Hindsight is 2020

Hey Happy Bookworms!

I’ve been sitting on that title for a year if you couldn’t tell ๐Ÿ˜…

So! Another year over, it’s definitely been a weird one but i’m quite excited to reflect on how my reading year went. It was meant to be the year of tackling the TBR but in a year like no other it didn’t really go to plan… I had good moments & bad. Unfortunately the last couple months have not been good on reading for me with mocks & so so so much stress but I managed my reading goal!! 81/80 books (although one of those was a DNF *gasps* I know, who am I?!)

Before we get into it, let’s just squeeze four last mini reviews in for 2020!

*All reviews will be spoiler free
*๐Ÿงธ childrenโ€™s ๐Ÿฟ YA ๐Ÿ’ผ Adult
*๐ŸŒ  means that I got an e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review


๐Ÿฟ This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work

In lieu of recent events I wanted to learn a bit more so I borrowed this from my library.

It was just a very informational book, it lays everything out clearly & in a linear way so itโ€™s very easy to learn & progress.
It honestly taught me a lot about words & phrases that Iโ€™d heard thrown about on social media & the likes but didnโ€™t really understand or appreciate to their full extent.

Good for all ages, doesnโ€™t shy away from using big words or complex subjects but explains everything in an easy & simple way.

๐Ÿ’ผ A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

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โ€œWomen have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural sizeโ€

This book is absolutely gorgeous & although it made my brain absolutely ache with mental agility, I loved it.

I mean just the beauty of โ€œAll these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recordedโ€

I just felt a real connection with a lot of the ideas Woolf purposed, not even just with the ideas themselves but with the nuances that she presents them with. And all the way throughout, I just had this deep rooted sense of home.

โ€œhistory is too much about wars; biography too much about great menโ€

๐Ÿ’ผ Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie is a queen.

Thatโ€™s it.

No, but really I’d read her shopping lists she’s just so entertaining & she writes so wonderfully.

It’s a great collection of short stories, I’d really recommend it.

๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŒ  These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

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I absolutely loved this when I first started it but then I got a bit swamped & had to take a break but still kinda read it a bit patchily here & there.
Then I piled on the pressure to finish for the new year & Iโ€™m glad I did because I really enjoyed it!

I loved the darker elements, mainly in the beginning, although I thought it got a bit more typically YA-y as it went on. I really liked the Romeo & Juliette inspiration (because I would call it more inspiration than retelling) because it kept it unpredictable. With a lot of retellings you know the story already (obviously) so it looses that โ€˜unknowingโ€™ which is so exciting. Yeah, it felt more like Easter eggs for the Shakespeare nerds among us.
I feel like a retelling should be able to stand up on itโ€™s own & this certainly does.

I loved the setting & thought the Shanghai gang background was brilliant. The political climate was incredibly well handled – interesting but not too heavy.
I liked the investigation but I think the pacing could have been a bit better: itโ€™s very slow at the beginning then all rushes in. The romance was the most predictable element & the most based on the play. I did like it but it wasnโ€™t my favourite romance ever & I wish a bit more ~tension~ was built up (bc you can never have enough ๐Ÿ˜‰)

โ€œEven the land of dreams needs to wake up sometimes.โ€


Ok! Let’s wrap this!

2020 saw me read 27,212 pages over 81 books (although I don’t trust GR’s countability on audiobook pages ๐Ÿ‘€)

Shortest Book: The Lost Sisters by Holly Black (50 pages)

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Longest Book: Winter by Marissa Meyer (824 pages)

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Average book length: 335 pages

I completely forgot I read winter this year & am absolutely flabbergasted ๐Ÿ˜… Must have been at the beginning because I’ve definitely been searching out short books lately. Two of the queens of YA though so definitely fitting (I got the new Cardan book for christmas though and it’s so pretty I can’t wait ๐Ÿฅบ)

Most Popular: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (4,772,519 people also shelved)

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Least Popular: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen Children’s Stories) adapted by Gemma Barder (226 people also shelved)

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How ironic! Haha I must say P&P was a big let down for me this year and I actually really liked the children’s version ๐Ÿ˜‚ You got the romance feeling without having to trudge through the language (although the illustrations were a little weird).

