Goodbye 2020: End of Year Reading Wrap-Up ft. Stats and Graphs!

In my usual late fashion, today I’m wrapping up my reading year!

This is my one of my favorite posts to write every year. Sometimes I’m so caught up in wallowing over how there are so many books I’ll never be able to read that I forget how much I actually do read. So I love looking back on the year and everything I read, the highs and the lows, the statistics and the graphs!! Like the nerd I unfortunately am, it makes me so excited for another year of reading.

I’m not sure who would be curious about all the books I read in 2020, but if you are, you can take a peek at them from my Goodreads reading challenge. All the book covers link to my reviews on Goodreads, though whether or not I actually wrote a full review for them, you’ll have to click and see for yourself :p

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BEST BOOKS

R.F. Kuang's The Poppy War – erased narrative    Amazon.com: The Magic Fish (9781984851598): Nguyen, Trung Le: Books  Amazon.com: Raybearer (9781419739828): Ifueko, Jordan: Books

Read more of my thoughts on my favorite books (+ honorable mentions) in THIS POST!

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WORST BOOKS

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles  Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)  Running With Lions
The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #2)  Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)  Like a Love Story

Read more of my thoughts on my least favorite books in THIS POST!

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DISAPPOINTING BOOKS

Not counting any of the books above mentioned as my least favorites:

Unravel the Dusk  (The Blood of Stars, #2)  Harley in the Sky  The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

These were all books that I expected to enjoy and didn’t. I thought I’d love Unravel the Dusk since I enjoyed the first book so much, and Akemi Dawn Bowman is an author I love a lot! 

The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)  Lucky Caller  Amazon.com: This Is How You Lose the Time War (9781534431003): El-Mohtar,  Amal, Gladstone, Max: Books

These were books that I did like, but not as much as I was expecting to! The Midnight Lie honestly just… felt so meh to me and didn’t at all live up to the hype I’d seen for it, while Lucky Caller didn’t have the classic Emma Mills vibes that I love in her books. And while This Is How You Lose the Time War has some of the most beautiful prose that I’ve read, I was unfortunately just too stupid to understand what the hell was going on!!

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SURPRISING BOOKS

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson  Amazon.com: Love from A to Z (9781534442726): Ali, S. K.: Books  The Rise of Kyoshi (The Kyoshi Novels, #1)  Full Disclosure  Amazon.com: In Other Lands (9781618731203): Brennan, Sarah Rees, Nowak,  Carolyn: Books

I expected to enjoy but not truly adore these books, but I ended up loving all of them! Several even made it as some of my favorite books of the year (or rather, honorable mentions).  

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FAVORITE BOOK COVERS

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)  Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4)  The cover of Girl Serpent Thorn.   Iron Heart (Crier's War, #2) by Nina Varela

BillelisKuri HuangSasha Vinogradova – David Curtis

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HIDDEN GEMS

Amazon.com: The Magic Fish (9781984851598): Nguyen, Trung Le: Books  The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1)  Full Disclosure  Amazon.com: Raybearer (9781419739828): Ifueko, Jordan: Books  Amazon.com: The Best Lies (9781481498838): Lyu, Sarah: Books

All of these books have less than 5k ratings on Goodreads (going from least amount of ratings to most), and I enjoyed them all so much, especially The Magic Fish, Raybearer, and The Bone Shard Daughter!

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RANDOM BOOKS I WANTED
TO TALK ABOUT

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous  Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 1  The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)  The Deep

So sorry for the chaotic heading for this, but I truly didn’t know what to title it! None of these fit in any other section, but I wanted to talk about them anyway.

  • Ocean Vuong’s writing in On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is stunning and makes me go feral—my favorite quote of the year comes from this book: “Sometimes being offered tenderness feels like the very proof that you’ve been ruined.” (And also “When does a war end? When can I say your name and have it mean only your name and not what you left behind?”) But this is definitely a book I have to reread, because I lacked the brain cells to fully understand everything going on!
  • I’m mentioning Witch Hat Atelier specifically because it was my first manga, and it was so good!! It was recommended to me by my friend Skye, whose recs never lead me astray, and I’m just so in love with everything about it. The characters are wonderful (the MC is like 10 and she’s so cute!), the art is beautiful, and the magic system is so intriguing. I am very excited to continue reading!!
  • While I didn’t completely love The Silvered Serpents because I struggled a bit in the beginning of the book, this is hands-down one of the most memorable book endings I’ve ever read. I was literally so stressed out the entire time!! And there’s one specific part I can’t describe in any way other than “?!!1?$?@!?1” Book 3 is going to be SO good.
  • I am Upset I don’t talk about The Deep more often, because it is genuinely phenomenal. The way it tackles intergenerational trauma is so painful but so good, and even though it’s been nearly a year since I’ve read it, I can’t stop thinking about it. The audiobook narration + author’s note made my reading experience even better, too!

