It’s almost mid-July (does time speed up as you get older? help!) and I wasn’t actually going to do a mid-year check in, because I’ve been quiet and demotivated, and figured I’d missed the train on it, but if my dear friend BookForager can post hers this week, then so can I! And hopefully it’ll help me get back into the blogging mentality so those review drafts can actually get written! Anyway, let’s have a look at my reading for the first half of 2022…
Best book of 2022 so far
I’ve had a lot of average and forgetful reads this year, but The Wilderness Cure by Mo Wilde – the author’s account of a year living only on wild food – and Never the Wind by Francesco Dimitri have haunted me since I finished them, and deserve top spots!
Best sequel of 2022 so far
Moon Witch Spider King by Marlon James definitely wins this one, and would also be my choice of ‘first standout book of the year’ if that were a category. It blew my mind and had me itching to pick up the first book in the series again, with the new perspective this sequel gives it.
New release you haven’t read yet but want to
Both Saint Death’s Daughter by C.S.E. Cooney and Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li are very patiently sitting on my shelf looking at me, and I really, really want to read them! What’s stopping me? The stars, or whatever…
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
The First Binding by R.R. Virdi and The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri both come out August 18th, and I am so excited to hold them both, and less than a month later Shauna Lawless’ debut The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is also out. Here’s hoping I read these asap and don’t let them linger on the shelves…
The Thousand Eyes by A.K. Larkwood and The Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Two sequels of books I absolutely loved last year, and neither of them really did what I was hoping, and in the case of The Thousand Eyes felt poorly written too… very sad, I was rooting for them.
The first surprise is how into audiobooks I’ve gotten this year… and the second is how much I love the audiobooks for the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. I don’t think I’d have flown threw these as fast (8 in 3 months) if it weren’t for how brilliant the audiobook narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, is. I have the latest one reserved and will hopefully be able to listen to it at the end of this month!
Favourite new author
Agains All Gods by Miles Cameron is the second book in as many years by this author that has blown my mind, so he’s got to nab this spot!
Newest Fictional Crush
I mean, I don’t generally get crushes on book characters but I am currently obsessed with everyone in Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey: Bobby I would definitely be in love with if I ever met her irl, Avasarala is an even better point of view character than I could have imagined, Holden keeps going on about his beard (no, it doesn’t work as a disguise), and Amos is my beloved.
Newest favourite character
This is difficult… I would say, see the answer to the previous question but I already loved all those characters from the first book and/or the tv show… so I’ll go with Peter Grant from the Rivers of London series, and also Dave from The Fionavar Tapestry.
Book that made you cry
I haven’t really had very strong reactions to books this year, and it may be because I’ve been flying through so many, so I am making a conscious effort to slow down and actually savour the books I’m reading. But The Crossing by Manjeet Man had be absolutely sobbing, and I don’t think I’d have the strength to read it again.
Book that made you happy
It has to be The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune! Reading it was like being on a fluffy cloud.
Favourite book to film adaptation
It’s not a film, but since I finished The Expanse on Prime this year, and then started reading the series (only 1 and a half books in atm) I can say that so far I love them both, but the books are absolutely blowing my mind, even though I already know the premise.
Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year
It has to be the stunning Italian edition of The Priory of the Orange Tree that I picked up in Pisa airport on my recent trip to visit my old home.
Books you need to read by the end of the year
As I mentioned, I am slowing down my reading and though there are plenty of things I want to read before the end of the year, these are the main ones I feel I need to read because they were provided very kindly by publishers for review. I have physical copies of Dark Earth by Rebecca Stott and The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean and I have NetGalley copies of The Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland, The Lost Girl King by Catherine Doyle, and The Last Storyteller by Donna Barba Higuera.
I’m hoping the second half of 2022 will see more consistent good books, which I think it already is, because I’ve been better at DNFing something that isn’t doing it for me. But I also hope that by the end of the year I can say I have a rough draft of a finished novel, or something close to it at least, so if that works it may mean I have less reading and blogging to show for it, but I know that one can’t be a writer and a consumed reader at the same time…