Before we move on to a (hopefully much better) new year, I want to look back one more time on my reading in 2020. The other day, I told you all about my top eight favorite books of the year, but there are so many more books that I loved and want to talk about! So today I’m talking about some more of my favorite books from 2020, excluding the books on my top eight, and also getting into my reading stats. Let’s do this!
Favorite start to a series
I adored this science fiction novel, following the motley crew of a ship traveling through space, and even though I haven’t gotten around to picking up the sequels quite yet, I’m excited to do so (hopefully) soon!
I will never, ever get tired of Simonverse content, so I’m sad that this novella is the last book we’re getting in that series. Still, I was overjoyed for a final chance to see these characters that I love so much. I don’t even care that barely anything happened in this book, I would happily read about their everyday lives for as long as Becky Albertalli lets me.
Emma Lord’s debut, following two teens on opposite ends of a grilled cheese-related Twitter war, was just as adorable was the title implies. I can already tell that she is going to be a YA contemporary author to look out for.
I’ve been raving about this amazing book since the day I finished it, so if you haven’t gotten the message already: go pick it up! Following a girl running for prom queen in order to win a scholarship, it’s hilarious and adorable and lovely. I can’t wait for whatever Leah Johnson does next.
Favorite from a beloved author
I’ve read almost all of Nina LaCour’s books at this point, and each one of them has blown me away. This one, about a girl who goes to work on a remote farm after aging out of the foster care system, is just as gentle and heart-wrenching as all of her others, and I absolutely loved it.
Favorite book out of my comfort zone
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
I don’t read much nonfiction to begin with, but this is one that I tried out this year, and it blew me away. Wilkerson examines the caste systems within the US, India, and Nazi Germany and how they impact every facet of our lives. This book is absolutely brilliant and one that I encourage everyone to pick up.
Elizabeth Acevedo’s books are always incredible on audiobook. Since this one is written in verse, it’s the perfect book to listen to so you can appreciate the music of her language, which is stunningly gorgeous. Plus, the author is one of the narrators of this audiobook!
I’ll admit, part of what I loved about this audiobook was the narrators’ Irish accents. Honestly, though, the combination of a great book and the captivating narration caused me to listen to this entire book within the span of 24 hours. I don’t know what it was, exactly, but it sucked me in and I loved it.
Favorite under-hyped book
I know this is a backlist title so it makes sense that it isn’t talked about as much, but! I really enjoyed it and it deserves more love. A retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in the 1920s, it’s just as clever and fun and overly dramatic as you’d hope it would be.
This one truly deserves so much more attention. A middle grade book about a nonbinary figure skater, it’s so lovely and important, handling the discussions of gender identity and coming out with such care.
Favorite new-to-me author
I’m obsessed with the Brown sisters books! Talia Hibbert’s writing is absolutely hysterical and always gets me emotionally invested in the relationships right away. I can’t wait to read more of her books, and for Eve Brown later this year.
Favorite backlist book
I definitely arrived late to this book, and on the Holly Black train in general, but I’m glad I made it at last. This book was eerie and atmospheric and surprising in so many different ways.
Once again, one that I’ve heard hyped up for years and finally got around to just recently. Emma Mills’ writing is delightful and hilarious, and I definitely want to read more of her books now!
Rereading the Hunger Games books for the first time in years back in the beginning days of the pandemic was…oddly comforting, despite their terrifying relevance to everything happening in the world. I certainly gained a new appreciation for them, and I enjoyed writing my review in a different format and allowing myself to get rambly and analytical.
More favorites of the year
I couldn’t fit these into any of the other categories, but I wanted to mention a few more books that I loved this year just because they deserve mentioning!
- The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
- The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
- Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
- Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
- The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
- Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Now it’s time to get even nerdier! Get ready for lots and lots of pie charts.
I read exactly 100 books in 2020 (which made the math for this blessedly easy). I always enjoy looking at my stats from the year and seeing what types of books I’m picking up, but if you were just here to see me talk about my favorite books, feel free to just scroll past all this. 😉
Number of pages
As expected, most of the books I read were in the 300 or 400 page range. I’m a little disappointed at how few 500+ page books I read this year, to be honest. The longest book I read was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (777 pages) and the shortest was The Pale Dreamer by Samantha Shannon (78 pages). The average page length out of all the books I read was 353 pages.
This one is tough because there can be so much overlap between the different genres…but I did my best. I ended up dividing the fantasy books I read into contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, and regular old fantasy—when those three are added up, fantasy is my most read genre at 45%.
I’m a little surprised by how many 5 star books I read, since it didn’t really feel like that many. Still, I did reread quite a few favorites, which probably considerably contributed to that number. My average rating for the year was 3.95 stars, which I’d say is pretty good.
Nearly half of the books I read were 2020 releases! And over 80% were from within the last five years! I’m glad that I’ve been keeping up with new releases, but I do desperately need to catch up on backlist titles. In addition to being the longest book I read, Little Women was also the oldest book I read, originally published in 1868.
I’m actually a little surprised by this, since I felt like I read more adult books than this. Still, it does beat 2019. I also wish I’d gotten to more middle grade in 2020…maybe that’ll have to be a goal in 2021.
I like the looks of this chart! Very happy with the fact that I read so many women and nonbinary authors, though these numbers are not at all surprising given my reading habits.
This one is pretty straightforward. I’m surprised by how many new authors I discovered in 2020, and glad that I pushed myself so much to find new voices that I wasn’t already familiar with!
Here’s the chart that’s only interesting to me. 😉 HarperCollins wins this year, with almost a quarter of my books from 2020. And as usual, there’s a fairly sizable chunk from small and independent presses that are too difficult to include on this chart.
I’m not surprised to see ebooks and audiobooks taking up such a big chunk of this chart, since I wasn’t able to get physical books from my library for a good portion of the year. That also does mean that my graphic novel stats were pretty low, sadly. I only read five in 2020!
Despite COVID-related restrictions, my library still came through to provide 46% of the books I read in 2020. 🙏 NetGalley and Edelweiss ended up being major contributors to my reading stats this year too…which probably has something to do with why I read so many ebooks and frontlist titles.
I did return to some old favorites and comfort reads in 2020, but most of the books I read were brand new to me. The books I reread this year were:
- Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
- I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
- Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Fire by Kristin Cashore
Through the months
First up, the number of books I read in each month of 2020:
In other words, the visual depiction of my reading dropping off the further 2020 wore on.
Next, my average star rating from each month:
Not really sure what to make of this, but it’s cool to see!
Highest and lowest average ratings
According to Goodreads, the highest rated book I read in 2020 was Heartstopper: Volume 3 by Alice Oseman, with an average rating of 4.65 stars (my rating: 5 stars). The lowest rated book was Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale, with an average of 2.85 stars (my rating: 4 stars).
Most and least popular
The book with the most Goodreads ratings that I read in 2020 was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, with 6.4 million ratings (not surprising at all). The least popular was Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass, with only 193 ratings (and deserves many more!).
Well, that’s that! Thanks for making it this far. Hope you enjoyed some of those pie charts!
What were some of your favorite books of 2020? What’s an underhyped book that you loved? What genre(s) did you read the most from?