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#1 PRIORITY BOOKS FOR 2021

Not including the 12 (or so) books on my TBR of friend-recommended books:

A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1)  Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2)  Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1)  Grown

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FAVORITE POSTS I WROTE

qpoc book recs  pjo book tag  notion

underhyped books  ahm recs  judge fave

I loved writing all of these posts so much, and many of them were a labor of love! I wanted to especially highlight my Notion post, because I think someone pinned my pages on Pinterest and it “blew up” there (I have no idea how Pinterest works). It’s gotten several thousand views and a ridiculous amount of daily views, and I don’t know! It’s so wild but very cool to have a post blow up like that!!

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FAVORITE BOOK PHOTOS

I’ve kind of dropped off of bookstagram—I just don’t feel inspired/motivated to take photos anymore, nor do I have the time or ability to (my special sunlit bedroom lighting is gone during these colder months). But I had a lot of fun during the months I was active, and I liked how so many of my photos turned out! Here are two of my favorites:

Image  Image

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STATISTICS & GRAPHS

QUICK STATS

Number of books read: 100

Number of rereads: 13 (-5 from 2019)

Average rating: 3.48 (-0.34 from 2019)

Average rating without rereads: 3.35 (-0.32 from 2019)

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I rated two books 5 stars this year, because I am MEAN!! I only rated one book 1 star, though, so I mean… I think that’s pretty nice of me… Anyway, I’ve learned that I use the 3.5 star rating WAY too much!

And I’m surprised that 1) the amount of novels I read isn’t higher, and 2) the amount of webcomics I read is so LOW! One of my 2021 goals is to read more diverse types of books, especially since there’s no way I can read 100 novels during this busy year, so I’m excited to see what this graph will look like for 2021.

 

I think 2020 really cemented my love for fantasy, because usually the amount of fantasy and contemporary books I read are pretty close! YA is unsurprisingly is my most read age group, though I also read a surprising amount of MG (but half of those are Rick Riordan rereads so…).

(The N/A for age groups was for whatever books I didn’t know the target audiences of.)

As a result of the pandemic, I used Overdrive/Libby from my library a LOT this year. I don’t think it’s really affected my reading too much? (But I sorely miss going to the library!!) And though it doesn’t seem like much, 14 audiobooks is the most audiobooks I’ve ever read in a year, and I’m officially a converted audiobook lover!

(If you’re wondering how I can read both physically and digitally, I just had a physical copy of the book and was reading along with the audiobook.)

 

I’m surprised that barely over half of the books I read this year were published by the Big 5! I thought it would be in the 70% range, honestly. I’m also surprised that 2020 releases didn’t dominate my reading, though I definitely want to still keep reading backlist titles!

First things first, “free download” means things like Scribd (when they had a few months free in the beginning of the year), webcomics, online short stories, etc. and not like… illegal activity… But it’s for some reason very funny to me that I read more from those free downloads than from my literal library! As always, though, I’m very blessed with and thankful for a lot of opportunities and privileges to be able to read a lot of books without spending any money.

(I also have very kind friends who buy books for me, clearly! Though half of the “gifted” books were just rereads of favorites that were given to me for my birthday or Christmas in years past.)

And finally, some author information!! I lacked trans authors on my reading list (all the trans authors I read are listed under non-binary, since I didn’t read any binary trans authors), so hopefully I can get around to picking up more books from them this year. Of course, there are always trans authors who aren’t out, so I can’t and don’t expect my information to be completely correct!

