2020 YEAR IN REVIEW | How Many Books I Read, My Top Videos, and Your Funniest Comments + Giveaway!
There was even a furry artist that drew me as a furry, and it was just... so beautiful. [intro music] I want to do a year in review for this video where I look back on how many books I read throughout the year, and also look at the videos that I posted this year that got the highest views, see if there's any patterns there. And then lastly, I wanted to just highlight some of the funny comments that I have received throughout the year.
And to celebrate that we have survived the year of 2020, I am doing a giveaway for five brand new books because Book of the Month is sponsoring this video. Book of the Month is a super popular and fast growing online book service for readers. Their mission is to promote new and emerging authors and help readers discover books they love. Their team vets hundreds of books each month and gives readers their choice from a curated selection of new and early release titles so you can spend more time reading, and less time researching. Book of the Month is risk free so you can skip any month anytime and you will not be charged.
The five books I picked for the month of January include "The Survivors" which is a mystery book about a seaside town burdened by secrets and unsolved murders. "The Prophets", a literary novel about the endangered love between two enslaved men. "The Dating Plan", a romance novel about two people getting fake engaged. "The Removed", a contemporary novel about the tragedies and legacies that impact the Cherokee family, and "Outlawed", a historical fiction novel about a gang of lovable outcasts in the wild west.
This is definitely the one I'm most interested in because I love adventure stories, and it has a fugitive girl who joined the band of outlaws. I saw that it is sapphic so that is even more incentive for me to check it out. So if you are interested in the giveaway, the details will be in the description below.
But if you want the books guaranteed and for a good price of $9.99 just use my code readwithcindy and you'll get the books. Last year I had a whole spreadsheet that documented the books I read so that I could calculate how much money I saved because I don't really buy that many books. I also calculated the percentages of the authors race, how many white authors I read versus Asian and black etc. The ratio of authors from female to male to nonbinary, but I didn't keep up a spreadsheet this year because it was too much work.
So instead we're just gonna go with the stats that I have on Goodreads because if you document the books that you read throughout the year, Goodreads will tell you a summary of little fun facts about the books that you read. I might try a 2021 spreadsheet and actually keep up with it, but until then, I'm just gonna go with Goodreads. They calculated how many pages I read and how many books I read. So in total, I read 82 books and 28,147 pages. I didn't log most of these books as audiobooks. So the page count might not be accurate.
This is another thing where I kind of wish I had done like a proper spreadsheet because then I could calculate the hours listened to audiobooks versus like the pages read. Overall I did read more this year compared to last year. The previous year it says I read 78 books and almost 25,000 pages, which is cool, I mean, I don't really have a goal with reading like a certain quantity of books.
Goodreads lets you set up a goal every year for how many books you wanna read. But I've never done that because I don't like giving myself goals in general because I feel like they set up for disappointment. But for reading specifically, I don't like to think of reading books that's like a race or something to quantify. I kind of just like doing my own thing and going at my own pace. And my own pace this year just happened to be a lot more than the average person because I'm a nerd and I don't have any other hobbies besides this.
I would also take the 82 number with a grain of salt because the shortest book that I read was "Kissing The Coronavirus" which was 16 pages. I mean, does that really count as a book or does it count as an experience? This was a really short ebook that got self published this year when the author lost her job and needed some quick cash so good for her. I appreciate the hustle. She wrote this steamy erotica starring a scientist who gets turned on by the Coronavirus but obviously her horniness becomes a conflict of interest because she's supposed to find a cure for the Coronavirus. So what happens when he shows up as a sexy Green Man and tries to seduce her? That doesn't sound like a cure for your horniness. And then they bang and that's pretty much it.
I read it so that I could do a video essay about it where I explained that this book is a literary tale about humanity and capitalism and lust for gratification, because you can actually make a lot of connections between what happens with how he drills her down with his Corona penis to the state of our country, the US specifically. Let's be real, only this shit would happen in the US. That's why we're still stuck in quarantine. In fact, that's the real reason why we're stuck in quarantine. But you can make connections for how this book parallels how we prioritize personal liberty over safety. So I'll link that video if you haven't seen it.
The longest book that I read was "Pretty Girls" by Karin Slaughter, which was 688 pages. The book is about two sisters, they had one sister who mysteriously disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to her. That has kind of caused friction between those two sisters for a long time.
