The Mid Year Book Tag

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I thought since this is a rather new blog and it being already mid way through the year, readers might be interested in what I have read already. I tend to read a mixture between historical fiction and fantasy, but will delve into other genres too. I love bright ideas, interesting and complex characters and wonderful world building. And I have read (looking at my goodreads count) 85 books so far this year. So let’s do a sort-of recap with the Mid Year Book Tag, a tag I noticed on Sundays and Ink.

Best Book You’ve Read All Year?
I’ve been struggling with this question all year. I’ve read some wonderful novels and some really terrible ones – but they tend to sludge together. However if I had to say one, it would probably be The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson. I loved the world building, the characters, the magic system. It was fun, dramatic, sad and I’m glad that I finally read it.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far.
Easy Peasy. I have it for you: Honor’s Knight (Paradox #2) by Rachel Bach. This is a fun space opera dripping with sweat, romance, alien action and a cool female protagonist. This is a series about a space mercenary called Devi who takes a job on one of the most dangerous ships in the galaxy – only to be embroiled in an interesting mystery. I loved the series, but the second book takes the cake.

New Release You Haven’t Read But Want To?
I’ve really keen to read The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan. Dinosaurs in 14th Century Europe? Byzantine politics? Knights on dinosaurs? Sign me up! I’m just awaiting on a copy from the library now.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half of 2015?
I think most of the books I’ve hyped myself up to read this year have already been released, bar The Tower by Thorns (Blackthorn & Grimm #2) by Juliet Marillier. It’s an interesting fantasy, mystery series set in medieval Ireland. And I’ve been a devout Juliet Marillier fan for years now starting with the Six Swans fairy tale retelling Daughter of the Forest.

Biggest Disappointment?
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve been meaning to read his books for years, based on others spouting him as the next saint. But the novel felt like a mess. It started out wonderfully mysterious, and beautifully poetic – but then the gears changed and the genre switched something more fantastical and Monty Python esque. That isn’t to say I do not like those kind of things, I love fantasy and Monty Python…But it didn’t fit with the tone that the novel started with, much to my disappointment.

Biggest Surprise?
I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy The Vagrants by Yiyun Li, mainly because it had been ages since I had read this kind of novel. But I loved the examination of the political and cultural climate of China during the 1970s. The characters were lovely, and flawed and poetic – somewhat. The writing was beautiful and it’s definitely a novel I would like to read again.

Book To Movie Adaptation?
I think the only book to movie adaptations I’ve watched this year are Love, Rosie, Serena and Mortdecai. And I haven’t read either source material. Mortdecai was…dreadful. Serena had beautiful cinematography but the movie was slow burning, and the characters felt weak. Love, Rosie was cute and sweet but not something I would watch again.

Favorite New Author?
I think it’ll have to be Jo Walton, I really enjoyed Among Others and loved The Just City. She has a talent for genre blurring, and her books are beautiful and thought provoking and I cannot wait to read more from her. Tooth and Claw is next, I think.

Newest Fictional Crush?
I’m not exactly the one for developing fictional crushes, or perhaps it’s the books I read? But if I had to pick one, it would have to be Rupert from the Paradox series by Rachel Bach. He was pretty flawed, yes. But the space man exuded sexiness, and was just as capable as the protagonist. So yes…I’ll pick him.

Newest Favorite Character?
Socrates from The Just City by Jo Walton. I love the old wise, fun-cracking man cliche. For e.g Jolee Bindo from Knights of the Old Republic (you will always be in my heart). Socrates was fun, his thought process was interesting concerning the development of the just city. I loved his philosophies and he was just awesome.

Book That Made You Cry?
I’m very much a visual person, so books rarely make me literally cry. Video games can, for e.g The Last of Us and Life is Strange. Movies can, for e.g Wolf Children and Mrs Doubtfire. But some reason, the closest I’ve come to crying with a book was when I felt all tense inside and wanted to curl up into a cocoon. Funnily enough, from my scant memory – Felicia Day’s memoir You’re Never Weird on The Internet (almost) did. Not literal sobbing, I assure you but there was section on depression that I could really relate to. And I felt really sad in that moment.

Beautiful Book?
I think my favorite book I’ve bought this year, mainly for the cover was the Puffin in Bloom edition of Heidi by Johanna Spyri. It’s so beautiful I can almost weep. I have a thing for illustrated covers.

Books You Need To Read By The End of The Year.
The to do list is: S. by JJ Abrams, The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan, Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire and The Garden of Evening Mists by Twan Eng Tan. I can definitely read those books by the end of this year, right?

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