As for the race breakdown, at first, I was like, “Wow, that is a lot more white authors than I expected.” And it’s true: these aren’t numbers I’m the happiest about, and my goal in 2021 is for at least 75% of the books I read to be by authors of color. But this is a SIGNIFICANT improvement from 2019, so I’m glad for that achievement at least. But no matter what, I’ll continue push myself to be more conscious of who I’m reading from this year! (I also should… stop rereading so many books by white authors… especially Rick Riordan…)


shall we chat

how many books did you read in 2020? what was your most read genre/age group? what were your disappointments? any books you absolutely have to read this year??

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36 thoughts on “Goodbye 2020: End of Year Reading Wrap-Up ft. Stats and Graphs!

  1. aaaah I love reading your end of the year posts! First of all, I’m sad that you didn’t enjoy the mermaid, the witch and the sea as much as you wanted to because I got it for christmas and it seems pretty interesting!
    Honestly I’m super impressed at anyone who manages to keep track of all these stats, haha…I’m gonna try to do that this year but wow all these graphs are so impressive and just very nice looking.
    Best of luck on your reading in 2021 and can’t wait to see more of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you, i’m glad you enjoyed them!! and i hope you like the mermaid, the witch, and the sea more than i did! i honestly don’t remember much about the book but i don’t think i really cared for the characters

      i love tracking all my reads in a spreadsheet! once you make it, it’s just a matter of remembering to update, and i usually do it whenever i update on goodreads 🥰 thank you so much!! <3

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it’s okay so far but I mean I’m only about 60 or so pages in. We’ll see what I think later on. Hmm, not caring for the characters is always a bit of a bummer.

        Yeah, that’s something that I’d probably never remember to do haha. I started a spreadsheet a few days ago because I think I was bored or something but I only got through logging one book and then I turned to do something else haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your breakdown of your faves/least favorites/surprises/disappointments! I definitely want to keep better track of my reads this year so I can reflect next January! I also LOVE your bookstagram pictures, a goal of mine for this year is to learn more about bookstagram and practice my sad photography skills! 😂 Loved this wrap up! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’ve loved tracking all my reads in a spreadsheet for the past few years!! it’s so fun to see stats and everything, if you’re a nerd like me 😭 and ahh thank you!! i’ve definitely improved a lot since i first started out on bookstagram, i’m wishing you all the luck with your photography practice!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this is the second time this week that i’ve heard of THE DEEP and this is the sign i need to read it!! highly agree with what you said about TSS because WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT ENDING. all i know is pain 😭

    Liked by 1 person

  4. this is how you lose the time war is on my priority tbr and i’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy it!! i probably won’t have the braincells to understand it either lmao 😭😭 and yesss, you should see me in a crown was such a surprising book in the best way 💕 also aah on earth we’re briefly gorgeous sounds so good!!

    fjsdjds i’m so scared to read the silvered serpents, especially because i know the ending is going to break me 😳 and omg that’s so cool about your post blowing up on notion!! i didn’t get a chance to comment on that one but your pages are so pretty 🥺 i also didn’t read as many books by authors of color as i would have liked in 2021, but i’m also really glad that i read over 50%, which is a big improvement from reading like none in 2019!!!

    your graphs were so fun to look at and i loved this post, may! hope 2021 brings you nothing but amazing books 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i hope you enjoy this is how you lose the time war more than i did!! i think i’m going to reread it a few years from now to see if i can better understand it haha. and i love that everyone had the same surprising experience with you should see me in a crown!

      the ending is so CRUEL!! i can’t believe roshani chokshi keeps doing this to us and we just let her 😭 ahh thank you so much!! i’m still in shock about my post haha. and yes! i’m willing to recognize my shortcomings and work to correct them, but i’m soo happy with how much i’ve improved from 2019 lmao

      thank you so much! i hope you get to read some amazing books in 2021 <3

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhh loved reading this post, May and I hope you get to all the books on your 2021 tbr.

    I need to read Jade City asap. Also we are TWINNING with reading a ton of ebooks, my Kindle was my literal best friend last year. But yay for reading lots of YA and relatively high ratings. I didn’t have all that many standouts either, which I’m hoping will change but I don’t want to jinx it hehe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much, ruby! i’m glad you enjoyed the post <3 and i don't know what i would've done without ebooks in 2020 lmao!! i'm definitely going to have to buy an actual kindle soon instead of just using my phone. and i'm wishing you all the outstanding books in 2021!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Loving all these stats and graphs!!
    I want to read from Tiffany D. Jackson this year, too! Grown has a really intriguing concept.
    I read 134 books and most of them were contemporary, which is such a surprise because in the previous years I rarely read contemporary. 😂 But in 2020 I needed all the cuteness.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This post is absolute stats goals! I loved seeing how thorough you were in tracking all the books that you read! I want to eventually reach that level, but for now I only keep track of a few of these categories.

