A VERY BELATED Mid-Year Freak Out Tag + 2020 Goals Check-In

2020 reading goals banner(1)Yes, I hardcore procrastinated on this post, so I guess it’s now a two-thirds-of-the-year check-in and freak out!? Eh, I guess it at least fits my theme this year of procrastinating on all my wrap-up posts, right? Bonus points for staying on brand? Or at least for making ya take a second look when you saw the notification pop up in your email and making ya wonder “doesn’t this child know it’s nearly September??!?”.

I do indeed know it’s August and now nearly September, but I refuse to not write this post. Fingers crossed I don’t embarrass myself too much with my progress (or there lack off) on my goals. Originally I was going to only look at the first half of the year, but that sounded like extra work, and for the sake of making myself feel more accomplished 💪, I’m going to factor in everything I’ve done so far in 2020.

Also, I have no clue which version of the tag I’m doing. I pulled most of the questions from the tag I did last year, then added a few other cool ones I saw from other blogger’s posts this year.


Mid-Year Freak Out Tag:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020.

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The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

This novel was one of the most unique, incredible, and thought-provoking books I have ever read. It tackles grief, trauma, science fiction, spirituality, and Christianity/religion (and you most definitely don’t have to be religious or Christian to read it–it challenges religion repeatedly). This book also features a great found family, and aaahhhh, it was just so amazing.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019.

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The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Technically more of a companion than a sequel, but I’m counting it! This series is so cute, beautiful, and includes a lot of diverse representation! I can’t until I can get my hands on the third one!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

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A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

I ordered this from a local bookstore because I had heard great things about it and tbh because I wanted that gorgeous cover! Contemporary fantasy is not usually the subgenre I gravitate to, but I can’t wait to dive into this one! (please appreciate that cliche, minor pun)

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Oooh, it’s so hard to pick only one! My cliche answer would be How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, but my hopefully less stereotypical second answer would be Written in the Stars. Of course I’m excited for more Cardan, but I’m also dying to get a hold of this sapphic P&P retelling!

5. Biggest disappointment.

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Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner

I had to read this memoir for class. Though memoirs aren’t my go-to genre, I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed them more and more lately, but this one was such a struggle to get through. Which was especially aggravating because the book itself was only 106 pages!

6. Biggest surprise.

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Ash by Malinda Lo

This was technically a reread for me (though I technically read it like 9 years ago so I had forgotten most of it), and I know I’ve said this before, but wow, how did baby teen me not appreciate this book?!?!? It’s sooooooooo good.

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Anna Stone! She writes f/f BDSM erotic romances. I discovered her during my KU trial and devoured all of her books. They’re such light and fun (and smutty, of course) reads and honestly just what I needed to get through the end of college and these weird times. You can now bet your biscuits I’ll read everything she ever writes! I think I would have to say that my favorite of hers so far has been Behind Close Doors, which is a sexy office romance with a slight mystery twist!

8. Newest fictional crush.

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Ooooh, this is hard. Probably Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns. What a sassy, charismatic sorcerer…

9. Newest favorite character.

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Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Alice from Let’s Talk About Love! I’ve already raved about her multiple times, but ughhhhhh, I want her to be my friend so bad.

10. Book that made you cry.

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry

I’m not a big crier, but I was definitely tearing up at the end of this novel! It’s a whimsical and atmospheric book with a cute romance that also tackles grief and dealing with the realization that your idealized memory of someone doesn’t live up the reality of them.

11. Book that made you happy.

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House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Of course I couldn’t get through this post without mentioning a SJM book! This book was such a fun read and honestly a great distraction when America finally realizing we were in a pandemic back in March.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received).

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Circe by Madeline Miller

Picking a single book for an answer is so hard! The Deep has one of the most mysterious and intriguingly beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. I also finally bought myself a copy of Circe this year so I can reread it in the future and ughhhh, it’s also such a pretty book.

13. Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation.

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Oooh, either Little Women or The Witcher. Though I haven’t actually read any of The Witcher books, so I guess I’ll go with Little Women! I finally read the classic in February for my book club and then my friends and I saw the adaptation right before it left the theaters! I won’t give any spoilers, but how they framed the ending…so amazing!

14. Favorite 2020 Blog Post of Mine.

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So far, I think I’m most proud of my post about motivating yourself to write during a pandemic. *waves arms pathetically* Writing and motivation are so hard, so I made an attempt to inspire both myself and others!

15. Favorite Review I’ve Written in 2020.

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Ohhh, this is hard. I’m pretty proud of my (gushing) review of Girl, Serpent, Thorn!?

