It’s halfway through the year, so I thought I would do the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag. In the tag you answer questions about books you’ve read during the first half of the year. I read 24 books in the past 7 months, which is way behind my reading goal for the year. I’m hoping that I can catch up in August with the BookTubeAThon. So, I have my fingers crossed for that. I have never done this tag before, so this should be a lot of fun.
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.
– A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is definitely my favourite read this year. I absolutely loved this book. It was a long book to finish, but so worth the time. In over 800 pages, there are so many ups, downs, and twists that it’s very hard to stop reading it. The book centres around a group of four friends from their mid-20s to old age. It is a book full of trauma, and I wouldn’t recommend this book if you are not keen on reading about suicide, abuse, or sexual assault. Although there is a lot of trauma, there is so much good in this story, like friendship, love, and self identity. I think this book was beautifully written, and if a TV network made it into a mini-series, I would be counting down the days to watch it.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.
– I somehow didn’t read a sequel yet this year!
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
– There are many new book releases I want to read. Even books that have been published years ago. My to-be-read pile is growing and growing with no signs of stopping. With that said, the books I’m excited to buy, and read, are Not that Bad edited by Roxane Gay, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
– I haven’t been up to date with all the new fall releases, so the one that I have known about for a while is Women Talking by Miriam Toews. I love her writing, and I know this new release will be on my bookshelves in no-time. After making this post, I’ll make sure to look up new book releases.
5. Biggest disappointment.
– My biggest disappointment of the year goes to Mexico by Josh Barkan. It is a collection of short stories that takes place in Mexico, which I thought would be a wonderful concept. However, the whole collection of stories centre around stereotypical ideas of Mexicans, and never shows another side to Mexicans. I am half Mexican, and seeing that most of the characters were criminals, or bad people, made me incredibly angry. I only finished two stories of the book before I stopped. Also, it’s badly written, so the combination of the two didn’t make this book a winner.
The other disappointment I had was with Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Now, the overall concept of the novel is really interesting, and a lot of fun. It centres around a man working at a bookstore that turns out to have a mystery behind it. Although the mystery behind is interesting, it was never that shocking or interesting. I don’t want to spoil the book, so I’ll create an example of how lacklustre the secret is. Imagine Harry Potter finding out he is a wizard, but there is no Hogwarts, only random wizards who hang out sometimes. That’s literally want Mr. Penumbra was to me. The mystery of it was more interesting than what was revealed to me.
6. Biggest surprise.
– My biggest surprise was A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I had a feeling I was going to like the novel, but I didn’t expect to fall in love with it. The novel is about a women who finds a diary on a beach written by a Japanese teenage girl. She reads the diary day by day, and tries to figure out what happened to this girl. It is an amazing read. I don’t know how else to describe it other than amazing.
7. Favourite new author.
– After reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, I am officially ready to read all of her other books. If I had them all, I would have read them all by now. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read her work, but I am a devoted fan now.
8. Newest fictional crush.
– No crushes.
9. Newest favourite character.
– My new favourite characters are Jude in A Little Life, and Nao in A Tale for the Time Being. I don’t want to spoil the books, but these characters are fantastically written with so much depth, intrigue, and personality. They feel so real to me, and pretty much explains question number 10 on this list.
10. Book that made you cry.
– Both A Little Life and A Tale for the Time Being made me cry. The lives of the characters are wrought with trauma, that it’s impossible to not shed a tear. Both novels have suicide, abuse, and sexual assault, so they both can be hard to read. I would say A Little Life has quadruple the amount of trauma in it, so there were definitely times where I had to put the book down for a breather.
11. Book that made you happy.
– I had to really think about this because I didn’t feel happy while reading any book this year so far. None of the book made me smile ear to ear while reading the whole book. So there may be some instances where I smiled, or laughed, but nothing that made me do so throughout the reading process.
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
– I really love the covers of Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Ariel by Sylvia Plath. Both have gorgeous cover art.
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
– Before 2018 is over I want to read Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Ulysses by James Joyce, and Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry.
This was so much fun to do! I think I’ll make this a yearly thing on my blog. What have been your favourite books of the year so far? What books have made you completely disappointed? Let me know in the comments!
The tag originated by IsThatChami on Youtube.