I did this tag last summer but I guess it’s that time of year again! I thought this would be a good way to just check in with you guys about my year of reading so far.
Question 1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2018
I think it’s a toss up between Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, Tin Man by Sarah Winman, and Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon. Asking For It is a powerful and hard-hitting look at rape culture in contemporary Ireland; Tin Man is a simple but elegantly written love story between two men in England; and Self-Portrait with Boy is a stunning literary novel about a woman’s ethical dilemma when she accidentally photographs a young boy falling to his death.
I actually haven’t been having the best reading year, quality-wise – I’ve read other books I’ve really enjoyed, but these are the only three that are really guaranteed to make my top 10 list at the end of the year. Securing only 3 of the 10 spots isn’t that great. I’d like to have read 10 books by now that I loved so much that narrowing it down to 10 at the end of the year will be torture.
It occurred to me after I wrote all that that I should have also included When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy, but I’m not going to add it because those 3 covers look great together and I’m shallow.
Question 2 – Your favorite sequel of the year
I haven’t read any.
Question 3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to
The World Spins Only Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America by Isaac Butler and Dan Kois, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, among many others.
Question 4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, and Melmoth by Sarah Perry.
Question 5 – Your biggest disappointment
My enjoyment level varied with each of these, but Circe by Madeline Miller, Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, and A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza all disappointed me in different ways. Circe I was just expecting to adore because of how much I’d loved The Song of Achilles, but instead I found it rather dull; Days Without End more like Pages Without End; and A Place For Us promised emotion and heartbreak and didn’t deliver on either for me. I felt like a robot while reading that book.
Question 6 – Biggest surprise of the year
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry (why do people hate this book?! it’s such a good thriller!), The Pisces by Melissa Broder (so so so weird and uncomfortable but in a way that really clicked with me), Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen (an author I’d never heard of, but this book was a haunting emotional roller coaster and a reminder of how much I adore Chinese-set historical fiction).
Question 7 – Favourite new to you or debut author
Louise O’Neill, Marina Carr, Meena Kandasamy.
Question 8 – Your new fictional crush
Question 9 – New favourite character
It has to be Selin from The Idiot by Elif Batuman. I think her voice comes closer to my own than any other character I’ve ever read. So I realize that makes this a bit of a narcissistic answer. But I just really connected with this character.
Question 10 – A book that made you cry
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I read this in two sittings and admittedly was in a much more emotional state than I usually am so I don’t think I normally would have cried while reading this, but I really needed some escapism and this book and its characters completely absorbed me and as soon as I closed the book I started crying because I was so overwhelmed by this wonderful story.
Question 11 – A comic book that made you happy
Question 12 – Your favourite book to movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year
I haven’t read this book yet and I know it’s ridiculous that I’ve only just watched the film, but I saw The Green Mile I think back in March and I fell in love with it. I can’t say I’m terribly interested in reading the book, though…
Question 13 – Favourite book post you’ve done this year
Ah, I don’t know! Maybe my Women’s Prize Shortlist Review post solely because I pushed myself to finish The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock so I could write that post before the winner was announced, and I’m still proud of having read 10/16 of the longlisted titles this year. Or my review of The Odyssey because Emily Wilson retweeted it and that made me happy.
Question 14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year
I just ordered The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan and The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin from Book Depository
entirely because of their gorgeous covers, so even though they haven’t made their way to me yet it seemed like an appropriate answer.
Question 15 – What are some books you need to read by the end of the year
Everything I’ve mentioned in this post that I haven’t read yet!
Tagging anyone who’d like to do this.
What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?