every year i do the goodreads challenge, where you set a reading goal for yourself. you’d think that with a pandemic and all, it’d be easy to knock out a boatload of books this year, but i didn’t even make my challenge number, which was weeny since i set it before the pandemic (if pandemic had set in when i made my challenge, i might’ve failed hugely).
i set a goal of 55 books for the year and managed to get through 51 (a couple were rereads). but before i get all bent out of shape, i like to note that i’m a believer in the page count rather than book count. i read a lot of long books. sure, there are usually a couple shorties, but geez, a stephen king book is almost always more than 600 pages. so let’s take a look at that data first!
i really knocked it out of the park in 2016. i chalk it up to listening to audiobooks on my drives from southern mn to central mn during the four months of turbulence. oh, i also read a lot of stephen king that year.
so, what were my top books of 2020?
i have two favorites i read this year.
- where the crawdads sing by delia owens was my number one book this year. i inhaled this book. it was a mystery, an ode to the natural world, and just lovely. there are some dark sections (i’m ok with that). and one section that was so patronizing to couples who don’t have children (not really ok with that). i hesitated reading this because for some reason i’m a book snob (smut for one) and this book seemed to be super hyped up and put on every book club list. but there was a reason!
- the wanderers by chuck wendig was my number two book this year. totally different from crawdads, this is about preserving the human race from its annihilation in the event of a pandemic (wow, how apropos. i read this in early february!). don’t worry – this is different from “the stand”, which i also read again this year. why not read about pandemics that are SO MUCH worse when you’re amidst one? anyway, if you like some action/post-apocalyptic novel action, this book is wort the 782 (!) pages. (much shorter than the stand.)
those are my favorites this year. here’s the runners-up list.
- big summer by jennifer weiner. a nice beach thriller mystery read! i love her books and have read them all.
- book of two ways by jodi piccoult. see above about jennifer weiner – i have read all her books! this was a good book with lots of information about egyptian mythology with a weird twisty middle that made me laugh at her genius.
- the dead zone by stephen king. this book has entered my top five SK books! i thought it was great. it’s about a guy who gets a TBI and can see a person’s future just by touching them.
- leave it as it is by david gessner. gessner intertwines some biographical info about teddy roosevelt’s mission to create and bolster the national park system and his conservationist (almost) ways with his trip across the west in TR’s footsteps to several national parks. he also focuses on bears ears national park and really focuses on american indian perspective.
- the midnight library by matt haig. while this started off a little depressing, it turned into a lovely book of redemption with a really interesting premise of experiencing other lives you could have had.
- the four agreements by miguel ruiz. i picked this up because lesley fightmaster quoted 🙁 a lot from it. it’s short and small and gives guidance on how to live an authentic life. i underlined a lot in it, and i’m sure i’ll pick it up again and again.
books i expected a lot from that didn’t live up to the hype? (hmm… see i’ve just got to read hype-y books, i think.)
- the starless sea
- the ballad of songbirds and snakes (trying to give a more human background to cornelius snow just makes me hate him more)
- the bookish life of nina hill
i think if i want to read more books in 2021, i just need to start reading more fiction. i like to learn things, but nothing really prompts me to pick up a book like the storyline of a good piece of fiction. we’ll see how that pans out.
books i want to read in 2021?
- american dirt (this got a lot of good press then a lot of bad press, and now i think we’re back to good press. i’m going to borrow it from the library so i don’t give money to the author if it is back in bad press territory.)
- a promised land by barack obama. memoirs are as insatiable to me as fiction.
- we ride upon sticks – this is on my list because of a rave review of a blogger i’ve followed for 15 years.
- this books is anti-racist. i know this is not fiction and will probably make me learn, but it goes hand in hand with my “resolution” to do more antri-racist things
- in the same vein of nonfiction, i want to read something by wallace stegner.
is this the year i reread harry potter?
and when is the year i read all of stephen king in a row? (that is a huge commitment.)