2020 RECAP IN BOOKS: A YEARLY WRAP UP

Hullo, bookdragons!

My 2020 wrap up is finally here! I have to admit I procrastinated a bit on writing this post because looking back on 2020 is just so exhausting that smoke comes out of my brain when I try to look back on everything that happened. It’s no surprise that I think last year was The Worst. Anyway, I eventually powered through it all (RIP to my poor brain cells) and now I’m bringing you my recap of the year in books and stats!

WHAT KIND OF BOOKS DID I READ IN 2020?

I still can’t believe it but apparently, I read more than 200 books last year (this is thanks to all the manga volumes I read). Considering that 2020 was a lot to handle, it’s not surprising that I read more than usual to escape the stress of reality. My original goal was to read 50 books but I accomplished this halfway into the year so I increased my goal to 100. It felt good seeing that I was more than 100% ahead of my reading challenge so I didn’t increase it any further. That’s some galaxy brain thinking right there 😌

Predictably, the majority of what I read in 2020 is from the fantasy genre but I’m quite proud of myself for branching out a little bit. I got back into reading contemporary YA (thank you audiobooks) and even tried out adult romance books which I surprisingly enjoyed. This 2021, I’m planning to read more non-fantasy books and broaden my reading horizons. I am particularly interested in gothic works so I’m looking forward to reading more of them this year.

While I was gathering data for this post (which was…a pain because I never track my reading lol) I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I read so many webcomics and manga in 2020. I didn’t expect that I read them THIS MUCH although I must admit that they saved my reading year. I stopped reading manga years ago (due to reasons unknown even to me) and I finally got back to reading them in 2020. How did I even survive all those years without manga and anime? I am baffled. I also downloaded the WEBTOON app in 2020 and now it has me in chains. The whole app literally saved me from the brink of despair countless times and I can’t express how much I love the stories I discovered there. I’m hoping to share a list of my favorites soon! I hope I can get to writing that in a few days 🤞🏽

It’s also noticeable that I read so few physical books last year. With all the shipping problems because of the pandemic, this is only normal but I must admit that I feel more comfortable reading e-books now. I definitely read faster when I’m reading an e-book (maybe because I always compete with the Kindle timer) and they’re more accessible to me than physical books. I also consumed a lot of audiobooks in 2020 because I can’t be alone with my thoughts. Love this for me.

BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2020


I made a separate post for this so if you want to find out why I loved these books, click here. Anyway, here are my top picks for 2020:

BEST 2020 RELEASES

BEST FROM THE BACKLIST

HONORABLE MENTIONS

MOST DISAPPOINTING READ


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

I have mentioned this book a few times on this blog and if you’ve read my previous posts, you would know that I absolutely hated this one. I had high expectations for this because of its premise but it ended up being bland, irritating, and just all around made me want to throw my phone across the room. If you want to know more about my thoughts on this, I will just redirect you to my Goodreads review. I really don’t have enough brain cells to relive my reading experience once again.

BOOKS I SHOULD HAVE READ IN 2020 BUT DIDN’T


In normal bookdragon fashion, there were a lot of books I should have read in 2020 but didn’t. However, I’m still planning to read them this year. Well, except The Empire of Gold. I do not plan on reading it ever. I’m sorry not sorry.

BOOKS I’M PLANNING TO READ IN 2021


Aside from all the ARCs I need to read and review, I’m planning to read more backlist books, especially from authors like Julie Kagawa and Marie Lu. Reading An Ember in the Ashes is also a priority for me. The series is now officially over so I am excited to binge it and get destroyed in the process. I have high expectations.

