Mid-Year Freak Out #BookTag

  • How Many Books Have You Read So Far? 30 Books
    (Estimate based on Goodreads/Amazon/Seattle Public Library records. I think I missed a few books that I read in hard copy.)
  • What Is Your Reading Goal for the Year? 75 Books

Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

Fear and LoathingNobody writes about the gruesome underbelly of humanity like Hunter S. Thompson. His writing is a unique combination of disgust, complicity, and humor. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is brilliant.

“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

StilettoI really enjoyed the Checquy Files series by Daniel O’Malley. Stiletto was a great follow up to The Rook. I admit that I like the first book better, but holds true of any series where the main character is plunged into a strange world and has to make rapid adjustments to survive. It’s kind of like the honeymoon phase of a romantic relationship. Stiletto was not a let down for me. It had all the elements I was looking for: great characters, crazy monsters, wacky situations and a fascinating world.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

pizzaI’m looking forward to reading / using The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish (isn’t that a great name for a chef?). I’ve been experimenting with making pizza at home, but haven’t quite achieved the results I’m after. Since Forkish is one of the leading baking experts in the country, I’m betting he’ll be able to help me create that perfect crust.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Clock Dance

I’m looking forward to reading Clock Dance by Anne Tyler. It promises to be a real tear-jerker. The main character flies across the country to take care of a young woman she’s never met, her nine-year old daughter and a dog. There are supposed to be lots of quirky characters, which Anne Tyler is a master at bringing to life.

Biggest disappointment.

NY2140I don’t often give up on reading a book, but I had to put down Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140. It’s really too bad because it had an immense amount of promise. The premise is that climate change resulted in New York being largely flooded. Naturally, different economies sprouted up around this and certain classes of people benefited and others suffered. Unfortunately, most of this book is a massive info dump, many of the characters are hardly developed at all or are just plain unlikable. The narrative jumps from person to person, so when I would get wrapped up in one person’s issues, that would be abruptly cut off and I’d have to wade through another 100 pages or so to find out what happened.

Biggest surprise.

lonely witness One day, when I was browsing through the library’s offerings, I randomly picked out The Lonely Witness by William Boyle. I had never heard of the author. While it probably won’t make it onto my list of favorite books–I had some issues with the main character and the ending was a bit of a let down–I really enjoyed the way the author brought the setting to live. I feel like I’ve been given a grand tour of Brooklyn.

Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Not new, by any means, but new to me: Hunter S. Thompson. I LOVED both his book on the Hell’s Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I will be reading more.


Newest fictional crush.

crosstalkI haven’t read much that included “crush” worthy characters. The best I can come up with is C.B. from Crosstalk by Connie Willis. He’s wonderfully odd. He’s a genius whose brain works in a decidedly different fashion from those of everyone around him. He admires Heddy Lamarr–not because she was beautiful, but because she was brilliant. He keeps most people at arms length, but protects those he cares for, even when it costs him dearly to do so. Still, I have to question his judgment. The woman he pairs off with is annoying as all get out.

Newest favourite character.

KindredIt’s a toss-up between Dana in Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Hazel from John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

It’s interesting to watch how Dana’s personality changes when she lives in the 1970’s or the antebellum south. She is distressed at how easily she caves to the pressures put on her on the plantation. Had she not had that experience, her modern self wouldn’t believe she’d do that.

Hazel is young and naive and also more mature than many of the adults around her due to the specter of death that has hung over her for so long. She’s feisty and won’t let others tell her how to feel. She’s also extremely careful with other people’s feelings. I can particularly relate to her passion for a book that seems to express so perfectly a world view you have trouble articulating.

Book that made you cry.

Fault in Our StarsIt was inevitable that I was going to cry my eyes out over The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s a book about two teenagers who have cancer and fall in love. The book is more than just this simple plot summary. There is so much wit and charm oozing out of these characters that you can’t help but become attached. And when the inevitable happens, well, you just have to cry, regretting the loss but cherishing the pleasure of having witnessed something beautiful.

Book that made you happy.

circeI haven’t read many cheerful books this year, so this is a tough one. Madeline Miller’s Circe may be the closest I can come here, not for its content, but for how it evoked happy times when I was younger and first reading great books like the Illiad and the Odyssey.

Here’s my review.

Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

 Favorite review you’ve written this year.

kool aid Reading Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test was such a fun experience and led me to search out a video of the Merry Pranksters’ trip across America and books by Hunter S. Thompson. It inspired me so much that I just had to write about it. This blog was born.

Here’s my review.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Keeper of Lost Things

The cover art for The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan is charming. I like how the florals look like paper art. Some parts are flat and others appear to pop out at you. The charm, key and puzzle piece suggest the sorts of “lost things” that were treasured by one of the main characters in the book.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I have a huge list of books to read. I’m just going to pull a handful out of a hat for you here:

There you have it! The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag questions answered by yours truly. Feel free to answer the questions on your blogs or youtube channels. I can’t wait to see your answers!

Thank you for reading!

The original tag was created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books.

7 thoughts on “Mid-Year Freak Out #BookTag

    1. Hi Rachel! I think there are two problems with 2140: (1) Many of the characters are plain unlikable; (2) There is a lot of info-dumping and preaching about the environment and social issues. It was “Preaching to the choir” for me, and just plain boring. If you have an e-reader, I’d recommend downloading a sample and trying it out before purchasing. I read about 40% of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I’ll follow your advice and see if it’s something I’d like. Too bad, the premise looked promising and I remember this book getting much buzz when it was released.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ohh I’m so glad Circe made you happy, it’s my favorite read this year. And I can’t wait to finally read a book by Frederick Backman, I’m still undecided on Ove/Bear Town. I hope you enjoy Us Against You! 🙂

    Happy reading & I hope the second half of 2018 is even better for you, Amy! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lily! Thanks for your comment. I LOVED Ove. It’s one of my all-time favorite books. Some people I know didn’t care for it, though. I’m still struggling to understand why. If you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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