2020 Year-End Wrap-Up

2020 #bookstagram Goals:

  • Instagram: 25,000 Followers
    • ❌ I don’t really know what it means to be shadowbanned, but I think it happened to me. I LOST so many followers this year despite posting, commenting, interacting, doing stories, blah blah blah. 🙄🙄🙄. While I still would love to grow this account, I realize it’s so far outside of what I can do personally, so I’m gonna keep doing me and whatever happens with my follower count, happens! (Just for the record: In January, I had 15,500 followers and in December I have 14,775.)
  • Blog: 500 Subscribers
    • My growth on the blog was much better than Instagram. In January, I had 276 subscribers and I now have 425!
  • NetGalley: 80%
    • So dang close…I’m at 77%!
  • Edelweiss: 0
    • I only have 3 books to read and review!

By the Numbers:

  • I read 143 books! I feel good about that number – I didn’t feel pressure at all this year, so I will probably set my goal for 2021 at 125 books.
  • According to Goodreads, I read 48,964 pages and I averaged a 4.0 star rating. (My personal average was 3.9, but Goodreads doesn’t recognize ½ stars so I’m sure that’s where the discrepancy comes in.)
  • Out of 143 books read, 112 (78%) were written by women (same as 2019), 32 (21%) were written by men (same as 2019), and 2 (1%) were written by authors who self-identify as gender nonconfoming (same as 2019).
    • I’m pretty disappointed that I have the exact same percentages in the breakdown of my authors. I hope to do better in 2021!
  • Out of the 143 books I read, 89 were white authors (62%) while 54 were authors of color (38%).
    • 8 out of the 12 months, I read more than 30% diverse authors, but heading into 2021, I would like too see that ratio in all of the months.
    • I would like to be at at least 40% AOC in 2021.
  • By genre:
    • Fiction: 47 (33%)
      • ⬇️ from 37% in 2019.
    • Nonfiction: 31 (22%)
      • ⬆️ from 12% in 2019.
    • Memoir: 16 (12%)
      • ⬇️ from 16% in 2019.
    • Thriller/Mystery: 15 (10%)
      • ➡️ same as 2019.
    • Young Adult: 14 (10%)
      • ➡️ same as 2019.
    • Historical Fiction: 12 (8%)
      • ⬇️ from 11% in 2019.
    • Romance: 5 (3%)
      • 🤷🏼‍♀️ didn’t track in 2019.
    • Dystopian: 3 (2%)
      • 🤷🏼‍♀️ didn’t track in 2019.
  • 51 out of the 143 books (36%) I read this year dealt with diverse topics. I would aboslutely love for this number to be higher in 2021 (at least 50%).
  • My average book length increased from 337 to 342 pages/book. Again, I would like to see this number higher (read more big books!) in 2021!

Favorite Books:

Overall, I felt really satisfied with my reading this year. Some standout books include:

If you’re interested in all my year-end posts, head here!

According to Goodreads:

Book of the Year:

I had the hardest time choosing between my Top 3: Deacon King Kong, Caste, and Freshwater (honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of these books!). After making a decision and then changing it a million times, I settled on Freshwater. (I am totally contradicting myself with this because in my Top 10 Books of 2020, I named Deacon King Kong as my absolute favorite. This just goes to show how much I loved each of these books!) This book gave me all the feels – every single one of ’em! – and completely blew me out of the water by the time I finished! This will definitely be a reread for me in 2021 and I hope I get even more out of it the second time around!

By the Month:

Same as above, just a bookstack instead of my amazing drawings! 😂

The 2020 Unread Shelf:

I started with 417 books on my shelves in January and ended with 184 in December! I did two major purges of my shelves and, in the end, eliminated 233 books. I’m happy with this number; in fact, I feel much more peaceful when I look at my shelves right now compared to one year ago. I will participate in Whitney’s Unread Shelf Project again in 2021! (It’s the only challenge I completed start to finish this year!)

Nonfiction Reading Challenge:

It actually surprised me that I didn’t complete this one because I read a lot of nonfiction this year – apparently just not in all the correct categories! Regardless, I loved this challenge (it totally focused my reading) and I will definitely be participating again in 2021!