Highest Rated on Goodreads: Heartstopper (vol 3) by Alice Oseman (4.65 average stars)

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My average rating for 2020: 3.5 stars

The exact same average rating as last year, hey, at least I’m consistent! But heartstopper’s place is definitely well deserved ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

My first review of the year: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (5 Stars)

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This series is so genius honestly – how could it not be a 5 star read?
And yeah, some of it is impossible to wrap my head around but it all makes sense in the end ๐Ÿ˜‚
Canโ€™t wait for the last one!

My last review of the year: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (4 Stars)

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(Review see above.)

I have definitely 100% got better at writing reviews which like go me! I guess gemina was the second in a series & so that’s kinda hard but yeah, it’s a pretty pathetic review ๐Ÿ˜… Also yay for starting & ending on a good note!


BEST BOOKS:

Wow ok 17% of my 2019 books were 5 star, in 2020 32% were 5 star! I think in part that’s because of some childhood rereads but looking back on these, I really did have some cracking reads. In no particular order:

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So here they are people! El’s top 2020 books – get your TBR lists out & get scribbling!
Is anyone surprised to see sourdough? ๐Ÿ‘€

WORST BOOKS: I’m ready to name & shame.

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The information is in your hands now, do with it what you will ๐Ÿ˜‰


And now for the thing you’ve all been waiting for…

My 2020 new years reading resolution: I have all the big exams next year (or maybe not, we’ll see ๐Ÿ™„) but I’m predicting very little reading time so my reading goal is a nice 50 & we’ll see what happens. As for my reading approach this year; 2021 will very much be a year for mood reading! I don’t want reading to be stressful at all so I’m really gonna focus on reading what I want, when I want (I want that 5 star percentage to rise even more!)

Thanks for sticking by me this year even though it’s been a little rocky, especially at the end, but we’ve had some pretty good times! Reaching 200 followers (we’re currently sitting on 260!) and my lovely redesign which I am still in love with! ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‰

How was your year in books? Best book of 2020? Any 2021 reading resolutions?

14 thoughts on “Hindsight is 2020

  1. Lou @ Fluffy Books says:

    oh my goodness your blog is so lovely!!!!!!! & what amazing reviews, this post makes me want to stop being terrified of Virginia Woolf and be brave and give her books a try :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Ahhh thank you so much! This made me happy ๐Ÿ™‚
      Woolf is definitely worth a try but go easy on yourself! Those books are hard and I basically had to reread every paragraph to understand it & then reread it again because she loves a tangent & I’d forgotten what the original point was ๐Ÿ˜‚ Definitely worth it though!

      PS: so sorry for the late reply!

      Like

  2. Aditi says:

    YAY so happy to see this post! Congrats on several five-star reads! I think I’m just an easy rater because I think a ton of my 2020 reads were five stars lol. And it’s amazing that you read so much- I only read 40 in 2020 because I was in a slump for ages :(( but I’ve already read 9 books in 2021 so I have lots of hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Ahhh 9 already ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ YES GIRL
      But yesss haha I’m such a picky rater idk I just feel like the more I read, the higher my standards are ๐Ÿ˜‚
      40 is still really good though – 2020 was such a weird reading year, I found myself either bingeing or slumping, like no inbetween.
      Here’s to a better 2021 though! ๐Ÿฅ‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aditi says:

        Honestly for me it’s the opposite ๐Ÿ˜‚ My ratings are super high! And omg yeah- I was basically in a slump the entire time but every other time I was binging lol
        Yess! ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿฅ‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ash @ Starlight Strands says:

    ahhh el welcome back!!! iโ€™m so sorry that mocks caused a lot of stress for u, but omg congrats on reading 81 books! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

    and yess, i loved how these violent delights was more inspired by romeo & juliet rather than a retelling, because it made it so much more amazing ๐Ÿ’• i agree with everything you said in your review, i loved the setting and political commentary, but the pacing for the first part was slow and the romance could have been more fleshed out ๐Ÿ˜…

    also yay iโ€™m so glad i love you so mochi is on your favorites list, it was so good!! happy new year, i hope you have a beautiful 2021 ๐Ÿฅฐ

