Adventures With Words

In which much reading and writing is meant to be done…

A Year in Review … A Year in View

Well, it’s no longer 2020. Yay? To be fair, I’ve always thought it was a bit silly to celebrate December 31 flipping to January 1 as though the ability to get a new calendar means anything will be markedly different than it was a day ago. That being said…

Content must be made and it being the first week of a new year means it’s an entirely appropriate time to look back on last year and look forward to this year. Why not?

As I have for the last few years, I set my goal to read 60 books in 2020. I did not succeed at that but it’s fine. I’m still here and that’s saying something. That’s success enough for me.

I did read 56 books, which I find high impressive all things considered.

Some of the books… well, they were kids’ books. Chapter books, to be sure, but they had elementary school reading levels included. You see, two things happened in 2020 that led to this.

  • One, I stress cleaned my closet (more than once) and found a box of books from when I was a kid which I thought I’d sold at a yard sale (I’m not a hoarder, my clutter is generally confined to precarious piles in a single closet).
  • Two, reading slumps were real in 2020 and it turned out revisiting my youth (under the guise of seeing what was worth keeping for my nephew and niece) and re-reading those old books snapped me out of more than one slump.

But books are books, no matter their form and they count.

In addition to kids’ books, I read lots of different things – cozy mysteries, non-fiction things, YA, a couple mysteries, some contemporary stuff, and lots of historical fiction. There were new books, re-reads, and lots of DNFs. I fell massively behind on my ARCs… more behind, really.

So generally the usual, except for America during a pandemic/election year did not make for the most productive reading habits.

But it’s fine.

My three favorite books I read in 2020 were:

  • Doc by Mary Doria Russell
  • The Indomitable Florence Finch by Robert J. Mrazek
  • Valhalla by Alan Robert Clark

Will reading go better in 2021? Who can say? I certainly hope so.

I’ve set my Goodreads goal at 60 books again.

I might try and see how much of a couple year-long reading challenges I can do. Just for some guidance, in case I get indecisive but want to read. But I think it’ll be mood reading for whatever counts as a win.

Books are good for the soul, so let’s read!

What’s your first book of 2021?

Mine is The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration.


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