I always have such fun with this tag, and now that we’re into Q3 I can finally look at all my stats for the first half of the year!
HOW MUCH HAVE YOU READ?
I set myself a MUCH lower reading goal this year – it’s just no fun if you’re stressing out over it – but clearly my reading pace has stayed pretty steady; this time last year I’d read 114 books, just six less than this year.
I’ve definitely noticed myself having a harder time focussing – the ADHD diagnosis is one I really should have seen coming – but my flitting between books even more than usual doesn’t seem to be affecting how many books actually end up read. Not a bad thing!
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN READING?
This time last year Fantasy made up 64% of my reading, and I’m amused by how little that’s changed. Sci Fi and Science Fantasy both have slightly smaller slices of the pie than they did in 2022, but this is also my first year using Spec Fic as a category, which might have made some of the difference.
Interestingly, last year’s Other was 6.1%, almost exactly the same as this year. Seems like my desire for non-SFF books is pretty steady. Honestly, I’m still surprised it’s as high as it is.
FAR less of my reading ended up as DNFs this year; only 12.6% compared to last year’s 23%. That’s almost halved! I wonder what’s changed – have I just gotten lucky with the books I’ve picked up, or am I getting better at guessing which books I’m going to like?
Pretty much exactly the same as this time last year, which I guess is better than it getting worse? But still pretty disappointing. I thought I was doing better this year!
BEST BOOK/S YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2023
Not counting sequels, even though some of the ones I read are among the best books I’ve read this year, because they feature in the next section…
I’ve read a lot of amazing books so far this year, but these are definitely the stand-outs. (Not including rereads, anyway – this would be a much longer list/graphic-thing if I did!)
BEST SEQUEL/S YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2023
Again: all of these knocked my socks off and left me utterly delighted. (I mean – Lost in the Moment and Found was heartbreaking, but also beautiful.) A Restless Truth even made me care about the Last Binding series again, which I did not, much, after the first book.
NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO
To be clear, I’ve STARTED all of these! My brain just doesn’t like commitment at the moment, so sticking with stuff is hard. *flails*
MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE/S FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR
Interestingly, a lot of the books I expected to care about in the last half of the year…I no longer really do. I’ve been lucky enough to get arcs of a lot of them, and I now feel a bit meh about quite a few of the ones I was most excited for. (I’m not sure whether this is because they’re genuinely not as great as I’d hoped, or if my brain just isn’t very good at appreciating things at the moment.) But that still leaves a bunch of books I’m dying to read!!!
What is there to say? These were all books I was really excited for, which I ended up not-loving. C’est la vie. (In fairness to Translation State, I loved most of it – I just thought the ending was really weak.)
The Sphere of the Winds was a surprise just by existing – I had no idea Neumeier was working on a sequel to her incredible Floating Islands until it suddenly popped up on my feed! And while I was expecting to love Saint of Bright Doors and Archive Undying, I consider them both surprises because they took me by surprise on basically every page.
Ink Blood Sister Scribe was a book I requested on Netgalley on a whim, and ended up loving; Between Two Fires is graphic, historical horror, and I still can’t really believe I enjoyed it; and The Lies of the Ajungo is a book I would have said is not my thing at all, and yet I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
NEW FAVOURITE AUTHOR/S (DEBUTS OR NEW TO YOU)
Aubrey Wood, author of Bang Bang Bodhisattva, for sure, and Marissa Crane, whose debut I Keep My Exoskeletons To Myself knocked it out of the park. And I might count Indra Das, as well, although that’s a bit of an odd situation because I have consistently been unable to read his debut Devourers – and yet I loved The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar more than maybe anything else I’ve read this year!
UNDERRATED GEMS YOU’VE DISCOVERED RECENTLY
Kirith Kirin is relatively old – first published in 2000, if I have that right – but the rest are from this year or last, and I haven’t seen anyone talking about them! YO, BOOK COMMUNITY, YOU ARE SLEEPING ON SOME SERIOUS GEMS, HERE!!!
REREADS THIS YEAR
A lot of sequels this year means a lot of rereading – but also, some books I just had to revisit. Empress of Timbra is one I reread almost every year, as is Artifact Space, and I’m not the slightest bit surprised I needed another hit of Saint Death’s Daughter – just thinking about it still takes my breath away.
This time last year I’d only reread nine books – this year, a bit over four times as many. Is it just needing to reread to prep for sequels, or is this a symptom of my brain flitting from book to book? I suspect the latter, honestly – it seems easier to focus, when my head’s like that, on books I already know I love.
BOOK/S THAT MADE YOU CRY
I really don’t cry at books very often at all, and I don’t remember any making me do so this year.
BOOK/S THAT MADE YOU HAPPY
All of these filled me with that fizzy glittery JOY that is a feeling I definitely chase after in my reading.
MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT SO FAR THIS YEAR
I missed the chance to buy a signed first edition of Martha Wells’ Wheel of the Infinite, and I’m still kicking myself over it – but I did get my hands on an Illumicrate edition of her Witch King, and Fairyloot’s super gorgeous edition of Dowry of Blood. I do not have the spoons for pictures, but you can find some if you google!
WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
Not counting those in the New Releases You Haven’t Read Yet section…
All three of these are books I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten around to reading yet!!! And I’m sure there are more, but it’s these three that are really, REALLY demanding to be read!!!
And that’s a wrap! Now that I’m done, I shall finally indulge in going and reading everyone else’s take on this tag…!