Here are some books I’m planning to read this year:


I was not that active with blogging last year. I was only able to publish 15 posts for the whole year. I’m really sorry for the lack of content. It’s just difficult for me to juggle blogging while struggling with university. However, I’m really thankful that y’all are still here despite my inactivity and sporadic posting. Your support really means so much. You don’t know how happy I am that you’re still sticking with me despite everything. I’m hoping to post more consistently this year but forgive me in advance if I’m not able to make that a reality. I really love blogging but I’m more comfortable now that I’m not pressuring myself to put out content all the time. Having a lot of rest from creating content is really refreshing and I think blogging is more fun this way. Enough with the sappy reflections.

Here are some blogging highlights of the year:

• I finally revamped my blog! (I think that happened in 2020??)

My rusty memory thinks that my blog has been this neat for the past three years but there are a lot of evidences that say otherwise (e.g. messy formatting of my old posts). I changed up my theme and finally used the post banner templates that the amazing Vinny @filmandfiction made for me. Also, while procrastinating on my college papers, I finally touched up my Contact page and sat down to write an About Me page (yes I have procrastinated on making this page for three years) for the blog. I left a feedback form on the Contact page so if you have a bit of time, please fill it out and send me your feedback! I would love to find out what you think about my blog.

• I finally dragged myself out of the phone hell

By this I mean that I have finally stopped drafting posts on my phone because I now have a stable internet connection to draft posts on my laptop. In case you didn’t know, ever since I started blogging, I’ve been doing everything on my phone because the internet connection in my area is wonky. You see, internet connectivity in the Philippines is bad in provincial areas so my blogging life has been particularly difficult. If you’ve tried drafting posts on your phone, you know why. So yeah, blogging is definitely better now that I can draft posts and customize my blog on my laptop. I guess this is also me saying that being a blogger from the Global South is difficult. There are so many accessibility and connectivity issues that I have no energy to discuss so I’ll leave it at that for now.

• I guess I still got decent traffic for 2020 despite my inactivity. Even my 2019 posts did relatively well. Color me surprised.

Here are my top posts of the year:


I read my 2019 recap while writing this post and I feel happy for past-Rain because she really had a lot of fun with her first year of university. Present Rain is sorry to announce that her second year of university has been nothing but hell. Online classes are HELLISH, y’all. I have twice my previous workload, I am literally learning my courses by myself, and it’s a different kind of agony to just sit in one place for the whole day while I’m trying my best to pass all my coursework on time. So far, the only good thing I can say about uni is that I was able to finish my first semester in one piece. That’s the highlight. I’m really not looking forward to the next semester. At all.

Sad uni thoughts aside, another highlight of my 2020 was my decision to stop rating books. The five-star rating system doesn’t work for my indecisive ass anymore. I didn’t even have a concrete rating system in the first place. I only rated books before based on feelings and vibes so I’m really glad that I finally made this decision. I feel lighter now that I don’t have to doubt my own ratings anymore.

Lastly, I’m happy that I got to meet a lot of new friends and got closer to a lot of people in the bookish community in 2020. My friends really made my year more bearable and I can’t thank them enough for that. You know who you are. I love you all. Cheers to more crying about books in 2021!


• Read a lot of ARCs

So far, I have downloaded quite a lot of e-ARCs from Edelweiss and I’m really aiming to read and review all of them this year. There are a lot of amazing books coming out in 2021 and I want to support authors as much as I can.

• Reread some favorites

I didn’t do a lot of rereading in 2020 and I’m hoping to correct that this year. As of now, I’m rereading The Poppy War and it has been an amazing experience so far. Looking back on all that happened in book 1 after reading The Burning God is both nostalgic and painful. Aside from TPW, I’m also planning to reread the Trials of Apollo books so I can finally read The Tower of Nero. I’m not ready to let go of the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles. Who knows maybe I’ll pick up The Lightning Thief again this year.

• Read more backlist books

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m hoping to read more backlist books, especially from Asian authors like Julie Kagawa, Marie Lu, and Sabaa Tahir. I may be a little late but I don’t care. I want to see what the hype is all about. It’s never too late to read iconic books.