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Sorry for the late reply! School’s kicking my butt >_<
      Yes! Especially since Romeo & Juliet has such a well-known ending, it was amazing having the suspense but then it being so clever ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Hope you're HAVING a great 2021 ๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Abi @ Scribbles and Stories says:

    Oh my god, 10/10 for the title, I love it ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Wow, Sourdough made it into your top books of the year?? I am shocked and amazed ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜‚ I still haven’t read it yet (SORRY) but maybe 2021 will be the year.

    Literally everyone seems to be reading These Violent Delights, I must be missing something! I’m glad to hear it’s more inspired than a retelling, because I’ve never been into Shakespeare so it would all go over my head anyway ๐Ÿ˜…

    Focusing on mood reading sounds like a good goal! I’ve been choosing books by picking the names out of a jar at random, but I’m slumping a bit at the moment so maybe I need to just go for what I feel like! Good luck for the new year! ๐Ÿ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Haha I know, I really put it in as a curve ball for y’all since it’s not like I talk about it in like every post ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s like my brand now though it kinda worries me that it might not live up to the hype ๐Ÿ™ˆ

      I feel like I didn’t enjoy these violent delights as much as I should have done, I think I need a little break from YA because they’re all kinda blending together at this point…but I still really enjoyed it & would totally recommend since it’s a really cool concept! (And don’t worry, it doesn’t follow the romeo & Juliette arc, just takes some base parts from it!)

      I’ve always wanted to try that! But I just feel like I’d get a bit carried away with it since I always do with stuff like that ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Hope you have the best reading year! ๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

      • Abi @ Scribbles and Stories says:

        I definitely get that mood with YA – if you don’t keep switching genres they get hard to tell apart. I can only take so many coming-of-age stories in a row ๐Ÿ˜†

        Yeah, I got a bit carried away with it too, I had to go through and just put in the books that I already owned ๐Ÿคฃ

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lais @ The Bookish Skies says:

    i am not a fantasy fan, and i had not been interested in these violent delights that much but iโ€™ve seen in so many peopleโ€™s favorites-of-2020 lists i am adding it to my TBR! i hope i can follow it, though, because fantasy is really not my thing, lol.

    my average rating was also 3.5 stars, which i definitely understand, considering most of my reads this year were 3 stars, but i really wish it couldโ€™ve been higher! i think a lot of 2020 was about mediocre, meh reads and i definitely want to be better about choosing what i read in 2021!

    wishing you all the luck in your 2021 resolutions and an amazing year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      I found these violent delights really easy to follow (but still fun) but maybe thatโ€™s because Iโ€™ve been reading quite a lot of adult books recently ๐Ÿ˜‚ Itโ€™s not really fantasy at all since thereโ€™s no magic – more kinda mystery so I think youโ€™d really enjoy it!

      Yes! I want to take all the pressure off for next year and focus on books I really want to read because timing is everything when reading like even if a book is 5 star potential if youโ€™re forcing yourself so read it then itโ€™s not gonna be as good :/

      You too Lais! Itโ€™s been too long โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ahaana @ Windows to Worlds says:

    it’s so amazing that you completed your reading goal!! i thought i wouldn’t be able to, and got it down from 100 to 50, but in the end, i managed to read 99. i feel like just setting it to a lower number was a lot less stressful!! good luck with all your exams, and congratulations on hitting 260 followers!! happy new year, el! โคโค

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Thank you! But wow 99 is incredible! This year was really strange for reading for me – sometimes I completely relied on books and read loads & sometimes I found reading more stressful than school & completely ignored it ๐Ÿ˜… Iโ€™m definitely following that mentality though & setting next yearโ€™s a lot lower since itโ€™s a big academic one for me but Iโ€™m really excited for reading in 2021 I feel like itโ€™s one part of my life that corona canโ€™t touch & I think we all need a bit of that at the moment.
      Thank you so so so much for reading & happy new year ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

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