We’re a quarter (plus some) of the way through 2020 already, so it’s time to do my quarterly goals check in and see how I’m doing! If you missed this last year, essentially I go through all my goals and reading lists for the year to see if I’m on track, or completely failing. I discovered it’s really helpful for me to see areas I need to work on to meet my goals by the end of the year. So I hope you enjoy reading these check-ins because I’m going to keep doing them.

My 2020 Reading List

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Honestly, I think this is the most intimidating book on this list. So, of course I haven’t read it yet. The beginning of this year has been honestly pretty insane (I went on an international trip and the second I came back all this happened), so I haven’t exactly been in a good place to tackle a massive historical fiction novel. But it will happen!

The Odyssey by Homer

I read this and really enjoyed it. The Emily Wilson translation is great, and I’m glad I was able read that as my first experience reading The Odyssey all the way through. It was just so easy to read, and it made me appreciate the mythology (and Circe) even more.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

I haven’t read this one yet, but I am looking forward to reading more Hemingway. I’ve only ever read his short fiction, and that was way back in grad school. Not sure why I haven’t read more, because I really enjoyed it, but it’s happening this year. At some point.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier

Haven’t read it yet, but I think this might be a fall/autumn book. It just feels like a fall book. Maybe because Rebecca is DEFINITELY a fall book, so that’s the season my brain puts Daphne du Maurier in.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

I just got the audiobook – because it’s narrated by Tom Hanks and I had to – so I might try to listen to it in the next month or so. It sounds like something I’m going to love, as long as I’m in the mood for it.

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

I did actually start reading this at the very beginning of the year. Like, January 1st. However, I encountered an issue that has nothing to do with the book itself: which is that it’s kind of depressing to read about the presidents who handled major crises in our history and… how do I put this… were not complete morons. Or selfish assholes. And, since we currently have both, this book was making me pretty angry, so I had to put it on hold until a time where it doesn’t make me upset that Teddy Roosevelt can’t be president again. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to finish this by the end of the year, because it is really good. Until then, you can find me wearing my “Any Functional Adult 2020” t-shirt around the house. Because outside is bad.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

I finally read this! And it was really good. It wasn’t the most engaging history book I’ve ever read, but it was really good. Henrietta Lacks deserved to have her story told, and I’m glad it was.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

I spent a week and half reading this slowly before bed every night (because my reading habits HAD to fit the book, okay?). And I learned a lot. Like the fact that dolphins and birds have the ability to only sleep with one half of their brain at a time (and ability I would really like to learn).

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

I loved this! Which should come as a huge surprise given that I’ve given all the other Walter Isaacson books I’ve read five stars AND I am a MASSIVE Ben Franklin fan. Seriously, though, I remember my first day of my American Studies core course (that’s right, I have a minor in why our country is supposed to not suck – sorry, my sarcasm has clearly not benefited from the boredom) and my professor asked if we knew what was signifiant about that day (January 17). To which I, being the über-nerd that I am, raised my hand and said it was Ben Franklin’s birthday and ruined his fun. So yeah, I love Franklin. And I really enjoyed learning more about him in this book.

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

I have read this one, and I honestly didn’t like it as much as I was expecting to. I’ve read a lot of great memoirs set in Appalachia – my favorites being Educated and The Glass Castle – and this one just wasn’t quite as impactful. Still good, though.

How Am I Doing?

I hate to brag, but I’m doing awesome! I’ve knocked out half of my reading list, including almost all of the nonfiction. I do need to get on top of the fiction books on my list (especially since I think Wolf Hall might take me a while to get through), but I’m in good shape to finish all the books on my list this year.

Check out my original 2020 Reading List post here!

Five-Star Predictions

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

I will be starting this very soon, because it’s on my reading list for the OWL Magical Readathon, which is happening this month.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

I haven’t read this quite yet, but it has been calling my name from the shelf. So it will probably happen sometime this summer. (I’m actually going to try and get through all my ARCs in the next month or so so I can read whatever I want – and work on a few bigger blog projects I have planned.)

