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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)!
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!
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).
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!