Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag 2020

I don’t usually do book tags, but this one is all over book blogs and Booktube, and I thought it would be another interesting exercise in looking back at what I’ve read, specifically what I’ve read so far this year. I’ve seen different sets of questions posted for this tag, so I’m using the questions that are relevant to me.

1. How many books have you read so far?

I’ve read 53 of the 75 books I challenged myself to read this year, but I think I’m going to end up reading closer to 100 books total. Having three months off from work and now having the entire summer off from school, I’m getting a lot more reading done than I normally would have.

2. Rereads?

Yes! I am a big fan of rereading books that I love, and I have reread nine books so far this year. I’m rereading the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane right now, and I have six more of those to reread. With roughly five and a half months left in the year, I might be rereading other books, too. We’ll see what comes up.

3. Best book(s) you’ve read so far this year?

I don’t know that I can choose just one. The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez is phenomenal, as is The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Both made me feel all the feels. I also really enjoyed Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.

4. Best sequel(s) read so far this year?

Aside from the Wheel of Time series (which I’m not considering for this question), I’ve only read two sequels this year (not including rereads) and they were both excellent. Come Tumbling Down is the fifth (and most recent) book in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, and The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang is the second book of the Poppy War trilogy. I really enjoyed them both.

5. New release(s) you haven’t read yet, but want to?

There are two new releases I want to read but haven’t gotten to yet, and I had to either order both from across the pond or wait for them to be published here in the States. Of course I had to have them RIGHT NOW, so I ordered them even though I probably won’t get to them until after their pub dates here. Heh. They are Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld.

6. Most anticipated new release(s) in the second half of the year?

All the publishing dates got so screwed up this year (#ThanksCovid) that I don’t know what’s coming out when anymore. I deal with this on a month-to-month basis right now. Plus, I’m always so backed up on my reading that I very rarely get to read something as soon as it comes out.

7. Biggest disappointment?

Definitely Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Damn you, Hype Monster. I’m usually really good about choosing books and I don’t come across many disappointments, but this one was NOT what it was cracked up to be. Ugh.

8. Biggest surprise?

Graceland by Bethan Roberts. I’m not a fan of Elvis, so I didn’t think I’d enjoy this one as much as I did. I never would have chosen it on my own if I didn’t have to read it for a book club, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was and how well it kept me interested.

9. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

I’m going to go with Bernardine Evaristo and Lucy Foley for this one. I will definitely read anything Bernardine Evaristo writes after reading Girl, Woman, Other, and while the Lucy Foley book I read (The Hunting Party) wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, I’m definitely interested in reading more of her stuff.

10. Newest favorite character?

I’m very fond of Mirabel from The Starless Sea, and I’m also quite fond of Loial, Lan, Mat, Moiraine, and Nynaeve from the Wheel of Time series. Oh, and Finnick from Mockingjay!

11. Book(s) that made you cry?

The Vanished Birds and The Starless Sea. Le sigh.

12. Book(s) that made you happy?

The Starless Sea, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, and Longbourn by Jo Baker.

13. Favorite book-to-film adaptation watched this year?

I don’t watch many movies anymore, and I don’t know that I’ve watched a film adaptation of a book this year. But on the TV show front, I really enjoyed Normal People (based on the book by Sally Rooney, which I haven’t read yet), and I very much enjoyed The Magicians (based on the series by Lev Grossman). I’m sad The Magicians is over.

14. Most beautiful book(s) you’ve purchased/received this year?

Hands down this is Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. This book cover is GORGEOUS, and is one reason why I’m glad I bought the British edition instead of waiting for the U.S. edition.

15. Which book(s) do you need to read by the end of the year?

I don’t necessarily HAVE to read anything by the end of the year, but I committed myself to the #20for20books challenge, so I should probably read more of those. I haven’t read very many of them so far. And I WANT to read them, so I should get on that.

How was your reading for the first half of the year? Any big disappointments or big surprises? What new releases are you especially looking forward to in the second half of the year?

