I cannot believe the year is halfway over.
Question 1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2019
Easy answer: Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney. Everything about that book speaks to me. It is not only my favourite book of the year but one of the best books I have ever read. Rooney is my hero.
Question 2 – Your favorite sequel of the year
I loved Rebecca Roanhorse’s Storm of Locusts. I thought this was heaps better than the first book (which was already pretty great) and I cannot wait to see where she takes the story next. I adore her world-building.
Question 3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to
I still haven’t gotten to The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, even though I have been looking forward to this book for ages. So far it has only been released in hardback and it is still fairly expensive. I will buy it soon though!
Question 4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. I was already excited about this (a memoir by Machado is pretty much all I ever wanted) and then Roxane Gay said this: “it’s so good I have to put the book down after each chapter to contemplate never writing again because why bother.” That is ridiculous high praise from a woman whose own excellency is only eclipsed by her ability to find brilliant writers.
Question 5 – Your biggest disappointment
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. I was beyond excited for this, even managed to snag an ARC, and then DNFed it after trying and failing to read it for months. I hated this – I found the language vague in a way that frustrated and the story filled with a kind of gleeful sexual violence that made me angry. I thought at the time that I might come back later but I really won’t. It seems that people who dislike genre-fiction got on OK with it and the genre-fiction reader hated it and I am very much a genre-fiction reader.
Question 6 – Biggest surprise of the year
I didn’t anticipate how much I was going to love Sally Rooney. I dragged my feet for years and I am slightly mad at myself for it. I really hope she publishes something else soon (keeping my fingers crossed for a short story collection, but I’ll take anything).
Question 7 – Favourite new to you or debut author
Sally Rooney, no questions asked.
Although I also read about a thousand books by Nalini Singh, so her as well.
Question 8 – Your new fictional crush
This is such a weird question that I am never sure how to answer. I thought Nick from Conversations With Friends was a wonderfully realized character that I felt for even if he is a thirty-something year-old man having an extramarital affair with a twenty-one year-old university student. Which seems near impossible to achieve, but Rooney did it anyway. (I wouldn’t want to date him though!)
I also love the way Nalini Singh writes her male characters, Riley being my favourite, closely followed by Vasic.
Are those crushes? What does that mean?
Question 9 – New favourite character
Frances from Conversations With Friends spoke to me deeply (that she has been characterized as unlikable is making me vaguely unsure about myself, but I thought she was brilliant). I also think that Pat Barker did an incredible job with Briseis – she was wonderfully realized and flawed and amazing.
Question 10 – A book that made you cry
I don’t think I read a book that made me cry – I have not been reading this type of book.
Question 11 – A book that made you happy
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker – because I finally adored one of the books that were shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction after struggling with many of them.
Question 12 – Your favourite book to movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year
Like last year, I haven’t watched all that many movies. So I am going with Captain Marvel, one of my absolute favourite Marvel movies. Carol Danvers is my hero.
Question 13 – Favourite book post you’ve done this year
I really enjoyed my Women’s Prize coverage in general. I thought this was something really cool for this blog. Even if I still have one book left to read and a final post to write.
Question 14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year
I really love the cover for Almost Love by Louise O’Neill. I am not often a fan of faces on covers but this one really, really works for me.
Question 15 – What are some books you need to read by the end of the year
So very many. Like I said before, my reading has been overwhelmingly by whim and I have quite a few ARCs I want to get to soon. But I also want to just keep reading what makes me happy, so I don’t really know what my reading will look like for the rest of the year.
How is your reading year? What has been your favourite book of the year? If you do this tag (as I know many people do this time of the year), please let me know because I have been the worst blogger and want to be better.