December 2020 Month-in-Review and 2020 Year-in-Review

That . . . was a crazy year.  Not just in the news, with the pandemic and the U.S. presidential election and dozens of events in between that would be worth mentioning in any other year.  It was also a tumultuous year personally.  I spend the second quarter of the year sequestered at home, working remotely and leaving only for weekly groceries and maybe takeout once a week.  Then I took a new job, commuted halfway across the country twice a month, sold one house and bought another, and moved across the country.  I was extraordinarily busy with work, both at my old job and new.  My wife took a new job and my toddler decided it was time for her vocabulary to start doubling weekly.  Strider abides.

You don’t work, you don’t eat (Strider’s job is to supervise).

All of that made it a little hard to read and blog, but I did what I could.  It was my slowest reading year since 2014, but I still managed to average over one book per week.  (The Goodreads chart isn’t necessarily accurate, but between DNFs on one side and omnibuses on the other, it should be very close.)

I am very happy that I managed to fight Mount TBR down to parity for the year.  A draw is a win as far as I am concerned.  Especially considering how little I read this year and the fact that I picked up rereading again after a long hiatus.  I will remain very busy with work, but I have high hopes for my reading this year.  My initial foray into audiobooks has proven a success and will lighten my new, long commute.  My eye remains on Mount TBR; I have been picking up a lot of unread books sitting dusty on my shelves over the past few months (instead of keeping Mount TBR from growing just by reading everything as soon as I acquire it).  I will keep rereading: I only made it halfway through a reread of The Wheel of Time in 2020 and I picked up Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton just after the new year for my first reread of it in over a decade (I’m a longtime Hamilton fan, and I finally got into the musical this year, listening to it in its entirety on each long drive north).

My blogging pace slowed down considerably.  Posts at Every Day Should Be Tuesday went from 133 posts in 2018 to 85 posts in 2019 to 42 posts in 2020.  Posts at Hillbilly Highways dropped more precipitously, from 113 posts in 2019 to 31 posts in 2020.  The sharp drop in productivity caught up with me, as total views were well down across both blogs.

Which isn’t to say nothing exciting was happening.  I introduced a Wheel of Time reread that led to 14 entries plus an index post in 2020.  And I made a tentative foray into blogging, posting two Whiskey and Book Club entries on YouTube, the first with Andrea from the Little Red Reviewer and the second with Jim Cornelius from Frontier Partisans.

What my publishing patterns will look like in 2021 I do not yet know, but it is something I plan to ponder.

 

Whiskey and Book Club (December only)

 

Wheel of Time Reread (December only)

 

December Reviews

 

Top 5 Posts at Every Day Should Be Tuesday for 2020

 

Top 5 Posts at Hillbilly Highways for 2020

 

Books acquired (December only)

  • Claudius the God by Robert Graves, narrated by Derek Jacobi (audiobook)
  • City of Hate by Timothy S. Miller (review copy)
  • The Road by John Ehle

 

Books started (December only)

  • The Ones You Do by Daniel Woodrell (audiobook)
  • The Master Mind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Claudius the God by Robert Graves, narrated by Derek Jacobi (audiobook)
  • The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat
  • Even as We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • City of Hate by Timothy S. Miller

 

Books finished (December only)

  • The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Ones You Do by Daniel Woodrell (audiobook)
  • Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation, edited and translated by Ken Liu
  • The Master Mind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Claudius the God by Robert Graves, narrated by Derek Jacobi (audiobook)
  • Even as We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • City of Hate by Timothy S. Miller

 

Mount TBR Counter

  • December: -5
  • Year-to-date: +0

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction). https://everydayshouldbetuesday.wordpress.com/ https://hillbillyhighways.wordpress.com/
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6 Responses to December 2020 Month-in-Review and 2020 Year-in-Review

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Give that load of “things that occurred”, I’d say posting 42 times is wildly successful.

    Here’s to hoping ’21 is a little bit smoother for you…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My blogging went down from several posts a month to about three in 7.

    Did you like Lions of Al-Rassan?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bormgans says:

    I’m envious of a book a week. Couldn’t do that with one kid, let alone two.

    I did the math some time ago, and it turns out I’ve bought a book I don’t read about every 2 or 3 weeks the last 7 years. But as you say: a draw is a win, so that’s my goal for this year. We’ll see after that and try to get it down – even it it means just a purge of the books that haven been on there for over 5 years. Cause who am I kidding in that case?

    Liked by 1 person

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