    I think the reason that I haven’t picked up This Is How You Lose the Time War is because I’m pretty sure I won’t understand what the heck is going on. And while I love poetic writing, I also need to be able to actually grasp what’s happening. But I might take it out of the library to test out whether I think I’d like it.

    I also have The Magic Fish out from the library at the moment and I cannot WAIT to read it! I’ll probably pick it up within the next week, once I finish the ARC that’s eating up all of my reading time! I’ve heard such great things that it’s definitely top priority on my TBR at the moment!

    Also, I totally understand the lack of Instagram motivation. I pop in on stories every once in a while, but I just don’t have the energy or the lighting to have a continuous flow of pictures! For now I think I’ll just stick with blogging!

    I hope that 2021 is a great reading year for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. coming from you, a stats nerd — i’m very flattered!! and honestly my motivation for keeping track of all these stats is just to see the pretty graphs 😭

      i’m wishing you all the luck with this is how you lose the time war! i know some people who didn’t really get what was going on either but still managed to love it, if that’s at all reassuring? but i definitely want to give it a reread some day — i think the general idea of what’s going on isn’t too hard to grasp (though it isn’t described in detail) but i was lost about everything else

      I’M SO EXCITED for you to read the magic fish!! it’s absolutely a book i want to push on everyone now, it’s so beautiful. and i’m glad someone else can relate to my boookstagram woes! the algorithm/app is frankly terrible at this point, and it’s definitely not as compelling as the other platforms i’m on. definitely sticking to blogging as well <3

      i hope you read some great books in 2021!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. oh my god i only had one five star read in 2020, so i am very jealous of your two five star reads. and i relate so much to not having enough brain cells to understand a book!! i’ve actually been thinking about rereading this is how you lose the time war bc i thought i understood it when i read it, only to read a few reviews and realize that i didn’t get it, especially the worldbuilding, at all lmao. and listening to on earth we’re briefly gorgeous was a bad choice bc i have such a short attention span. and same about bookstagram i posted on their for a few months, but quickly lost all motivation. i think i just like other bookish platforms more, but also the instagram algorithm and the app in general sucks. i don’t know why they can’t just show users what the people they follow have posted 😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. honestly it was your 5-star rating of know your name that got me to go back and give it 5 stars after leaving it unrated lmao 😭😭 and i definitely want to reread this is how you lose the time war!! (i also read it on audiobook, so it was like. even worse for my comprehension rip.) and YES! i know if i return to posting on instagram, i’ll feel bad that my photos aren’t getting likes, but that’s just because of the algorithm. i’ll guess i can just post photos on twitter now or something if i really feel the need to, but i’ve never enjoyed instagram as much as other platforms so 🤷🏻‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh oh … I’m scared right now that Where Dreams Descend is on your worst books list 😭 I think I’ve only read pretty good reviews about it so far, and I really had high expectations (seems like I should fix my mindset if I end up reading it). And I’m really sorry you didn’t enjoy Unravel the Dusk as much as you hoped to 😔 On the other hand, I’m super happy about your favourites, because I have many of them on my TBR!! I hope 2021 brings you fewer disappointments and more favourite books 💕

    Like

  10. As a Stats Hoe, this post brings my cold, shriveled heart so much joy! LOL at the one 5-star read; I used to be super picky about that too but I feel like I broke that down a bit in 2020? I don’t know how or why, but whatever.

    I’m sad that Where Dreams Descend wound up on your worst list as I really enjoyed it, but my goodness that book was polarizing! Super stoked Raybearer got the love it deserves from you, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh please give me some of that non-picky-5-star energy!!! i sorely need it, i miss giving out 5 stars so easily 😭😭

      and ahh i’m glad you enjoyed where dreams descend! it really did not work for me at all but i know lots of people loved it. and YESS raybearer was absolutely amazing 💓

      Liked by 1 person

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