Now, at the end of the year, I can honestly say that the past twelve months have been way worse than 2019 ever was. A year I called already a shit year. Or as the Queen once in the 1990s said: “An Annus Horribilis”. 

2020 was an annus horribilis for sure. A year of crisis. At times I was overwhelmed, had difficulties adjusting to all the new rules and restrictions that were changed at times on a daily or hourly basis. And while other blogger friends were reading one book after the other, I was paralyzed and found it difficult to concentrate on one novel. It often took me weeks to read and finish a book of about 300 pages. Normally, I can escape into a different world when I read a novel. Not this time. It was just way too much. It felt bad. Like I was living in a vacuum. Out of control. It was hard not to be allowed to hug my family. To do all the things we considered normal before the pandemic hit us.

If someone would have told me in 2019 that we would go into a lockdown in Mid-March for weeks and that we would see once busy streets, places, and the city´s looking like a ghost town and being empty with an eerie quietness hanging in the air – I would have laughed and called that person batshit crazy. To see the Brandenburg gate empty and deserted, a place usually packed with people – felt like living in the wrong movie.

Within no time a tiny virus, an invisible enemy had all our lives turned upside down. A life that never will be the same. Within days we went into a lockdown – something that never had happened before. No airplanes in the air, empty streets, and places. We saw a world on hold. It was a strange feeling. And suddenly, we had solidarity I never experienced before, and people started helping each other. And no matter where I went or whom I called, at some point I heard the words: “stay safe and well”. 

The summer told us before any statistics were published in late December, that 2020 had been the second hottest year in history since they began to look at the numbers. I don´t care about it. Sure, climate change is real and happening and I will continue to give my best doing my part with plastic, water, and other things. But I am not that crazy about it anymore. The pandemic has left an impact on me I never thought would be possible. And I know that nothing will be the same anymore even when we can go back to what we call a “normal life”. Too many things happened within weeks that showed us how fragile life really is. A tiny virus showed us that no matter how strong humankind is, we are still vulnerable. 

In 2020 we had to say again goodbye to some friends, a great author, a supreme court icon, and others. In January, the world heard the sad news that the Queen of Suspense, Mary Higgins Clark had died on January 31st.

Only a few months later, we got informed that my dad´s best friend had died. We still mourn his death. He was 88 and it was hard that my dad couldn´t go to his funeral due to the pandemic. 

On September 18, 2020, the Supreme Court´s Feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, aged 87. And with her, the world lost one of the most powerful women this planet has ever seen.

A few months later, in November, we received the news that my biological mother had died too.

When it comes to books, bookish things, or my reading habits, I have to say that I didn´t read as many books as I´ve done in recent years. Somehow it took me sometimes longer to read a book or to write my review about it as I was used to the years before. The other reason was the corona pandemic. While others were reading like crazy, I couldn´t focus on a book or enjoyed it as I did before. I was reading, yes, but no books. But reading and blogging is still my passion and so I see no reason why that should change in 2021. I closed the New Release Challenge with thirty-one read books, the Library Love Challenge with only seven read books (my goal was 12), and my Backlist Reader Challenge with two read books instead of eight. But I do some challenges again in 2021. And the New Release Challenge will be one of them. 

On Wednesday, the 30th December 2020 we hit the sad record number of 1.122 dead people who died because of Corona within 24 hours in Germany. The world goes into a new year with over 82.835.563 infected people and over 1.807.638 fatalities. And I fear that those numbers will keep rising with the winter in full swing and another six weeks of cold and wet weather ahead of us. And an extension of the current lockdown is likely to happen too. Despite the fact, that we have now a vaccine. But it will take months before most of us will be vaccinated.

No New Year´s resolutions for me. Especially not this year. I want people to be healthy and safe and hope that my family and I will get vaccinated as soon as possible and stay Corona-negative until then. 

I wish you all a healthy and good start in 2021. Please stay safe, stay healthy, wear your mask when you must go outside, and keep your distance from others. Nonetheless, have a wonderful New Year´s Eve and a peaceful New Year’s Day. 

To a better 2021 🍀


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