What Shannon Read, What We Read: Monthly Recap

Wow, that was a lot of books: Shannon’s 2020 recap

Niche made by yours truly

I was entering the 35 books I forgot to log into my dorky reading spreadsheet the other day and Ben simply said, “Serves you right.” 😀

So in case you thought we weren’t competitive about our reading challenges after all these years…well, we are.

The truth is that I read 85 books this year, 25 more than my Goodreads Challenge goal if you’re keeping track (clearly I wasn’t).

My belief is that it’s all thanks to audiobooks because I had a hell of a time concentrating in the quarantine world. I’m not entirely sure why. I would settle into bed with a book at night, suffer through a few pages, toss it aside, and pick up my phone.

Anyone else struggling like this?

In the meantime, I ran through audiobooks like a fiend, getting anxious when I finished one and immediately starting the next. They have been my only real and satisfying means of escape this year, a year when work got busier than ever and life got weirder than ever.

Also plants. Plants are an excellent escape and gardening actually makes you happier.
I completed my Master Gardener program in December and passed the test. Whoop!

But enough about me–how ’bout those books!

2020 Wrap-up and Nerdy Book Stats

Total books read: 85
Fiction: 51
Nonfiction: 34
Female authors: 70
Male Authors: 15
Nonbinary/Trans authors: 0 – Again. Gonna’ add some to my library holds immediately.
Non-white authors: 10 – Better than last year, but certainly not good enough.
E-books: 9
Audiobooks: 45 – A real record for me.
Re-reads: 9 – Started an official re-reading project in 2019 and kept on keeping on in 2020.


Most-read Genres

These numbers won’t add up to my total books read because some books fit into more than one category.

Memoir/Autobiograpy: 19
Classics: 15
Mystery/Thriller: 12
Historical Fiction: 7
Social Issues: 7

I do love a good memoir…


Other Genres I Read:

My favorite book in the magical realism category was Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. I loved the book and the audiobook narration.

Self-help: 4
Fantasy/Magical Realism: 4
Spirituality: 2
Philosophy: 2
Psychology: 1
Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction/Dystopian: 1
Myth/Fairy Tale/Folk/Legend: 1
Travel: 1

I tolerated a weird amount of Fantasy/Magical Realism this year. Four is a lot for me.



Reading Challenges

I had two reading challenges going this year: the Classics Challenge and the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

I stopped paying attention to the categories for each about halfway through the year, I’m afraid. But I still managed a good number of classics and historical fiction. And those were the goals, so I’m calling it a win.

Every year, the Classics Challenge encourages me to discover new-to-me authors and this year did not disappoint in that regard. I delved into the world of Edith Wharton and fell in love.

I read all of these:

My favorites were The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, Summer, and The Age of Innocence – in that order.

I will, in all likelihood, attempt it again this year. The worst that can happen is that I won’t finish again, and it will be totally worth it!

Ditto the When Are You Reading? Challenge. Not an excuse, but I had the hardest time finding well-written historical fiction this year. There’s a lot of crap out there. (Also an applicable blanket statement about 2020.) Stillwater and The Shadow King were excellent though.

Another of this year’s surprises. Gardening led me down a rabbit hole into the life of Vita Sackville-West and then Virginia Woolf. Sadly, I’ve tried around four Woolf novels and can’t get into a single one. HALP!

Some 2020 Favorites

Below are some few of my favorite books read this year. All in all, I’d say it was a great success.

What about you? If you have reading wrap-ups, please link them in the comments so I can check them out! Or, just let me know what your favorite/least favorite books were. I’d love to see.

Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy (belated) New Year!

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