Alphabet Challenge:

I can’t believe I almost completed this one! (I guess it’s not so hard when you read 140 books a year! 🤷🏼‍♀️) I missed the letters E and Z (even though I totally had books for these two letters – they just never struck my mood, I guess.) If there is a sponsor for this challenge, I don’t know it. I will be participating in the Alphabet Challenge again because it’s so easy – it sits in the background and every few months I go through my books and fill it in!

Top Blog Posts of the Year:

Top 9 Posts on Instagram (find me here!):

This one is totally just fun to see what posts received the most love over the year!

Books Are Magic Subscription

In 2019, my husband and I went to New York City for a weekend. I literally made him walk all the way to Brooklyn so we could visit the Books Are Magic bookstore. While we were there, he surprised me and bought me one of their subscriptions for fiction for the year! I loved getting the selections in my mailbox! I haven’t quite read all of my selections (I have four left), but I still plan on completing this page in the future. If you’re looking for a great subscription service, consider Books Are Magic (totally not sponsored; I genuinely LOVED this service and want to share it with all of you!)

Sarah’s Bookshelves Summer Reading Guide:

I love that one of my favorite book twins, Sarah from Sarah’s Book Shelves, not only puts out an amazing Summer Reading Guide, but she also produces one of my favorite podcasts! She keeps my TBR stacked and I love talking books with her!

The Anti-Racist Booklist:

The events of 2020 (specifically the racial protests after the deaths of Goerge Floyd and Breonna Taylor) changed my reading life. While I feel like I have always read diversely, I started to come to my reading with a different lens. I still have a long way to go (the work will never be done), and this list is in no way comprehensive, but I appreciate the new focus I have now. I will continue to do this work in 2021…and for the rest of my life!

2020 Memories:

I loved this page and I’ll be making one for 2021! It’s a fun way to highlight and recap the major events from each month (and ultimately, year)!

2020 Recap (inspo BookstaandBujo):

This was not an orginal idea (but let’s be honest: none of my bujo spreads are! Thanks for the neverending inspo @bookstaandbujo!), but I really wanted to remember ALL THE CRAZINESS that 2020 brought us! Seriously, just looking at this spread for this post reminded me just how much we’ve lived through in this past year alone! Holy cow…this is a year for the history books!

Netflix Bingeing:

Like so many others, we totally binged on Netflix! Some of the highlights:

Honorable Mentions by Month:


  • Me by Elton John


  • Lovely War by Julie Berry
  • The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
  • The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  • 🎧 Open Book by Jessica Simpson
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle


  • From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke
  • You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
  • Anna K by Jenny Lee
  • 🎧 The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • The Simple Wild by KA Tucker


  • The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe
  • Writers & Lovers by Lily King


  • 🎧 We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez


  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  • Majesty by Katherine McGee
  • Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson


  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi


  • Luster by Raven Leilani
  • One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London


  • Shiner by Amy Jo Burns
  • Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker
  • Good Morning, Destroyer of Men’s Souls by Nina Renata Aron
  • Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein


  • His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
  • The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
  • A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers
  • Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • A Knock at Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett
  • Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore


  • The Address Book by Deirdre Mask
  • Betty by Tiffany McDaniel
  • Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
  • Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  • The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna
  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey


  • Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
  • Apollo’s Arrow by Nicholas A. Christakis

Whew! That was A LOT! I’m curious: have you done a 2020 reading wrap up and/or set your goals for 2021? I’d love to hear them!

12 thoughts on “2020 Year-End Wrap-Up

  1. Love this post Carla, and I feel ya on the bookstagram thing!! It seems it’s become this influencer/highlight reel, that is a slave to algorithms. But just know you are my fav follow on IG!! Also, your journa is pure goals!! Happy new year Carla!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a fun post, Carla! Thank you for sharing all of this; I loved reading it. Ahhh, Instagram…sigh. I’m so tired of trying to figure it out. I’m just thankful that I’ve been able to connect with some really great folks, like yourself, and enjoy talking about books and life. Thank you for the reminder to join in on Whitney’s Unread Shelf Project again this year…hoping I can do a little better in 2021 – ha!

    Liked by 1 person

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