The Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag 2018

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

30962053It 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

32620332The 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?


33 thoughts on “The Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag 2018

  1. I’m sadly kind of with you on the quality of my reading year so far. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read some great books, but I don’t think I have a stand out favourite as yet, and of those I’ve loved, I’m not sure that any of them will sit amidst my favourites of all time the way top reads of previous years have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was talking to Chelsea and Steph about this earlier and it’s the same for both of them! What the heck is going on, 2018??? I’ve definitely read some great books this year but if they were going up against my 2017 top 10 they wouldn’t stand a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, same! Here’s hoping it’s nothing but life changing 5 star reads from here until Christmas. That’s not asking for too much, is it? 💁🏼‍♂️ Seriously though, I hope we all discover at least a couple of stand outs each before 2018 is done.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I REALLY want to read An American Marriage!! I have heard nothing but good things.

      I hated A Wrinkle in Time when I read it in seventh grade. I’ve sometimes wondered if I’d get more out of it now but I also have no desire to revisit something I disliked that much.


  2. I picked The Wicked Cometh for my most beautiful book too, it really does have a gorgeous cover 🙂
    Like you I couldn’t think of anything for fictional crush.
    I have Circe on my TBR list, and I’m really looking forward to Melmoth, it sounds so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t wait for my copy to arrive so I can finally see it in person! I don’t think it’s even been published in the US yet so I haven’t been able to look at it in bookstores.

      I hope you get on with Circe better than I did. I really do understand why it’s so adored, it just didn’t quite come together for me. And Melmoth sounds amazing, I hope it lives up to the premise!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! (might have to steal it)

    I am with you on the not so brilliant reading year. My favourite is for sure Not That Bad, and I have a few others that I enjoyed a lot but I have most read middle of the pack books somehow. Although some of my four star reads also really resonated with me.. I might have to rethink my rating system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please do! I love reading this tag!

      I was just talked into reading Not That Bad on someone’s blog the other day so I really hope I love that as well.

      What is with 2018 being a lackluster reading year?! Ugh. I hope it picks up for all of us in the second half.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think Not That Bad is really really really great. But then again, I just love everything Roxane Gay ever does. But seriously, I thought the different essays all worked extremely well together and there was not one in there that didn’t work.

        The reading year HAS to pick up for all of us!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is great praise for an essay collection! I’m excited. I’ve never read any of Gay’s nonfiction, I only read her novel which didn’t work for me at all. But I have reason to believe I’ll like her nonfiction a lot more. Fingers crossed!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh I am SO JEALOUS, that is amazing! I live in the US or I’d be there in a heartbeat. Are you going to post your thoughts afterward? I’d love to read about it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I probably will. There’s been some amazing feedback about the play already on twitter. I really hope they’re able to bring it to more places, it’s an important story I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent! I’ve heard great things so far as well. I absolutely love theatre and Asking For It is such an important and hard-hitting story so I can imagine seeing it performed live will be a really powerful experience.


  4. I’ve had a very similar reading year to yours, I’ve read a lot of books I’ve really enjoyed, but only a couple which I’m sure will make have a spot on my top 10 list. Hopefully we both read lots of truly great books in the second half of the year! I’ll be picking up Tin Man and The Idiot for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many people have commented to tell me that!!! What is going on with 2018!!! I really hope the second half of the year picks up for all of us. I’m SURE you will love Tin Man but The Idiot is quite divisive so I’ll be very curious to hear your thoughts on that!


    • I partially decided to order it after watching your book haul the other day – it looked even more stunning in the video than in pictures so I was like you know what I need to own this book…… I can’t wait for it to arrive omg

      Liked by 1 person

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