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2020 reading wrap-up

Time to put my bookish spreadsheet to good use ! Sadly I can’t remember where I found the template I’ve been using for 2 years for my book survey. Since I downloaded it and tweaked it a little, I’ve found it really useful to track all sorts of things that didn’t fit into my baby paper reading log. This spreadsheet is for instance how I can tell you effortlessly that in 202 I’ve read 50 books in English and 34 in French (either translations or books written first in French).

As I was expecting, fantasy is the genre I’ve read the most of, but not overwhelmingly so, with a total of 22 books. My next most-read genre was literary fiction with 18 books, followed by 9 non-fiction books (not counting the books I read extracts from for my PhD). 2020 was the year I dipped my toes into Sci-Fi. I picked 7 books from the genre, with some measure of success as you’ll see from my favourite books of the year. As usual, I’ve read more women than men, but I don’t pride myself on that since there’s a catastrophic lack of representation in my reading list. I’m making a change about that in 2021.

I added 27 books to my shelves, 11 of which were new (not necessarily new releases though) and 16 second-hand. I was gifted 17 books (mostly thanks to book vouchers for ebooks that I received for my birthday & Christmas, or other types of gifts). I read 12 free books and re-read 12 volumes from my shelves. I borrowed 15 books from the library or my mum’s shelves, and took part in one book swap. Book-swapping is something I’d love to do more in 2021, so get in touch if that sounds like something you’d like to do too!

I spent an average of 5 days to read a book last year. As an alternative top three, the books that took me the longest to read were:

  • The Fiery Cross, by Diana Gabaldon (17 days)

  • The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton (16 days)

  • The Silver Witch, by Paula Brackston (15 days – this one isn’t long, by I wasn’t in a reading mood at the time).

Last but not least, here are my favourite books of the year. Just so you know, I don’t rate books, whether with stars or a grade out of 5, 20, 413 or anything. I don’t know how to blend the different ways I appreciate a book into one number, so this list features the book that made me hold my breath, shiver, laugh, cry, or made my heart swell with love, and that I read for the first time in 2020 (so I’m not counting rereads like The Binding). They appear in chronological order of reading.

The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince, by Robin Hobb Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor The Hobbit sketchbook, by Alan Lee The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth Von Arnim The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers Silver in the Wood, by Emily Tesh

I find it interesting to notice that there are no books in French on this list. I’ll do my best in 2021 to find new favourites in my native tongue!

I’d like to give an honourable mention to:

  • No Plot? No Problem! By Chris Baty

  • The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, by Patricia A. McKillip

  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

  • Miss Iceland, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

  • Three Daughters of Eve, by Elif Shafak

  • Le Chant des Cavalières, by Jeanne Mariem Corrèze

What were your favourite books of 2020?

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