16. What book(s) do you need to read by the end of the year?

Ermmmm, so many. But the first ones that come to mind are the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. I STILL need to reread the first book and then continue on to the second and third in preparation for the fourth book releasing at the end of this year.


2020 Reading Goal Check-In:

1. Read 50 books!

As of August 25th, I’ve read 37 books, which Goodreads says is 5 books ahead of schedule! Though I was hoping to be a lot more ahead, I’m still technically on track, so I’m counting it as a success. ✅

2. Read as many of my already owned books as possible.

By ‘owned books’ I mean books acquired prior to 2020 (and that are copies that I haven’t read before). So far I’ve managed 5 books, which is not ideal, but better than none. With covid/quarantine and whatnot, I was hoping to focus more on my owned books, but alas, that still has yet to happen. 🤷

And of the 36 (physical & electronic) books I’ve acquired this year, I’ve only read 8. 😬

3. Read at least ten 2020 releases

Including a novella I just finished the other day, I’ve read 10 2020 releases, so I’ve actually already completed this goal! ✅✅

4. Reread at least 5 books

So far I’ve reread 2 books, which is pretty impressive for me! Usually I get distracted by new-to-me books, but I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, so hopefully I can reach 5 by the end of the year. I even made a TBR of books I wanna reread the other day, so fingers crossed I continue to feel inspired to reread!

5. Finish at least 4 series

Currently only at 1, but hey, it’s better than none? In case you’re curious what the series was, it was LOTR, because my Tolkien class read the entire trilogy. Thank you college for helping me with my reading goals! 😆

6. Read a variety of genres (and age categories)!

genre breakdown of books read so far in 2020 (as of August 2020)

As you can see, Fantasy is still my main genre, but romance (specifically erotic romances lol) have really been helping me get through the year!

Age category breakdown of books read so far in 2020

I think this is the first time ever that YA isn’t the highest section? But I guess it makes since with all the romance books I’m reading (which are very much adult/NA).

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I also had some other writing/blogging/life goals for 2020, but ya know…we don’t need to check-in on those. 😅


How are your goals going so far? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

Pssst, if there are anyone you out there who also didn’t do the mid-year freak out tag earlier, and still want to, I tag you!

 

I Should Read That Book Tag!

I Should Read That Book Tag

A big thank you to Kay @ Hammock of Books for inviting me to do this tag (back in, oh…August, whoops). It’s been a bit since I’ve done a book tag but this was super fun to fill out! But my TBR…yikes. There are hundreds more books I could probably put down for these questions. 😅 Regardless, here are some of the top books on my mind!

(Also, Kay is an amazing book blogger, so definitely make sure to check out her blog!)


The Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog in your post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part in the tag
  • Enjoy the tag!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

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I think I mentioned this recently, but one of my best friends is always telling me how astounding and impressive the Mistborn series is! I promise I will pick it up soon! (eh, hopefully)

A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t read it

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A Torch Against the Night! Hopefully I can return to the series before the final book releases! Lol, one of my Lit profs told me he abandoned this series because it got too romancey and angsty for him, so I’ll be curious to see how my thoughts compare!

A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten around to finishing

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The Fate of the Tearling in the The Queen of the Tearling series! I read the first 2 books years ago but never got around to the third, even though I own the entire series. Why are series so hard to finish?!?!?

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but have never actually read

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Jane Eyre! I even bought a copy at a used book sale like 5 years ago. My roommate has even repeatedly mentioned how much she loves this book, so I really don’t know why I haven’t read it yet.

A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

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Um….don’t hate me, but….Harry Potter.

YES I KNOW I’M A FAKE FANTASY BOOK NERD!!

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but just haven’t picked up yet

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My latest TV obsession has been Outlander. I don’t know if I will ever pick up the books–I’ve heard mixed things about them. But maybe?! I’m always curious how books and their adaptations compare.

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

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With their recent cover redesigns, I keep seeing the Lunar Chronicles all over Instagram. Again, I’ve read all of the books…except the last one, Winter. Have you seen the cover redesigns?? They’re so gorgeous! I really wanna own them tho I most definitely don’t need to…


Lowkey don’t know if I can come up with 10, BUT I TAG…

Of course, no pressure to participate (and sorry if you’ve already been tagged for this–I forgot to check), but if you do the tag, please tag me so I can see your answers! 😀


What books are at the top of your TBR? What’s a bookish adaptation you’re loving? What’s a classic you want to read?

The Survive or Die Bookish Tag!

