So let’s mark the first day of me actually feeling excited about blogging again by doing a tag! (At least… For a while? I hope it lasts…) Anyway, I didn’t specifically want to do any tag – I just wanted to look at the books I’ve been reading for the past half a year, and especially at the best ones, and this tag seems to be the most fun way to do it. So I’ve conveniently tagged myself from Cait’s post here! So let’s get on with it.
A pencil illustration of me sitting on a beanbag reading a book with hearts on the covers, with stacks of books around me and hearts coming out of my head
1. How Much Have You Read?
I’m actually pretty surprised with how many I’ve read! I set quite a low goal of 52 books this year on Goodreads, but I don’t put all my read books on Goodreads right away, so you can’t see them all there – however, even Goodreads says that I’ve already reached my goal! In reality, I’ve already read 74 books as I’m drafting this post, but it should still be more by the time the post comes out. I might be on track for the most books I’ve ever read in a year!
A screenshiot of my reading challenge result on Goodreads: 68 books out of 52 read!
2. What Have You Been Reading?
Okay, I’m actually just as surprised as you are. I thought I didn’t read contemporaries? But as it appears… And I also thought I didn’t read as many graphic novels, but I guess this year is an exception because I bought those two Humble Bundles! These charts get way more interesting, but also more confusing, if I add a secondary genre to them, because all those contemporaries have been so different from one another – but unfortunately, I don’t feel like wading in all that data! I’m still surprised Historical is so high in this list! But happy about the nonfiction and scifi being where they are.
A chart of my books read by genre: nonfiction, contemporary and graphic novel taking up more than half, with historical and scifi to follow with the other quarter, and the last quarter filled up by fantasy, dystopian, women’s, mystery and other genres
As for the age groups I read in:
A chart of my books read by age group: more than three quarters is adult books, then a bigger slice of the quarter is middle grade, and what’s left is YA
It seems as though I’m an adult book reader through and through. However, I wish that Middle grades slice was bigger! I’m going to have to push for it to be higher in the coming half a year. And I’m actually satisfied with the YA – this is just the right amount of YA as I want to be reading. Not too little, not too much!
And the formats I read in:
A chart of my books read by format: more than half are ebooks, about a third are text-to-speech and the rest are print
I am not even surprised about this, but still it’s a wonder how few print books I read these days. Most are ebooks, and increasingly so text-to-speech, because my eyes are usually exhausted after the work day. #noregrets though! I really enjoy listening to books on text-to-speech, and I can truly recommend it to everyone who has a computer job full time. Give your eyes some love!
Almost forgot! The star ratings:
A chart of my books read by their star rating: a quarter of 5 stars, 8% of 4.5 stars, over a third of 4 stars, 7% of 3.5 stars, less than a quarter of 3 stars and a handful of 1 and 2 stars
Even though I have been in the biggest blogging slump ever, it seems I have not been in a reading slump, and least ratings-wise. I have read so many wonderful, high-rated books! It is how this half a year truly felt, but I’m happy to see it in my stats as well. Proves I’m not making it up! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a high percentage of 5-stars in a year, to be honest.
3. Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2019
Yeah, no. I can’t just pick ONE! There have been so many, as evidenced by the last chart you saw. Read Have You Seen Luis Velez? and The Boy Who Steals Houses if you want to have your heart broken and glued back together again in the backdrop of relevant societal issues and diversity. Read Dune if you like epic fantasy, but in space, and The Sundered if you like fantasy in dystopia. If you want pure, but very full and magical fantasy, read The Girl Who Drank the Moon. If you want to read about strong women, read The Enchanted April for an upbeat tone, and Stay and Fight for a more serious tone. And if you like space stuff as much as I do, but don’t want to get bored reading about it, read Moon Mission.
4. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2019
Um, actually not sure. I haven’t been reading many series this year!
5. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
I’m really excited about Daisy Jones and the Six! Have you read it yet? I’ll try to get it when I travel this year so I can put it on the Bookstagram as I read it.
6. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year
I’m going to have to skip this question too, as I haven’t been tracking the new releases AT ALL.
7. Biggest Disappointment
It’s got to be The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking. I’ve read some of his books before, and I just can’t say I enjoy his style, but for some reason, I felt like I should try it. Maybe it was the translation to my language, because I actually borrowed it from a friend, but it just felt dry and bored me. And I like reading about science, normally.
8. Biggest Surprise
It has to be The Sundered by Ruthanne Reid. I had this book as an old freebie / review copy for ages, and I expected it to be a cheap dystopia like most of my old review copies are (I couldn’t boast good selection skills from back from I didn’t even blog yet). But this turned out to be SPECTACULAR. It’s a dystopian fantasy, and it’s all about how humans can be evil and twisted, about slavery and exploitation of people who are different than you and it’s just SO GOOD. I loved it and can truly recommend it.
9. New Favourite Author (Debut Or New To You)
My new auto-buy author is Catherine Ryan Hyde. And it’s totally because of Have You Seen Luis Velez? It’s such an amazing, heart-warming and wonderful book that I knew I had to check out all of her other books. So far I haven’t grabbed any, but I need to put them ALL on my watch list ASAP. Maybe you have some you could recommend? Luckily, she has written A LOT of books. And from what I’ve heard, they are greatly inclusive and diverse! At least this one certainly was.
10. Underrated Gems You’ve Discovered Recently
I feel like I have to draw attention to a book that very few will even notice because it’s just so niche, but so incredibly unique and interesting! Maybe you have a hobbyist in your life who would love it. Basically, it’s a book of blueprints, charts and all sorts of other info about what Jules Verne’s Nautilus would have been like if it had been truly built! The author discusses all sorts of possibilities of whether it would have worked and how, and there’s lots of photo material, so it’s a lot of fun to simply peruse. It’s kind of a great coffee table book, even if you’re not going to be reading it cover to cover. Here’s the full review with photos!
11. Rereads This Year
I don’t tend to do a lot of rereads, so there’s just one! But I’m planning to get refreshed on a few series I’ll be continuing with later in the year (or so I hope!) Here’s a review for A Year of Living Kindly, and that should tell you why I’ve been rereading it.
12. Book That Made You Cry
We’re basically back at square one. But there were two! Sobbing like a baby. #worthit
13. Book That Made You Happy
We’re basically back at square one again, but now it has a different companion. You ask, how could Have You Seen Luis Velez have both made me cry and made me happy? Well, that’s just how this book works! Meanwhile, The Enchanted April JUST made me happy. No tears. Although it does have its sad moments, but they’re all redeemed!
14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year (Or Received)
Easy peasy. Feast your eyes on this. Thanks, Granta Books!
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15. Goals For The Rest Of The Year
Actually? I just want to enjoy reading AND blogging. I would love to get through some full series that I’ve had stacked for a while! And diminish my already owned TBR. But those are all sort of loose stats! I don’t want to be stressed. I just want to enjoy reading and blogging again, and reconnect with the community, cause I’ve lost touch in the past half a year and I’ve been regretting it ever since! So be a dear and share my post and help me reconnect, will you? ❤️ #nopressureHave you already made a list of the best books of the year so far? @AvalinahsBooks has, and here's her mid-year book freak out tag! Come share recommendations of your favorites and tag yourself if you want to: Click To Tweet
So that’s my past half a year in books! Will you also tag yourself if you haven’t done this tag this year yet?
I’m Evelina and I blog about books that made an impression on me. I love middle grade, women’s, scifi and some literary too.