2020 Yearly Wrap-Up + 2021 goals!

Hi everyone,

Today I’m looking back at all the books I read in 2020, and seeing how sucessful I was at meeting my goals! I opened up my 2020 goals post from early last year before writing this post and…..well I can’t say I did too sucessfully. It was actually rather depressing to see how much I’ve failed. I think I’ll need to make my 2021 goals a lot more manageable this year so I have even the slightest chance of meeting them.

My reading stats

Let’s start with the really fun stuff: statistics! I love doing different stats on my reading to see where I need to improve and get a more holisitc view of what I am reading. Across 2020, I read 109 books for a total of 37, 436 pages! This is 9 over my goal of 100, but 1 less than my stretch goal of 110 (which was what I managed in 2019 and so I wanted to match or beat it). But I’m still really happy with this figure, particularly as I haven’t counted any of the reading I needed to do in my new job this year (where I now get to read lots of manuscripts to assess for acquisition!)

The longest book I read was of course the magnificent The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon at 848 pages! My shortest read was the novella Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh, at 112 pages. My average rating across the year was 4.1 – my average rating usually sits quite high because I’m generally pretty good at picking books I know I’ll like to read.

Of the 109 books I read this year:

  • 49 were fantasy
  • 12 were science fiction
  • 13 were horror
  • 20 were contemporary
  • 4 were mystery/thriller
  • 5 were nonfiction/memoirs
  • 6 were historical fiction

I am very unsurprised by the fact more than half of my reads – or 68%! – were speculative fiction (fantasy, scifi, horror). 61% of all the books (or 66 in total) were queer, with 20% being about or by trans, nonbinary or gender diverse people. I’d love to get the percentage of trans/nonbinary/gender diverse books up, and I definitely think I’ll be able to since there are so many great trans books coming this year!

Of the 109 books, 47% were by authors of colour (or 51 books). This is another area I want to improve on in 2021, I’d like to get to 50% at a minimum, but I’ll be aiming for 60%. For a more specific goal, I’d like to focus on reading more books by Indigenous Australians in particular.

My favourites of the year

Here are five of my favourite books of the year. I also have a longer post talking about my 17 new favourites of the year, which you can check it out here! But for this post, I thought I’d just pick five from different genres for variety!

My worst of the year

Annnnnd these are my least favourites of the year. This list is filled with several of my most anticipated books of 2020! And it particularly breaks my heart to see Empire of Gold here. Because half of that book was pure excellence (yes hi Dara, you carried that book). Still one of my favourite series of all time though!

Did I meet my 2020 goals?

And now it’s time to go through my list of 2020 goals and embarass myself with how much I failed. Pretty sure I completely forgot about most of these goals by the second week of January

  • I want to review at least 60% of the books I read – and ALL of the 2020 releases I read.

Well this was definitely a fail, what was I thinking?! Reviewing every single 2020 release? WHAT. I think I reviewed approximately 64 books in 2020, which actually, having now counted it up, is still 57% of all the books I read so I almost got there. However, I definitely didn’t review every single 2020 release, particularly the ones I read in the last few months of the year when I just needed a bit of a break.

  • Read 100 books.

Woohoo, okay this one I managed!! Go me. I did find myself rushing at the end of the year to try get it completed, so I might lower it for 2021 to reduce the pressure on myself.

  • Year of the Asian Readathon – get the Malayan Tapir award, which is reading 21-30 books by Asian authors.

And I managed to sucessfully complete this one too! I was aiming for 30 books, but I’m still happy I reached the range for the Malayan Tapir award with 23 books by Asian authors!

  • I also had several very intense writing goals, including finishing my WIP (which I failed), researching two other books (also failed both these) and joining a writing group (failed). Although to be fair to the last one, I did try go to a writing group in early January but did not click with any of the people and then covid happened. So at least that one isn’t totally my fault?

Anyway here’s to making more achievable goals in 2021!

2021 goals!

This year, I’m trying to make more sensible, achievable, less overwhelming goals. So far, I’ve got:

  • Read at least 1 nonfiction book every month.
  • Read 75 books total – I’ve reduced this from my 2020 goal, even though I did sucessfully read 100 books, because I’d like to put less pressure on myself.
  • Read 60% books by authors of colour.
  • Read 75% queer books.
  • Read 30% books by/about trans, nonbinary and gender-diverse people.
  • Work on my physical TBR instead of getting overwhelmed with ARCs and library books. I can’t remember who, but someone on Twitter said their goal was going to be for every ARC read, they must then read a book they own and I absolutely love that! So for every ARC or library book I read, I immediately need to read a book I own after it! Hopefully that will get me get my physical TBR down.
  • I’m also putting finish my current writing WIP on here as well – and that’s my only writing goal after having four or five last year failed me horrifically.
  • Regarding all my social media, I would love to reach 300 followers on my blog and bookstagram, and reach 450 on Twitter! It’s approximately an increase of 100 followers on each platform….Is that achievable in a year??? I hope so!

And that’s my 2020 wrap-up, as well as a sneak peak at the goals I’m hoping to achieve in 2021! I’m excited to get started on my 2021 reading. This year has so many incredible books coming and I can’t wait to read them all! What goals have you made for 2020? Let me know in the comments!

Books I need to read by the end of the year

Hi everyone,

It’s almost October which is SCARY because this year has just flown by and I’ve lost all track of time. For the last few months, I’ve been rather overwhelmed by ARCs and library books and I’ve been watching in horror as my owned TBR grows ever larger and it makes me feel so guilty every time I look at it. I’m aiming to finish all outstanding ARCs for this year this month, and then spent the last three months of the year trying to make some headway into my physical TBR! So to make this a little bit more official and help push me to meet my goals, I thought I’d make a post all about the books that I need to read before year end!

