Well, friends, we made it! It is finally 2021 and I don’t know about you but I am beyond thrilled to bid 2020 adieu! And good riddance, amiright? Lol!
2020 honestly seemed like The Year The Universe Threw All The Things At Us and it feels like an absolute miracle that any of us made it through. Then again, humans are total masters of adaptation, so maybe it’s not all that surprising, at least scientifically speaking? And I know a large part of what helped me adapt to all the changes was definitely all the media I consumed! I’m pretty sure I consumed more total media than I have in a good while! And, naturally, some pieces of media rose to the forefront as standing above the rest. So, let’s take a look at my favorite media and memories of 2020…
When it comes to books, in all honesty, I had an amazing year! I focused on quality over quantity and only had one book which I rated lower than four stars! That’s why it was so freaking difficult to pick favorites. In the end, three books really stood out above the others I’ve read this year: The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty, Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, and Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. Let’s take a look at why…
- Legendborn by Tracy Deonn Aaah! My newest addition to my all-time favorites—where do I even begin?! I have yet to meet anyone who has disliked this book and I feel like, as a Black girl, my pride and love for this book is, like, tenfold! I think part of the thing is, I (like Bree, the main character of Legendborn) was a young, “academically gifted,” Black girl who got sent to programs for “gifted students” and desperately wanted the world to be magical, even though I never got to see myself in YA fantasies about magical worlds and I feel like Legendborn really tapped into that part of me and gave my inner child a precious ember of joy. But beyond that, this book is pure EXCELLENCE and I have nothing other to say than begging–imploring—you to read it.
- The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty This book was bittersweet because it was the perfect ending to one of my all-time favorite series, but it was, sadly, the end and I’m not so certain I was ready to say goodbye for good. Chakraborty is definitely a master of intrigue and of character development and she just knows how to crush your heart and bring you hope all at once. I’ve heard whispers that she might be writing more in the Daevabad universe, but I worry that might just be rumors. Even if this really is all we get of the world of The Daevabad Trilogy, I think I can rest with what we’ve been given.
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse This is an Adult high fantasy that is the first high fantasy book that I’ve ever seen my own Indigenous American heritage represented in and that alone would make me love it but the fact that it’s also just an outstanding book and an amazing start to a new series? Call me speechless. This book had ALL the political intrigue and the twists and turns and everything that I need to fall in love with a book. And the characters! The characters had so much depth and dimension!! I cannot recommend this book enough, tbh.
As for shows, there were two standouts, both from Netflix: The Witcher and Never Have I Ever. Both were excellent in completely different ways!
I loved The Witcher as a wonderful fantasy escape—I’d imagine similar to Game of Thrones (which I never watched), but with a lot more humor (read: I would die for you, Jaskier!). Being a big fan of fantasy in all media formats, it’s probably not a surprise that The Witcher became an instant new all-time favorite!
My adoration for Never Have I Ever is a little more unusual considering I’m not usually into comedies/dramedies. Nevertheless, the show totally managed to completely capture my heart! Part humor, part heartbreak, and 100% heartfelt, Never Have I Ever was a pleasant surprise of a new addition to my “favorites” list. I found myself relating in surprising ways to the show and found the story and the characters all to be very genuine. Aah, I could gush for hours, but I’ll cut it short here, considering I’ve already raved about the show!
Admittedly, the only film I watched in entirety this year was Netflix’s Enola Holmes, BUT! That being said, don’t let that fact make you think that I don’t actually love this film as much as I do! Enola Holmes was so very charming and just all-around fun for all ages and asdfhjklkjhgjhgfdsdasdfg I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! I’m desperately hoping that Netflix makes more films about Enola because I’m so on board for watching her have more crazy adventures!
Lissen, 2020 may have sucked in every other way but I think most of us can admit that music artists killed it this past year with their releases. I mean, from Beyonce to Ariana Grande and even Taylor Swift, it seems like all of our faves were releasing outstanding albums! Personally, my favorites were Jessie Reyez’s debut album, BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US, Chloe x Halle’s newest album, Ungodly Hour, and Taylor Swift’s two (!!!) new albums, Folklore and Evermore.
Another thing I loved listening to in 2020 was the sci fi/fantasy audio-drama podcast, The Bridge! Y’all, this podcast is so much fun! If you’re looking for a fun, light yet semi eerie fiction podcast to listen to, then definitely add The Bridge to your list of podcasts to listen to!
In the past year I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Eve Cornwell‘s and cari cakes‘ content! I’ve definitely talked about my love for these ladies before, but it’s worth saying again just how much I adore these gals’ content!
In terms of what they post, Eve and Cari are pretty different, but equally as good. Eve is a former law student and now a trainee lawyer who makes fun, funky, energetic videos about law and lifestyle. Meanwhile, Cari is an YouTuber who lives in Korea and who makes very calming videos about lifestyle and exploring Korea (oh, and she also has a relatively new booktube channel, which is also fantastic!). When I need to feel energized and motivated, I watch Eve’s videos and when I’m feeling anxious or kinda down and need a calming video, I turn to Cari’s content. Through 2020, lemme tell ya: these ladies kept me sane! Definitely add them to your watchlist!
My favorite post that I wrote in 2020 is definitely my post about folklore of the African Diaspora that I want to see written about in fiction! I put so much of my heart into this post and I’m so proud of the outcome! This post was really about celebrating and sharing the magical culture of my people and it was such a beautiful thing to feel such pride in us, especially during such a dark time.
I’ve known about Notion for a year or so now, but I really figured out how to use it and became obsessed with it in 2020! I find it really difficult to organize my quarantine-required remote learning (hello, ADHD!), but Notion has made it just that much easier for me. I’m not saying my system is perfect (I doubt it’ll ever be), it’s more of an ever-evolving process since I wasn’t born with those peak executive function skills (again, hello, ADHD!), but that being said, it’s getting easier with each day. I especially love the templates I found from Alexandra from Twirling Pages, May at Forever and Everly, and the Tumblr blog noodledesk!
My absolute FAVORITE memory of 2020 has got to be adopting my cats, Snoopy and Clementine! Both of them were strays in my neighborhood who we took in (really, it was more that they took us in, lol) and had vet checked and checked for microchips and, when we found none, we decided to fully adopt them. I’m so, so, sooo beyond happy to have these snuggly buddies in my life, ready and willing to give plenty of cuddles!
So that’s all for today, dear friends! I hope you enjoyed and maybe found something you might enjoy too! I know 2020 was a crazy difficult year for everyone and I hope that we all have better luck this year. I wish you all love, laughter, light, and happiness and, with that, I think it’s time for me to grab a cup of tea and get lost in a book again. Until next time, friends…
What were your favorites of 2020, friends? Tell me all about the things that kept you sane and gave you a bit of peace in the comments! And what are you looking forward to in 2021? Do you have any goals or resolutions? Spill the beans!