2020 Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

Posted 7th July 2020 by Siavahda in Reading Challenges / 2 Comments

I saw this tag over on Paper Fury, and it looked like fun! Sooo…I did it! I think her version is slightly different to the other one going around, but I liked the extra questions in this one!

How Much Have You Read?

Since I started keeping track of how many books I read a year, my record is 313. (That was waaay back in 2014). Since I started working full-time, that number obviously had to drop (sigh). But though I set myself lower goals now, I still aim to beat them (last year I managed 205 books, with a goal of just 150). I think I’m doing okay for 2020 so far – especially considering I’ve been having trouble concentrating and finishing the books I start!

What Have You Been Reading?

I had far too much fun making pie charts for this!

Genres Read Breakdown Jan-July 7th 2020

I don’t think anyone can be surprised that Fantasy’s dominated my reading this year – it’s overwhelmingly my favourite genre, and I’m rarely even tempted to wander outside it.

14 Sci-fi books in six months is actually a lot for me, I wasn’t expecting it to be so many.

And all of the ‘other’ books were still spec-fic this year – magical realism is as close as I’ve gotten to anything contemporary!

Author Gender Breakdown Jan-July 7th 2020

Take this chart with a pinch of salt – the number of genderqueer authors is to the best of my knowledge; I suspect in reality it’s actually a little higher than 7. But I’ve been keeping track (as best I can) of the genders of the authors I read back since I first heard that ‘women don’t write fantasy’. I always found that weird, because I usually end up reading female authors almost exclusively. 24 cis male authors in six months is way more than I was expecting and definitely higher than my average.

But as usual, women are dominating my reading. I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked. /sarcasm>

Also, yes, there are more authors than there are books; several of the books I read were co-written by two authors together.

:edit: On a second count, the number of genderqueer authors appeared to be 10. Still not sure that’s the full correct number.

Books by Rating Jan-July 7th 2020

Looks like it’s been a pretty good six months! Almost half of my reads have been 5 star books, and most of the rest have been 4 stars. I can definitely live with that.

(For the record, one of the 3< was one I didn’t give any stars at all, because I just had no idea how to rate it. I enjoyed the book, but damn did it make me uncomfortable.)

Best Book/s You’ve Read So Far in 2020

Oh wow it is hard to narrow this down! The only thing that made it easier was that I’m still reading some of the contenders, and haven’t finished them yet.

The City We Became needs no introduction, surely, and everyone smarter than me read The Ninth Rain when it was first released, but Raybearer is a jawdropping masterpiece that’ll be released a little later this year. (I got lucky with an arc). You can read my review over here!

Best Sequel/s You’ve Read So Far in 2020

Tasha Suri’s Realm of Ash is a more than worthy successor to her incredible debut, Empire of Sand, and Rebel was a brilliant instalment in Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith’s Change series – even if Realm was much deeper and darker, Rebel was rich and exciting. I love the Change series so much, and I can’t wait for Suri’s next novel, Throne of Jasmine!

Queen’s Bargain was a relief and a surprise, after the trainwreck that was Twilight’s Dawn. I was so happy to get some worldbuilding, and for a character-focused story that was all about the family development and dynamic. It’s a really good book that made me remember how much I loved the Black Jewels series.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To

Why haven’t I gotten to these yet??? I have no excuses. BAD SIA.

Most Anticipated Release/s For the Second Half of the Year

…Look, narrowing it down is hard, okay?

Biggest Disappointment/s

These were all books I was super hyped to read, but that ended up being let-downs. On paper, they all check the right boxes, but the execution didn’t work out, at least not for me. Sigh.

Biggest Surprise/s

I wasn’t expecting to seriously enjoy any of these, but I ended up loving all of them. Even though none of them are the sort of thing I normally read! Honestly, it probably means I should poke my toe out of my comfort zone a little more often…

New Favourite Author/s (Debuts or New To You)

Caruso made her debut a few years ago with a trilogy set in the same world as Obsidian Tower – a debut I bounced off. But I loved Tower! It’s one of my favourite reads of the year. As is The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, which was recommended by several people as just the thing to read during a pandemic.

And weirdly, it kind of is???

Underrated Gems You’ve Discovered Recently

Dragon’s Legacy is more of a re-discovery, since this read was a re-read, but I’m going to take the chance to hype the hell out of this book every chance I get! (MORE PEOPLE NEED TO READ IT, OKAY?)

The Chimes is a book I just finished recently, and absolutely have to review, because it’s just…wow. And The Wise and the Wicked is this quiet contemporary book about teen witches that is just stunning, but I’ve seen almost no one talk about it??? How dare???

Rereads This Year

Ohhhhhhhhhh, too many to count. This year (as every year) I’ve reread the Wayward Children series; the Rivers of London series; Green Creek; the Black Jewels series; Imperial Radch; The Dragon’s Legacy; Point of Hopes…The list goes on.

Like I said, I’ve had trouble concentrating. Rereading old faves – both for comfort and to prepare for new instalments in the series – has been easier than dealing with new stories for big chunks of the year.

Book/s That Made You Cry

I haven’t been brought to tears by any 2020 reads yet! Although as usual, Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series came pretty close…

Book/s That Made You Happy

I haven’t even finished Scapegracers or Dark Tide yet – I’m only letting myself read a page a day, to make them last. That’s how much I love them! I swear, both these books make me swoon.

And Empress of Timbra is just one of those books, the kind that make you feel fizzy-warm-happy even though there’s adventures and scary things and drama going on. I’m dying for more in this series!

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year

This year I spoiled myself with this beautiful leatherbound copy of the Black Jewels trilogy omnibus, by ArtofPraise on Etsy. (And I bought a second copy for my bestie’s birthday – which isn’t till next week, so ssh!) The Black Jewels were some of my formative fantasy books, and I love them dearly. The core trilogy, especially, has a very special nook in my heart.

What Books Do You Need to Read By The End of the Year?

I loved Young Elites, so Rose Society (the sequel) is a book I really need to get to. I did actually start it once before, but ended up distracted and putting it down – hopefully a second attempt will be more successful. Do Not Go Quietly is a book I backed on Kickstarter, and I’m not sure there could be a better time for it. And War Girls is another book I started, but got distracted from – and it deserves better than that. What I read was amazing, and I need to know how it ends before the sequel’s released…

And…voilà! How’s your reading year going?

2 responses to “2020 Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

  1. What an awesome six months of reading so far 🙂

    Like you, I was surprised to love The Bone Ships and adored Realm of Ash and The Ninth Rain. I’m always happy to see Meg Elison on someone else’s radar though – I find The Road to Nowhere hard going, but very worth the effort (I need to tackle The Book of Flora to complete the journey).

    Both The Dragon’s Legacy and The Chimes are on my TBR – clearly I should nudge these up 🙂

    Here’s to an equally rewarding second half of the year!

    • Siavahda

      Thank you!

      I’m on The Book of Etta right now! It’s rough reading, but then I expected it to be, you know? And yes, it’s absolutely worth it 🙂

      You DEFINITELY need to bump up Dragon’s Legacy! Chimes is very weird reading – I still need to review it! – but worth the effort, once you get used the writing style.

      And to you too! 8D

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