Mittens by Clare T. Newberry, shortest, 28 pages
17. Book Which Shocked You The Most
18. Best Audiobook I Listened to in 2020
  • Fiction: Weather by Jenny Offill
  • Nonfiction: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
19. Favorite JH and SH Nonfiction Books I Read In My Role as a Cybils Judge
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 from an Author You’ve Read Previously
21. Best Book You Read In 2020 Which Was Based SOLELY On a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

  •  Westley, the hero in Princess Bride by William Goldman
23. Best 2020 debut you read?
24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
25. Book Which Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most FUN to Read?
26. Book Which Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2020?
27. Hidden Gem of the Year? There are several:
28. Anything odd about this year's reading list? 
  •  2020 was such a strange, surreal year. I found it difficult to settle on reading and on particular books. If they were too serious, long, difficult, trite, or silly I just set them aside and didn't finish them. I had at least 20 books that I started but did not finish.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?
30. Book Which Made You Angry (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
  • A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America by Rucker and Leonnig
31. Favorite poetry or short story collection: 
32. Favorite classic book read during the year:
33. One Book You Didn’t Read In 2020 Which Will Be a Top Priority in 2020?
  • Fiction--- Ready, Player Two by Ernest Cline
  • Nonfiction--- A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  • YA/Junior/Children's--- The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein
  • Classic--- Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Poetry/Essays: Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine 

34. Bookish goals for 2021

  •  Complete the tasks set before me as a Cybils book award judge (Jan. 1st to Feb. 14th.)
  • Write reviews for all book club selections.
  •  My one book I hope to read is the first Discworld novel: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.
  • Read two of the five National Book Award winners.
  • Read the Pulitzer Prize winner for literature.

Blogging survey:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2020?
This is embarrassing to admit, but I am terrible about remembering site names of blogs I visit.

2. Favorite reviews that you wrote in 2020?
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
  Book club on my back porch after a three month hiatus where we didn't meet at all.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?
My Sunday Salon posts became quite political as my concern over what the Trump campaign was up to. I heard from many of my readers, supporting my point-of-view.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
I was pretty distracted for most of the year with politics and COVID/lockdown concerns. Though I continued blogging I completed far fewer book reviews than usual.

7. Most Popular Post This Year on Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? None.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
  •  I've read 140+of my reading goal of 100 books this year.
  • My Own Personal National Book Award Challenge---to read at least two of the winners for the past ten years.  I have not read the 2020 National Book Award winners yet.
  • Read the Pulitzer Prize winner: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. DONE!
  • Read all the 2020 Printz winners, the award book and the honor books. I read 3 of 5. 
      • Dig by A.S. King- Award
      • The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi- Honor
      • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki- Honor
      • Ordinary Hazards: a Memoir by Nikki Grimes-Honor
      • Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean- Honor
  • Classics Club Spins. I completed only completed two classic books this year. I signed up for one additional Classics Spin but didn't even crack open my selection.
    • So Big by Edna Ferber---completed.
    • East of Eden by John Steinbeck---completed.
  • To read Big Books as part of the Big Book Summer Challenge. I read five this summer of over 400 pages in length.
  • Audiobook Challenge: I signed up to listen to 42 audiobooks in 2020, I actually only managed 33 (which is good considering I spent next to no time in the car this year compaired to other years.
  • I completed my one big reading goal of the year: to read Lonesome Dove!

-Gratefully turning the page over on 2020.



  1. If you or anyone in your book club wants to continue discussing any part of Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (#13 on your list today), I set up a place to share our thoughts over an extended period of time. This link takes you to the overview post, where I provide links to the different parts of the book, including separate posts for each of the four weeks she provides, plus her "Now What? Continuing the Work after Day 28." I have read the book this summer, but I'm willing to ponder her ideas with you or your friends, if anyone is interested. You'll find some comments already there, posted by me and my friend Emily.


    1. We decided after attempting to discuss the whole book in one club meeting that we bit off more than we could chew/ We should have broken the book into three or four parts. Thanks for the offer to continue the conversation. I'll check you out.

  2. Interesting post! Looking like Zoom for us again in January?

    1. Yes, It looks like we are back to Zoom. Boo-hoo. I wonder how our book club over The Vanishing Half will go?

  3. What a terrific year and I loved the survey/answers. I've read several from you list: Great quote from Wives and Lovers which I read and liked. I also read Weather but didn't love it as much as you. Leaving Time was fantastic, I read it over 6 years ago and still shocked by the ending. I hope you might listen to A Promised Land - my husband and I enjoyed it a lot. Happy New Year Anne.

    1. I thought Weather was a hoot. But I love zany, quirky books. And it was certainly zany.

  4. Glad you had such an awesome reading year in 2020! At least something went well. Let's hope everything is better in 2021. Happy New Year! :)

    1. Oddly, I think it was an awful reading year. I abandoned over 20 books and had a hard time making myself settle into anything.

  5. Love this post and all the information in it! Lonesome Dove shows up quite a bit and I just saw Citizen on someone else's best of list and I know nothing about it. I'll have to take a look.


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