Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag!

I’m a little late to this, but I’ve been seeing book bloggers and booktubers doing this tag, and I figured I would join them! So this is my Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag. Unfortunately, because I’ve been working on finishing my Masters, I haven’t read as many books as I would like this year (only 13), but I have read some great ones. And I’m in the middle of some others which I will tell you about at the end!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

This question is really hard to answer because all of the books I’ve read so far are amazing. I am going to cheat and pick 2: Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman and The Deep by Rivers Solomon.

Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman

Einstein’s Dreams is just so creative in the ways it portrays time and perspective in the world.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

The Deep turns historical trauma into a deep fantasy, dealing with memory and identity experienced with and without such trauma.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

So I’ve only read one sequel this year, but I really did enjoy it, and that is Death in Dark Blue by Julia Buckley, part of her Writer’s Apprentice mystery novels.

Death in Dark Blue by Julia Buckley

It’s not the best written book, but it gave me what I needed at the time: a fun mystery, drama and suspense, romance, and the main character is a writer! Overall a fun book to read, and I have the third book in the series waiting for me.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

It’s not coming out until the end of the month, but I really want to read The Miraculous by Jess Redman. This is a middle grade novel that deals with death, healing, and childhood in the whimsy of magic. The darkness of it sounds right up my alley, but also the longing to go back to childhood and knowing that magic exists.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

This would definitely have to be the upcoming sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I don’t know when it’s coming out yet, and it’s probably not going to be this year, but I have my eyes peeled for it and I can’t wait to see what happens to Ari and Dante!

5. Biggest disappointment

Honestly none of the books I’ve read this year were bad, but if I had to pick a disappointment that would probably be The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

It was a very good book, but I think it would have been better if Hoff had compared more of Tao with Winnie the Pooh in a more direct way – his comments on the more ancient Tao and Pooh’s Tao seemed a bit too separate.

6. Biggest surprise

That would be There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. I had heard good things about this book, and I was looking for a new thriller.

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

But I didn’t expect to be so invested and emotional about this book! There’s so much that goes on with love and friendship, which made me want to cry, but also the fear of the person who is inside those character’s houses, threatening their lives and livelihood. I did not expect to be on the edge of my seat the whole time!

7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Hands down, this has got to be Patricia A. McKillip. I had heard of her before on lists of fantasy authors and novels, but when I read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld I was enthralled with her writing and world-building.

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

McKillip is definitely my new favorite fantasy author. Right now I am reading her book of short stories, Wonders of the Invisible World, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. McKillip can write hidden worlds and magical creatures like no other.

8. Newest fictional crush

Honestly, this is going to have to be Sybel from The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. She is a beautiful, powerful woman who can use magic, communicate with all creatures mythical or not, and puts fear into the hearts of the mightiest of men. I would not at all mind if she called me with magic to live on her mountain with all those fantastic creatures.

9. Newest favorite character

This is probably Yetu from The Deep. I really felt like I related to her in terms of growing up and figuring out who I am and what I want to do with my life. While her journey is much more dramatic, traumatic, and magical than mine, she shows great strength and vulnerability when trying to reconcile who she was and who she could be. Not to mention that she is basically a fearsome, siren-like mermaid who can hold the entire history of a people inside her person. That is badass.

10. Book that made you cry

Only one book made me cry a little bit this year, and that was Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Not much to say except that this book was so funny, it made me cry with laughter at times.

11. Book that made you happy

So many of the books I’ve read have made me happy, but I will narrow it down to three. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll not only took me to my favorite genre, fairytale and folklore retellings, but also her art and illustration is just so beautiful. Of course The Forgotten Beasts of Eld was so fantastic I can’t help smiling when thinking about it. And lastly is Hyperbole and a Half again because it made me roar with laughter.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

This would have to be Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, as not only is the cover beautiful, but Carrolls art and illustrations are gorgeous, dark, creepy, and mesmerizing.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

13.What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Here’s the thing, I don’t NEED to read any books by the end of the year. However, I have many that I want to read, and many that I want to finish. I’ll just talk about the latter for now, as there are so many on my TBR shelf. Right now I’m in the middle of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde,

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Wonders of the Invisible World by Patricia A. McKillip,

Wonders of the Invisible World

and Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire.

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

I will probably finish the last of these first as it is a rather short book and I am listening to it via Scribd.

14. Favorite book community member

I watch quite a bit of BookTube, and so here are my favorites:

The Book Leo

Jen Campbell

A Case for Books

booksandquills

Fictional Fates

Paperback Dreams

Peruse Project

Slytherin-bookworm-guy

Please feel free to give me recs of other bookish peoples!