Authors I’ve Read the Most

Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts a weekly Top Ten Tuesday meme, and while I don’t participate, I enjoy reading others’ TTT posts. This week, though, the topic was Top Ten Authors I’ve Read the Most, and I was interested to see which authors would make my list. Some of the authors I could have listed off the top of my head, knowing that I’ve read a ton of their books, but others surprised me because I haven’t read their stuff in years and I’d forgotten that I’d read so many of their books in the first place.

Another thing I found (and knew to be true, but it was nice to have it confirmed) is that some of my favorite authors are not necessarily authors I’ve read the most. A number of my favorite authors haven’t written a ton of books, and so I’ve been able to read only three or four. Figuring out who I’ve read the most also reminded me that there are books by some of my favorite authors that I haven’t read yet, and I need to get back to them.

Continue reading “Authors I’ve Read the Most”

July 2020 Reading Plans

How is it July already?! I’m not usually one of those people who laments how fast/slow a week/month/year went, but June felt like it was one week long short. Sigh.

I didn’t read any of the Women’s Prize longlist books in June, so I’d really like to get back to that in July, but in light of J.K. Rowling being an absolute ass and me feeling like the Harry Potter world has been ruined for the foreseeable future (I’m not here to debate whether or not it’s okay to still be a fan of the stories — I personally can’t comfortably be a fan of that world right now), sj and I have decided to reread Diane Duane’s Young Wizard series, which is pre-HP and which we actually enjoy more.

Continue reading “July 2020 Reading Plans”

June TBR

Who has two thumbs and has never read The Hunger Games series?

This gal!

I do (and don’t) know why I haven’t read it yet. The first book came out the same year that the last book of the Twilight series came out, and the Hype Monster was real. In my circle, the same people who were raving about the Twilight series were also raving about The Hunger Games, and it turned me off a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong: I read the entire Twilight series and I *did not* think they were terrible. They were super readable (my husband and I read them all in the span of a week and a half), and while I didn’t *love* them, I didn’t dislike them at all. But there was something about diving into *another* YA fantasy series that EVERYONE was raving about that I wasn’t down for. I was a little afraid of the Hype Monster. So I decided to wait a while…and I kind of forgot all about them.

Continue reading “June TBR”

Library Book Haul and Book Mail!

Who has two thumbs and works in a library? This gal! Who has two thumbs and has to go in to work at that library every other Friday while it’s closed to do administrative stuff? This gal! Who has two thumbs and checks out a ton of books every time she has to go in to work? This gal!

Privilege is real, y’all.

It has gotten to the point that the ILS we use makes me override my checkouts because I have more than the maximum number of books (25) checked out.

When I went in to work yesterday, I decided to see if some of the books I might want to read in May were on the shelves. I have most of the books in ebook format already, and although I love my ereader, I also prefer the feel of reading treebooks. I did find a couple of the books on my list, and of course that got me browsing the shelves and wondering if there were OTHER books that I could possibly add to my May TBR for the Asian Readathon. And of course there were. Of course.

Pictured from top to bottom:

  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  • The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
  • Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Family Trust by Kathy Wang
  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

I am never going to get to all of the books I’ve picked out for May, but now I’ve given myself some choices just in case any of the books on my original list aren’t what I’m in the mood for. I have never been a person who can stick to a pre-made TBR list.

And I FINALLY received my copy of If It Bleeds by Stephen King. This book was supposed to be released in May. Then the date got moved up to April 21. I pre-ordered this book in March. Originally, Amazon said it would be delivered on April 23. Then the delivery date got pushed back to April 28. And I finally received it yesterday. Sigh. I know that Amazon has this whole “necessities” thing going on, but I have friends who are receiving candy from Amazon within two days. Candy. Definitely a necessity. (Can you feel me rolling my eyes?) The funny thing about me being annoyed by the late date is that I won’t even be reading If It Bleeds any time soon. I have other SK books to catch up on before I even get to the newest one. But candy? Come on.

I didn’t even notice the optical illusion of the cat’s eyes and nose being a rat’s face until I received the book. Cool!

I have all my school work done for the week, so I will be doing nothing but reading this weekend. Next week is going to be kind of busy between conference calls, going in to work a couple of days for specific tasks, and more school work, so I want to get a lot of reading done this weekend. By the time you read this, I should have finished Actress by Anne Enright, so I’ll be starting something new today.

What are your plans for the weekend? What are you reading?