🎉 Happy New Year’s Eve, all! 🎉 Once again, the year is at an end and so everyone has to pick a favourite book (or several)! And, once again, I can’t do it. 😓 So these are some of the highlights of my reading year, rather than a top 10, and it’ll definitely include some 4-star reads as well as the usual 5-stars:
Starting with my most recent read, which was Nevernight by Jay Kristoff! I feel as though I haven’t read as much really great fantasy this year as I usually do, so I was delighted to end 2020 on such a high point! Super-edgy, with a witty narrative, a really memorable cast of characters, and a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through; this book was everything I wanted it to be, and more. 🤩
However! To me, the most notable thing about my reading this year is just how much re-reading I’ve done; with my book-buying ban finally starting to cut my physical TBR down to a less anxiety-inducing size, I’ve felt a lot more comfortable with re-reading old favourites rather than always reaching for something new, and it’s been wonderful to revisit worlds that I haven’t been to in ages! I’ve discovered a new appreciation for Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series (which I already thought very highly of), and I loved Tim Curry’s reading of the original Old Kingdom trilogy, which I listened to in order to prepare to finally read the more recent entries in the series. And although Twilight has never been and will never be my favourite series, my chapter-by-chapter re-read of the first two books along with the Twilight in Quarantine podcast kept me sane through the first bout of lockdown-and-return-to-work; I’m very much hoping that book three will do the same for this most recent one… 🤞
Besides re-reads, another thing I’ve read a surprising amount of this year is science fiction! I don’t know how the numbers would hold up compared to genres like fantasy, or even romance, but so many of the sci-fi stories I’ve read this year have been truly fantastic. Notable among them were Becky Chambers’ A Closed & Common Orbit, a book which not only lived up to my sky-high expectations, but actually managed to surpass them; and Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee, who may well be one of my favourite new(-to-me) authors… I’ve yet to finish up his Machineries of Empire trilogy, but I got a collection of his short stories for Christmas, and I’m dying to make a start on it, even though traditionally I don’t like short fiction that much.
And! On the subject of sci-fi short stories, I also really, really loved This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone. Was it my favourite book of the year? … Maybe? I’m not entirely sure, to be honest, but if not, it definitely comes close. The writing and imagery were absolutely beautiful, the story itself was unlike anything I’ve read before, and the audiobook – which was how I consumed this story – was expertly narrated by Emily Woo Zeller & Cynthia Farrell.
And finally, the last book I want to mention is I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman, which was a surprise favourite early on in the year. I won’t say much about it here, since I talked about it already in my Mid-Year Book Freakout post, but it’s definitely stuck with me, despite all the other really great books I’ve read since. 😁