2020 was a year for the books (ha). This year, I read a total of 84 books. I’ve heard many other readers say that living through a pandemic has helped one thing-their reading life. I read the same amount of books annually that I normally do, but being forced to stay home for the majority of the year helped me focus on reading a little more slowly and perhaps a little more intentionally.
A year in reading: Like usual, the majority of the books that I read were literary fiction by women authors. Like in 2019, I read a mixture of audiobooks and physical books. I’ve significantly trimmed down my physical TBR, and I’ve gotten in the habit of selling or donating all books I rate under 4 stars. I didn’t read nearly as much fantasy as I normally do, and I liked even less of what I read in the genre. I re-read some old favorites, like Princess Academy (still amazing) and the Harry Potter books (I re-read the entire series before J.K. Rowling and her Trans-bashing). I was lucky enough to land on Algonquin’s mailing list, and I reviewed their most popular book of the year, His Only Wife. I also rediscovered a love for middle grade fiction. I continued fostering my love for contemporary Irish literary fiction in Exciting Times, Marlena, and Tana French’s newest, The Searchers. Perhaps most surprisingly, a thriller even made it onto my favorites list for the year, something I never thought possible!
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
2. Long Bright River by Liz Moore
3. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
4. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
5. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
6. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
7. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
8. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolf
9. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Marchad
10. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donaghue
My 2021 reading goals are to:
Read more books from diverse perspectives. As I mentioned, I read a lot of women authors. Some of my favorite reads from this year featured LGBTQ+ authors. This coming year, I’d love to read books by more people of color as well as more translated works.
Read more nonfiction besides memoir. Will I ever read as much nonfiction as I read fiction? Probably not. But I want to make an effort to reach nonfiction that expands my worldview and knowledge in valuable ways as Just Mercy did this year for me.
Read more classics that I actually enjoy. For me, this means Victorian novels. I’m still making my way through the only one I started this year, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. There are books in this category that, embarrassingly, I’ve never read, including Wuthering Heights or any Dickens.
Here’s to a year of healing, another great year of reading!
Hello! We're Anna and Alexis, twins from the Richmond, Virginia area. We both studied English and creative writing in college.
Anna spent a year after college working in book publishing in New York City. After living outside of D.C., she moved back to the Richmond area. She works in marketing. Her favorite genre to read is literary fiction, especially by female authors, and she also enjoys dystopian novels.
Alexis works in social media and content marketing and writes novels on the side. She recently finished grad school, where she received her MFA in creative writing. She loves reading fantasy, especially YA, magical realism, and the occasional lyrical fiction and romance.
We’ve been reading and writing together as long as we can remember, and we’re excited to share our bookish thoughts with you! Check us out on Instagram @takestwotobookreview.
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