And that’s the end of the tag! I tag all readers who want to do this.

Happy reading!

The Coffee Book Tag!

So not a book review, but I saw this post on Literary Leisha’s blog and I thought it would be fun to do the Coffee Book Tag! I tag anyone who wants to do it.

Black Coffee: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

I think for me this would be the Game of Thrones series, but only because the show turned out badly, and because the books aren’t really finished, I don’t think I could start it and have it meet my standards.

Peppermint Mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

I don’t know if there’s a particular book, but I do know that lots of people enjoy reading Harry Potter near Christmas. Now, I am not a Christmas, I am a Chanukah, so I myself will probably just read my usual fare (likely ghost stories).

Hot Chocolate: What is your favorite middle grade book?

I really loved the Percy Jackson series, but I also love these others (couldn’t just pick one):

  • The Book of Three, first book of the Chronicles of Prydain.
  • Pages and Co.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Double Espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Definitely There’s Someone Inside Your House. Never knew what was in store around the corner for our heroes!

STARBUCKS: Name a book you see everywhere.

A Curse So Dark And Lonely! I keep seeing everyone read and review it, and honestly I kinda want to read it too.

That Hipster Coffee Shop: Give a book by an indie author a shout out.

Gail Wronsky! She is a wonderful poet, and now has at least two long poetry collections out.

OOPS! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from.

House of Furies by Madeleine Roux has such an interesting premise – a young woman runs away and ends up living in a house full of demon – but the characters were completely unfulfilled.

The Perfect Blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

This is a tough one, but I would have to name Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss. This novella deals with really heavy subjects, but the main character has a good ending and the less heavy themes are super interesting.

A Cup of Tea: Your favorite classic.

I mean, knowing myself I’d have to say Lord of the Rings. But I also love anything written by Shirley Jackson.

Flat White: A book that isn’t a novel.

Edith Wharton’s Book of Ghost Stories! These are just the best, chilling, gothic, everything you want in a spooky story.

Reader Problems Book Tag

Hello fellow readers! I just realized I never have done a book tag on here, so I thought today would be a good day to do one! I’ve decided to do the Reader Problems Book Tag, as I am a reader with many, many problems (I jest, but this tag does seem fun!). I got this book tag from The Nameless Book Blog, do check her out!


1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

What I pick is going to depend on the following factors:

  • Easiness: I will probably pick the book that is easiest to read, either because it is shorter, or just not so dense, or the topic is not so heavy. It will likely be a book of short stories cause that’s generally what I go for if I don’t know what to read.
  • Covers: yes, sometimes I judge a book by its cover, and the most interesting (or relevant) cover is going to get picked.
  • Oldest: by oldest I mean the ones that have been sitting on my TBR for a very, very long time. I do try to pick up the older ones after I’ve read a new one.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

Honestly, I’m probably not going to finish it. I’d rather stop and read something I know I’ll love than suffer through a book just to get to the end. I did this with The Secret History – part of me wanted to finish it because everyone was saying it was really interesting, but I just did not get on with that book.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

Eh whatever happens happens. If I can find some shorter books to read I will, and I have done so with short stories and poetry. If I can’t I don’t worry about it, and I know I’ll get to read more books in the next year.

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

I’ll live. I do try to get matching covers as much as I can, but I don’t usually get upset if they don’t match.

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

Probably my best friend, who generally agrees or at least understands my feelings. Otherwise I will go on the internet (i.e. this blog or twitter) to rant with other bookworms.

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

Cry me little heart out!

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?

I will probably skim through the first book and read a synopsis and then head right to the sequel. Though I am very blessed with a good memory and this doesn’t happen too often.

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

Well this would never happen, I always lend my books. However, I am choosy as to whom I lend them to cause I know who is and isn’t going to be responsible. If someone wants to borrow mine and I don’t want them to, I will try to find them an alternative option.

9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

At this point it’s just me waiting to find the right book to read. When that happens I stick to it. Or I do my usual and find a book of short stories, which is good if I want different plots.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

My rule at bookstores is that I can only buy two at a time, so probably two (maybe three if I’m feeling like it).

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them? 

It honestly depends. Sometimes I’ll get to one so quickly and then breeze right through it. Other times the books can sit for months at a time (they are so sad!).

Thank you all for reading, and I tag whoever wants to do this tag! Do tag me as well so I can see your answers!