2020 Year in Review and 2021 Reading Plans

We made it to 2021!

Meilleurs GIFs Feux Dartifice | Gfycat

2020 was an extremely odd year for me, in several aspects, it was a very successful year and in other aspects, it completely sucked. However, let’s forget about the negative aspects and focus on the positive.

In 2020, I:

  • Finished my first 6-month internship at the beginning of the year and it went very well. It also solidified my interest in my field of work and I had amazing colleagues (and an even more amazing boss!)
  • Lived abroad for 6 months in South Korea which was a dream of mine for years. It was almost cancelled because at the time, the pandemic was as its worse in China and South Korea. The day after I landed in Seoul, my school told me that if I hadn’t left France yet, I couldn’t go. Funny how things turned out after that…
  • Pretty much finished my studies?! I mean, I still have a week of courses left and my last final week ever but I expect everything to go well. I took extra classes at the beginning of my graduate cursus so, my last semester is quite calm in comparison. I only have to pass two classes in order to have enough credits (and I’m taking four). I can’t believe I survived college, it was hard but I did it!
  • Met some incredible people both thanks to the blog and during my semester abroad and, they made the hard moments of this year way more bearable. Thank you to all of you, you are the best!!

All in all, 2020 wasn’t nearly as shitty as it could have been and I feel very lucky for it.

A Look at my 2020 Reading Goals

At the beginning of 2020, I had various bookish goals, let’s see if I accomplished any of them.

Read 52 books

Thank you, lockdown and audiobooks, for helping me with that particular goal.

Balance my different hobbies better

I think I achieved that, I didn’t have any major reading slump this year, probably because I had a better balance between my different hobbies.

If I’m not in a reading mood, I shouldn’t force myself to read

Yep, in July, I wasn’t in the mood to read at all and… I didn’t. I also took a small break from blogging and it felt good to just do other things.

Request and accept less ARCs from publishers and authors

Hum… Not sure I succeeded at that. I can’t really compare to other years since 2020 was the first year I tracked my reading closely but I have read 17 review copies in 2020. It still feels like quite a bit for me but I didn’t feel like I was drowning under ARCs so, should I consider it a success?

Participate in Imyril’s Contrition of a Bad SF Fan Backlist Bingo Challenge

I completely forgot that I made this goal in the first place but I apparently managed quite a number of bingos without meaning to.

Read the Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist

Yep, I read and reviewed all the books shortlisted for the 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award! I just never posted my final recap post about my thought & feelings about the shortlist. I didn’t have the time to post it before the winner announcement and then, I just felt like it was too late to do so and I never ended-up posting it.

Read 10 Books On my List of 20 Books to Read in 2020

Yep, I read 17 books on that list and a lot of them ended up being favorite books of the year!

Well, I apparently did a good job with my 2020 goals! It’s probably because they weren’t too complicated to accomplish but still, it’s a good feeling! πŸ˜€

2021 Reading Goals

I have several goals in mind for 2021 but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself since this year is going to be a bit unpredictable. I’m graduating in 2021 and in March I’ll start a new job in a new place which means I will have to move again (…yay!). I don’t know how much free time I will have so I tried to pick goals that weren’t too challenging.

Read 70 books

This goal shouldn’t too hard to accomplish since I have read 80 books in 2020.

Read the Arthur C. Clarke and the BSFA Shortlist

Reading the Clarke shortlist each year is a lot of fun and, I would like to extend this challenge to the BSFA. For some reason, I tend to be more interested by British science fiction awards than by their American equivalents.

Read 18 books in my list of 24 Books I want to Read in 2021

Since this year-long TBR format worked well for me in 2020, I’m doing it again this year. I will post my list of 24 titles in a few days! πŸ˜‰

Read more Science Fiction Books Not Written by Straight WHITE People

I mentioned that 2020 was the first year I decided to track my reading and to look a bit more closely at my reading stats and, I was surprised to see that that the majority of the science fiction books I read in 2020 were not written by diverse authors (so not by LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, non-neurotypical and/or disabled authors). I have always thought that I read broadly but seeing the numbers… I’m not there yet, I have a lot of room for improvement.

