Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
In 2020 I read a grand total of 165 books, more than most previous years. It was a great year for reading and I had trouble narrowing it down to even the amount in this post. This was a great year for especially science fiction and fantasy, but I also had some great favorites in the other genres. Below I’ve listed my favorite reads/ listens of the year. Even 3 audios made it in there ;). As well as 4 re-reads, which is a lot as I usually rarely re-read and I definitely want to make more time for re-reads as I really enjoyed my re-reads this year.
I am sure no one is surprised to see S.J. Pajonas dominating the science fiction category. I love her books and re-read one of her series that got a rebrand this year as well as finishing her awesome Flyght series. Stolen Flyght was probably my favorite read in the awesome Flyght series. I really loved the conclusion to this series, the twists and turns, the romance, the action, it was awesome.
I also decided to re-read Pajonas’ Hikoboshi series this year in anticipation of book 4 releasing next year. I really enjoyed my re-read and I feel like I can appreciate and love the series even more now that I re-read it. I enjoyed being able to see some of the foreshadowing and there was so much I had forgotten. I enjoyed spending time with the characters and seeing the events unfold. Crash Land on Kurai is the first book in the series and is an excellent start to the series. Chaos in Kadoma Ward has some great scenes like the butsu one and also develops the romance more. Fukusha Model Eight I enjoyed even more the second time around, I loved seeing Yumi and Rin as a couple and was surprised again at some of the twists and also could better appreciate the set-up and the impact this book has now.
Bonds of Brass was a great YA mm romance. The story captivated me and then you have these two boys who would do anything for each other in the middle of a galaxy wide conflict. And that ending, I still have no clue how book 2 is going to go after it. I just hope I can get my hands on the audio for book 2 as I know that’s one book I have to listen to.
After enjoying Syme’s non-fiction books I knew I had to give her cozies a try. Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron is probably one of my favorite cozy mystery books of all time. I love how R.L. Syme writes the characters and makes them feel real. It also had a great mystery. After having to wait for months till the series came back wide so I could buy it I dives into the sequel Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard and it was just as great.
A Cop and a Coop was by a new to me author and narrator and I really enjoyed this series in audio. I’ve listened to the first 3 books so far and they’re all great, I hope book 4 will be in audio as well. I liked how this one had a slightly older main character than most cozies and the mystery in A Cop and a Coop was awesome, it kept me guessing with all the twists and turns and also made totally sense when the final reveal came to light.
I really enjoyed Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped, both that series and the Spellbound series have been awesome and this is probably my favorite book in the series. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Robin and Zylas develop and learning more about the demon world.
I was lucky enough to get to re-read The Carnelian Fox this time in audio format. It’s such a great series and I enjoyed the audio for this one as the narration was great. The Amethyst Panda was the sequel which released this year and might’ve been even better than book 1. I enjoyed getting deeper into some issues and feeling more of what the main character went through. After enjoying Kay Macleod’s Maiyamom series so much I also decided to pick up her Constellation series.
Heirs of Power was the first book in that series and I enjoyed it so much I didn’t wait long to read book 2. The Mage-Lords Legacy was even better than the first book and got a rare 5 star rating. I loved this one! The characters are awesome and the hint of romance and the awesome powers.
Wild Sky was one that took me by surprise, a new to me author, I requested a review copy on impulse as it sounded good. At 720 or so pages this was easily my longest read of the year and while I normally avoid very long books, I am glad I didn’t. This was such a great story with well developed flawed characters, a slow burn romance and ofcourse dragons.
The Gryphon’s Lair was a strong sequel and I think the last book in this series. Rowan is a great capable character who makes mistakes and learns from them. I love seeing her interact with the monsters.
Starcrossed is the sequel of this awesome historic paranormal romance series. The romance is one of my favorite parts of this one, but the great plot, interesting paranormal powers and historical aspects are all very well done too.
My favorite contemporary romance reads form this year are 3 books that all packed quite the emotional punch, but also were very awesome and uplifting stories as well. Finding Tranquility tackles a difficult topic, but is one of those reads that really left an impression. I really enjoyed this one.
I read Melody sweet’s Lyrics of Love series this year and really enjoyed most of the books in the series, but Leap of Faith and Steadfast Knight are the two that really stand out to me. Both have their emotional moments and tackle some difficult topics, a widow in the case of Leap of Faith and child abuse in the case of Steadfast Knight. They could be tough to read at times, but it’s also what makes the romance stand out even more and show the brightness love can bring. And both of these just had awesome characters.
Dear Writer You’re Doing it Wrong was another awesome read by this author. This series is easily my favorite non-fiction series. These books really resonate with me and I like the author’s writing style. I also re-read Dear Writer Are you Burnout late this year and I am glad I did as I needed the reminder about all the great information in this book.
Writing Killer Copy is one of the best books I read about writing blurbs, this one really worked for me and I liked how she broke things down. Writing and Marketing Systems which I read later this year was just as good, I liked the insight into the author’s systems and her advice for setting up your own systems.