Books I got in 2019 and still have not read

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

Books I got before 2019 and still have not read (I’M SORRY)

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Boys Will be Boys by Clementine Ford

Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan

Most anticipated 2020 releases I need to read

The Empire of Gold by S.A Chakraborty

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson

The Mightnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Random backlist books I’ve acquired this year

Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Pheeeew. There’s 19 books on this list, which works out at just over 6 a month which is completely doable. But I am doing some readathons and whether I’m actually in the mood to read these may hurt my chances, so I guess we’ll see if I managed these goals in December! By writing it down, I am making everyone hold me accountable! Think postive thoughts! I can do this!

30 Days of Pride: Wrap up

Hi everyone,

We’re finally here. Day 30. Let’s be honest, this June has been pretty fucked. And it feels like it’s lasted 6 years. Looking back over the past month, I really haven’t had the best reading month at all. My sleep has been a disaster and so I’ve stuggled with concentrating whilst reading and reached nowhere near my goal of 15 books. I hope your months have been more sucessful!

What I did manage to do (however unconsciously), is read 8 books that all have matching coloured covers?! How the fuck I managed this beautiful array of yellow, oranges and pinks completely by accident and without noticing before now, I’ll never know. But as a result, you get some happy Autumnal book covers to look at today!

Books read

This month, I managed to read 8 books in total. My favourite book of the month was definitely Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender which absolutely blew me away and I already want to reread!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story by Jacob Tobia

Blog posts

I still can’t quite believe I actually managed to post every day. I’m so exhausted and I’m going to have soooo much free time in July. If you missed any, here’s a full run down of what happened on my blog this month!

Reviews

Recommendation lists

Genres
Identities
Tropes

Misc

Community

I wanted to finish by shouting out some incredible creators and the great work they’ve created during Pride month this year. Prepare to add EVEN MORE books your TBR!

Finally, as we move into the second half of the year, I hope you all are continuing to support Black authors in the coming months as you have done this month, that you continue to educate yourself on racism, and that you are looking into ways you can support Black people in your local community.

Whilst you’re here, please do also take a few minutes out of your day to sign petitions and donate some money if you are able. It takes two seconds to sign a petition, there’s no excuse. And so you don’t even have to Google right now to find out where to go:

  • The Black Lives Matter carrd is your go to resource for information on petitions to sign and places to donate. It’s updated regularly with new information.
  • The Australian BLM database has petitions for local issues
  • There’s a fantastic database if you’re interested in learning more about prison abolition and the need for this
  • If you want to be an ally, you can start by putting in the effort! This resource has a full out SCHEDULE you can follow over a month to educate yourself on racism and how to be an ally. There’s different schedules depending on how much time you can spend a day on this, and it starts at just 10 minutes a day so again, there’s really no excuse!

And to my fellow Aussies, if you’re looking for places to donate to locally, here are some people and charities you can support:

Top 5 Tuesday: Books I Need to Read in 2020

Top 5 Tuesday is created and run by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. You can join the fun by checking out the topics for the month here.

Hi everyone,

It’s the first Top 5 Tuesday of 2020! You may notice I’ve had a little bit of a blog lift. That is thanks to Vinny over at Artsy Draft! Last year, I was THE LUCKIEST PERSON EVER and actually won a blog redesign! Vinny has spent the last little while redesigning my entire blog and drawing the most amazing illos to use and I am so incredibely grateful and amazed by their work! I’m still in the process of updating all my backposts, but it’s getting there!

So I was tempted to put a very similar list for this week’s topic as one in December (the ‘2019 books I never got to’ because I SWEAR I will get to them in 2020). But I also have several others on my shelf that I really need to get to, so let’s just add to that pile….

Steel Crow Saga – Paul Krueger

I picked this one up after seeing Shealea at Shut Up Shealea write the most amazing review I think I’ve ever read for it! It sounds honestly mind-blowingly good. I know I will definitely get it to it in 2020 – I’m participating in #FFFeb, a sapphic readathon in February! One of the challenges is a book with a bisexual character, which this does! So I plan on getting to this one very shortly…

The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern

I (rather embarassingly) only got around to reading The Night Circus late last year. But I adored it! It was absolutely perfect. So of course I immediately got my hands on a copy over her second novel, The Starless Sea, which I can’t wait to read in 2020!

A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir

So this adds to the awfully long list of sequels I really need to read…. Alongside The Dragon Republic, The Kingdom of Copper and Jade War (which I’m currently reading!), I really need to read the sequel to Sabaa Tahir’s incredible fantasy An Ember in the Ashes. It was one of my favourite fantasy books I read last year. I don’t know why I struggle so much with sequels!

The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

I actually almost go a chance to read The Bone Witch last year! I ordered it from my library, but then didn’t quite get time to read it before I left on holiday, so had to return it. Perhaps a second attempt this year will be luckier!

The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon

Okay so I know I said I wasn’t going to put any books from my Book I Didn’t Get to in 2019 list….But this one I swore I was going to read ALL YEAR and didn’t. So once again I am vowing to read Priory in 2020. I’m actually considering it for my next read – I’m trying to get all my massive fantasy tomes read before any 2020 preorders come in….I guess we’ll see if I’m sucessful in the next few weeks!

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday! I can’t wait to read everyone’s lists. My key reading goal for this year is very much ‘please Rachel for the love of God read all your sequels.’ I feel like it should be achievable?! But I failed last year so, do I really know anything?

I hope everyone has a great week~