Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

The mid of the year is just around the corner, so this is the perfect time to start reflecting on our reading year. I’ve recently watched Lauren from the YouTube channel Lauren and the Books doing the Mid-year Freak Out Tag and decided to answer the questions as well, although, if everything goes according to plan, I’ll read more books in the second half of the year than in the first and, therefore, the best may well be still to come.

 

  1. Best book you have read so far this year

One by One in the Darkness by Deirdre Madden is probably the best book I’ve read this year so far. Through a story of a grieving family, it paints a picture of the Northern Irish society during the Troubles. As the book goes back and forth in time, the fascinating characters come to life.

 

  1. Best sequel you’ve read so far this year

I’ve only read one sequel so far – The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb. It is the second book in The Liveship Traders Trilogy, which is set in a world where the figureheads of ships become alive, because they are made of wood with magical properties.

 

  1. New release you haven’t read yet from this year, but you want to

I don’t tend to read new releases, since I much prefer paperbacks. A book that was released this year and that I will surely read at some point in time is Drift by Caryl Lewis. It is set in the Welsh coast and war-torn Syria as a storm brings Nefyn and Hamza together.

 

  1. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2022

The release during the second half of the year I’m most curious about is The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton. It is the follow-up to The Miniaturist, a novel I read six years ago and loved. I’ll probably still wait for the release in paperback, though.

 

  1. Biggest disappointment this year

Although I managed to finish it, the book that disappointed me the most this year was Memento Mori by Muriel Spark. I was expecting it to be a gripping, dark mystery, but it’s mostly a book about old age, featuring various characters whose personalities are not particularly clear.

Photo of Memento Mori next to One by One in the Darkness

 

  1. Biggest surprise this year

A book I was not expecting to like as much as I did was The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. This novel about how the lives of four women change during a holiday in Italy only caught my attention very recently, and it was not a book I had on my wish list. The descriptions of the characters’ surroundings are evocative.

 

  1. Favourite new author

An author I hadn’t read a book by before but that I’m eager to continue reading is Deirdre Madden. So, if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments!

 

  1. Newest fictional crush

I thought a long time about this question and I don’t have a new one…

 

  1. Newest favourite character

Althea from The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb may not be a new favourite character of all time yet, but she is one of the most memorable from the books I read this year so far. Her wilfulness is impressive. She is also not a perfect person, which I appreciate. Despite being self-centred at times, she cares about her family.

 

  1. Book that made you cry this year

I don’t tend to cry while reading, so it’s not surprising that no book has made me shed a tear this year. The final paragraphs of One by One in the Darkness by Deirdre Madden are harrowing, however.

 

  1. Book that made you happy this year

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim didn’t necessarily make me happy, but its humorous tone made me occasionally chuckle.

 

  1. Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year

When I saw the cover of the Virago Modern Classics 40th anniversary edition of The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, I knew I had to have it. I ordered it online last month and, when it arrived, I was surprised at how even more gorgeous it looked.

The Enchanted April and The Magic Toyshop

 

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

I’m currently taking part in 20 Books of Summer, so I hope to have read all the books on my list until 1 September. Plus, I also want to read three books by José Saramago during November – Objeto Quase (The Lives of Things), Que Farei com Este Livro? and A Viagem do Elefante (The Elephant’s Journey).

 

How is your reading going so far this year? Tell me in the comments!

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