• Track my reading properly

I am the most unorganized person in the world but I’m willing to change that in 2021. For the first time in my life, I will be using a spreadsheet to track my reading and I have a reading tracker on Notion as well. We’ll see which of the two I can maintain throughout the year. I hope both.

I guess that’s it! I kind of ran my mouth too much in this post so if you made it this far, thank you very much. I hope 2021 treats all of us kinder and I wish you all the wonderful reading experiences this year. Thank you for all the support you’ve shown me last year and the years before that. You made my 2020 brighter too. Here’s to better memories this 2021!

How did your 2020 go in terms of reading? What books are you planning to read this year? You can also share some of your reading goals!

43 thoughts on “2020 RECAP IN BOOKS: A YEARLY WRAP UP”

  1. I see so many books I love or am planning to read on this post!
    In 2021, I too am planning to read The Silence of Bones (definitely before The Forest of Stolen Girls releases) and Mirage (and Court of Lions).
    For your books I should have read in 2020, we have Rage of Dragons and Fifth Season in common. But I am so scared of reading these books now because all the books I’ve read from Orbit (the publisher) have broken my heart and I am just a fragile lil baby.

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  2. You have a great sense for creating interest with a good text to graphic ratio. Loved that you had a “From the Backlist” section, cause I feel like that’s a big part of a book reader’s life, lol.

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  3. loved reading this post!! i hope you enjoy The Rise of Kyoshi whenever you get around to reading it – it was one of my favorite books of 2020, i truly LOVED it bc it was so intense and emotional and made me feel allll the feels 😭 absolute pain, but worth it.

    and i definitely relate to your academic struggles, uni is already hard but taking classes in a pandemic is even worse and i have no motivation to do anything :’) wishing you the best for the next semester, you got this ❤ and i hope 2021 will be filled with fantastic new reads and meaningful memories for you ☺️

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    1. aahh im here for all the positive kyoshi feedback! so excited to be destroyed by it. also sending virtual hugs because struggling with uni is not easy. crossing my fingers that we both survive more months of online classes. WE CAN DO THIS.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Rise of Kyoshi looks awesome! I love ATLA so much, and Kyoshi was an intriguing character I always wanted to learn more about.

    I plan on binging An Ember in the Ashes as well within the next few months as well! I’ve heard so many great things about this series, so I’m really excited to get started on it.

    I hope you find a lot of great books to enjoy this year!

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    1. same! kyoshi really intrigued me while watching atla i am so looking forward to reading her story. here’s hoping that we both enjoy aeita when we binge read it. i also hope you have a great reading year ahead of you 💖

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  5. Ooh I read If We Were Villains at the end of 2020 and also loved it 😍
    & I wanted to read The Fifth Season but still haven’t gotten to it. Hopefully in 2021!

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  6. Aaaah I was totally NOT surprised to see how high a percentage fantasy and webcomics were hehe. In terms of reading I mean I did read 41 books but my reading was extremely sporadic last year which seems to be consistent for me? I didn’t get through half the books I wanted to but it’s a new year, I have hopes that I’ll get through more books this year that I wanted to. I also need to finish The Bone Witch still sis (I have been prolonging the reading of it in an attempt to avoid being emotionally ruined like the books gonna change the ending xD)

    This year I just want to read more recent releases and more diverse books, I still need to wrap my head around buying ebooks and I’ll end up storing them but yeah. I’m just grateful I still have a hefty collection of books to read on my shelves and my library has ebooks I can borrow to save my ass.

