What a year it has been. This truly has been a year like no other. I started off blogging and even got out to do an awesome book haul at Bookends. But then things dropped off, because life.
But then very soon, the world really changed. This year we had the Covid19 Pandemic and the huge Civil Unrest in the US (and a huge response of international awareness, and hopefully a lot of change for the better is in process everywhere). Through all of this, sometimes talking about books feels a bit odd. What does it matter in the grander scheme? But of course, it can and does matter, as it can be one of many ways we can engage in conversation, learn, unlearn and hopefully that will lead to doing better.
So now we are getting used to the "new normal", although I think the truth is there is no new normal. We have to shift and flow with things, and also stay aware. And wear a mask!
Now, on to the books.
Some of the bookish highlights of the year for me were....
- Returning to YouTube in April. Seems like there wasn't much (any?) fall out of the worries from the changes that happened at the end of 2019. I'm really glad I came back, I had missed doing videos and with multiple lockdowns throughout the year, it has been a great way to share and connect.
- Finishing all the works of Shakespeare. I had finished all the plays a while ago, but this year I decided to finish off the sonnets, narrative poems, etc. This felt really amazing to finish an authors complete works, especially as I enjoyed so many of them.
- Coming up with a reflection process that feels both fun and meaningful (and pretty easy to put together). This took a bit to figure out, but my monthly reflection videos have been really fun to do and also helped me ease up on feeling like I had to hit all my targets. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but through doing it I finally felt that as long as I was making progress, I was going in the right direction.
- That said, I was happy that I met some of my goals. I am achievement oriented to a tee. Overall, it looks like I will end up finishing about 6 of my 39 goals, but I made progress on almost every project or challenge. I consider this a win. I was particularly happy to finish my A to Z Graphic Novels & Comics challenge for the second year running.
- Community events were also a huge highlight of the year. From book clubs, to reading hours, to discussions on diversity and inclusion, there we so many great conversations and memories made. Some highlights include the Booktube Town Hall on Diversity and Inclusion, the Romance Readers Reading Hour (Tuesday evenings, host channel rotates, here is one on Sarah's Channel - The Bookish Knitter) and the Who Picked This Book? Book Club with Nicole and JenJen have been awesome.
- I also loved continuing to do Buddy Reads with Izzy of Punkrockgirlpa. This year some of the titles we read include: The Illuminae Files, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, A Song Below Water, The Monsters of Verity Duology and are currently reading The Magic Misfits series. Izzy also rescued some kittens this year, and it's always a delight to see when they pop into the liveshow. Plus, we finished two series. It's all good.
- I also think I've (finally) become more flexible with things. I used to be so focused on THE GOAL of whatever I said I was going to do, that I wouldn't shift things when they weren't working. It is so much better to shift things when they aren't working! Or to let go of them altogether. I even added more challenges as late as October, because it felt like the right thing to do even if we were nearing the end of the year. It is so much better to see the reality of things, and deal with it, than pretend it's working when it isn't. For books...and for life!
Now on to the favourites! Some of these have review on Goodreads, and you can check out all the books I read in 2020 on this shelf here if you are curious about these or other books read this year!
2020 Favourite Reads
- More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth | Narrated by Elaine Welteroth
- A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib | Narrated by Hanif Abdurraqib
- Channel Zero: The Complete Collection | Created and Written by Brian Wood
- The Frozen Menace by Ursula Vernon (Dragonbreath, #11)
- Death Match by Jason Ridler (Spar Battersea Thriller #1) -- one of brothers' books!
- Hidden Nature: A Voyage of Discovery by Alys Fowler
- By Chance or Providence | Written and Illustrated by Becky Cloonan
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams | Illustrations by Nicholson, William
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
- Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan (The Worth Saga #1.5)
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic by Lisa Congdon
- The Body is Not an Apology The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
- The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury | Illustrated by Gris Grimly
- Taproot: A Story About a Gardener and a Ghost | Story & Art by Keezy Young
As one year turns into the next, I will be carrying over several books (as always!), and it's not phasing me anymore. Even if that number is upwards of twenty titles. I'm okay with that. I will leave you off with two of my current reads and they couldn't be more different: Alien by Alan Dean Foster (a horror/scifi movie novelization) and The Magic Misfits: The Second Story by Neil Patrick Harris & Alec Azam | Story Artistry by Lissy Marlin, How-To Magic Art by Kyle Hilton (a kids book about a group-of-misfits that do magic!). Here is to more magic and inclusion (and no facehuggers... save for wearing our masks!) in 2021.
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