2020 End of Year Survey

Okay, so I promise this is going to be the last 2020 post on my blog, but I found this over at Kristen Kraves Books and knew that I needed to do at least this one last wrap-up post. I covered a lot of things in my three in-depth posts last week (about my Favorite Books of 2020, my Unfinished Books of 2020, and the Most Disappointing Books of 2020), but there are some questions here that I felt added to those discussions.

BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2020?

I think this belongs to A Deadly Education by Naomi Novak, which I talked about in my Favorite Books of 2020 post.

BOOK YOU WERE EXCITED ABOUT AND THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO LOVE MORE BUT DIDN’T?

I was really looking forward to His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, because I wasn’t allowed to read it as a kid and I thought that meant that it was going to be a good series. The first book was good, the second book was middling (as most second books in a trilogy are), and the third book was just so incredibly disappointing and upsetting that if these books didn’t belong to my husband, I would have dropped them in a donation bin so they could be someone else’s problem.

MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD OR BAD WAY) BOOK YOU READ?

I’ll say Dark Archives by M. Rosenbloom was the most surprising book that I read this year, just because it’s a book about books bound in human skin. While a lot of collectors claim that they have human-skin books, Rosenbloom’s research has found that most of those claims turn out to be just rabbit, cow, or pig leather instead. What surprised me the most about the book is how many institutions claimed to have human-skin books, but refused to allow them to be tested to see if they really had human-skin books. A close second was that it was mainly doctors in the 19th and 20th centuries who rebound books in human skin (and a lot of those skin books were from deceased patients of theirs, who most likely didn’t give their consent).

BOOK YOU PUSHED PEOPLE TO READ THE MOST?

I think I’ve been shouting about Mexican Gothic a lot, just because it was a horror book without really being a horror book (it was more mystery to me than straight-up horror, unlike The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, which was 100% horror). It’s an incredible book and I think, while it seems to have gotten its due this year (I’ve seen it on a lot of year-end lists by big companies like BuzzFeed and Refinery29!), You can’t go wrong with getting more people to read it!

BEST SERIES YOU READ IN 2020?

Is it bad if I say I only read two new series in 2020? (I re-read Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but I’m not counting that). However, this one goes to The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden – luckily it was also a really good series, so you won’t be disappointed! (I mentioned the other one – His Dark Materials – up above in another question.)

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR YOU DISCOVERED IN 2020?

She’s not a new author, but she is new to me – Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the author of Mexican Gothic. She’s got a lot of other books out there, and I’m hoping to read them at some point, maybe even this year!

BEST BOOK FROM A GENRE YOU DON’T TYPICALLY READ?

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a horror novel, and I absolutely never read horror novels. I’ve probably read, like, three in my entire lifetime, and that was because those specific books were required for some class in college or graduate school. (I’m looking at you, The Shining.)

FAVOURITE COVER OF A BOOK YOU READ IN 2020?

I think this is a toss-up between Mexican Gothic and A Deadly Education, because they are each beautiful in their own way:

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MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER OF 2020?

I’m over here looking at my GoodReads 2020 Reading Challenge desperately trying to figure out which character I’d call “most memorable,” but I don’t know if I can pick one. Nobody really stands out to me, if that makes sense? So, with a lack of fiction characters, I’m going to go with a non-fiction one: Ernest Shackleford from Endurance, who led his team across the Antarctic and back to civilization after their ship sank without losing a single person (although they did lose all the animals they’d brought with them, which was incredibly sad and hard to read).

BOOK THAT SHOCKED YOU THE MOST?

Let’s go with The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, which is a novel from the world of the Night Vale podcast, detailing the history of the aforementioned titular character, who does exactly what the title says she does in the present in Night Vale, but is actually centuries old and unable to die. This book tells us her backstory, and it is my favorite Night Vale novel by far.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY/ALMOST CRY?

I don’t know if I’m doing this wrong or not, but not a single book I read this year made me cry or even made me think about crying.

SEQUEL YOU’RE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2021?

It’s got to be The Last Graduate by Naomi Novak, sequel to A Deadly Education! I preordered it from bookshop.org as soon as I finished the first book. (I’m buying all books from BookShop from now on if I have to buy a book online, even if Amazon is most likely cheaper. Support small/indie book shops, guys! We don’t really have any in my city, so online is the next best thing.)

BOOK YOU’RE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2020?

Broken, by Jenny Lawson! I’ve bought every book she’s released so far, and I am incredibly excited for her new book. It’s going to be April’s Fantastic Stranglings Book Club pick, and it’s going to come signed!

And there we go! With this post, 2020 is officially behind us and I’m looking forward to everything there is to read in 2020!

And as always, keep reading.

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