We all know that 2020 was a rough year in many, many ways. One way (one very small way in the grand scheme of things, I know) it was rough for me personally was that it was one of my worst reading years ever. I easily started over 200 books over the course of the year but only finished a fraction of that amount. Because of that, I really loved most of the books that I did finish.
Because of my extreme pickiness this year, there are a few things that I noticed about my current reading habits.
- I have become more and more drawn to dark mysteries and police procedurals. The books that really held my attention are fast-paced, dark, and adult mysteries.
- YA just isn’t doing much for me lately. With a couple of exceptions, the books that I found myself setting aside the most were YA — even YA contemporaries which for years was my bread and butter. There are still all kinds of YA books coming out in 2021 that I’m excited for, but I have been much more discerning about the arcs I’m snagging because I can see a drastic shift in what is holding my attention.
- I sure do love a good graphic novel/graphic memoir. I can get through them quickly and then feel so accomplished.
- Listening to books at 1.5 speed is the best. I spend more time than I’d like to admit playing dumb King games on my tablet. It is such a time suck, but it also one of the only things I feel like doing this year. One thing that makes me feel better about it has been simultaneously listening to audiobooks.
- I cannot get enough when it comes to books about writing. Now I just need to fucking write. For realllll.
- My reading slump is directly tied to the anxiety of hybrid teaching. While, I mean, obviously, it is amazing how much easier I found picking up a book to be once we went completely remote between Thanksgiving and winter breaks. I’ve also made some nice progress with reading this past week, so I’m definitely letting go of any guilt I might normally feel about not getting through my towering TBR.
So what did I love this year?
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is one of my all-time favorite books. I love it so much. So it wasn’t at all surprising that I immediately fell for this new story set at the famed boarding school. This one was very different, though. It take place during the summer and has multiple timelines. I loved it.
I don’t know why, but I went into this thinking it was going to be a campy comedy, but that is NOT what this is. Some parts are genuinely terrifying. Some parts are an insightful reflection of the ways in which middle-aged women are gas-lit by people who take them for granted. All of it was fast-paced and intriguing. So good.
This was exactly the type of twisty thriller that I find myself craving. I legit gasped out loud at one point. I cannot wait for her next book.
While there is a serial killer stalking the street in the background, this book was not a thriller. It felt like more of a very in-depth character study of a police officer who is dealing with being a single mother and trying to find her missing junkie sister. The city of Philadelphia feels like a secondary character. Even though the pace of this book was much slower than the other books that held my attention this year, it still held my attention for its nearly 500 pages and that is legit saying something.
Man, they did such a good job with such a delicate subject matter (a predatory relationship between a teacher and her student). Amazingly acted by both leads. I was so impressed by every aspect of this show.
A wonderful historical (fictionalized) look at how Catherine the Great came into power. I seriously hope that they make a second season (although I imagine filming this type of show during a pandemic would be pretty much impossible).
One of the better King adaptation, IMO. HBO did a nice job with the source material. I really enjoyed it.
I loved this period piece of how Perry Mason became the lawyer we know and love. The case was a bit convoluted, but it was well-acted and I cannot wait for another season (which, again, will probably be a while).
What were some of your favorites this year? Let me know below. If you made some sort of post, please share the link!!