Friday, January 1, 2021

Books Read in 2020

This year wasn't all about books.  I consumed a good amount of recorded media, and this naturally reduced the number of books read in 2020.

With reading, my problem has been that nothing much has interested me.  I have not been able to enjoy the typical vintage series book, and I have quit reading many books partway through, ones that I would normally have enjoyed.  My reading has been sporadic, sometimes not reading for a few weeks and then reading several books rapidly.  

I found that recorded media interested me much more during the last year, and my consumption was the most since in the time period from 2006 to 2010. 

As the year began, I watched Nancy Drew on The CW each week.

As always, books in blue are books that I had read before.

January:  9 books

When I pasted my list into this post, I was struck by how long this year has seemed.  I stared at the first book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs, with surprise.  I surely read that book at least two years ago!  Life was so much simpler at the beginning of the year.  I read the book by Harriet A. Jacobs after seeing it mentioned in an article that I read on New Year's Day, probably this one.  That seems like so long ago.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs
Arden Blake #1 The Orchard Secret
Arden Blake #2 The Mystery of Jockey Hollow
Arden Black #3 Missing at Marshlands

Nancy Drew Diaries #19 Hidden Pictures
The Hollow Wall Mystery by Mildred A. Wirt
Sweet Dreams #50 Lights, Camera, Love
Sweet Dreams #53 Ghost of a Chance
Sweet Dreams #56 Campfire Nights

I was still trying to slog through the Sweet Dreams books at this point in the year.  January was a rather normal month, all things considered, but it was around January 25 that I realized that we had a huge problem looming.  The clock was ticking...  Would I be able to go to the big book sale?

February:  4 books

Sweet Dreams #58 Rhythm of Love
Sweet Dreams #59 Please Say Yes
Sweet Dreams #60 Summer Breezes
Sweet Dreams #61 Exchange of Hearts

In February, I was consumed by reading about the pandemic.  I read only four books because of my distraction, but also, because I was quite bored with Sweet Dreams.  Fortunately, I was able to attend the big book sale, just before everything fell apart.

March:  5 books

#1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
#2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
#3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
#4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
#5 Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix

In March, I escaped by reading Harry Potter after not having read them in many years.  I watched all eight Harry Potter movies for the first time right after I finished reading the seven books.

April:  16 books

#6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
#7 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Tom Swift Inventors' Academy #4 The Virtual Vandal
Hardy Boys Adventures #20 Return to Black Bear Mountain
American Adventure Series #1 Crossed Trails
American Adventure Series #2 Hollywood, Ho!
American Adventure Series #3 The Hills of Home
Sweet Dreams #65 The Two of Us
Sweet Dreams #70 Special Someone
Sweet Dreams #71 Too Many Boys
Sweet Dreams #72 Goodbye Forever
Sweet Dreams #75 First Summer Love
Sweet Dreams #80 A Shot at Love
Sweet Dreams #81 Secret Admirer
Sweet Dreams #88 Wrong Kind of Boy
Rick Brant #1 The Rocket's Shadow

Somehow or another, I was able to get into reading books during April.  This was the only month in 2020 where my reading pace was anywhere near what has been normal for me.  It was also the month in which I finally gave up on Sweet Dreams.  I haven't gotten back to them.

Reading the three American Adventure books was the bright spot in April.  Not only that, but reading those books was the highpoint of my 2020 reading year.  I remember that time with happiness.  After I had read the books, I posed a question about whether anyone would care if I put up scans of the books, since they are nearly impossible to find and are in the public domain.  Around three or four of you expressed interest, and I could tell that it was genuine.  That motivated me, and I scanned all three books.  At least one or two of you read and enjoyed them.  That made me happy.

May:  9 books

Rick Brant #2 The Lost City
Rick Brant #3 Sea Gold
Rick Brant #4 100 Fathoms Under
Rick Brant #5 The Whispering Box Mystery
Rick Brant #6 The Phantom Shark
#1 Beverly Gray, Freshman
#2 Beverly Gray, Sophomore
#3 Beverly Gray, Junior
#4 Beverly Gray, Senior

In May and June, I tried to read some vintage series.  I chose two of my favorites.  It just didn't work for me.  Maybe some other year...

