Annual End of Year Survey | 2020

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a much better 2021 – it feels like there is light at the end of this tunnel – and I hope you’re all having a wonderful first day of the year.

The Annual End of Year Survey was created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner, and it’s such a fun way to look back on our reading at the end of each year!

Number Of Books You Read: 86
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

Best in Books

Best Book You Read In 2020?

I read some fantastic books this year so this has been really hard to choose, but I think I ultimately have to choose The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow. I love my witch stories and this is the witch novel I’ve been waiting for.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I was so excited for Chloe Gong’s These Violent Delights, but unfortunately it didn’t work for me and I ended up DNFing it.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Considering it’s not very often that I’m drawn to military fantasy novels, M.L. Wang’s The Sword of Kaigen was such a pleasant surprise.

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I… don’t know? If you’ve read a book because you saw me talk about it, I’d love to know!

Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?

I’m sure no one’s surprised when I say I fell in love with Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor series this year; in fact I read Nevermoor, Wundersmith and Hollowpox in the last two months of the year and gave them all 5 stars, and I’m so excited to have found a new favourite series. For me the best sequel was Libba Bray’s Lair of Dreams, the second book in The Diviners series, and I was so pleasantly satisfied by S.A Chakraborty’s The Empire of Gold, which brought The Daevabad Trilogy to an end.

Favourite new author you discovered in 2020?

Jessica Townsend and Tamsyn Muir. I’m so excited to read more from both of them!

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

As much as I love my fantasy I don’t tend to reach for magical realism very often, but I really enjoyed Anna-Marie McLemore’s Wild Beauty.

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I think that would be Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth. When I was in it, I couldn’t put it down – I read it, then listened to the audiobook while I was in the shower or went out walking – and it was such a fun read.

Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor – I can see it becoming a comfort re-read in future.

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2020?

I love the cover of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic.

Most memorable character of 2020?

“The thing about numpties, Mog, is that they can always find plenty of other numpties to believe their numpty nonsense. You know what they say: you’re never more than six feet away from a numpty.”

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

When I think of characters I met in 2020, the one who keeps popping into my head is Jupiter North from the Nevermoor series. I love him.

Most beautifully written book read in 2020?

Definitely The Once and Future Witches; Harrow’s writing is stunning.

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?

Life-changing might be a bit of a stretch, but it was honestly so validating to see an aroace character’s friendship be given the same amount of focus romance is often given in YA in Justina Ireland’s Deathless Divide.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?

Not to sound like a broken record, but that would be Nevermoor!

Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?

‘Shadows are shadows, Miss Crow.’ His eyes reflected the moonlight. ‘They want to be dark.’

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

I think this is the quote that’s stuck with me most, but I wrote a whole post about my favourite quotes from 2020 here!

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

The shortest was ‘Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island‘ by Nibedita Sen and the longest was Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb!

Book That Shocked You The Most

Justina Ireland’s Deathless Divide had me yelling ‘no!’ at the pages at one point, so I think I have to go with that one.

OTP OF THE YEAR

I think that would have to be Bella and Cleo from The Once and Future Witches, but I also loved the relationship between Agnes and August. Bella is the sister I ultimately had a real soft spot for, though, and her relationship with Cleo is wonderful.

Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I can’t possibly pick one! Actually I mentioned all of these in another post here on my blog, but this year I adored the friendships between Jane and Katherine in Justina Ireland’s Deathless Divide, Henry and Ling in Libba Bray’s Lair of Dreams and Claudia and Monday in Tiffany D. Jackson’s Monday’s Not Coming.

Favourite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I’m going to stay away from sequels for this one, because I’ve already mentioned a few, and instead say Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson. That book haunts me.

Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Natalie @ Too Short to Read was raving about Nevermoor for a long time before I finally picked it up, and now I gush at her about how good the series is as if she doesn’t already know.

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Gideon Nav. Be still my beating heart.

Best 2020 debut you read?

I didn’t actually read very many 2020 debuts, but I love Nghi Vo’s debut novella, The Empress of Salt and Fortune.

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I adored Daevabad in S.A Chakraborty’s The Kingdom of Copper and The Empire of Gold.

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

It’s a toss up between Nevermoor and Gideon the Ninth – they were both so much fun to read, and both for completely different reasons!

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?

Libba Bray’s Before the Devil Breaks You, which I’m still not quite over.

Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I’d like to see more love for Hannah Abigail Clarke’s The Scapegracers; their writing is messy and gorgeous.

Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Monday’s Not Coming. I’M NOT OVER IT.

Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?

Simply for being one of the most bonkers novels I’ve ever read, I think that’d be Gideon the Ninth.

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

There was quite a lot about Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch that rubbed me up the wrong way, which is a shame.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

New favourite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?

I kind of hate this question because I’m rubbish at remembering when I started following people, but I believe I first started following JonBob, Sia, Jenna and Rin this year and I think I first started watching Noria @ The Chronicles of Noria this year, too. I recommend checking all of them out!

Favourite post you wrote in 2020?

I did enjoy having a rant about using fantasy to retell history!

Favourite bookish related photo you took in 2020?

I’m a rubbish (and very inconsistent) bookstagrammer, but I am quite fond of this shot of Nevermoor.

Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?

One of the few really good things to come out of 2020 has been being able to attend free events online that I never would have seen in person. I live in Wales and yet this year I was able to watch a panel on Witchy YA at Salem Literary Festival, which was very cool! I also attended an online event with Silvia Moreno-Garcia, an online event with Alix E. Harrow, Louisa Morgan and Constance Sayers, and a couple of online Hay Festival events.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?

Not to sound too cheesy, but I honestly I think it’s just been having this blog space to escape to during a year that has truly sucked. I was furloughed for three months and I’m so glad I had blog posts to write and schedule, which definitely helped me keep track of what day it was, and I’m so glad for the book community as a whole and being able to talk to people all over the world who were all so incredibly kind when I shared the news that my Grandma passed away in the spring.

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Sometimes finding the motivation to blog and read has been hard. Before the pandemic I did a lot of my reading on the bus to and from work, so working from home has meant having to prioritise reading when vegging out in front of the TV can sometimes be so much easier and all my brain wants to do. I’m very lucky that I was furloughed when the UK weather was at its best and my parents have a garden, so I spent most days sitting in the sunshine with a book, but as the weather got colder I’ve had to read inside and it can sometimes be hard to concentrate in my parents’ bungalow if they have the radio or the TV on.

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Apparently it’s Taryn Duarte as a survivor of domestic abuse, which I’m quite pleased with!

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I honestly don’t know this year, to be honest! 2020 was rubbish, so I genuinely really appreciate that anyone decided to spend some time on my blog.

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Bookshop.org! It’s so cool to have a site dedicated to supporting indie bookshops.

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I think I’m going to discuss this in another post!

Looking Ahead

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

So many! I’d like to prioritise the books by Black authors that were released in 2020 that I didn’t get to, though, and the ones I’m particularly interested in are Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn and A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

I’m very excited for The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison, which is set in the same world as my all-time favourite novel, The Goblin Emperor.

2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I’m very excited to try The Conductors by Nicole Glover!

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?

I still don’t know how I feel about the ending of King of Scars, but I’m looking forward to Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?

I’d love to interview some authors on my blog this year, mostly because I’d love to summon up the courage to reach out to them and stop worrying that my blog isn’t big enough for them to want to talk to me.

A 2021 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

None yet, but I do have a few eARCs that I’m very excited to get to asap!

How was your year of reading?

10 thoughts on “Annual End of Year Survey | 2020

  1. foreverlostinlit says:

    I love reading through these end of year surveys! Looks like you had a fantstic reading year! The Once and Future Witches is one I’ve had a copy of but still haven’t gotten to, I really need to soon. Bummer to hear about These Violent Delights–it’s one I’d been looking forward to as well, but I’ve heard quite a few mixed things about it, so I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it. Nevermoor and THe Diviners are two series I love as well. 🙂 The Empress of Salt and Fortune is one I’ve had my eye on, so I’m glad to see you loved it. And I agree, blogging during the pandemic has been such a struggle, same with reading in general.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    Nevermoor was also my best series continued! I’m also pretty taken with Jupiter. I was very pleased to see more of him in Hollowpox (as compared to Wundersmith), haha. Wild Beauty is one I would like to reread in 2021 (or When the Moon Was Ours). I did not know The Witness for the Dead is coming out this year. I finally read The Goblin Emperor over the summer and see why everyone loves it so much so I’ll keep an eye out for that. You, JonBob, and Rin are on my list of ‘blogs I discovered this year’ as well – and I’m very glad I did! 🙂 Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JonBob says:

    Ooh is Deathless Divide the sequel to Dread Nation??? I’ve been meaning to read DN for a while and think I might have to try and prioritise it as an imminent read.

    And on a separate note it was a pleasure discovering your blog this year Jess ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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