2019 and 2020 in Reading: A Look Back and What’s Next

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background credit: Nico Mksmc from Unsplash [id: yellow and orange background with a grey box in the center that says “2019 and 2020 in Reading” followed by a line and “a look back and what’s next” underneath, all writing in black and capital letters.]
I was supposed to have this up earlier this month, but I managed to write up my 2019 wrap-up. Better late than never, am I right?!

I’ll begin by taking a look back at what I read in 2020, what goals I accomplished and failed at, and then write about some of my goals for 2020.

2019: a look back

Let’s start off by reviewing the list I’d posted of my most anticipated 2019 releases and how I did reading them:

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – Iconic. Truly. Roshani gave us ensemble historical fantasy and gave the gays what we wanted. Tag urself I’m Enrique having a bisexual crisis.
  • Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi –  I’m a flop! I received an ARC of it and haven’t finished.
  • There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon – I have it haven’t finished it.
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – Yell @ me to read it.
  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi – With the release date being moved to the end of the year, it took me some time to get ahold of the book. I only bought it the other day at Walmart, but it’s high on my TBR for 2020.
  • Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine – I’m waiting for the paperback to come out or to find it in my local bookstore!
  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – *screams in bookish neglect*
  • Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – I actually didn’t remember I’d had this book in my most anticipated list. Nevertheless, I did read it. Even though I had my problems with it (I don’t like outing narratives and I didn’t precisely like the rep of the characters of color), it was still very fun to read.
  • Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno – If you haven’t read this masterpiece, you need to do so RIGHT NOW.
  • Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – @ me to read this in 2020 because I have it.

Overall, I got 9/10 of the books, the ones I read I generally liked or loved, and I’m going to be reading the rest in 2020.

I also participated in the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge (YARC) this past year, pledging to read at least ten (10) books. By the end of the year, I’d read thirteen (13) books by Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander authors:

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (YA Fantasy)
  • I Wore My Blackest Hair by Carlina Duan (Poetry)
  • Talk Sweetly To Me by Courtney Milan (Adult Romance)
  • The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan (Adult Romance)
  • Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau (Adult Romance)
  • The Duchess War by Courtney Milan (Adult Romance
  • Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier (YA Fantasy)
  • Hey, Who Made This Mess? by Primo Gallanosa (Picture Book)
  • Fauja Singh Keeps Going by Simrat Jeet Singh (Picture Book)
  • Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim (Picture Book)
  • The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho (Picture Book)
  • A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan (Adult Romance)
  • The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan (Adult Romance)

As a part of my #ReadLatinx initiative, which has me reading many books by Latinx authors, I ended up reading a grand total of 51 books by Latinx authors (without counting books illustrated by Latinx authors but not written by Latinx authors). I’m not gonna list them all, but I enjoyed most of them. 

To wrap up my 2019 reading, I read 92 books out of the 50 I’d challenged myself to read. 2019 was the most diverse in terms of age ranges I’ve read, from board books for children to adult romances. 

  • 25 Picture Books/Board Books
  • 7 Graphic Novels/Comics (Visual mediums)
  • 3 Middle Grade Novels
  • 19 Young Adult Novels
  • 27 Adult Romance Novels
  • 7 Poetry
  • 1 Adult Sci-Fi Novel
  • 1 RPG Book

What’s coming up in 2020?

I’ll be participating in the 2020 YARC again (hosted by CW, Lily, Shealea, and Vicky), as well as the Black Lit Challenge in February (hosted by Seji), the Con Sabor Reading Challenge (hosted by Dani, Natalia, Astrid, and Nox), and #iqratrials which is a Muslim-author focused readathon with monthly prompts and co-hosts (info here from the main host and creator Tahirah). Another reading challenge I’m going to be a part of is the Start on Your Shelf-athon, which focuses on reading books on your TBR. I’ll be participating in the Brown Girl Book Club when I can (hosted by Jess; January’s book is Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo). There may be more reading challenges that come up in the year, but for now I’ll focus on the following:

  • YARC: Cobra level – 11 to 20 books read
  • Start On Your Shelf-athon: I’d like to read at least 25 of my already-purchased books! This isn’t counting all the ARCs I’d like to get through from my backlog.
  • #iqratrials: each month has a prompt, and January’s is “fantasy/sci-fi book written by a Muslim author” which means I’ll be reading We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal this month!
  • Con Sabor Reading Challenge: 25 books read; January’s prompt is Mental Health

I set a goal for the Goodreads Reading Challenge of 50 books read in 2020. I suspect I’ll be surpassing it, but in order for me to not fall into extended reading slumps or to feel extremely anxious about something I love to do, I set low goals as to not get overwhelmed. Last year, I thought I could get to 100 books by the end of the year, but I got near damn close. We’ll see how this year unfolds. 

At the moment I’m in the possession of over 20 ARCs (physical or ebook) so I’ll have to get through those during the year. However, here are some anticipated 2020 books lists for your perusal (asterisks on ones I have ARCs of):

Top 5 Most Anticipated YA Stand-Alone Releases

  1. Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore*
  2. Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest
  3. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
  4. Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore
  5. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Top 5 Most Anticipated MG/YA Sequels

  1. Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
  2. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi*
  3. We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia
  4. Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova
  5. The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson

Top 5 Most Anticipated Adult Romances

  1. You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
  2. American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera
  3. The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite
  4. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa*
  5. Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

 

 

I think that’s all! I have so many books to look forward to reading this year and I’ve already gotten a head start (I’ve read seven (7) books so far this year and they’ve been amazing!) It feels incredible to read such fantastic texts and I hope this momentum continues throughout the year. 

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