2020 Recap: My Top Reads

I really enjoy the start of the year, a time for reflecting and planning and all the lists! I don’t often share my top reads of the year but I read a number of stellar books in 2020 and if it calls for a list, I’m already interested.

I have a couple more recap posts in the works but let’s start with books! Here are my top 10 reads of 2020 in a very rough order besides the top 3, and some stats on my 2020 reading!

Top Reads

I’ve talked about quite a few of these books a number of times already so today’s post will be a snappy 3-word review/pitch!

1. Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

Immersive, slow-moving, that ending! (so I’ve already proven I’m gonna be super loose with that “3-word” limit)

2. Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Personal, family, visceral.

3. Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds

Grief, friendship, love.

4. Trace by Jeff Ho

Music, immigration, family.

5. Texts from Jane Eyre by Daniel Lavery

Laughs, classics, modern.

6. A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

Impactful, smooth, magical.

7. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Historical, gut-wrenching, optimistic.

8. Fortune of Wolves by Ryan Griffith

Tense, creepy, eerily realistic.

9. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Slow-build, romance, power.

10. Just for Show by Jae

Fake dating, cute, heartfelt.

Short reviews are hard! But you can click the links above to see my full reviews if you’re intrigued (one still in the works). Many of these were ARCs from publishers so thank you very much to those publishers for hooking me up with some wonderful reads! I will definitely be getting finished copies of some of these for my shelves.

Honourable Mentions

And some honourable mentions cuz it’s hard to narrow down all these great reads!

1. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

2. Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe

3. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

4. The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills

Reading Stats

Below are some stats I gathered from my 2020 reads, as well as some prepared by StoryGraph. I’ve recently started using StoryGraph and their stats are super in-depth and a great way to visualize the type of books you enjoy. You can find me on there @spinesinaline!

Line graph titled "Number of books and pages", showing a total of 62 books and 13,694 pages read. Graph shows books per month ranging from 3-10 and pages from 600-1800 over the course of a year.

I actually read more books in 2020 than I have in the last 3 years, which is very surprising since I’d felt really out of it this year. But glad I found some really stellar books!

Diversifying my reads:

  • BIPOC authors: 39% (13% Indigenous authors, 10% Black authors, 6% Latinx)
  • Own voices (based on applicable books): 90%
  • LGBTQ2IA+ content: 27%

Age range:

  • Children’s books: 6%
  • Middle grade: 16%
  • Young adult: 21%


  • Physical: 54%
  • Digital: 41%
  • Audiobook: 5%


  • ARCs: 37%
  • Library loans: 26%
Pie graph titled "Moods". Moods with highest proportion includes reflective, emotional, lighthearted, and adventurous respectively.

I especially love the stats from StoryGraph on moods, as this isn’t something I’ve found elsewhere and I think can provide the most accurate view of people’s reading habits. Genres are really subjective so it’s hard to say you’re a fantasy reader, for example, when you may only like particular kinds of fantasies or those that merge with other genres (raises hand). Saying I like reflective and emotional books though? That’s spot on!

I can clearly see some areas I’d like to work on, especially reading more books by BIPOC authors and more translations, so this’ll be helpful in creating some 2021 reading goals. I’ll be back with my 2020 challenge updates soon so I can see how I did on those as well. I’m most surprised by the format stats as I was sure I’d read mostly ebooks this year, but using the library in February and when it reopened in December helped more than I realized, as well as my Quarantine TBR of reading books I own.

Do you collect stats on your reading?
What were you most surprised by from your 2020 reads?

Cover images from Goodreads, graphs created by StoryGraph.

10 thoughts on “2020 Recap: My Top Reads

  1. I like the three word idea, you made some of them sound really intriguing! The stats are cool. How does that mood thing work though? Do other people classify it, or do you pick how you classify the mood of a book? Cuz I often have very different feelings about the mood of a book than other people. I’ll be like, “What a light, sweet book!” and then I’ll see reviews like, “This was so dark,” lol. But reflective and emotional, that does sound good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They have a list of keywords to select from when reviewing, like lighthearted or challenging, so it’s based on the average result, but I agree, people’s opinions can be wildly different! When I looked at their stats on the genres I read, I disagreed with a lot of them (even just some MG titles being classified as YA) so it’s totally subjective.


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