For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Monday, January 4, 2021

My Monday Musings

Oh hi there strangers! It’s been a long time.

I haven’t been reading (still), the holidays and Kevin being on vacation left me with even less motivation to blog than usual but here I am – trying to push myself forward and at the very least do a 2020 wrap-up of some sort.

A few stats:

76 total books read

8 were from Kindle Unlimited (I failed at reading more and will let my subscription go since it’s not worth it if I keep reading at that rate)

17 were library reads and that’s currently my #1 source of my reads these days

19 were audiobooks which was a format that I FINALLY embraced

11 books were from my TBR cart. I think it started around 63? books and I thought 2020 was the year I would clear off that cart but nope.

My year started off strong but ended in a whimper. My peak reading was 15 books for May while October – through December was just 1-2 books per month.

I set my 2021 goal for 12 books. That’s the lowest I’ve ever started with. I usually pick 50 and go from there depending on how much I’m reading. This is from my former high of 200+ books a year so it’s a big drop but…*shrugs* I still don’t feel like reading, I have 0 review books and I’m not worried about it anymore.

As I said – audiobooks were bees knees for me in 2020 and almost all of my faves were because of that format. These books all came to life for me and held my attention in a way that print books just didn’t.

I’ll have to do a post some day about adapting to audiobooks because it was A STRUGGLE. I still struggle with certain genres and narrators and focus but when it all comes together the book stands out so much more in my brain.

So here are my top reads of 2020. (link to Goodreads shelf if you’re interested in a list of every book I read in 2020)


Pet by Akwaeke Emezi was my final read of the year - strange but whimsically weird and creepy, especially with Christopher Myers narration. 

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko was the fantasy book I didn't know I needed. This is not a genre I can usually follow but it was excellent on audio with narration by Joniece Abbott-Pratt

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon was fun, cute and heartwarming (with a fun touch of swoon) and my favorite of the series

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo - Acevedo can do no wrong in my opinion. This book was really different than her previous books - which threw me at first but her characters and stories always stay with me. And Acevedo's narration is perfection.

Grown by Tiffany D Jackson was just WOW! Just a powerhouse of a story that explores power dynamics, rape culture, fame and so many more things. The narration by Joniece Abbott-Pratt (who also narrated Raybearer) made me feel like a fly on the wall watching the story unfold. 

AND...I totally missed my 10  11 (I JUST realized while looking something up that it's 11 years and not 10 lol I am the worst!)  year blogoversary in December. I'm always amazed when I realize I'm still here. It's a little shaky right now but I don't' plan on giving up just yet. 

I'm very far behind on blog visits as well - so if you have a best of or wrap-up post please leave a link and I'll stop by!

Happy New Year!






41 comments:

  1. My reading has been down. Hopefully it'll rebound? You did better than me though. I'm pretty sure I didn't even hit 50 books (unless I count graphic novels- that might have put me over the top, but even that I doubt). lol Thank God I'm not taking review books!!!!

    10 years! Nice- congrats!!!!!

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    1. It *seems* like you read a lot lol Maybe it was the graphic novels. I read more of those last year and hope to continue.

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  2. Wow! Cheers to 10 years! I agree, Acevedo can do no wrong. Love all her books. I am glad Grown is getting some attention, because Jackson is a phenomenal writer. Crown was one of my top reads too. It was simply perfect.

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    1. Thank you!

      I didn't realize Jackson had other books. For some reason I thought she was a debut author. That book was so powerful.

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  3. Yes I can definitely understand how reading has been a struggle, I am going to get creative this year not to fall into slumps. I hope you can get back into the joy of reading once again. Cheers to a year of prosperity and peace for you and your loved ones.

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    1. I wouldn't even really call it a slump. More like it's just not a hobby I'm interested in at the moment.
      It's weird after it being such a huge part of my life for so long though.

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  4. I definitely understand the need to slow things down a bit. As someone who reads a book each week, I keep my goal the same. Sometimes I easily hit it while others it is a real struggle. Happy New Year!

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    1. I've been reading one book a month so I'm sticking with that as my goal lol

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  5. 19! Sweet :D
    Oh I should have counted library books, I mean my 12 Griffiths books were library so there was more too

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    1. 2020 was my first year really using the library (thanks to Libby and Hoopla!) I wanted to keep track of where I got most of books from. I barely took on any review books though once I caught up so I would say it's 90% at this point.

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  6. Hey stranger! πŸ˜‰

    LOL, it wasn't all bad for you this year, wasn't it? I mean...except for the things we ALL struggled with...you got new puppies, you discovered audiobooks, and reviews or not, you're still here (which I would HATE if you weren't). I'm sure the mojo will come back...though I'm not sure how this mojo thing works, because honestly, I seem to read and blog the same...always. Anyhow. Oh, and how were you supposed to remember your blogoversary if you regularly forget your anniversary?!? πŸ˜‚

    I hope you'll still be there in ten years and we'll be able to keep poking fun at each other LOL. Happy new year!

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    1. TBH - the lockdown isn't too difficult for me. I stay away from people anyway lol But losing Fonzi (& the whole slow decline/$$$) was really stressful and being without him AND being locked down was awful.

      I'm so glad we were able to get Ripley & Kai.

