I cannot believe the year is halfway over. Being perfectly honest, I haven’t so far had the best of reading years. I was considering not doing this tag for the first time since I have my blog but that felt too sad.
Question 1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2020
I am trying to rank all the books I am reading this year (surprisingly hard!) and one of the things that I am struggling with is my top spot. At the moment it is between The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy and Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. I cannot yet say which one will ultimately win out but I can say now that both of these books are incredible in their own way.
Question 2 – Your favorite sequel of the year
Probably Archangel’s Enigma which is the eigth book in Nalini Singh’s Guildhunter series and the first one I rated 4 stars. I am still not loving this series as much as her Psy-Changeling series but apparently enough to keep reading it – which really says something as I am incredibly bad at continuing series.
Question 3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to
Oh so very many – part of my not so brilliant reading year is the fact that I have only read about half the books I would usually have read by this point in the year (a few weeks ago I finally gave up and changed my Goodreads reading challenge from 100 to 50; I usually have not problem whatsoever hitting 100 books in a year but alas.). If I had to choose one book, it would be Daughter From The Dark by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko. I adored their latest translated book so very much and I am a tiny bit annoyed at myself that I haven’t gotten around to this yet. But at least I don’t own this one yet, unlike Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel where I received an ARC and STILL haven’t read it.
Question 4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Hands down, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun. I adore her post-apocalyptic fantasy series The Sixth World and cannot wait to see what she does in a secondary world fantasy. Her writing is excellent and her world-building exciting.
Question 5 – Your biggest disappointment
There are two possible ways of answering here:
The worst book I have read this year was definitely Girl by Edna O’Brien. I just hated everything about this book. But I did not necessarily expect to like it, so I was not all that disappointed. A book that I expected to love, love, love but only enjoyed was Lidia Yuknavitch’s short story collection Verge. I had been looking forward to this for literal ages, she is one of my all-time favourite authors, but I ended up feeling mostly neutral about the collection.
But the absolute biggest disappointment of my reading year was this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist. I planned on reading all the books and abandoned ship half way through. This year’s judges have very different ideas what constitutes a great book than I do and I did not feel like torturing myself any longer.
Question 6 – Biggest surprise of the year
Actress by Anne Enright was one of the books on the Women’s Prize for Fiction that I did not expect to love – but it was the only one I ended up absolutely loving. Enright’s prose and quiet wit worked exceedingly well for me, her audiobook narration was topnotch and overall I was just so very pleased with this.
Question 7 – Favourite new to you or debut author
I am currently reading The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes and I am super into what she does with the structure of the book in a way that makes me excited to check out her other books, even if this one will probably not end up being on my favourite books list by the end of the year. Favourite authors often begin like this for me; with a book that is not an instant favourite but which still keeps me super engaged.
Question 8 – Your new fictional crush
As always, this is just not an question I know how to answer. I am enjoying the way Nalini Singh characterizes Ethan in the newest Psy-Changeling book but I have not finished that yet.
Question 9 – New favourite character
I am currently reading Luster by Raven Leilani and Edie – the main character – is such a wonderful flawed person and I love her already. She makes THE worst decisions and I am so here for her journey. If the book keeps being this great, it might top my best of the year list yet.
Question 10 – A book that made you cry
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe just floored me in places. He manages to both give a good overview over The Troubles while grounding it in the story of one family and never letting the reader forget that there are people impacted.
Question 11 – A book that made you happy
I reread the second and third book in Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series – I still love these so much and they got me at least partly out of an impressive reading slump.
Question 12 – Your favourite book to movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year
I don’t think I have seen any. Corona and pregnancy meant that I just did not go to the cinema at all. And now that the baby is here, I have not even turned on my TV in eight weeks.
Question 13 – Favourite book post you’ve done this year
I have been impressively bad at blogging, not going to lie. I did love the Women’s Prize for Fiction coverage that I have done but have left that unfinished, as I said before.
Question 14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year
I adore the cover for N. K. Jemisin’s newest book: The City We Became. There is just something mesmerizing there (my daughter agrees by the way). I also love the cover for The Harpy by Megan Hunter and wish I liked the book more so I could justify buying it. The best cover however is definitely the one for Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang, which I bought last year but read recently.
Question 15 – What are some books you need to read by the end of the year
I will not even pretend like this is something I can actually manage. I will have to wait and see how my reading goes from here.
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.