Let’s Rewind: January 2021

Can you believe it? We’re already a month into 2021 and already the year is shaping up to be one for MAJOR changes.

Let’s Rewind is a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.


Typically, by the end of the month, one would say that it has flown by. And that’s usually the case for me too. Time always seems to be speeding off somewhere. But that wasn’t the case with January 2021 for me. It plodded along at a snail’s pace.

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2021 Reading Plans

I’m all done reflecting on what I read and did last year. 2020 was a good year for my reading and blogging. I read way more than I anticipated (94 books, comics, and picture books) and blogged a lot more too. My followers rose as well, which was pretty cool. 😊 Thank you everyone!

I hope such positivity for my blogging and reading will continue into 2021. I kept my reading goals manageable last year, and I plan to continue doing so this year. (I just need to limit the amount of reading events I participate in at a time.)

Many of my goals below are the same as last year.

Overall reading goals

spend less
read more of my own books
complete some series

I spent less and read more of my own books in 2020 but didn’t complete many series. I’d like to continue with these goals because I know I can do better.

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Reflecting on 2020: Reading

2020 wasn’t a great year, but there were some positive moments and my reading was one of them. Although I suffered from bouts of reading slumps, especially at the beginning of the year, I managed to read a lot more than I anticipated.

To go easy on myself, I set my Goodreads goal at a manageable 50 books, just as I did back in 2019. But because I was stuck at home like many others with little else to distract me, I managed to read more than I expected and ended the year having read a combination of 94 books, comics, mangas, and picture books. That’s 16 more things than I read last year. I was hoping to hit the 100 mark (which I hope for every year), but that didn’t work out. Maybe I’ll do so this year, 2021.

I began 2020 in a reading slump that didn’t get much better as the year wore on. Sometimes I’d escape the slumpiness only to plunge back into it weeks later either because I took on too many reading events and engagements or because what was going on in the world affected my mood and reading experiences. Still, I managed to read some good books and even binged on a genre I hardly ever read — romance. I also managed to partake in some great readalongs and buddy-reads too.

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2020 End of Year Book Survey

It’s that time again for the very long, very detailed book survey created by Jamie, the Perpetual Page-Turner. I enjoy doing this each year. It’s just a fun way to reflect on one’s reading. There are a lot of questions, so I’ll most likely skip some of them (and you’ll most likely not read all of them, lol).

2020 Reading Stats

Number of books read: 94

Books: 44
Audio: 22
E-books: 28

Number of books reread: 24

Number of books I Did Not Finish: 4

Genre I read the most: Fantasy

Best book I read in 2020:

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

It’s a children’s picture book that has no pictures in it, and it’s the best book I read in 2020 because it was light and simple and the best companion to have during such a tumultuous year.

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ZeZee’s Disappointing Reads of 2020

Hey, the disappointing books I read deserve some love too, so here’s a list of them.

I’m of the opinion that listing my disappointing reads can help them attract a new book lover. Just because I didn’t like them doesn’t mean everyone else will. I don’t often see people list their disappointing reads, but I’ve sometimes found recommendations on the few such lists I’ve seen and have even added a book to my TBR after reading a negative review of it. So, although these books and comics didn’t work for me, they might interest you.

You’ll also notice that not all of these disappointing reads received a low rating. I mostly rate based on my enjoyment of what I read because I read to be entertained, but I also consider how well crafted the book, comic, or picture book is. So some of these received a high rating because they are well written (and I probably enjoyed them at first) but ultimately let me down by the end (and I couldn’t ignore/forgive that so I added them to this list).

These are listed in the order I read them throughout the year. If I posted a review, I will link to it.

(NOTE: If the layout below looks wonky, it’s mostly likely because you’re viewing this on your phone in the WordPress Reader app which, for some reason unknown to me, keeps messing up the layout when I use certain gallery settings to format the layout of photos. If you view it on the website instead, it will show correctly.)

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ZeZee’s Most Memorable Reads of 2020

Can you tell that I get a kick out of these “best of” book lists for this time of year?

I recently posted my favorites list and now I’m sharing a list of the most memorable books and comics I read in 2020. These are stories that lingered with me long after I completed them either because of their great storytelling, strong characters, impressive worldbuilding, beautiful prose, or a combination of those qualities. These are stories I couldn’t help thinking about at odd times or considered returning to in the new year. Some received higher ratings than some of my favorites and almost made it onto that list.

I’ve listed them below in the order I read them. If I posted a review, I will link to it.

Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner ★★★★☆

A 2020 debut fantasy novel about a young woman who leaves her restrictive society for a new city to become a magician and gets caught up in helping to solve a series of troll murders while there. The story is slow-paced but held my interest. It also focuses on the relationship between a troll and a human man. The world building really interested me because of the variety of cultures in the world, the relations between trolls and humans, and how religion is regarded in some countries. I look forward to reading Waggoner’s next book (The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry, which will be out sometime early this year) to learn more about this world.

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ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2020

Happy New Year, everyone! 😀 I’m excited for 2021. I’m trying not to jinx the year by placing too many hopes on it to be way better than 2020, but I can’t help myself.

I know the new year started last week but my mind doesn’t want to accept that. For me, the new year starts today, January 4, on a Monday. So expect many posts this week reflecting on my reading and blogging in 2020.

This is my favorite time of year as a book blogger, end of December into the beginning of January, because this is when EVERYONE — bloggers, newspapers and other media outlets, and even friends and family — share what the best books they read in the previous year are. I get so many recommendations from such lists. And, although not everyone does it, I also get recommendations from lists of disappointing reads experienced in the previous year. I mean, just because someone hated a book doesn’t mean I will. So if a book on such a list appeals to me, I’ll add it to my TBR.

Anyway, I’m here with my list of favorite reads in 2020. They are categorized but listed in the order I read them. If I posted a review, I will link to it.

Novels & Short Collections

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe ★★★★☆

This is a little collection of three of Poe’s short stories, but the one that falls on my favorites list for 2020 is the titular one, which is about a young man who kills a blind old man and is driven by the sound of the old man’s heart to confess his crime. Oh man! It’s such a thrilling read. I love how it’s narrated. I sped through it and couldn’t believe I waited this long to try Poe’s work. (I gave the collection 4 stars because I didn’t like the other two stories as much, but I gave the Tell-Tale Heart 5 stars.)

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2020 Reading Wrap-Up: Fourth Quarter

I managed to read more than I expected in the last quarter of 2020. I read a variety of things — novels, audiobooks, comics — and even stepped outside my comfort zone to pick up a bunch of romance novels. I’d say it was a good reading quarter.

BOOKS | AUDIO BOOKS | COMICS

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Let’s Rewind: December 2020

Despite how much of an ass 2020, it still seems as if it flew by.

Let’s Rewind is a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.


December.

It wasn’t too bad. Sure the Christmas spirit wasn’t flowing strongly through me, filling me with Christmas cheer and making me run around racking up a huge bill while buying everyone presents, but I still enjoyed the holiday and the time off to just relax.

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Let’s Rewind: November 2020

Ahh… November. My time of R&R.

Let’s Rewind is a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.


Not much happened in November. I took some time away from blogging because I wasn’t in the mood for it then and spent the time reading mostly romance novels, which I haven’t done in a while. I was just in a romance mood, which I’d felt coming on because this is the time of year that I usually spend watching cheesy romance flicks and those Hallmark movies. I’m still in that happy-go-lucky romance mood, so I’m still bingeing on such books and movies.

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