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

This is the only one I’ve read so far, and it almost wasn’t five stars. I honestly think I was struggling with the audiobook, and once I switched over to the physical book, I got a lot more into it. But it was still a four-star read until the very end. Because the ending was seriously amazing, and I need book two right now please.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

This was recommended by a friend who has recommended some of my all-time favorite reads (like A Gentleman in Moscow and The Pillars of the Earth), so I have to read it. Hopefully soon.

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

This is the only 2020 release on this list, and I somehow got an ARC! So I will be reading this in the next month or two so I can have a review up before it’s released in July.

How Am I Doing?

Not terrible. I’ve read one, and plan on reading another in the next week or two. But I really have to up my game a bit since my original goal was to finish these in the first half of 2020 so I can do another five-star predictions post this year. I still think it’s doable.

Check out my Five-Star Predictions, Round Two AND my first Five-Star Predictions Wrap Up, to see how I did in the first round.

2020 Reading Goals

Read 25% Nonfiction (at Least One Per Month)

So… something happened. In February, I got very sick at the end of the month (after going on an international trip – I may or may not have had COVID-19, but they didn’t test me because it was still kind of new) and… didn’t read my monthly nonfiction book. It’s the first time in over four years I skipped a nonfiction month. I’m still kind of mad about it. But whatever. MOVING ON… I’ve still been doing pretty great with the nonfiction reading. As of my writing this, I have read twenty-eight books, eight of which are nonfiction. Meaning I have read about 28% nonfiction so far (lots of eights there). So, I’m fine. It’s fine. February never happened.

Read Fewer Books

I am KILLING this goal! Mostly because this year has been insane, and up until literally two days ago, I was behind on my Goodreads goal. So… winning! Seriously, though, I have enjoyed spending more time with books and putting less pressure on myself to read faster. Especially since I no longer have the “you’re 8 books behind your goal” haunting me on Goodreads.

Read at Least Six Classics

Not doing too bad with this one. I have actually read two classics so far this year, so I’m a third of the way to meeting my goal. Which, knowing me, means I’m about to talk myself into reading one of the giant classics sitting on my shelves.

Make Reading Fun Again

This year got a little bit off track, but I think I’m doing okay. I’m currently in the middle of a readathon, I’ve gotten much better at requesting fewer ARCs so I have more time to read what I feel like vs. what I need to, and I just spend a day planning out some fun reading/blog projects for this year. So I think the rest of this year is going to be more fun.

How Am I Doing?

Overall, I’m not mad about it. I definitely have some things to work on, but I’m fairly happy with how this year has been going so far. I definitely would have said something different a month ago, so things are improving.

You can read my 2020 Reading Goals/Resolutions post here.


I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 100 books, which is what I’ve done for the past five years. I haven’t had any trouble meeting it yet, so it should be doable (even though a fell a teensy bit behind for a bit).

Did you set yourself any reading goals this year? How have you been doing so far?

8 thoughts

  1. “and… how to I put this… were not complete morons.”

    This made me laugh because I journaled just yesterday (while watching an emotionally wrenching 1915 film called The Birth of a Nation which was endorsed by the then racist President Wilson & SCREENED IN THE WHITE HOUSE, all of which felt quite close to home, “What manner of idiot is the intended audience here? I have a moral obligation not to be a moron.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (And by “laugh” I mean shake my head, weighted with a heaviness of emotion that finds itself a home in the totally inconsequential word “moron” because the English language has yet to define what we’re experiencing.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get it. We have to “laugh” to keep from crying or screaming. The word that keeps popping into my head (more than moron) is “backpfeifengesicht”, which means “a face badly in need of a fist” in German (I don’t speak German, I just love that word – we need a English equivalent).

        I loved “I have a moral obligation not to be a moron”! Completely agree!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like you’ve had a great reading year so far! I’ve also started doing check-ins, in my case monthly, and I’ve definitely found that measuring how I’m doing on my goals helps with actually meeting them.

    I’ve already read The Odyssey, but I’ve heard such good things about the Emily Wilson translation that I might have to read it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was totally worth it! Even her introduction is great! I’d also highly recommend the audiobook. Claire Danes does such a great job, and it felt like that’s how The Odyssey was meant to be experienced.

      Liked by 1 person

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