But then the book shows them coming together when they find out that another girl has disappeared, and it's kind of similar to the case of what happened to their sister who went missing. I rated this book four stars at the time, but the more that I think about it, the more it doesn't really hold up. There are two things I questioned about. A lot of people really liked it because it was so crazy, like the stuff that happens is so graphic and violent and intense. I guess I wonder would the book still hold up if it doesn't rely on such graphic depictions of violence against women.
I do understand the appeal of people consuming things like true crime or murder mysteries, because there's just something so grisly yet fascinating about it that you can't turn away. But I don't think having those things and having those graphic details necessarily constitutes a good book. However, the good parts about this book was that there was an emphasis on family and on sister relationships, especially the bond between those two very different sisters, and how they come together. But a caveat that I had with that is it still kind of leans a lot towards white feminism. Like it's awesome to see these women reclaim what they lost and go against the antagonists, which represents very horrible patriarchal consequences to the way that society treats women, but it's only to white women, specifically. Everyone is all up in arms about these women who have disappeared.
At the end of the day, they're all white, and like the title suggests, pretty, blonde, blue-eyed girls. And I guess I couldn't help but keep on thinking that there are so many more women who are not white, and not conventionally pretty, who have these horrible things happen to them, but they don't get the same kind of attention or attraction that this book covers and that news outlets in real life cover as well. So that just weighed on the back of my mind. What solidified the white feminism was that there were so many racist lines in the book.
It was one of those things where I think the author was just trying to make one of the sisters look super racist and not politically correct. And obviously, a character being racist is not the same thing as like the story being racist. But there was no point to it. If you're going to establish that she's a bitch in the beginning, why is she still a bitch in the end if we're supposed to root for her? Like, where was the character development where she was like, damn, maybe I shouldn't make jokes about having sex while wearing a burqa.
Maybe I shouldn't have random thoughts about black and hispanic gang members that have nothing to do with the story because there was literally no people of color. The only people of color that were in the story were just that specific character thinking racist thoughts of hypothetical people of color that weren't even there. So that was just really weird. So I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot better if it were more intersectional, and had more commentary on the actual invisible voices of women who do disappear and get murdered and nobody talks about them.
But maybe that's a little bit too deep for BookTube. So we're gonna just move on. The average book length that I read in 2020 was 343 pages, which is a little bit higher than last year where I got 320 pages. My most popular book that I read this year was "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", that's a pretty obvious one. I read Harry Potter for the first time this past year.
One of my friends was doing a "Harry Potter" read along with a few other people and I who have similarly never read "Harry Potter." This was me just seeing what all the fuss was about. I've concluded it wasn't that great. I definitely think the love that people have for this series was rooted in nostalgia because for me to read it as an adult, it doesn't quite hold up. Especially with this first book I just felt so lukewarm about the entire story. I felt this way about the first two books, the third book kind of picked up but that was only because we started seeing more of the story of the adult characters, but I didn't quite care about the main characters and I don't think it's because they're kids because I enjoy stories like Avatar.
But this one just wasn't for me. I especially cringed at a lot of the writing. Like Harry's cousin is basically this fat spoiled kid, and she emphasized that so much to the point where he was basically a cartoon. She did not hold back every time she described him, like she would talk about his arm holding up, his fat jiggly arm just jiggling with all his flesh meat. Just imagine that description used over and over on literally every single page.
I'm like, yes bitch we get it, you hate fat people. And then there were a goblin characters with hooked noses, and their roles are greedy bankers. So I was like, mmh, that's kinda anti-semitic. When the antagonist had a turban that he got from an African prince, and then he revealed that inside the turban was something totally evil. You know, it was just all those things where I was like, mmhm, this doesn't quite hold up in the year of 2020. Maybe it did at the time that it was published, but since I'm reading it right now, it ain't for me.
And then I decided to stop reading this series entirely because JK Rowling just showed her ass, with just a lot of harmful problematic stuff that she has spouted. I know a lot of people might disagree with me on whether the things that she said were problematic or not. A lot of people might disagree with me on whether this stuff that she wrote in Harry Potter was fat phobic or anti-semitic or problematic or not, because there's tons of explanations for why she wrote things a certain way. But I think regardless of those things, regardless of whether it's actually problematic or not, or whether I'm just being a dumb SJW bitch, I still don't care about the story enough to continue.