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Lol, so May @ My 1st Chapter tagged me for this way back in February, and it’s taken me 6 MONTHS to finally sit down and do this tag, whoops. BUT I’VE FINALLY DONE IT! Wow, this was so much fun and I can’t believe I didn’t get around to it sooner. (also, having the imaginary power to kill of characters was quite thrilling)

Rules:

1) Link back to the creator (Sapphire’s @ Simply Sapphire Song).
2) Write down seven (or more!!) characters and seven fictional worlds/ settings. (Most use books, but you can do movies/tv shows!)
3) Choose one random character and one random world.
4) Determine whether that character would survive that world/book.
5) Repeat!

Somewhat similiar to May, I picked out the characters by randomizing my All-Time-Favorites shelf and the worlds by randomizing my Read Shelf and using the first options that appeared. I did skip over the books that I didn’t think most would recognize and thoose that I didn’t remember anything of.


***spoilers ahead–read at your own risk!!***

1. Chaol Westfall (Tower of Dawn/Throne of Glass series) in New Beijing (The Lunar Chronicles)

Chaol in New Beijing…I mean Chaol uses a wheelchair or cane and if I remember correctly, New Beijing wasn’t the safest place to live?? And the boy won’t have Yrene’s healing magic around (awww, that’s so sad to think of them separated). But oooh, what if he became a cyborg like Cinder? Chaol could totally fend for himself then, perhaps join Prince Kai’s guard or something. But then, I’m not sure Chaol would ever consent to having technology embedded in his body. Plus, let’s not forget that plague going around…

Final Decision: Dieeeeeee (sorry, boy)

2. Katsa (Graceling) in France during WWII (All the Light We Cannot See)

This is kinda a silly one, since Katsa a total badass and her grace is literally SURVIVAL, so we’ve got a no-brainer here.

Final Decision: SURVIVE! (forever? Does her grace means she gets to live forever? Has this ever been addressed?)

3. Cath (Fangirl) in the Grisha World (Grishaverse trilogy/Six of Crows/Language of Thorns)

Oooh, my little introverted, anxious writer, I don’t think you could make it in an fantasy world, to be frank. Especially the chaos that’s going on in the Grishaverse.

Final Decision: DIE (sorry, hon)

4. Feyre Archeron (A Court of Thorns and Roses) in A Modern Day World with Death-Cast (They Both Die at the End)

I mean, how long are we talking about surviving for? Because no one escapes Death and their Death-date. (NO ONE, no matter how much we wish it 😭). And does Feyre get to bring all her magic? Because honestly, she could probably handle this world no problem, tho she might get frustrated with it like the rest of us.

Final Decision: Survive!

5. Anidora-Kiladra Talianna Isilee aka Ani (The Goose Girl) in Panem (The Hunger Games)

I mean, our girl here can speak with birds, the wind, and even fire later on. I feel like if she were to participate in the Hunger Games, all the other contestants would underestimate her, she would sneak away & hide, and then she would defeat everyone else at the end with the help of wind and fire. Not to mention, Ani already has experience running from people who want to kill her (seriously, for like the entirety of the first book, so many try to murder her). I have total faith in our girl.

Final Decision: Survive!

6. Princess Lia (The Remnant Chronicles) in a Paranormal-infested Washington state (Twilight)

Oooh, this is tricky. On one hand, Lia has magic and is in tune with the world and is essentially notified if anything bad is about to happen. But would her magic work in our world? Not to mention, Lia, you’ve already gotten your love triangle, so I don’t think you’re gonna get two other men to pledge to protect you from the vampires and werewolves. But I could kinda also see her teaming up with Alice and being super wise and mysterious forces… (lol I’m not sure if that makes any sense)

Final Decision: Survive (if she meets the right people and doesn’t get caught in any vampire war cross hairs)

7. Kestrel (The Winner’s Trilogy) in Ancient Greece/Greek Mythology (Circe)

Kestrel is a pro at maneuvering political drama and court, and since the Ancient Greeks, especially the gods & goddesses, are all about power politics too, so I have no doubt that Kestrel could not only survive, but work her way up to a position of power or even tricking another immortal into making her a goddess.

Final Decision: Survive!

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Wow, I had 5 protagonists survive and only 2 die, but I guess that makes sense, since most of these characters wouldn’t be protagonists if they weren’t good at surviving (especially the fantasy ones), right?


I TAG…

Of course, no pressure to do the tag, but I had so much fun doing this tag, and I would love to see your answers!