      No matter how distracted I get from blogging I never get the urge to quit so there's that lol

      Me & *versary's* do not go well! hahaha

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  7. I feel the same way about 2020. I thought it was going to be the year that I clear off most of my old books (by reading them), instead, it was the year I unhauled a lot of them. Lol.

    Have a great year!

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    1. As long as their gone! Bahaha. I unhauled so many for our move. I wanted to clear out the last of the old BEA/ALA books but :-(

      You too Joy & happy to see you back!

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  8. I got KU back in October because it had that deal and I haven't finished a single book. Blerg.

    Happy 10 year to your blog, I hope you find a nice balance!

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    1. I get it when it's on sale too. The first time I was so overwhelmed with review arc's but now there's no excuse lol

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  9. 76 books?! I'm in awe of your reading prowess. Happy New Year.

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    1. Thanks. That's really awful for me lol But I've been enjoying doing other things so it's ok.

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  10. I am *all about* no-pressure reading. It's why I've never been a fan of reading challenges (other than just setting a # goal each year). I just refuse to get all stressed or feel pressure over something that is my entertainment and my escape. My reading definitely slowed way down in December. I was pretty slumpy and it took me almost the whole month to come out of it.

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    1. I am challenge challenged lol As soon as I sign up, I immediately rebel against whatever I'm supposed to be doing lol

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  11. Happy New Year Karen... I read a lot fewer books than expected in 2020 as well. We roll with the times, right?

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    1. It was definitely a strange year and even stranger headspace to be in.

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  12. 76 books is till really good. I didn't make my goal last year but I set it at 150 again anyways. Maybe this year I'll get there.

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    1. Almost all of that was from early in the year. If I didn't have that it would been closer to 10 lol

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  13. I think a lot of people read less in 2020. It was just a fireball doused with gasoline. I think I stopped reading in March and really only picked up a like 6 or 7 books the rest of the year. I know it was hard to blog for two reasons: Lack of motivation and Distractions with having my mom working remotely. Here's hoping we can find our footing this year even with all the uncertainty.

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    1. Exactly the same here. Reading is usually an escape but I could not focus.

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  14. Happy belated 11th blogoversary! That's awesome. Sorry you haven't felt like reading lately, but it's all good. No need to pressure yourself if you're just not feeling it. I have a few of your favorites that I need to read!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It is! I've been doing other things and staying in a relatively good headspace considering everything that's been going on.

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  15. You read a lot and I think you did well! It's alright to have some stronger and some reading months where you don't get around to as much. I am going to read Pet in February, and Grown just arrived at my house today! Clap when you land made my top books as well. Happy reading thsi year, Karen x

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    1. I agree! Letting go of arc's has helped so much. Not *having* to read alleviates ALL the stress.

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  16. Blogging has been a bit of a chore and a struggle for me as well Karen so it's not just you! As long as you are ok, we're still here when you feel like blogging! Hope you have a good year ahead!

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    1. Chore is the key word for me. I want to find a more spontaneous way to blog going into the future.

      I no longer want to sit and type out long post or reviews.

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  17. 2020 will go down as a horrible year, I'm so glad it's over and trying to stay positive for 2021 but this damn pandemic is making it so incredibly hard. I'm looking forward to your audiobook post. I'd love to be able to get into audiobooks but the few I've listened to, I can't focus or remember anything afterwards or I've fallen asleep. Any tips or recommendations would be muchly welcome.

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    1. Audio was SO hard for me. I tried for YEARS. I still can only listen to certain things.

      2020 was the no good, very bad year & this one is starting off even worse, if possible.

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  18. I'd say take your time in getting your reading mood back :) If I have access on more affordable audiobooks, I'll probably listen to more of them since I enjoyed listening to YA contemporary romances on audio when I tried them in Scribd last year.
    Congrats on 11 years of blogging!!

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    1. I get the audiobooks from my library. I looked into audible but it's so expensive. Even with the subscription.

      I have no worries about reading. Once I took arc's out the equation, the stress dissipated. Of course, that means I have very little to post about lol

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  19. I feel similar to you, Karen. I hardly read anything this past year, and what I managed to read was on audio. Having goals on Goodreads is depressing. I think I put myself down for 50 books this year, and I am being optimistic again πŸ˜‚ on the plus side, I am obsessed with Asian dramas. Where my reading dropped, my new passion picked up, so at least I can continue talking about something I love. And yay on 10 years, we are almost the same blogging age, practically dinosaurs 😘

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    1. I did 12 and that's the absolute lowest I've read in decades if I continue that way (I haven't finished a book for January yet so it's possible lol)

      But I'm also ok with doing what makes me happy instead and not worrying about it.

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  20. Yay for embracing audiobooks! Glad it's a format that really helped you out in 2020. I've heard great things about Raybearer but still don't know what it's about lol. I may have to try it.

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    1. It's typical YA fantasy but I thought it had a really fresh voice and interesting/compelling characters.

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  21. One book a month sounds fair! I haven't started a new book since finishing my last one on NYE and I'm just not in the mood to read... I've been watching TV and playing computer games so I figure when I'm in the mood for blogging that I'll just need to talk about those until I have bookish things to talk about! lol

    Hopefully, you find a rhythm with blogging that fits with finding that tranquillity! :)

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