Folks, it’s Thursday again, and we all know the drill by now, right? It’s time for another Tag Thursday! I saw this tag over on (can you guess?) the lovely Thrice Read and, as the middle of the year is quickly creeping up on me, I thought it was high time to do this tag and reflect on how my reading has gone in this first half of the year. All in all, I think this year’s reading has been good so far but let us ponder some more searching questions and see, shall we?
Question 1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2017
Based purely on star-ratings (and discounting re-reads) it would be the following: Wishing for Birds by Elisabeth Hewer, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill. All brilliant for their own reasons and come highly recommended from me. (And no I couldn’t pick just one because that would be like making a parent choose which child was their favourite!)
Question 2 – Your favourite sequel of the year
Definitely A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. As the final book in a trilogy, it made me feel ALL THE THINGS and it was as equally hilarious and heartbreaking as I have come to expect from Schwab’s writing. It all turned out alright though in the end, didn’t it? I’m still not over it but it’s ok, we’ll get through it together.
Question 3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to
It depends entirely on what constitutes as a “new release” I think so I will chose two answers: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor which actually was released back in April (I bought it then, I just haven’t got to it yet) and the recently released The Gender Games by Juno Dawson (which I have heard so many wonderful things about but haven’t bought yet).
Question 4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Definitely the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s my favourite of the Harry Potter films and quite possibly of the books (I used to say my favourite was OotP but, on re-read, I think POA has the edge) and I’m really excited to see how it is depicted visually.
Question 5 – Your biggest disappointment
I don’t know if this can truly count as I was pretty sure I was going to fall on the ‘ugh hate it’ side of the debate regarding this book but it’s all I’ve got so… A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Just no. No. (My “review” explains this #nope feeling in more detail.) This book just disappointed me so much because the concept had so much potential but, in my opinion, it was just handled poorly by the author which is a huge shame. (No offence is intended at all if you love this book; it just didn’t work for me, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love it with all your heart!)
Question 6 – Biggest surprise of the year
I have mentioned this repeatedly but I’m VERY surprised by how much I have been enjoying E.M. Forster’s work. I don’t know why I would think otherwise to be honest but I just had some trepidation going into it. However, thanks to a really positive review of A Room with A View from Ashleigh at A Frolic Through Fiction, I was persuaded to pick up that book and I quickly followed it up with Howards End and I just really enjoyed them and found a new classic author to pursue which is nice because I probably would have spent years not reading his books otherwise.
Question 7 – Favourite new to you or debut author
I haven’t read too many debuts/new to me authors as I seem to have been working on finishing up some series or expanding my reading of authors’ back catalogues… and since I’ve already mentioned E.M. Forster I will attempt to come up with another answer for this question. She’s not a debut author but I certainly hadn’t come across her work previously – Heather O’Neill. I can’t accurately convey just how sucked into The Lonely Hearts Hotel I became over the course of the day and a bit in which I read this 400-odd-page book. Her writing was just simultaneously gritty and real but also whimsical and fantastical and it was truly engrossing and wonderful.
Question 8 – Your new fictional crush
Can we talk about how much I have a crush on Alucard Emery from the A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy? Oh you already knew that? Ok well Alucard Emery. He’s a snarky little shit. So… obviously.
Question 9 – New favourite character
It’s not strictly a new character but I did re-read an old favourite series this year and was reminded of how wonderful this character is – Touchstone from Sabriel. I can’t help it, I love him. Similarly, reading A Feast for Crows has confirmed my love for the Lannisters. They’re absolutely bastards and I love them for it.
Question 10 – A book that made you cry
I mean I might have shed a little tear or two at both A Conjuring of Light and The Song Rising, two sequels that I was greatly anticipating this year and did not disappoint in the least. They did make me feel all the feelings though, including sadness. So much sadness. Damn you! *shakes fist*
Question 11 – A comic book that made you happy
I don’t really read much (read: any) comic books. Does Saga count? Because Saga makes me happy and sad and all the things and it’s just a wonderful space opera of wonderfulness… but I’m sure that’s all you’ve heard from anyone who has ever read this series. It’s all true though.
Question 12 – Your favourite book to movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year
You know, I’m not sure I’ve seen a single book-to-film adaptation this year, let alone one I could say was a favourite of mine. I did see Beauty and the Beast which was wonderful but isn’t really from a book by this point. Does Guardians of the Galaxy 2 count as coming from a book? It is a comic book series after all… if it counts then that, I really enjoyed it, but I am trash for anything/everything MCU.
Question 13 – Favourite book post you’ve done this year
I’m not very good at reflecting on what have been my more successful or popular posts or anything but I did enjoy writing this post on feeling goalless and this post on that books that made me the reader I am today. Likewise, a couple of my favourite review posts I’ve done this year include those for Samantha Shannon’s The Song Rising and Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.
Question 14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year
Can we just talk about If We Were Villains for a minute? It’s GORGEOUS.
Question 15 – What are some books you need to read by the end of the year
In short: Lots of them.
In detail: I’d like to definitely read a few more Daphne du Mauriers this year. Ditto Charles Dickens. And I’d like to finally read Emma and Mansfield Park in their entirety. Additionally, I’d like to finish the A Song of Ice and Fire series, with A Dance with Dragons volumes 1 and 2. Aside from that, I’m just reading what I want and (hopefully) enjoying it all.
Well folks, there we have it, that was the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag. If you haven’t done this tag and would like to please officially consider yourself tagged by me. If you do the tag be sure to link to your post below because I’d love to check out your answers!