    Sending you all the love and good vibes sis ❤ You're doing amazing, even if you feel like you're not, you are an amazing juggler with uni and your blog. Always in awe of you ☺️

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    1. i really hope you get to finish tbw this year but if not, that’s okay! it’s fine to read sporadically if that’s what works for you. im wishing that you get to discover some new faves this year, sis! sending you all the love as well 💖✨

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    1. i think empire of gold is a trashfire and i don’t want to subject myself to that 😭 oh and i still have to muster up the courage to reread ace of shades and continue the series 😳

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      1. i do! i read aimal’s in depth review and it made me realize that i do not want to make myself suffer 😭 knowing all about the nahri/ali love bs was enough to turn me off

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  7. i loved reading this post so much, rain!! not to push the may-rain br agenda yet again but… there are so many books that you’re planning to read this year that are also on my 2021 tbr (the fifth season, aeita, mirage, and more) so 👀👀 and i hope you LOVE a wish in the dark and the young elites!! those are two of my faves ❤ i'm so happy we got to talk more in 2020 and get closer, you truly made the year brighter!!

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    1. omg let’s buddy read them all!!! im so excited to read the young elites and a wish in the dark because they sound SO GOOD. also thank you for making my year brighter as well 😭💖

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  8. dskjfsjkf ok first off i’m LOVING the about me and contact pages!! also i don’t think i saw your blog before the revamp, but i think i can safely say that it’s absolutely gorgeous right now!! i aven’t watched ATLA and i haven’t really tried webcomics; but 2021 is the year of trying new things, plus everyone only compliments those two!! good luck for your second year of uni!! i’m still in middle school; so i have a few years to go, but they’re trying to start school physically (with multiple safety protocols) for high schoolers in jan, and middle schoolers in feb – so i have no idea how that’s going to play out!! sending all the love and virtual hugs!! i loved reading this post ❤❤

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  9. *bows to queen who reads 200+ books a year*
    congrats on reading so much!
    I loved a lot of books you’ve mentioned too, especially The Burning God and These Violent Delights!I s I’ve been meaning to read The Sword of Kaigen and I hope I can finally get to it in 2021! I’m also hoping to read An Ember in the Ashes and Mirage this year!
    Congrats on revamping your blog! I did that too in 2020 and just relaunched it on the 1st! Not wanting to write an About Me page is such a mood haha, I still have a lot of work to do on mine!
    I really need to start staying on track with my ARCs and reading more of them this year! I don’t think I can go through the pain that RFKuang put us through ever again but who knows? Rereading TPW sounds pretty good!
    I plan on catching up on the Camp Half Blood Chronicles too this year! I read The Trials of Apollo Book 1 when it first came out but I remember nothing oops.
    I am also using a spreadsheet to track my reading this year and hopefully, I’ll remember to add in the dates on time before I forget! And writing reviews is gong to be another priority for me since I always seem to be procrastinating on them.
    Great post! I ended up rambling way too much in the comments haha

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    1. no problem at all! i love reading long comments ❤️ i hope you get to read sword of kaigen this year. it’s a masterpiece you don’t want to miss. good luck on all your goals for this year!

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  10. More than 200 books! That’s amazing. I have actually never read a manga or comic – I have read a couple of graphic novels but that’s about it – and I really want to try out something this year. And yes for audiobooks, they were a lifesaver for me!

    Also you are in for a treat with Ember in the Ashes! I actually have only read the first two, so I might have to go in and read them all over again because it’s been a while. It’s so exciting to see it wrap up though.

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    1. i think once you get into manga and comics YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP. i spend an unhealthy amount of time reading them bec they’re so fun to consume. im both scared and excited to read aeita. i really hope i end up liking it!!

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  11. I’m glad 2020 was good for you reading wise (online classes do sound horrible, i’m so sorry). I would honestly love to read manga because so far I feel like I’m just looking in through the window at everyone reading manga and I would love to join in. Yay to fantasy though, it’s sooo good. It was my most read genre last year too but I also enjoyed be able to branch out to new areas, especially sci-fi and non-fiction surprisingly. I am hoping to finish the poppy war series this year as I’ve only read the first one but I’ve preordered the burning god and it should arrive in october so I plan on reading them altogether. I’m not ready.
    I love the blog design, the pink headings are beautiful. I wish you all the best for 2021 !! 💕

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  12. your new blog looks amazing!! i have been away for too long! but i miss you, i love this list, i love these charts, and im wishing you only happiness in 2021, sweet friend! (and so much taste with these best books… whew… let me go run and pick up black sun immediately now!) 💕

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  13. such a lovely wrap-up rain!! 206 books is incredible ahh… congrats on revamping your blog this year, i wasn’t here to see the original but the current one is so pretty! wow, looking at your book format chart surprised me! but i can definitely relate, racing against the “time left in this chapter” on the kindle is incredibly satisfying haha… ooh i hope that you get to lovely war and an ember in the ashes, both of which made it to my top 10 last year! all the best for this year!