So there's literally no incentive for me to keep going on with it. I'm glad I missed out on the hype. It is kind of a shame that the most popular book on Goodreads that I read was "Harry Potter" and the least popular book was "Tell The Truth & Shame the Devil" which is a memoir that was written by the mother of Michael Brown, who a couple years ago was shot by a police officer. That kind of sucks that like not many people have read this book, or put it in their shelves on Goodreads. I feel like a lot of people in the book community are very performative with their activism, like people will retweet a bunch of petitions and then argue with each other for not retweeting a bunch of petitions whenever a black person dies, and then they think they're doing something. And then you look at the Goodreads stats where like, literally only 2000 people in the entire world have added this book onto their shelf.
That's the thing about the book community, people are much more inclined to retweet stuff than they are to actually read this stuff, ironically. My average rating for 2020 was 3.3 stars, which I think is pretty good, because I think last year, I had 3.2 or 3.1.
So we're heading up from here. I give three stars a lot to books, because there are so many books where I read it, and I wasn't into it, but I can understand how like another person might be. It's more like this could be a great book, not for me, but like for another person. So I don't want to sabotage the ratings with like a two star or a one star if the book genuinely has merits for the right kind of audience.
I will give two or one stars for books where I think were just like, objectively pretty terrible or had very problematic things that should never have been added. The highest rated book that I read this year on Goodreads was "Know My Name" by Chanel Miller with a 4.70 average. Fuck yes, dude.
This fucking book was the number one book that I have read the entire year, and I'm so glad that it's the highest rated because this bitch deserves it. I have talked about this book so many times already so you probably already know. It's a memoir written by the girl who had been raped by Brock Turner at Stanford. She wrote a victim impact statement letter a couple years ago, and it went viral on BuzzFeed, but nobody knew her name and now they finally know her name because she wrote a memoir, and it was fucking amazing. I cannot recommend this book enough.
I honestly loved everything about it. I did peek at the one star reviews on Goodreads just to see what kind of people would dare to rate this book one star because I genuinely cannot comprehend why anyone would do that. But once I saw it, it made sense. Because all the people that did rate this book one star were people who were offended by her connecting her specific circumstances with the bigger issue of rape culture and connecting it to people like Trump or to black victims of police brutality. So the people that rated a one star was like, uh, I liked her writing but I didn't like how she made it so political. And I'm like, bitch, everything is political.
Every fucking thing is political. It was basically just like Trump supporters that were offended that she made that connection to rape culture, with the fact that Trump literally had a tape leak where he talked about grabbing people by the pussy. And people were like, why does she have to bring that up? I liked this book better when rape culture was just funneled by one specific circumstance rather than making me question the entire culture that we have permeated ourselves in. You know, it's just fucking stupid. And I really liked that she made the connections of her specific case to the black victims of police brutality, because a lot of the book goes into detail about her having to go through the entire court process and going on trial.
And a lot of what happens whenever victims of rape goes to court is that their characters get completely assassinated. Lawyers and even the internet will try to find ways to blame the victim rather than the perpetrator who had committed the crime. And she makes that connection to how a lot of black victims who are killed by the police deal with very similar things where their history, and their characters get put into question so that they look like the bad guys and not the police officer that actually killed them.
So once again, we fucking stan Chanel Miller and everyone who rated a one star ain't shit, because this book was still the highest rated on Goodreads. So eat my ass. The first book that I read in 2020 was "Nocturna". This was a fun book.
It was a YA fantasy that was set in a Latinx-inspired world. It stars the main male character who is a prince that accidentally unleashes something evil - just to keep it vague. And the other character is a thief who has the ability to change her face.
I was super into this idea because I love adventure stories where two unlikely people have to get together to combat some greater evil and work together and then they maybe fall in love in the process. Like I'm a simple bitch, I like that stuff. But unfortunately, I wasn't really into this book.
One of my pet peeves is when characters act stupid for the sake of advancing the plot. And that's basically what happened, like the prince dude is so stupid. He opened this book where thick black smoke was coming out of it, and he heard like weird voices saying, yes, unleash us, unleash us.
And then he was like, hmm, I guess I will unleash this black magic. And now the world is in disarray and he's like, oh my god, how could this have happened? And I'm like, bitch... it's literally called black magic. What the fuck do you think you're doing? And I think a lot of the characterization was pretty clunky.
Like I knew what the author was trying to do but I don't think it was executed that well. I tend to be very picky when it comes to YA books so if you like YA you might like this better than I did. And then the last book that I read this year was "The Nanny" which is a thriller book. This was originally written in French by a Moroccan author, and they won like an award, and now it's been translated into English. I think there's like a movie about it, too. I thought it was okay. It's more of a character study than a thriller.
