It’s already July!
How. Did. This. Happen?!
I can never pass up a mid year freakout tag. I saw this tag on Hannah’s blog. Her answers are awesome and you should check them out!
Let’s get started!
Best book you’ve read so far this year
As if I could choose just one. Ha.
So here are my favorites roughly by genre. I’ve read mostly adult fiction this year with a smattering of YA, and the adult fiction I’ve read has been, by and large, excellent. In terms of contemporary romance, it was a toss-up between Book Lovers and Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, and I have to choose the latter because *chef’s kiss* perfection. As for literary fiction, I’ve read some good stuff, but The Love Songs of WEB Du Bois is ambitious, brilliant, weighty, and despite the length it doesn’t feel long and that is a feat in and of itself.
Kinda splitting this into three. For fantasy, while I’ve read a lot of amazing fantasy this year (like Nettle & Bone, Kaikeyi and The Stardust Thief), my favorite has been The Bone Orchard. Loved it.
And then there was my favorite alternate history (lol, a stretch turning this into a category): When Women Were Dragons, which I finished just before the Supreme Court decided people with uteruses had no bodily autonomy and well, never have I ever felt like I wanted to become a dragon so much (in the past month—because let’s face it, Roe being overturned was just the most recent in a loooong list of rights conservatives are hacking away at). Dovetailing on the other end was my favorite science fiction/dystopian (although A Prayer for the Crown-Shy was close up): The Memory Librarian, which is just excellent in all shapes.
And favorite nonfiction. If you’re thinking this is going to be a long post, I have to say that you’re absolutely right. The 1619 Project is a book that should be taught in high school. It should be required reading for every single fucking American. Everyone needs to read it. Burn the Page was a memoir by my favorite politician, Danica Roem, who is just awesome in every way and this book is my favorite memoir this year (sorry Hooked by Sutton Foster—you were a close second).
Best sequel you’ve read so far this year
Not gonna lie, I’ve been incredibly disappointed by the sequels I’ve read this year. So many had amazing first books, and then I read the sequel and it was just…saggy. I’m attributing that to pandemic mode, because just being able to write and get a book released in the middle of this shit is nothing short of miraculous. With that being said, A Prayer for the Crown-Shy was my favorite sequel. Hands down. This is the book you read (along with the first) when you need a hug.
New release you haven’t read yet from this year, but you want to
My TBR overfloweth. I hope to get to some of these in August, since it looks like my ARC schedule will be less intense that month.
Most anticipated release for the second half of 2022
The Golden Enclaves and Nona the Ninth are my two most anticipated releases, however, I have a laundry list of other books I am incredibly excited for. Real quick: Terminal Peace , Babel, A Scatter of Light, The Spare Man, Into the Riverlands, The World We Make, Ocean’s Echo, Bloodmarked, Even Though I Knew the End, and Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail.
Biggest disappointment this year
No one was more disappointed than me in Fevered Star. Black Sun was one of my top fantasy reads of 2021, and I was super excited to see where everyone would turn up and instead this played out like routine maneuvering to get to the end game. It was just missing something, although I’ll tune into the third book to see how everything ends.
And yes, 2022 was the year I finally read THE book of Tiktok, Bookstagram, and Goodreads. The beloved darling of young millennials and Gen Z. The apex of romance and pining and writing. And it was (to me), really, really flatly told. I did not like it. I can see the appeal, but I was underwhelmed by the writing and the romance and well, the fact that Patroclus was basically Bella Swan in Greek form was a massive disappointment to say the least.
Biggest surprise this year
After being distinctly underwhelmed by Station Eleven, I approached this with much hesitation and ended up being swept away by the first sentence. I loved it and, better yet, this was the book that perfectly fit my mood at the time I was reading it. I was craving literary science fiction and this scratched that itch really, really well.
Other surprises were Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons, and Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen.
Favorite new author
T Kingfisher has been on my tbr for years. A very, very long time. I follow her on Twitter. I should have read her stuff by now. And yet for some reason I never got around to reading any of her work. And then I read Nettle & Bone in February, and since then I have read two other works: A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking and What Moves the Dead, and I have bumped her up my queue of long-standing tbr lurkers.
Newest fictional crush
Ehhhhh…I dunno. I don’t really get them but if I have to list one then Qadir from The Stardust Thief followed shortly by Aisha from The Stardust Thief and Astrid from Delilah Green Doesn’t Care.
Newest favorite character
It’s a tie between Nora from Book Lovers and Mona from A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking.
Book that made you cry this year
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. This was one where the past storyline was just so much stronger than the present storyline, but the present storyline brought the past so much closer if than makes any sense. This book was so good, so sad, and so hopeful, all at once. I can definitely see why it swept up so many awards, and I’m glad that the author did so much research and took the care to get things right and to tell the story of her characters well.
Book that made you happy this year
A Civil Campaign is the one reread I’m putting on this list (or else it would be dominated by Miles Vorkosigan, and that maniac already has enough things he dominates). I love this series, and this is my absolute favorite book in the series (I think it edges out Barrayar). It’s my desert island book and rereading it always makes me happy. I could reread it again right now.
Honorable mentions are I Kissed Shara Wheeler, and (another two rereads): Check, Please! (both volumes) and A Psalm for the Wild-Built.
Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year
These are nothing short of stunning, both in design and in content.
I read How High We Go in the Dark and Light From Uncommon Stars last year, and both were in my top picks for favorite science fiction novels. They were so, so good. And of course you’ve already heard me gush a little about The Bone Orchard.
What do you need to read by the end of this year?
*laughs in tbr*