What did you guys think of my decisions? Did you agree with them? Disagree? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag + 2019 Goals Check-In

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag + 2019 Goals Check In

I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years now and I’ve never done this tag before?!? But I’m starting to FREAK OUT about all the books I want to read this year, so I guess it’s time to do this tag, huh? (Even tho the main wave of these tag posts have already gone by, shhhhh)

I’ll try not to repeat books for the questions, but let’s be real: it’s gonna happen. Multiple times. ALSO, I’m only considering books for this tag that I’ve read before the end of June.

And according to another blogger’s post, it sounds like the creators of this tag are ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books!


The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019.

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Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

Wow, a hard question right off the bat. There were so many close contenders but WOW THIS SHORT STORY COLLECTION WAS GORGEOUS AND AMAZING and I can’t believe I didn’t pick it up sooner. I gotta say it’s been my fav book so far.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019.

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Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

I mean, we’re talking about the conclusion to one of my all-time favorite series, soooo…..

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

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King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I’m finally catching up on all the Leigh Bardugo books this year (I’ve already read 3 this year: Crooked Kingdom, Language of Thorns, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer), since I had only previously read the Grisha trilogy and didn’t get around to Six of Crows until last December. Hoping I’ll get to this book sometime this fall.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

I mean, obviously the stereotypical book blogger answer. I like hopping on my book bandwagons, okay?

5. Biggest disappointment.

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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

I WAS SO EXCITED FOR THIS RELEASE AND IT LET ME DOWN IN SO MANY WAYS. This was literally my #1 anticipated release for 2019 and I couldn’t believe how underdeveloped the plot was, how bland the characters were, and how rushed and confusing the plot was. (You can see my full review/rant here if ya want.)

6. Biggest surprise.

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

I don’t ever read psychological thrillers–or thrillers in general–so how addicted I became while reading this book astounded me. I can’t wait to pick up more books by Riley Sager!

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Yes, I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to reading my first Adam Silvera book either, but it did. I’ve followed him on Instagram for awhile now and ahhhh, I just think he’s so cool. And I can’t wait for his fantasy novel next year!

8. Newest fictional crush.

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Henry from Grace After Henry by Eithne Shortall

I’ve never been good about remembering and naming fictional crushes, but hmm, maybe Henry from Grace After Henry?? Though this is even more cruel to myself BECAUSE HE’S DEAD FOR 98% OF THE BOOK.

9. Newest favorite character.

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Laila Piedra in Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Again, I’m not great at questions that require specific character answers, but I think I’m gonna go with Laila Piedra in Final Draft. I resonated with her a lot and I just loved that she’s an aspiring sci-fi writer!

10. Book that made you cry.

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Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Whoops, here it is again. But, I mean, I finally read it this year and there were (of course) many tears. THIS BOOK GAVE ME TOO MANY FEELS!!

11. Book that made you happy.

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The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Though it wasn’t the greatest book, The Princess and the Fangirl was a super fun and hilarious read. I literally read the entire book in a day (and a workday at that!) and basically giggled the entire time.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received).

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Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

Sorry, but I just can’t not include it. HAVE YOU SEEN THE INSIDE OF THIS BOOK??

13. What book(s) do you need to read by the end of the year?

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The Bear and the Nightingale series by Katherine Arden

I’ve been saying I’ll read the first book during my winter break for the past 2 years now. So, um, 3 times the charm, right?

14. Favorite Book Community Member.

Um, authors? Everyone? Bro, I can’t pick just one. That’s like asking what my favorite book is.

OOOH, WAIT, I KNOW: Everyone who follows me, interacts with me on WordPress or Goodreads, and anyone else taking time out of their day to read this post! I appreciate you guys so much! ❤


2019 Goals Check-In:

  • Read 50 books— By the end of June, I was at 32, so I’m ahead on this!
    • Reread at least 5 books– ERMMM, I’ve reread 0 books so far…
    • Read at least 20 books that I own (acquired before 2019 and not including rereads)– I’ve read 5 books for this category (I really gotta stop checking out so many things from the library)
    • Read at least 10 books published in 2019– I’ve already read 12 books that released this year!
  • Write everyday–At least 100 words– Yeah, this has not really been happening…
    • Fully revise my WIP and have a complete 2nd draft– I’m not sure how likely this is to happen, but I’m still working on this same WIP, so that’s sorta good, right?
  • Blog at least once a week— With the exception of a few busy times during my spring semester, I’ve been doing pretty well at this!

Essentially, I need to step up my rereading, books-I-already-own reading, and writing game (…or is it games?).


How are you doing on your 2019 goals? What did you guys think about my answers–did you agree or disagree with them? Anyone else binge reading Leigh Bardugo books this year?

Hope you all have a fabulous second half of the year!