Never in a hundred billion years did I think I’d read 30 books in 6 months. Or obsess over book recommendations and bookstagrams accounts. Or stalk Reese’s Book Club and Book of the Month’s Instagrams for their monthly picks. But here we are.
Like a lot of people, I found myself with more free time at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with reduced work hours and a non-existent social life. While some people dove head first into making sourdough bread, building puzzles, and binging Tiger King (I’m guilty of that last one), I took to reading.
The book that started it all was Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, the September 2017 pick for Reese’s Book Club. This book was getting a lot of press and exposure at the start of quarantine as Hulu had just released their drama series adaptation, starring Reese Witherspoon herself alongside Kerry Washington.
Being the introspective type and someone who loves to analyze data and trends, I wanted to reflect on the 30 books I’ve read by awarding reading superlatives (for the works of fiction) and provide some numbers to understand the diversity of my 2020 hypothetical book shelf. Here we go!
Favorite author: Riley Sager
Favorite book: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Least favorite book: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Favorite character: Simon from The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Least favorite character: Emira of Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid or Marianne from Normal People by Sally Rooney
Most loved character: Alex Claremont-Diaz of Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Most hated character: Amber Patterson of The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
Favorite relationship / parent-child: Roy Hamilton Jr. and Big Roy Hamilton in An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Favorite relationship / sibling: Simon and Klara Gold from The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Favorite relationship / friendship: Eleanor Oliphant and Raymond of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon
Favorite relationship / romantic: Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry of Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Favorite setting: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Best imagery: The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister
Best symbolism: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Favorite cultural references: The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Favorite redemption story: The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Favorite love story: Simon Gold and Robert of The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Funniest book: Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry of Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Saddest book: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Favorite book format: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Best twist: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager or The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Worst twist: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Most overhyped: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Most underhyped: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
I’ll be interested to see if any of these selections change by the end of 2020 – I plan to do a 2020 wrap up and reassign as needed!
Figures and trends
Crime, suspense, thrillers: 14
Historical fiction: 3
Physical books: 11
Electronic books: 18
Book of the Month purchases: 3
Reese’s Book Club selections: 10
To follow along my reading journey, you can find my Goodreads account here and my merynmade Instagram where I post about the books I’m reading here. Additional blogposts about my 2020 books and book reviews can be found under the category reading linked here.
Until tomorrow, Meryn