I actually did this tag LAST year and loved doing a bit of an update on what I had read over the past 6 months. Last year’s was posted a month too late, so I wanted to be sure to get this post up in July! I’ve had such a great reading year so far, despite having a week here and there where I just didn’t feel like reading – I feel like that’s TOTALLY NORMAL. I’m hoping to have a great July to December, reading-wise, and I look forward to seeing what those numbers look like! I’m not certain who created this tag originally, so if you know, let me know so I can link them!
number of books read this year (as of june 30) – 104
number of books from my pre-2018 tbr pile – 30
number of books by canadian authors read – 30
longest book read so far – the bronze horseman by paullina simons (810 pages)
1. BEST BOOKS YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018?
This is a VERY hard question. Going through my Goodreads page, I can see that I rated 28 books as 5-star reads and going through that list made me realize that I’ve loved SO MANY books so far this year! If I think in terms of books that have really stuck with me, now at the end of June as I write this, I have to say Every Note Played by Lisa Genova has been a big favourite. I always think her next book won’t be as good as her last, but she just keeps getting better and her books just strike you right in the feels. I would also say The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah because that book just had my heart racing as I read it. It was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down and one that I made sure I didn’t read right before bed or I wouldn’t get any sleep. This book was INTENSE and it just shows how far Kristin Hannah has come in her writing. I also have to give mention to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and How To Walk Away by Katherine Center.
2. BEST SEQUEL OF 2018 SO FAR
So last year, I was ALL about the sequels because I had so many books in series that I needed to read but this year I really haven’t read very many. That really does make this question easy because one series book I read and absolutely LOVED was This Fallen Prey, the third book in the Casey Duncan series by Kelly Armstrong. I love this series! Really, I love all of her series and I’ve been slowly catching up on all the books by Kelley that I still need to read. I love this series because it’s just a great crime thriller series without any supernatural elements, like a lot of her other series. PLUS, it takes place up in the Canadian Yukon!
3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT YOU WANT TO
I think I planned to not buy a lot of new releases this year, but it turns out that I’ve been buying way more than I had planned, plus getting some for review, so my list is just getting bigger and bigger! This doesn’t even include books that HAVEN’T come out yet (unless I already have an advanced reader copy), so I just know this will grow more by the end of the year, though I have been trying to prioritize reading books as they come in, so hopefully by the end of the year I won’t have too many to still be read. The pictures above are all the new releases that I currently have – 9 of these are review copies.
4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2017?
Weirdly, I don’t have a lot of books I want to read that are coming out later this year – I’ve been keeping a bit of a list on my iPad but only one of them has been a must-buy and that’s Tessa Dare’s upcoming historical romance, The Governess Game, which is coming out in August. I also look forward to the next thriller by Gilly MacMillan, I Know You Know, coming out in September. And lastly, ANOTHER thriller, Watching You by Lisa Jewell, due out in December. There is also Elevation by Stephen King, coming out in October, and Kristin Higgins’s next book, Good Luck With That, coming out in August.
5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
Looking through my lower rated books this year so far, two stood out for me. One is American War by Omar El Akkad, a book that was up for the Canada Reads prize. I just didn’t see the hype in this book as I read it and definitely didn’t love it like most people did. The next was The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. I saw so many good things about this book on Goodreads and Twitter, but it was just so long and boring and not the kind of contemporary romance I like to read.
6. BIGGEST SURPRISE
This was kind of a hard one for me because nothing was too much of a surprise for me. I will say that the Penguin Little Black Classic Circe and the Cyclops by Homer was a bit of a surprise, only because I thought that something written so long ago would be hard to read and understand, but I really enjoyed it and it made me more interested to read The Odyssey. The same goes for Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf, only because I had read that she can be really hard to read, but Flush was a really charming book.
7. FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR AUTHOR TO YOU)
I haven’t read a lot of new-to-me authors this month – of the ones listed, one is a classic author, two are translated authors, one writes thrillers, and another writes contemporary. I hope to discover more favourites in the latter half of the year.
Banana Yoshimoto (Author of Kitchen)
Nikolai Gogol (Author of The Nose)
Gail Honeyman (Author of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine)
Lisa Jewell (Author of Then She Was Gone)
8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH
I don’t really have fictional crushes, but I would go with Ian from How To Walk Away, or even Sahil from From Twinkle, With Love.
9. NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER
I am TERRIBLE with remembering characters, so this is a hard question for me. Scrolling through the books I’ve read so far this year, I can’t find anything where a certain character pops out at me. Maybe Eleanor Oliphant? She’s a hard character to like, but by the end of the book I liked her a lot.
10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY
I’m terrible with remembering the feelings I felt while reading, but I do have to say that Lisa Genova’s Every Note Played had me absolutely BAWLING by the end.
11. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY
I think I say this every year, but Kasie West, for sure – all of her books just put a huge smile in my face, and her newest, Listen To Your Heart was no exception! There was also Katherine Center’s latest, How To Walk Away, as well as From Twinkle, With Love, by Sandhya Menon. Looking at classics, Winifred Watson’s Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day was super lovely.
12. FAVOURITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR
I really haven’t seen very many movies this year, so I only have a few of these to choose from, but I will say that the adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time was just so, so good – and I’m not just saying that because I love Chris Pine! I loved the book and read it again late last year and I love what they did in the adaptation. I think the book took a tiny bit of a religious turn, but the movie doesn’t and the whole thing was just so beautiful. Parts of it even brought me to tears!
13. FAVOURITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR?
Again, I don’t really write a lot of reviews anymore and I’m not particularly clever in them, so can I just say any review I write is my favourite because I’m terrible at keeping up with them?
14. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT OR RECEIVED THIS YEAR?
Now, I think that all books are beautiful, but looking back at the books I’ve bought this year, nothing really stands out too much. I do love the cover of The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell – it’s also one of those books where the cover is printed on the hardback, rather than on a dust jacket. Is there a name for that? I love those kinds of books. I’m also really drawn to the cover of Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle – that little smattering of purple amongst the yellow is just so pretty. And I have to mention the Virago covers for Daphne du Maurier books – I have three of these covers and, ugh, they’re just too gorgeous!
15. WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
Well, I think the last time I counted my owned-must-read books I was at 400 books and I’m currently at 395, so I’d really like to just read LOTS. Particularly, I’d like to catch up on the books I’ve been buying this year, and those I’ve bought last year, but ultimately, my goal is to just read as many of my owned books as I can!
How has your year looked so far? Have you have any real standouts for the books you’ve read? What releases are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?