My Year In Books

I set a yearly challenge to read twenty books in 2020. That was a true challenge if you look back at my progress in March. I tend to be a slow and inconsistent reader. I don’t speed read. I have never enjoyed reading books that way; most times I didn’t remember what I had read. I find that when I read slowly, it allows me time to analyze what I’ve read. In most cases, because of the mental analysis, I retain the story longer and have a better memory of it.

With Coronavirus dictating how we lived in 2020 and beyond, my reading has increased. I started working from home in addition to staying home more often to minimize becoming infected with the virus. Last year, I rarely logged into my Goodreads account to write a review or update my TBR. Now I realize how effective it is at keeping a record for my reading history which can be helpful if I want to reread a book or look at a specific author’s catalog.

If you spend enough time at home, Netflix, Hulu, or whatever entertainment preference you have, gets old quick. I found myself reaching for some classic novels and discovering new to me authors–enjoying the pleasure of reading just as I did as a child. Stories will always stand the test of time. Whenever real life gets too real, you can slip into an adventure through verse, depending on how good a writer you have chosen, you will be enchanted for a few hours or longer.

That is what books are meant to do. Because I did a lot of reading this year, I discovered some new genres that I liked and reacquainted myself with genres that I thought I didn’t like. I read my usual contemporary fiction and biographies which I have always enjoyed. But to my surprise, I gave fantasy a try and was not confused. If there is any bit of advice I have to give about reading, it would be to read broadly and diversely before you rule out a genre or author.

Alyssa Cole made my discovery this year. Although I liked the romance I read from her, I will be taking a break from her in 2021. Mystery author, A. R. Torre was a great experience and I will continue to read her books in 2021. Katherine Center, whose books are not for me but I did enjoy the adaptation of The Lost Husband, was a disappointment and I won’t be picking up her books most likely in 2021. I discovered some self-published authors who, though I did not enjoy, erased the stigma that self-published books are poor quality. I will be using my Kindle Unlimited subscription more in 2021 to read more self-pub.

The biographies that I read this year had a profound affect on me. I would recommend reading Titan by Ron Chernow and Bobby Kennedy by Larry Tye if you enjoy reading about politicians. I should warn you Tye’s biography is a heavy read because it addresses two assassinations and the subsequent depression RFK experienced after his brother, JFK’s assassination. So you want to go slow with this one.

One habit I will continue in 2021 is to not rush out to buy a book that influencers are hyping up online and through social media. That is why I was not impressed with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Even with it being released in the previous year, the hype still had not warn off. And lastly, the delightful surprise in my reading year was the debut novel by Clare Pooley, The Authenticity Project. I read this in March or April and I still think about the characters and their fictional lives. I usually don’t like more than two POVs, however it worked in this story. Again, I would recommend it.

Thank you for coming. Happy reading in the New Year!

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