Mid-Year(ish) Book Tag

It's well past mid-year but as I'm running a little behind on my reading challenge, sitting at roughly half way to 100 as I write this, I think it's still okay for me to answer these questions!

 1. Best book you've read so far this year?
This is not going to be a surprise to anyone that's been around at any time over the last couple of weeks and it's A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It's devastating, had me ugly crying in places and tearing up at any mention of it for weeks after turning the last page. Full post here

2. Best sequel you've read so far this year?
For some reason there is a distinct lack of books in a series on my shelf. I don't have anything against them, but I don't seem to be as drawn to them and I have no idea why that is. I'm probably just not looking into the right ones! I read The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith back at the start of the year and I thought it was great. The relationship between Strike and Robin was explored a little more and it was nice to have that as I was trying to piece together the clues to solve the who-dunnit. As always the big reveal makes all the clues seem so obvious retrospectively, but I didn't manage to work it out. Rowling is always one step ahead of me!

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to?
Ruby by Cynthia Bond. Not a super recent release, but it's one that's been looking at me from my shelf for a long time now. 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2015?
Keeping up with new/upcoming releases is something I am absolutely terrible at, although it's probably not such a bad thing for my bank account. The illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone comes out soon, and of course the new Galbraith, Career of Evil, is one I'll have to pick up at some point. Apart from that, any recommendations are welcome!   

5. Biggest disappointment?
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. This is a favourite of many people I know and it was just one of those books that I didn't form a connection with. And that's okay. I can appreciate this is an important book for so many people and although it wasn't for me, I'm happy that it has brought a lot of joy to so many.

6. Biggest surprise?
Lorali by Laura Dockrill. When I heard this was a book about mermaids I was intrigued and skeptical in equal measures. The skepticism came from a (very wrong!) preconceived notion I had from somewhere that mermaid stories are always somehow inherently cheesy. One of the perspectives the narrative is told from is the sea itself, and it worked so well within the overall eccentric and humourous adventure. There's also some really intelligent commentary on our modern media culture in there too, which is a conversation that I think is ridiculously important and it really enriched the narrative authentically as opposed to feeling like it had just been wedged in there simply because it could be. 

7. Favourite new author?
This is a difficult question. I definitely want to explore more novels by Sarah Waters and M.J. Carter. I was really captivated by the writing style of The Paying Guests by Waters and The Infidel Stain by Carter, so I think it's likely that I would enjoy their other work too.

8. Newest fictional crush?
Ohh I'm not sure I have one. I would certainly appreciate a presence like Willem from A Little Life in my life though. 

9. Newest favourite character?
Jude St. Francis from A Little Life. He managed to draw out pretty much every emotion from me over the course of 700 pages. 

10. Book that made you cry?
I hate to repeat an answer yet again, but no book has ever made me sob like A Little Life. I still get a little glassy-eyed whenever I think about it. 

11. Book that made you happy?
Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This book is cute with a capital C.

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation you've seen this year?
I'm cheating slightly because this is a book to TV adaptation, but Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell captured the eerie magical atmosphere and the tumultuous relationship between Strange and Norrell within the narrative really well. 

13. Favourite review you've written this year?
I'm rubbish at writing dedicated reviews, so this isn't a question I can answer. But I will say that my favourite post to write so far this year was the elements tag. I do love a good tag! 

14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year?
If we're talking cover design, Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry is a real thing of beauty.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I'm such a mood reader this is a question I'm finding almost impossible to answer. I have both The Secret History and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt on my shelf that I'd like to get to. I've just been reminded of The Incarnations by Susan Barker by the All The Books! Book Riot podcast so that's one I'm hoping to start soon. And I still haven't read The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, despite it having waited patiently on my shelf for longer than it should have already.

Now I just have to get over my 'how can I ever read again after A Little Life broke my heart' slump. It's really bad. I couldn't even reread Harry Potter when I tried the other day, but I think I might try to read something...anything this afternoon. Fingers crossed!

* * *

What is the best book you've read so far this year? 
Anything you're looking forward to reading over the coming months? 

- Jennie



  1. Howdy,
    The best books I´ve read this year are "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" by Richard Flanagan and "The Goddesses of Zitkova" by Katerina Tuckova (translated from Czech into German and Polish among others). There´s a lot really good literature all over Europe and it´s a great shame you hardly ever read anything that hasn´t been written by a non-English writer. Anyway, I´ve already bought a copy of "A Little Life" and I´m going to read it soon since you recommend it as a must-read!

    1. That's a little unfair. I haven't been reading a lot for very long, I'm only just now finding my feet with the kind of books I like to read. There's a lot of great literature worldwide.

  2. I'm intrigued to read Little Life now since you have mentioned so much about it. But its so so sad that my local bookstores doesn't have all these books. And I cannot order online also. I will try looking for ebook now.

    This is such as wonderful post. I love your book tag post Jennie.

  3. I love this TAG post! I haven't read half of the books on list but Church of Marvels and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell are both on my reading list. I'm not sure what's been my fave book this year but I did really like The Diviners by Libba Bray, which surprised me as I don't read Young Adult or paranormal fiction often.


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