June:  11 books

#5 Beverly Gray's Career
#6 Beverly Gray at the World's Fair
#7/6 Beverly Gray on a World Cruise
#8/7 Beverly Gray in the Orient
#8 Beverly Gray on a Treasure Hunt

Wishing Star #6 Too Much in Love
Windswept #2 Someone Is Out There
#9 Beverly Gray's Return
Nancy Drew Diaries #20 The Vanishing Statue
#10 Beverly Gray, Reporter
#11 Beverly Gray's Romance

July:  9 books

Wishing Star #1 The Lost Summer
Wishing Star #2 The Girl Who Wanted Out
Wishing Star #3 Blind Sunday
Wishing Star #4 The Two Worlds of Jill
Wishing Star #5 Francesca, Baby
Wishing Star #7 Don't Look Back
Wishing Star #8 Katie
Wishing Star #11 Honey
Wishing Star #13 The Night Skiers

In July, my final Sweet Dreams posts were published.  One person told me to get back to reading vintage series books, since they were tired of Sweet Dreams.  This proved that some people take me for granted.  

August: 10 books

Wishing Star #12 The Great Lakeside High Experiment
Wishing Star #14 Jealousy
Wishing Star #15 The Loving Year
Wishing Star #16 Walk Beside Me, Be My Friend
Wishing Star #18 Secrets
Wishing Star #19 Sisters
Wishing Star #20 Why Did You Leave Me?
#1 The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak
#2 Midway by Melanie Karsak
#3 The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak

In late August, I abandoned reading the vintage teen books.  By this point, I was floundering, unsure what to read, not finding anything of interest.  I returned to dystopian teen novels and was able to find some that interested me.

September:  13 books

#4 Witch Wood by Melanie Karsak
#5 Torn World by Melanie Karsak
Hardy Boys Adventures #21 Treacherous Tide
Tom Swift #5 The Spybot Invasion
After the EMP by Harley Tate #1-9

Around the beginning of September, I watched a few episodes of the television series, Goosebumps, on Netflix.  They were okay, but they made me think about Friday the 13th: The Series, which I wanted to see again.  This is the television series featuring Micki, Ryan, Jack, and later Johnny, who recover cursed antiques sold by Louis Vendredi, who had made a deal with the devil.  The series shares the same name as the movie franchise with Jason Voorhees, but otherwise, it has nothing to do with it.

I purchased the complete set of all three seasons.  From September through November, I watched all 72 episodes.  I loved seeing those shows again.  I was at quite a loss when I finished.  I wanted more!

October:  9 books

Southern Grit by Harley Tate #1-3
Northern Exposure by Harley Tate #1-3
Western Strength by Harley Tate #1-3

November:  5 books

Enola Holmes #1-5

December:  6 books

Enola Holmes #6
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Thing in B-3 by Talmage  Powell
13 Tales of Horror by 13 Masters of Horror, edited by T. Pines
Friday Barnes #1 Girl Detective
Friday Barnes #2 Under Suspicion

In early December, I watched Enola Holmes on Netflix.  I then watched Hardy Boys, the Hulu television series.  In late December, I still craved television similar to Friday the 13th: The Series, so I watched the 2019-2020 Twilight Zone on CBS All Access.

I read 106 books in 2020, but I also watched more than 120 episodes from television shows.  I watched more recorded media in the last year than I read books.

In 2014, I began keeping track of how many books I read.

2014:  262 books
2015:  231 books
2016:  355 books
2017:  403 books
2018:  315 books
2019:  185 books
2020:  106 books

Ever since my reading peak in 2017, the number of books I have read has dropped each year.  In the short term, I don't expect my reading to increase.  I hope by the middle of the year that I will be more motivated to read than I have been.  That, of course, depends upon what happens.

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