So, I went into quarantine early and stayed there. It's been isolating but there's been one upshot, which is that I did a ton of reading. A TON. More than I've ever read before. I'm quite proud of myself of course but I saw someone with 700 books on Goodreads so there's always someone.
My actual goal was 230 books, which I reached in October-ish. I read three long series (well, almost done with the third) that really contributed to my numbers. I read some new authors but as of today I still haven't finished the annotated Emma. It's by my bed but under all my migraine stuff...which is probably why I haven't picked it up.
I think next year I'll probably keep the goal around 230 or 200 even. I have fewer long series and fewer re-reads so I'll probably go slower next year.
2015 was my oddity year but I can usually read 200 books easily, but 250+ tends to be a stretch.
Anyways, I read a bunch of books across genres. Mostly mysteries of course. One of the new to me authors was Emma Kavanaugh and her book, The Missing Hours. I thought it was pretty interesting.
I've read all (but the very last book) in Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness series. I think its such a fun romp through the 1930s. I've read thirteen of them and they really are fun. They're cozy, which normally drive me insane, and there are moments, but I've enjoyed them immensely. I don't think I've reviewed them at all so I might do batch reviews as it's a long series, or just the first one or two. Or maybe all of them. It follows a penniless relation to the royal family, her friends, family, and intended love interest. She's often embroiled in a murder (like, she stumbles upon one) but sometimes is sent places by the Queen/King for small reasons (once was sent to collect a snuffbox).
The three classics I did manage to read this year were Dracula by Bram Stoker (a favorite), Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I somehow have multiple copies of Treasure Island, which is odd as I don't like it all that much.
Alex Dahl's The Boy At The Door was brilliant. Dahl might be a new favorite author. The book was creepy and well done. The main character is technically unlikable but still...I liked her. I think that's really hard to do. Nordic Noir is not always my strong suite but I've done better with the lady writers (less rape to be honest). Another author I've read is Sara Blaedel. I've read her Louise Rick series out of order, but in the random order of when my local indie orders them. The translation on the series is excellent. Another favorite is Camilla Lackberg, but I didn't read any of her books this past year.
The second Charlaine Harris series I read was her Aurora Teagarden. The Hallmark show is based off of it. I will say that I think that this has cemented (after what...thirty books?!) that Harris is not really for me. On the other side of my likes is Sharyn McCrumb. I love her works. I have most of her ballads (if not all of them) and I'm missing one of her Elizabeth McPherson books. I read a few of McCrumb's books this year, my favorite of the group being Highland Laddie Gone. I think her McPherson books are a treat but if you only read one McCrumb, pick one of her ballads (She Walks These Hills is a favorite).
I picked up Stephanie P. Watts' No One Is Coming To Save Us, which promised shades of The Great Gatsby (a favorite). I see how they got there but I wish they hadn't as it actually detracted from Watt's story. I liked it more once I divorced the Gatsby allusion but I think it needed more editing, otherwise it was a good read. Another book I read was Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy. It's set in Ireland and follows an American émigré. It's a cozy mystery which is not my normal jam, but I liked it enough and bought the second book to continue on.
I went back a few times to Murder in the Bayou, which is also one of most visited posts (go figure, I assumed it would be one where I called someone a twatwaffle). Ethan Brown's book is hard to get through in one setting, so I read it over a few days. Other nonfiction that I enjoyed this year was Sex With Kings by Eleanor Herman, American Predator by Maureen Callahan (about a serial killer named Israel Keyes), How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman (Scottish philosophy and education), and The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr (about a French serial killer at the turn of the century, and how the forensics/law shaped modern techniques).
What I'm in the middle of now:
Well, that's this years review! I read a lot. Some were great some some weren't so fabulous. You've got to see the positive of quarantine...which is reading goals being smashed. Which is good because I've legit gained quarantine weight (not a goal) and started a new regime to get back on track. I keep getting distracted by tacos.