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    1. tbh i just buy physical books now to collect them i prefer reading books in ebook format now they’re just easier to handle i guess. im excited to read both lovely war and aeita! hope you’re having a wonderful year so far ❤️

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  14. Well done on reading so many books last year! And don’t worry about not producing too much content on your blog, I can imagine how stressful online learning must be especially at university level and that must take priority I’m sure! I hope that 2021 is a great year for you reading and blogging wise and that uni improves and becomes more enjoyable for you! ❤

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  15. i think 2020 really was the year of ebooks for most people! for me, i was surprised by how little of physical books i’ve read, but i think it makes sense considering how hard it was to have access to physical books this year – prices were skyrocketing, i couldn’t really visit bookstores, etc. i am so glad webtoons have been so helpful for you during this mess of a year!

    if we were villains and you deserve each other really are amazing books! both are a bit out of my comfort zone, so i was surprised by how much i enjoyed them.

    i do hope you get to an ember in the ashes series this year! it’s definitely a good one. i don’t keep up with many fantasy series, but i’m very excited to finish this one.

    wishing you luck with all your 2021 goals & with zoom university!

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    1. happy to know that you have positive feelings for ember in the ashes! ebooks really worked like magic during those difficult times i don’t even like reading physical books that much like now.

      thanks for wishing me luck! i hope 2021 treats you well too 💖

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  16. I’ve also become more of an ebook reader! I just love my kindle fire and the text to speech feature. So even when I have a physical copy I want the ebook so I can listen to the book when I want to! I’ve never read a graphic novel but I’d like to try one in the near future. I’ve realized that I’ve ventured away from YA fantasy a bit and into more adult fantasy, but nearly everything I read is fantasy. It’s like all I want to read, but I would like to widen my reading horizons a bit more.

    I have read a lot more series and backlist books this year than ever before and I totally love that I have let myself do that! Finding room for backlist titles that have been on my TBR for years is really amazing and I’ve discovered some truly amazing books

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    1. ahh same! i think adult fantasy works better for me than YA now. maybe because im getting old lol i hope you read all the books you’re looking forward to reading this year 💖

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      1. Idk if its bc I’m getting older, because I enjoy more intense fantasies or just because the YA fantasies I’ve read lately weren’t that good. I’m not about to give up on the genre or anything crazy like that, but I’m definitely reading more adult fantasy

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  17. Ahhh Rain I absolutely LOVED reading this post so so so much!! Love your charts and the colour co-ordination hehe. And oof again OMG 200 BOOKS, YOU BE KILLING THE GAME!! Also idk if I’ve said it before but I LOVE the site redesign, it’s all so pretty.

    Ah hope you manage to read outside your comfort zone! I ventured out a ton last year and lacked on the fantasy. I want to get back to it but also keep branching out because there are some GEMS. Eeeep and I hope you get to Ember and then we can scream and cry together. I have to continue the series this year AND I AM NOT READY.

    Omg but also I did not know you drafted on your phone but again QUEEN!!! How you did that,,, wow kinda in awe over here. But glad you could migrate because Desktop is… SO MUCH easier. Also, have so many of the same reading goals. I need to get better at ARCS and reading books on my physical tbr, not just random ones that I had never been interested in before that day. 2020 was the year of not resisting my urges oops.

    Loved this post, sending all the love friend <3<3<3

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