I know we’re now far past the mid-point of the year, but when Emma-Louise from Read, Write, Inspire tagged me in the Mid Year Freak Out tag I had to join in. It’s a book tag, about what I’ve read in 2017 so far. The only thing I love more than reading books is talking about them, so lets get cracking!
My prized possession is my book collection which dominates a corner of our living room. I keep most of the books I’ve read, unless I really hated them. I also have well over one hundred books still waiting patiently on the shelves to be read, and that’s after a bit of a clear out earlier in the year where I got rid of unread books that no longer suit my tastes. I have a serious obsession, and have had to ban myself from buying any new books as I have nowhere else to put them (or time to read them!).
But reading is my safe haven, my sanity saver and the way I switch off at night. Through books I learn more about others, the world and myself. You’re never alone when you have a book. I don’t see me getting over my obsession any time soon.
I decided to use the Pop Sugar reading challenge to help me chose which books to read in 2017. Forty books which fit into categories such as “set in war time” or “has a red spine.” With a newborn thrown in to the mix since June, I know I’ll not get close to the target. But I’ve made a good try, and am currently sitting at 23/40. Hopefully I’ll get to at least 30 before the year is out, so look out for a post about the challenge then.
Without further ado though, here’s a bit of a summary of what I’ve read in 2017 so far.
Best books you’ve read in 2017 so far
I’ve been lucky, I’ve had quite a lot of good reads. I don’t usually re-read books, but because the challenge asked for a book from childhood I re-read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aitken. I also re-read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale after watching the tv adaptaion. Both were just as good as I remembered. But the best new (to me) books have been Life of Pi by Yann Mantel, Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love and Chocolat by Joanne Harris.
Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017
I don’t usually read series of books, but this year I read the second book in the Miss Pereguin’s series. It was ok, though I preferred the first book. If it counts, I’d actually say Go Set a Watchman was a good sequal to To Kill a Mockingbird, although I think Harper Lee actually wrote it first. It was cool to revisit Scout as a grown up, and to see Atticus in a different light.
New release you haven’t read yet but want to
I try not to look at other books, as I have so many of my own still to read! But I did like the sound of See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt.
Most anticipated release in the 2nd half of the year.
I don’t tend to keep an eye on what’s coming out, for the reason I mentioned above. I don’t even check if my favourite authors have got anything in the pipeline, the temptation would be too strong.
Speaking of favourite authors…maybe not knowing what they’re up to isn’t awlays a bad thing. I read Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last and was really underwhelmed. I was a bit gutted, as she is one of my favourites and this story sounded like it was going to be so intriguing. But there just seemed to be something missing in this book, it lacked soul. I really didn’t like how current it was either. I know that sounds funny but I don’t mean current as in finger-on-the-pulse. More like current in a way that was going to date it very quickly.
Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love. This was given to me by a friend who was having a clear out, and he’s pretty hip so I couldn’t understand why he had such a chick-lit sounding book in his stash. I only read it because it ticked one of the reading challenge categories. But I’m so glad I did, I was under its spell from the first page. It was not chick-lit at all, but raw and human and heartbreaking.
Fav new author
In line with my favourite books of the year it would be Nicole Krauss, Yann Mantel and Joanne Harris. They were all new to me, and when I lift the ban on buying new books I’ll be looking to see if they have any others I can add to my collection.
Fav new crush
No character in the books I’ve read this year has made me think “I want to be loved the way he loves her.” I was curious about Reuben in Clare Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days but the ending made me reassess that.
Fav new characters
Who doesn’t root for Pi, cast adrift in a lifeboat with a tiger? Or Christopher as he tries to solve Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? Probably the one I’ll remember the most is Liesal Meminger from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, because even though I hated the ending of that story I rooted for her the whole way through.
Book that made you cry
The History of Love actually had me in tears by page 10. And Toni Morrison’s Beloved had me crying at various points for various characters. That book is full of pain.
Book that made you happy
Chocolat, and not just because of all the delicious images it put in my mind. It showed that “good” can come in a whole range of guises, and I quite liked its feminist leanings too!
Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year
I’ve not bought any books this year…at least not for myself! But at the end of last year I changed jobs and my leaving gift was a very generous Waterstone’s voucher. I bought about eight new books (a treat for me as I usually go second hand). So if by beautiful we mean cover design, then Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller wins that.
What books do you need to read before the end of the year.
Like I said, it’s unlikely I’ll manage the 17 I need to hit the target of 40 books read in 2017. But I’m at least hoping to get the following under my belt – Hotel World by Ali Smith, Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Francaise and The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I might also give Mark Twain’s The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula a go too.
So that’s my thoughts on some of what I’ve read in 2017 so far. I’m excited about the books that are waiting for me! Have you read any good books this year? Feel free to tag yourself in this, and let me know if you post about it. I love to see what other people are reading. Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned here, I’d like to know what you thought of them.