2020 Reading Recap

Hello fellow readers and welcome back! It is a new year and I have many new reads lined up for 2021. 2020 was a bit of a bust reading-wise, not to mention all the other things that failed in 2020, but a recap feels like a good way to end the year and move forward. So – here goes:

Book Club

As you can probably imagine, after March of 2020 the book club that I was attending in Huntsville trailed off. The meetings were sporadic at best and non-existent at worst. The librarian in charge of holding it together has resurrected it recently, but since I moved to Clarksville in July, I am no longer able to attend in person. For 2021, I am going to be participating in an online book club, co-hosted by my favorite living writer, Roxane Gay. The Audacious Book Club will be part of Gay’s newsletter, The Audacity, and seems like it will be both intriguing and enlightening. If you join The Audacity with a subscription, you can also participate in live zoom calls with various authors throughout the year. I’m looking forward to this as it will push me to read more books (always a plus!) and allow me to participate remotely in a low interaction mode. Sounds like the best kind of book club to me!

Book Challenges

For 2021, I have decided not to participate in any online book challenges, unless something really interesting comes along from one of my booktuber friends. I usually try to engage with the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge but this year I am going to focus on the Audacious Book Club picks and reading through my TBR list. I amassed quite a few new books in 2020 and I really need to catch up as much as possible.

Net Galley Book Reviews

In 2020, I severely neglected my book reviewing duties after March as reading was not really a priority during the first and second surges of the pandemic. Now that we are in surge 3 and it looks like things will be continuing in this manner for a while, I have recommitted to reading and reviewing on Net Galley. The first book up, which I am three-quarters of the way through is White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America by Anthea Butler. This book is set to be published on 22 March 2021 and I hope to have my review posted here by the end of January. My second Net Galley read of the year will be World Travel by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever, set to publish on 20 April 2021. I’m looking forward to this read and hope to have a review available here by the end of February.


I was hoping to transfer to a new platform for tracking my reading in 2021, due to my slow transition away from all things Amazon, but I have yet to find an app that has the same level of interaction with other readers. For cataloging, I prefer LibraryThing, but for social interaction on books, Goodreads is really the best. If any of my readers can suggest a better app to use, I’m totally ready to switch, but for now I am sticking with Goodreads.

This year, I’ve set my target number for books read at 36. This is the same number I set for last year, but I’m giving myself a pass on 2020 and setting it as a redo of that horrible year. It looks like we are going to be struggling this year with the pandemic, an insurrection, white supremacy, and social injustice as well, but I’m hoping that as I read and write things will improve. Not magically, mind you, but with additional resources and action. And amid all of this, I would also like to read 36 books. We’ll see how that goes. I am also prioritizing social movement involvement this year, so I’m not going to feel too bad if I don’t get to that reading goal. The future is more important.

If you would like to join me over at Goodreads, please click here, or on LibraryThing, click here!

2020 Wrap Up

Although the list is short, I did get some reading accomplished in 2020 and here are the results:

  1. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone who’s Been There by Tara Schuster
    Completed on 10 February 2020
    Rating = ***
    Review here
  2. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    Completed on 13 February 2020
    Rating = *****
  3. Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview and Other Conversations by Melville House (Editory)
    Completed on 19 February 2020
    Rating = ***
  4. You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas
    Completed on 25 February 2020
    Rating = ****
  5. How to Be an Artist by Jerry Saltz
    Completed on 16 March 2020
    Rating = ***
    Review here
  6. How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
    Completed on 25 May 2020
    Rating = *****
  7. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
    Completed on 25 June 2020
    Rating = ****
  8. Say It Louder!: Black Voters, Voices & the Shaping of American Democracy by Tiffany Cross
    Completed on 11 July 2020
    Rating = ****
  9. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi
    Completed on 1 August 2020
    Rating = ****
  10. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
    Completed on 3 September 2020
    Rating = *****
  11. Dreamworlds of Alabama by Allen Shelton
    Completed on 17 September 2020
    Rating = ****
  12. Whose Story Is This? Old Conflicts, New Chapters by Rebecca Solnit
    Completed on 3 October 2020
    Rating = ****
  13. I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
    Completed on 12 October 2020
    Rating = *****
  14. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Completed on 22 October 2020
    Rating = *****
  15. W.E.B. DuBois Speaks Speeches and Addresses, 1890-1919 by W.E.B. Du Bois
    Completed on 4 November 2020
    Rating = ****
  16. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
    Completed on 18 November 2020
    Rating = *****
  17. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister
    Completed on 20 November 2020
    Rating = *****

Final thought

My wish for you in 2021, dear readers, is that you may all stay safe, keep learning new things, keep moving forward for yourselves and our collective society, wear your masks, and read on! I look forward to sharing my reads throughout the year and discussing with you!

Peace, Chantale aka hippiegrrl

Currently Reading…

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