2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year summary back in early July 2020, the second half of the year continued pretty much in the same vein as the first half had begun; i.e., my statistics for the whole year are still a variation on the theme of Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, or, 17 charts showing that 2020 was a year of reading Golden Age mysteries written by women (and following other Anglo-/ UK-centric reading proclivities); i.e. comfort reading galore … it was just that kind of year, I guess.

As a result, my Golden Age Mysteries / Detection Club reading project progressed very nicely.  Luckily, as I said in my main 2020 in Review post, I also managed to add a number of new countries to my Around the World challenge, and the gender balance is solidly in favor of women authors: I read almost 2 1/2 books by women for every book written by a man — in fact, I even reread more books by women than the total number of books by men.  So there was at least some progress in other areas, too.  And I liked or even loved most of the books I read in 2020 — including most of the new-to-me books –, which of course was another huge plus; in a year where reading was my go-to source of comfort, at that: most of my ratings were 4 stars or higher and thus, above the rating that marks “average” in my personal scale (3.5 stars).

Still, in 2021 I’m going to make a fresh attempt to refocus on my Around the World reading project, in furtherance of which I’ve also created a Diversity Bingo that I’ll try to get through in the space of this one year (though if it takes longer, it takes longer); and I’ll also try to include more books from my Freedom and Future Library in my yearly reading again.

And now, without any further ado:

Greatest New Author Discoveries of 2020

Classics and LitFic
Bernardine Evaristo
Olivia Manning

Historical Fiction
Dorothy Dunnett
Jean-François Parot
Paul Doherty

Golden and Silver Age Mysteries
Josephine Bell
Moray Dalton
Molly Thynne
Christianna Brand
Anthony Gilbert
Raymond Postgate
Patricia Moyes

My Life in Book Titles

This is a meme I’ve seen on quite a few blogs towards the end of 2020; it was created by Annabel at Annabookbel.  You’re to answer the prompts, using only books you have read in 2020; without, if possible, repeating a book title.  I thought I’d include it in my yearly roundup — and to up the ante a little bit further, I decided to use only books I read for the first time in 2020.

In high school I was Unspeakable (John Bercow)

People might be surprised by (my incarnation as) Lioness Rampant (Tamora Pierce)

I will never be The Horse You Came in On (Martha Grimes), nor Resorting to Murder (Martin Edwards, ed.; Various Authors)

My life in lockdown was like (a) Tour de Force (Christianna Brand) and (a) Tragedy at Law (Cyril Hare)

My fantasy job is The Thinking Machine at Work (Jacques Futrelle)

At the end of a long day I need to be Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi) (to my) Pilgrim’s Rest (Patricia Wentworth)

I hate being (around) Serpents in Eden (Martin Edwards, ed.; Various Authors)

Wish I had The Lost Tools of Learning (Dorothy L. Sayers)

My family reunions are (often with) Thirteen Guests (J. Jefferson Farjeon)

At a party you’d find me with My Friend Mr. Campion (Margery Allingham), Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (Emmuska Orczy), and other Bodies from the Library (Tony Medawar, ed.; Various Authors)

I’ve never been to Goodwood (Holly Throsby), Cherringham (Matthew Costello, Neil Richards), or At the Villa Rose (A.E.W. Mason)

A happy day includes A Small Place (Jamaica Kincaid) (of my own): My Beloved World (Sonia Sotomayor)

Motto(s) I live by: To Love and Be Wise (Josephine Tey); and We Should All Be Feminists (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

On my bucket list is Shakespeare’s Local (Pete Brown)

In my next life, I want to have The Grand Tour (Matthew Pritchard, ed.; Agatha Christie)

The Stats

Number of books started: 273
Number of books finished: 271
DNF: 2
Average Rating (overall): 3.9
Average Rating w/o Favorite Annual Xmas Rereads: 3.8

Note: The above chart includes my 6 annual Christmas rereads, which have a habit of slightly skewing my overall rating figures upwards; without these books, the number of 5-star books is reduced by 5 and the number of 4.5-star books is reduced by 1.

Note: “F / M (mixed)” refers to anthologies with contributions by both male and female authors, as well as to books jointly written by male and female authors. — “N / A” in the protagonist gender chart refers to Martha Wells’s Murderbot, who is deliberately created as gender-neutral.

Note: “Multi-ethnic” either refers to several persons (authors / protagonists) of different genders, or to one person of mixed ethnicity.

 

Work-Around for “Date Read” / “End Reading” Setting

As Moonlight Reader and Darth Pony Pedant noted, there’s a bug in the system that currently doesn’t let you record any reading end dates beyond 2019 (i.e., from Jan. 1, 2020 onwards).  This is systemic, i.e. will have to be fixed by BookLikes or their outsourced helpers, HOWEVER, for the time being here’s an easy workaround:

Open your bookshelf in admin view.  Among the icons next to the 25-50-75 drop-down menu for selecting the number of books displayed on your shelf, there is a little nut (or wheel)-shaped icon that takes you to the special “settings” menu for your shelf page.  Click on it.

You shelf settings menu contains a category called “Shelf table view – visible columns.”  Among the selections offered there, find the option for “private note”.  Check it off — but leave all your previously checked selections alone!  I.e., just add this selection to all the others … unless of course you really want to modify those, too, while you’re at it.  Don’t forget to save your settings.

Now, if you return to your bookshelf, it should contain a new column called “Note”.

Find the book(s) for which you want to record your reading end date.  Open the popup screen where you’d ordinarily do so.  At the bottom of that screen, there is a “private note” option.  Click on it and record your “finished” date there.  Save and close the menu.  Your note should now show up in the shelf table column that you just created.  Ehh voilà — you’re done!

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Please note: This is only a workaround to record your reading end date as such — it’s no replacement for a proper fix, and it will not work with your 2020 reading challenge nor with sorting books by read date.  But it’s easy to implement, and at least allows you to keep your records straight as far as dates go.

 

Addenda:

1.: I found out this morning that the system doesn’t report reading start dates, either.  So you’ll have to include both the start and the end date in your notes.

2.: Elentarri has found that the system does still record review submission dates.  So another way to record your reading end date would be to create a mini-post (even if it only says “I liked / didn’t like this” or “I finished this on …”), tick the “review” check box, and manually reset the posting date to the date you actually finished the book.

3. To facilitate sorting / finding your 2020 books on your shelves, it may make sense to create a “2020” shelf (if you’re not shelving by year already anyway).

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/2026074/work-around-for-date-read-end-reading-setting