My favorite books 2020 & more shenanigans

[Advertising – unpaid, post contains affiliate links] Well, it is the time of year where we round up our thoughts, where we look back and reflect on all the things that have happened. To write summaries of things. Today I want to share my favorite books 2020 and all the things related to them. I hope you enjoy this trip into bookland and find inspiration for your next read.

I set out this year with a list of reading goals. It included 21 specific books I wanted to read. I read 15 books from the list. I tackled a lot on my physical TBR list and swapped a few books. However my TBR stacks are growing steadily – both the kindle one and the physical one. Combined they hold 680 books. Anyone able to beat me here?

Overall I read 80 books which equals to around 24,000+ pages. I am rather proud of this achievement. There were some really good books this year, a few surprises and some disappointments. I decided to spice up my review of my favorite books 2020 by approaching it a bit differently. Here we go:

Best rated books this year: I have five books that received a five star rating. They are Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols, Spirit of the Dragon by William Andrews, Blackout by Marc Elsberg and A Brief History of Time by Stephan Hawking. Surprise – I can recommend all of them.

Best cover: Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
I loved this cover very much (I had two other contenders) but went with this one. It captures the beauty of the book. The quiet way of telling the story, the hills of Idaho and and the beauty and at the same time the roughness. It is also one of the best books I read this year. It is beautifully written. It is a challenging book and I am not sure if I uncovered all its meaning.

Longest book: With 1.280 pages The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischwili was probably one of the thickest books I ever picked up. It took me 10 days to get through. It was an entertaining read, I picked up some history on the way and the characters were really well drawn out. However I was not as fond of it as many other readers.

Toughest read: Dem Abgrund so nah by Jessica Koch. It is a book about sexual child abuse it is really really tough to hear/listen. She captured the fear and hope and resilient beautifully but it is really haunting. I could only listen to it in small doses and I am glad only listend and not read. Reading keeps me more involved.

Disappointment of the year: The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama and One day by David Nichols. Both had good reviews and I had high expectations but left me a bit puzzled what it was all about.

Page Turner of the year: Was definitely Blackout by Mark Elsberg. 800 pages and three days. If you like scientific dystopia you need to read it. It almost made me prepare a bug-out pack and stock up on stuff.

Struggle of the year: Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern had me struggling. I started it in July and had to put down. Picked it up in October again. Also struggling with The Vanishing half which I started in November but it can’t grab my attention really.

Oldest Book (written): I read the Quran this year as part of my religious reading challenge. Goodreads says it was written 650 AC.

Best Beach Read: Sterne sieht man nur im Dunkeln by Meike Werkmeister. It is a beautiful story to dream yourself away.

Surprise of the year: Die Nachthexen by Jo Hallberg. I had no expectations when picking this one up and it was a really entertaining read.

The worst book: Needs to be Gustav Klimt by Patrick Karez. He really managed to spoil my love for Klimt with this portrait. Since it was fictional work I have no idea if Klimt really was such an a**hole or not. And the writing style was disastrous. He should have written a no-fiction and it might have been good.

Book related shenanigans

Book reviews aren’t all when looking at the book wrap up on 2020. Here are few fun facts when it comes to books that represent my year of reading.

  • Best reading month: Was January with 11 books and a total of 3,683 pages. Rushing through the Smokes & Bones trilogy.
  • Slowest reading month: February with two books and 562 pages or March with 3 books and 422 pages.
  • Pages read overall: 24,335 pages in total.
  • German books read: I set out to read more books in my native language German and I can report I read 44 books. Which means I read more German than English this year. I was not aware of that.
  • English books read: Conversely it means I read 35 books in English.
  • Money spent on books: I spent a total of 123,54€ on books. I went on a shopping spree today and bought books for over 80€. So I guess I was pretty good until now.
  • Number of books bought: In 2020 I bought 15 eBooks (read 6 so far) and 11 paperbacks (read 4 so far). I also snatched up 67 free kindle deals.
  • Number of books borrowed: I currently have a stack of 5 books I snatched from my parents shelves.
  • Books swapped: 4 and 2 are reserved.

And this is the reading review – my favorite books 2020 and everything else I came up with. Did you have a favorite book? How was your reading year? I’d love to chat about it.

If you are interested in my previous book round ups you can have a look here: favorite books of 2019, favorite books of 2018 part I and part II, favorite books of 2017 part I and part II and favorite books of 2016. Also lets be friends on Goodreads.

2 thoughts on “My favorite books 2020 & more shenanigans

  1. Wow, you had a great reading year! Congrats.
    I “only” read 22 books this year, and didn’t even meet my goal of 28… but oh well, this is how it goes sometimes. There’s always next year. It’s so interesting, I have read NONE of the books you listed here. I’ll definitely bookmark some of them!
    I think my favorite book was “Where the Crawdads sing” by Delia Owens.

    1. I have that “Where the crawdads sing” on my reading list for 2021. It was on sale for 0,99€ and I was eying it so of course I snatched it up. Looking forward to it. I think you would enjoy “Idaho” and (not listed here) “Small Great Things”. I actually set out to read not as many and wanted more quality over quantity but somehow I managed both.

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