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I set a big goal this year for my Goodreads Reading Challenge: 45 books. The most I ever pledged! This is probably the most books I’ve read in a year since I was a kid and had long summer days to do nothing but read. I’m amazed by people who seem to easily read more than that in one year, sometimes even twice as much. But I know my schedule and my reading habits and I figured 45 books would be a challenging, yet reasonable, goal.

It came down to the wire! I think I had 8 books left when December started. So I had to put my nose to the grindstone (or my eyes on the page). I found a handful of books that I had started earlier in the year that I knew I could finish and it wouldn’t take too much time.

I actually ended up with 46 books read. When I look at that, it’s only 6 short of 52, which would be one book a week. Some day!

Yep, I’m a nonfiction gal!

I read a lot of great books this year. I gave 24 books 5 out of 5 stars, and most of the remainder were 4 stars. I generally only choose books that I have high confidence I’m going to like.

My favorite nonfiction book was Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker, with Caste by Isabel Wilkerson the

My favorite novel was The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, and runner-up was Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa.

This was a great year for reading and I loved the challenge. If I hadn’t set that goal at the beginning of the year, I’m not sure I would have pushed myself to read so much.

Last year’s split was much more equitable. I’m actually surprised I read so many print books.

For 2021, however, I’m going to scale back. I’m still on sabbatical for the first half of the year, but I have a lot of writing and other work to accomplish. I will be heading back to work as department chair, which is a role I have never served before. I have some idea of what to expect, and I’m basically clearing my calendar for the last half of the year to be able to make that big adjustment to more work and responsibility.

So I think 30 books is a reasonable goal, with hope that it will be more than that. I do plan a little more travel, and long drives are good for audiobooks. So we’ll see.

I’m going to put one “classic” on my list. I’m so bad at reading the classics! It’s just not my thing. But I do like A Christmas Carol so I probably will try Oliver Twist or A Tale of Two Cities. Or maybe Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott. I’d also like to continue to expand my international reading. I had Hisham Mitar’s The Return on my to-be-read pile all year but never got around to it.

How did your 2020 reading turn out? What reading goals do you have for 2021?