I’m not someone who is fond of doing wrap-up posts, but I also feel that giving some sort of update about my first half of the reading year will make me happy. And hopefully, all you friends of mine are also interested to know about all the wonderful books I’ve read these past six months. And before I get started with the tag, let me give you a tiny overall update about my reading year and goals.
Goodreads Challenge: I’m upto 91/130 books.
1000 Followers on the blog: I’m at 982 right now, so hopefully I’ll reach my goal soon.
80% on Netgalley: I’m going steady at 85% and hope to keep it up.
Stars and Sorcery Book Club: I have actually read all our BOTM’s and I am very proud of it.
Around the Year in 52 Books: I’m at 44/52 but the remaining prompts are gonna be a bit tough.
Year of the Asian Challenge: My goal was to read between 21-30 books for this challenge and I’ve already finished 28 books, so I count this as a win too.
I’ve also never used charts and graphs to show my updates before, but everyone seems to be using them and they look awesome and colorful, so I’m gonna give them a try too.
As you can see, majority of my reads have been romances (which also tend to be contemporary) with fantasy coming closest second. I think I will also be happy if I can maintain around 10% for non-fiction till the end of the year.
This one definitely makes me feel very proud because almost half my books are ownvoices and I only hope this count increases as the year goes by.
This is definitely a bit unexpected because I love YA, but I seem to have gravitated towards reading more adult romances this year. Hopefully I can make similar inroads into adult fantasy in the latter half of the year.
This chart totally reflects me because I love reading ebooks and have also been trying to listen to more audios. What I didn’t realize was that I have been reading a lot more ARCs and I hope I continue to be approved for them.
A majority of my reads being 4 star and above surely shows that I have become a bit better at picking books that suit my taste. I surely hope I read many more 5 stars before the end of the year.
Now…. Let’s get started with the tag…!!!!!!!
💨 1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019:
Well, it was a given that Red, White and Royal Blue was gonna be here because it was such a delight to read. But an unexpected addition to my best books of the year is the finale of the Bone Witch trilogy, The Shadow Glass because it’s one of the most emotional and satisfying conclusions I’ve read in quite a long time.
💨 2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019:
I just couldn’t choose between Soul of the Sword and The Heart Forger because both of them are excellent and very action packed than their predecessors, and we also can’t help but fall in love with the characters more.
💨 3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:
These were some of my most anticipated book releases from the first half of this year. Now, I just have to find time to read them all.
💨 4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
There are many many books on my most anticipated list for the upcoming months and I even listed many of them in this post, but one very recent announcement that has me excited is Rachel Maddow’s next. I really love watching her show and was pretty impressed by her other book Drift, so I’m very sure this one will be amazing too.
💨 5. Biggest disappointment:
I have other books which I gave lesser ratings to, but The Women’s War was more of a disappointment because I was expecting so much more from it, and it just didn’t have a lot of substance. On the other hand, I suddenly got the ARC for The Seduction Expert (which I wasn’t expecting) and read some rave reviews, so decided to give it a try – it turned out to be just downright awful.
💨 6. Biggest surprise:
While I was very excited to read We Set the Dark on Fire, I just didn’t expect to fall in love with it so much, and the world building was so amazing too.
I decided to pick up Magical Women on a whim because I wanted to know more about the sci-fi fantasy landscape in the Indian publishing industry and was pleasantly surprised by so many talented authors masterfully blending SFF tropes with Indian mythological elements.
The Priory of the Orange Tree was too intimidating and I didn’t think I would read it, but decided to take it up as a challenge and was very surprised by how easy it was to read. Definitely worth the size of it.
💨 7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you):
While I read some awesome debuts this year, I want to mention a new-to-me author Rin Chupeco. I knew the Bone Witch trilogy was supposed to be good but I was amazed beyond expectations because it was such a different kind of fantasy but highly impressive in all aspects, and also gave me one of my favorite OTPs of this year.
💨 8. Newest fictional crush:
I had to think a lot for this because apparently I don’t seem to have crushed on many characters this year. But one who comes closest is Zavier Demos, the pansexual aromantic rockstar drummer from Syncopation. He is talented, sexy and has a very cool head on his shoulders and I really enjoyed reading his story.
💨 9. Newest favorite character:
In this case, I actually couldn’t choose again because I have a lot of favorite characters this year but one who’s definitely impressed me the most is Yumeko from Shadow of the Fox. She is sweet, trusting, loyal and very brave and I completely adore her. Another one is Lady Tea from The Bone Witch. She has one of the best character developments I have ever read and she is the most loyal and loving person ever.
💨 10. Book that made you cry:
This is so easy to answer because there is no book that could make me cry more than The Song of Achilles. I remember sobbing in anticipation even before the inevitable happened. Another book that made me very emotional was Ghosts of the Shadow Market because it’s about Jem and he is one of my favorite characters from that universe, and reading his journey through so many tumultuous times made me weepy.
💨 11. Book that made you happy:
While Book Boyfriend might not make it to any all time favorite lists of mine, it made me very happy because it featured a romance author hero and a romance blogger heroine, and had so many relatable situations. The Candle and the Flame was a quiet and atmospheric fantasy but it made me happy because of it’s very inherently desi elements and reminded me a lot of home.
I don’t need any particular reason to love The Red Scrolls of Magic other than it being about Magnus and Alec and them being together makes me extremely happy. Sandhya’s books are always a delight to read but There’s Something About Sweetie is special because it features a happy fat brown girl and I could see so much of myself in her.
💨 12. Favorite Book to Movie you’ve seen this year:
I haven’t seen any movies but I eagerly awaited and watched the final season of Shadowhunters and wept when it finished. Whatever the detractors say, I really enjoyed watching this show a lot.
💨 13. Favorite post you’ve written this year:
I love writing reviews but I know I’m not that good at it like my other lovely blogger friends whom I’m in awe of. But a couple of reviews which I poured my heart into are Red, White and Royal Blue and Good Talk. I also loved writing the post about the Books that define my reading life.
💨 14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received):
I mostly rely on my library and other subscriptions for reading books but one among my kindle purchases that is gorgeous is King of Scars – I adore the golden aesthetic. And after resisting all these months, I finally bought the paperback of Foundryside in June because it’s amazing both inside and out.
💨 15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?:
There are obviously many new releases I want to read but these are two backlist books I wish I am able to read sometime this year. I feel I have put them off long enough.
💨 16. Favorite book community member:
I am actually very happy to have many book community friends these days, especially my dearest ones in the Book Dragons India discord group, but a very recent friend I’ve made is Liz @ Lost in Literature with Liz. Both of us have quite a few things in common and we love lamenting about the fact that we can never pick our next read or find the right motivation to continue. Do checkout her blog for amazing reviews and more interesting bookish discussions.
I am not tagging anyone but if you wanna give an update about your reading year, please consider yourself tagged and link back to me so that I can read all about it.