Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Tag | The Mid-Year Book Freak Out

Once again I am way behind, because Ashlee from Books Are 42 tagged me last week - maybe even two weeks ago? At this point I can't even tell you what day it actually is. So here's a little bit about my reading so far in 2020!

How much have you read?
My goal for the year is to read 275 books. Based on my Goodreads count, I have read 222 so far. However, that total includes the chapter books I read with Eleanor (Magic Tree House, A to Z Mysteries, etc.). I typically only actually include YA and above towards my own total, which is currently 133.

What have you been reading?
I have been pulled quite far into the YA and Adult thriller pool - thanks a lot, Greg and Ethan! But as always I am plowing through history like nobody's business. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis I have also been reading several texts on racism, antiracism, and such. I have also been reading more YA and middle grade books by Black authors, featuring predominantly BIPOC casts of characters.

Best book you have read so far in 2020
Oh good gravy, this is too tough to answer. There is no one single answer.
  • Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  • The Broken Girls by Simone St James
  • Good Girls Lie by JT Ellison
  • Hunting the Unabomber by Lis Wiehl
  • William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Mean Girls by Ian Doescher
  • Catch and Kill by Ronan Farror
  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller
  • The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield
Best sequel you've read so far in 2020
One of Us is Next by Karen McManus OBVIOUSLY

New release you have not read yet but want to
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France and England, Mother of Empires by Sara Cockerill The only reason I have not read it yet is because Amazon has not been able to get it to ship to me. Boo!!!

Most anticipated release for the second part of the year
  • The World Aflame by Dan Jones and Marina Amaral
  • The Cousins by Karen McManus
Biggest disappointment
  • This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf - unbelievable "plot twist" that ruined the entire book, insufferable main character who was stupid
  • Scourge of Henry VIII: The Life of Mary de Guise by Melanie Clegg - more about Henry than Mary
  • A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson - a complete clusterfuck of garbage, an insufferable and dishonest main character, unbelievable events that just happen to happen
  • Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era - hard to be an inside look when you can't get basic facts correct
Biggest surprise
Pretty much all the YA and adult thrillers that I am finding and absolutely loving (except McManus and Capin. There is nothing surprising to be that I have loved the books they put out this year, seeing as how I loved everything they wrote before 2020.)

New favorite author (debut or new to you)
Courtney Summers. I loved Sadie and could not put the book down. I will be reading her other work ASAP.

Underrate gems you've discovered recently
Doesn't really apply to me. I discover my fiction mainly through a couple blogger friends who seem to know pretty accurately what I will and won't like.

Rereads this year
Due to reading non-fiction almost exclusively, I never reread those. I did, however, reread One of Us is Lying in preparation for One of Us is Next.

Newest fictional crush
These will never change - Nate Macauley from One of Us is Lying/Next and Chuck Watts from the Mercy Watts series. Dan Jones obviously remains my very real non-fiction historian crush. Is that weird? Oh well. It should be illegal to be that intelligent AND that attractive all in one person.

Newest favorite character
I've read about a lot of badass young women in my latest fiction forays mentioned above. No fave in particular though. 

Book that made you cry
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Crow by Barbara Wright

I also freaked out at the end of One of Us is Next when it was unclear how extensively Nate was injured. I very politely asked Karen McManus on Twitter to please leave him alive and well and JUST FINE before I started reading the book. Her reply did nothing to calm my fear and when I reached that part of the story I may have returned to Twitter and loudly reminded her of my request. Side note: Karen McManus is awesome. She is an author who I constantly see interacting with fans and it is great. I can't think of a single Tweet I have ever tagged her in that she has not responded to in some way. I love when authors take the time to cultivate relationships with fans - even after a slew of successful books.

Book that made you happy
One of Us is Next. I can't help it. I <3 Nate.

Favorite book to film adaptation
I don't watch much television or many movies, so I would have to go waaaaaaaay back and say Jurassic Park or The Shining.

Most beautiful cover you bought/received this year

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
LOL. Have you seen my TBR?

Favorite post you've done this year
I am really proud of the Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad book talk series. I am posting the prompts each day and even though there are not a lot of comments or discussions yet, the posts are getting a lot of views so I know people are seeing them. I get it, it is uncomfortable, but these are conversations that white people need to have and things we really need to think about and confront. I have slowly but surely been adding my own responses to the prompts and I hope more of you will chime in!

Favorite book community member
This question is not even fair. I have a group I adore and you all know who you are!

I won't be tagging anyone this time around, because I have a done a bunch of these lately. I would love to see anyone's answers to any of the questions, either here or on your own blog.

Happy Reading!


  1. Enjoyed your reading recap for the first half of 2020.

    1. Thank you! It has been a strange one, but at least my reading has not suffered for it!


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