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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Reflecting on 2020: Life

Despite the trials and difficulties of 2020, I was lucky and had many positive moments throughout the year. The coronavirus has made the year hard on everyone, and, although my family members were able to keep their jobs and managed not to contract the virus, it made aspects of the year difficult for us too.

The biggest difficulty was being unable to physically connect with family to support them during difficult times. We had a death in the family in 2020 (unrelated to corona) that deeply affected everyone; but because the person passed in March when air travel was at a standstill and countries’ borders were closed, we were unable to travel back to Jamaica to be with family there, to emotionally support them and to be emotionally supported. We had to do it from afar, often over Zoom and WhatsApp, which weren’t often the best substitute.

The downside here is that corona kept us apart when we wanted to be closer; but, in some ways, it made us closer. Due to the death in the family and restrictions to travelling, my family began to connect more. Instead of calling each other every now and then, we formed a WhatsApp group that allowed us to quickly share news, encourage each other, and even joke around. There was a lot more chatter between us.

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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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Book Haul #67: Last Haul for 2020

The end of the year is fast approaching, and everyone’s looking forward to telling 2020 goodbye. But before we get to that moment, here’s a small book haul for the end of the year.

PURCHASE

PHYSICAL

DRAGON WING by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

This series might be the next bunch I buddy-read with Emily at Embuhleeliest, my buddy-reader in all this Robin Hobb… and maybe Margaret Weis.

PLAYING IN THE DARK: WHITENESS AND THE LITERARY IMAGINATION by Toni Morrison

I saw this thin book in the store, read the back, and could not leave without it.

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Christmas Stocking Tag

It’s Boxing Day, if you celebrate that. It’s not celebrated here in the U.S., unfortunately, so it’s a work day for those who work on the weekends.

For me, it’s another tag day! 😀 Oh yes! This bout of Christmas book tags will continue through the weekend. Today I’m doing the Christmas Stocking Tag, which was created by Kate at Reading Through Infinity, because I couldn’t find a Boxing Day-themed book tag (and here I thought there was a book tag for everything. I was gravely mistaken).

You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young (illus.)

For some reason, the “refreshing” part of the question stumped me, so I focused on the “vibrant” part instead and chose Skottie Young’s silly fantasy comic book I Hate Fairyland, which is about a 40-year-old woman stuck in a 6-year-old’s body in fairyland. The story is silly and fun with bright, vibrant illustrations. Many people love it, but it didn’t work for me.

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Christmas Book Blogger Tag

It’s Christmas!! My favorite time of year. 😀

We aren’t really celebrating Christmas this year in my household, but I’m still excited for the holiday and I do hope you all are having a wonderful, safe, socially distanced holiday season.

To celebrate Christmas on my blog, I’ve decided to do the Christmas Book Blogger Tag, which I found on Whimsy Pages. It was created by Trish at Between My Lines, whose blog seems to be down.

What Is Your Favourite Christmas Scene In A Book?

the Battle of Christmas Eve in the Nevermoor series

I recently completed the latest installment in the Nevermoor series — Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow — so it’s still on mind. That’s why I selected its annual Battle of Christmas Eve for this answer. Saint Nicholas and the Yule Queen battle to show off their magical powers and wow the Nevermoorians, and it’s amazing. I think it’s a wonderful celebration. (Btw, I lean more toward Saint Nicholas (because gifts! 😆) than the Yule Queen because I’m not a big fan of snow.)

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Christmas Carol & Songs Book Tags

I’ve been saving up all the Christmas book tags I find for this time of year. So from now through Christmas, and maybe a little after that, I’m posting nothing but Christmas-themed book tags. 😀

Today is a two-in-one post featuring the Christmas Carol Book Tag and the Christmas Song Book Tag.


Christmas Carol Book Tag

The Christmas Carol Book Tag was created by booktuber Lauren Wade and is based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which I haven’t yet read and probably should this Christmas.

Ghost of Christmas Past — A book that was a childhood favourite

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton, illus. by Jan McCafferty

I believe Blyton’s Faraway Tree books were among those I read as a kid and loved and that got me interested in the fantasy genre. The Enchanted Wood is about three siblings who move to the country with their parents and discover an amazing tree in the wood behind their house. Atop the tree is a portal to various worlds, which the kids explore with the inhabitants of the tree. I loved this book as a kid but not so much when I reread it last year.

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