But we'll talk about that in my wrap up. And then for the rest of the page Goodread shows all of the books that you read throughout the year. I want to take this moment to kind of give a shoutout to two books that I think were actually pretty good, but I didn't talk about them as much throughout the year. So the first book that I want to point out is actually the first audiobook that I listened to this year, which was "Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory". These are a bunch of short stories.
This was written by the same person who created BoJack Horseman. If you liked the show, BoJack Horseman, you would really like this book. I definitely recommend it as an audiobook because he got a bunch of people in his Hollywood circle to narrate different stories, and the acting was just really good. I think this might be like one of the best audiobooks that I have listened to because the actors were very expressive, and they did a good job with the comedic beats of the story, too. Not all of the stories hit the mark, but I still thought that they were really creative and funny and thoughtful.
It's similar to BoJack Horseman in a sense where it does have humor, but it gets kind of dark, and it gets kind of surrealistic at times. So again, if you're into the show, I think you would really like this audiobook. The next one that I want to just give acknowledgments to is "The Deep" by Rivers Solomon. This is a very short novella about a mermaid who holds the memories for her people. In the book, mermaids are essentially descendants of pregnant African slave women who were thrown over the ships that belonged to the slave owners, thus created the existence of mermaids. But the thing is, none of these mermaids remember what happened because that shit is pretty traumatic.
They give all their memories to the main character who has to shoulder all the burdens of all the fucked up and traumatic shit that their ancestors went through. She has this expectation and responsibility. The book is about her trying to run away from those memories and escape from it, but inevitably we'll learn more about her past. And the book is essentially just showing that if you want to survive, you need to reclaim the memories and the trauma that you face because that's the only way that you go forward. I love the idea for this. I love the theme of intergenerational trauma and the message that it shows from this.
It's very atmospheric and conceptual. I probably would have liked a way more if it were like an actual novel, and it were like an adventure story rather a conceptual piece, but that's just me. Regardless, I really enjoyed Rivers Solomon's work because I read their first novel "An Unkindness of Ghosts" last year. I liked it a lot better because it was like an actual novel and adventure.
That one was a sci-fi novel about a spaceship that is programmed to be like the antebellum south, and then this one is about mermaids. with intergenerational trauma, and I just fucking love how creative this author is. I think they're so freakin smart, and I just want to give a shoutout to them because I feel like I don't talk about them enough when they should be applauded more because they're great. Now we are going to take a look at the top five videos that I posted this year.
I looked at the view count. It's not really surprising what the top videos were. The first one was my rant review on "Serpent & Dove." The second was about "Nevernight," the third one was about "The Wives".
The fourth one was about ranking the fanfiction tropes, and then the fifth one was ranking my subscribers' kinks. So basically people just really like my rant reviews about books, and when I talk about kinky shit. Apparently that's what gets people going. That's what works. I also decided to put together some comments that I think are funny and we should just look back on and laugh.
These aren't necessarily like the funniest comments ever. These just happen to be the comments that I took screenshots of and I found them as I was digging through the archive of 2020, and they made me laugh so I'm gonna share so that we can all laugh together. The first thing that I want to share is this whole thread that happened in my "Nevernight" video.
The original person who posted their comments I think deleted it, which means that the entire thread is gone. Fortunately, I did save a screenshot. So for context, when I was talking about "Nevernight" there was the sex scene where the main guy blows air into the main girl's coochie, and I was just making a joke about how that's really weird. Like, why would you do that? Like that's not even cunnilingus. That's just like, *blowing* trying to cool down the spicy coochie. Like he was just like, *blowing* you know, he was basically doing what I do with my pasta. *blowing*
Somehow, that joke sparked this heated debate in my comment section about the lethal repercussions of vaginal embolism. Because a lot of people were saying that if you blow into a vagina that's actually really dangerous, and then ContessaDark, bless their fucking soul, wanted to educate the entire masses, that that is in fact, not the truth. So many people were saying that this is dangerous, but this person was like, "Trust me, I'm an OR nurse. I've seen enough dissected vaginas
I know what the fuck I'm talking about." And then said, "If blowing on my clit gets me closer to an orgasm, call my pussy a birthday cake and get busy putting out all those candles my friend." To which another person interjected and said , "If you were a nurse, you would know that this is not unheard of. It just needs air and a tear in the vagina which happens especially while being pregnant because blood flow is much better than down there.