SFF books are books that blend science fiction and fantasy

As you can see, while I tend to read more fantasy and horror books written by diverse authors, it’s not the case at all with science fiction and, since it’s the genre I read the most… it’s not great. If you have any recommendations of science fiction books not written by straight white people, I’m definitely interested.

Of course, I will continue to diversify my reading in other genres as well but I won’t focus on them too much since I already tend to read broadly without having to think about it.

Read At Least 5 Literary Fiction Books

In 2020, I only read 4 literary fiction books and I would like to read at least one more in 2021. Again, this goal should be completely doable, I have a ton of literary fiction books on my shelves and I need to start reading them!

That’s all for my 2021 reading goals. I don’t have any specific goals for the blog. I just want to have fun with it like I did in 2020 and interact with more people! πŸ˜€

Happy New Year! Did you also make reading goals for 2021?

15 thoughts on “2020 Year in Review and 2021 Reading Plans

  1. Happy New Year! I think you did great with your goals, and congrats on almost finishing school😁 I love your literary fiction challenge, I want to join you, because I love lit fiction but never have time to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hallo, Hallo Maryam,

    Did I suceed in my reading goals and challenges for 2020? In a word: No. Did I have trouble resolving my low yield of reads for 2020? Yes. However, as I’ve released my End of the Year Survey for 2020 this week – I feel lighter somehow and I feel as if I’ve worked through the key issues which were leading me to think the year went far worse than it had. After all, I was able to interview loads of lovely authors, respin bookish memes into guest author features and somehow came just shy of 70 books read all in during a year where I severely lacked the will and focus to read at all.

    As you’ll see – quite a bit of Fantasy topped my overall favourites when I’m not still gushing over “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish”!! which was the year’s runaway hit for me. lol πŸ™‚ Sci Fi Month blinkered off the clock for me this year, so I only could post a few things the first week of December to make amends for losing too many hours in November overall. The few reviews I turnt in and the two posts I still stand by as being favourites — all linked on the survey as well.

    Wyrd and Wonder was a lighter load year too – but it allowed me to read some kickin’ Middle Grade Fantasy and interviewing/guest featured Indie authors with one particular publisher whom is fast tracking to become one of my top favourites for Speculative Fiction! πŸ™‚ Plus, I heart #dragonfiction and Elizabeth Foster gave me *dragons!* The kind I can handle reading about and the kind which make my readerly heart melt in joy.

    It was also the year for Harlequin Heartwarming which are just wicked good uplifting relationship-based Roms and I even found a Dark Fantasy series I could dig my teeth inside. Plus, I actually listened to my first Non-Fiction Memoir and loved it!! Overall, I realised things could hvae gone so much worse!! Isn’t that odd how we see a year and then if we take time to truly take stock of it – things appear differently!?

    I’m so happy for you that you were able to get aboard this past year and that you’ve enjoyed the adventures of your field and your University studies. That’s always important. I’ve enjoyed seeing you pop up in the book blogosphere and in the bookish events we mutually love joining. I have been following your blog for awhile but forgive me, I was more like a turtle caught in her shell in 2020 vs visiting with bloggers I follow and enjoy reading.

    PS: I haven’t sorted out the challenges/goals for reading yet from 2020. I’ve shelved that in favour of developing my own dice TBR game which was inspired by another book blogger recently! I developed most of it late last night and rolled my way into January’s TBR but there are a few kinks I need to work out and by January’s end I’ll have a post to share the news about it all. I like how I don’t have to choose books off my backlogue this year.. I can simply roll dice!

    OH! And I forgot about Imyril’s backlist challenge! Grrr.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read your very detailed post this morning and it was fascinating post! It was very detailed look at your reading year and, even if it wasn’t your best year in terms of quantity, I think you managed to publish amazing content on your blog (and so many interviews!!) and still read some amazing books! 2020 was an odd year for everyone and it’s always important to take a step back and look at the end as whole.

      Thank you so much! πŸ˜€ I myself haven’t done the best job at leaving comments on every blog I have discovered this year, I will try to do a better job this year because I love discussing books and discovering new ones!

      And you developped a dice game to pick your backlist title? :O That’s the coolest idea and it does definitely make the whole “selecting backlist books to read” thing a lot less complicated… πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

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