It might be rare, but it has been reported on." And then ContessaDark was like, "Stop. Just fucking stop. No, you cannot cause death by vaginal insufflation. Vaginas don't work that way, and lungs don't work that way." To which Icia Jay jumped into the craziness and agreed with ContessDark and said, "A human breath is not the same as a solid object.
If you shoved a leaf blower up your vulva then maybe you could get an embolism but a person's breath playing that puss like a flute, nope. People have been going down and blowing those VJay's for 10s of 1000s of years. If giving a lady head caused fatal shit, we would all know that by now." And then Marie-Madeleine Hurley came in with the receipts with a quote that's saying, "In rare instances, blowing air into the vagina during oral sex can cause an air embolism." So what is the truth? We'll never fucking know.
But I will applaud the passion that these people had in my comments because it was such a fucking wild ride. My fanfiction tropes video also opens a pathway to a lot of out of pocket shit that was said in the comments. Honestly, knotting is superior to normal dick because when you look at a dog dick from the side, you practically have a graph of the three act structure with the knot as a climax. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk." Not the three act structure, Antoine.
Not you literally tainting every single book and story structure by associating it with knotting. Mya Pearson also wrote an entire essay about knotting specifically because I only got a very short definition, and this person wanted to educate me on how A/B/O vaginas aren't really different from ours. And more about like the Alpha and Omega dynamic between them. I'll just have this screenshot on the screen so that you can read through it and learn more if you want. Because if I read the whole thing, this video would be like 50 minutes long and 90% of it would be about knotting. I love when people are so passionate about things.
What I've noticed about people who are really into A/B/O are people in the furry community is that they're all so nice. They're super nice dude. There was even a furry artist that drew me as a furry and it was just so beautiful. So I just want to say to all of my fur pups out there, I love you all. You are the backbone of this channel.
Emma said, "I am feeling very strong second-hand embarrassment but I will continue this video because I love you. But you are on thin ice. Honestly understandable. This entire channel is basically second-hand embarrassment.
I legit will not even look back on my previous videos because I will get embarrassed for myself. Unfortunate anchor said, "Why does she sound like Siri on weed?" I don't know. I really don't know. I've gotten quite a few comments before saying that I sound like Siri but honestly I don't hear it.
But since we're talking about it here's my impersonation of Siri, okay. Close your eyes, don't picture this as me, just picture this as your phone. Hello, how can I help you? Playing all songs on your playlist. Shuffle. Turning on Apple TV. Getting directions to Los Angeles.
In one mile make a left at Harvestwood court. Your destination will be on the left. How was that? Was that accurate or not? Let me know. And then the last few comments that I want to share is fanfiction that people took the time to write about me, which I think is a huge honor. I already did a video where I read outloud an entire wattpad fanfiction but I didn't get to mention that even beyond wattpad there's even fanfiction that's written in the comments. Pretty long fanfiction too, so I'm just gonna put it up on the screen.
I'm not gonna read it outloud because again, this would make the video too long but the first one was by John S. It's titled - A Nurse Named Cindy. I think the main character in this book is like a soldier that came back from the war and I'm a nurse that healed their wounds.
And for some reason this took place in France. I mean, honestly, if this were a book, I would read it. And then the last one by Crazy Martina says, "I ship you with Jessethereader and I have my reasons plus I have a fanfic.
Cindy a depressed teenager meets the funny positive Jesse and they fall in love, but life was harsh on them so harsh that Jesse moved away from his beloved Cindy! NOOOOO Years had passed and they find each other in BookTube. No one dare talk about the past. They remained friends until they met in real life and fall for one another again.
Seriously, why wouldn't you date a funny handsome book lover. Date him please." The moment that I got this comment I messaged Jesse with the screenshot of this comment. Martina if you're watching this I hope you're happy to know that every time I bring up your fanfiction to Jesse he insists on recreating it next time that we meet. Hopefully we'll meet someday so we can make your dreams come true. I know a lot of YouTubers feel weird about that when people ship them with another person and I can kind of understand why because maybe it seems like too personal or like going past a boundary or whatever.
But I find it fucking hilarious. So please keep on doing it. If you ship me with another person please write the fanfiction, please draw the fan art, and please let me know about it so I can message that other person and try to see if we can hook up for the sake of content. So in conclusion, looking back on 2020 I read a lot of books this year, I did a lot of rants and kinky videos that became popular and my subscribers are weird deranged bitches, but we love them all the same.
See you in 2021 unless you unsubscribe which I hope you do. Goodbye.