We’ve finally reached the end of the first half of the year! To close out the first half, I’ll be doing yet another book tag! I never thought that I’d enjoy doing this exercise. But I do and I am always in the hunt for more.
Compared to the previous year, my reading pace this year is comparatively slower. On the same point of time last year, I was already reading my 40th book but as of now, I haven’t reached thirty books for the year yet. It was a conscious decision on my part to deliberately slow down on my reading. Lately, I found it difficult to appreciate the books I am reading. To get me back into the groove, I chose longer novels this time around. Most of the books I’ve read this year are quite long, mostly above 500 pages.
So here I am again, trying to evaluate how far I have gone into my reading. I am barely there yet but I still have six more months to catch up. In the meantime, I’ll do this Mid-Year Freak Out Tag which I came across through a fellow blogger. I find the title quite apt in my situation because six months have already gone by but I am barely halfway of My 2017 Top 20 Reading List (Part I and Part II). I am really crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to cross out all the books on this list.
Without further ado, here’s my version of the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag.
- Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?
The Adventures of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. I am no fan of classic works although I have read a couple over the years. I barely appreciated the last few classics I have read. But the comedic adventures of Tom Jones somehow rekindled my interest in the classics. Tom Jones reminded me of Pip from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, the last classic that I really liked.
- Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?
None. I haven’t read any sequels this year nor is there any sequels on my reading list. I’ve been concentrating mostly on stand-alone books this year.
- New release you haven’t read yet, but you want to?
Sad Girls by Lang Leav. Although Lang Leav intrigued me (because of her poems that have been posted in the social media), I am no fan of poetry. However, when I saw that her book, Sad Girls, is a novel, I immediately bought it. I just wanted to gain a perspective on how she writes and gain an insight on her as an author.
- Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. He gained a fan in me when I read The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska. Paper Towns was a dampener but somehow his new work piqued my interest. I am also looking forward to Dan Brown’s Origin. I am no fan but his fast paced narratives never failed to keep me in tenterhook.
- Biggest disappointment?
The Famished Road by Ben Okri. Apparently magical realism isn’t my thing. I really wanted to like this book but for me, it just disappointed on so many levels. I loved Chinua Achebe’s All Things Fall Apart that is why I was looking forward to The Famished Road. I had high hopes on this book because it won the 1991 Man Booker Prize winner. Too bad.
- Biggest surprise?
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I have made it clear that I am no fan of young adult fiction because of its recurring themes. My expectations for this book were low to be honest. I bought it just out of curiosity and I expected same banal young adult gooey fiction. But Nicola Yoon’s work exceeded my expectations. It was so great that I gave it a perfect 5!
- Favorite new author?
Donna Tartt. There are elements to her writing that I really liked. I first encountered her when I read her Pulitzer Prize winning work, The Goldfinch. It was an astounding work, through lengthy. It intrigued me that her first work, Secret History made my 2017 Top 20 Reading List. I still find her works mind-boggling though.
- Newest fictional crush?
I never had any fictional crush unfortunately.
- Newest favorite character?
Tom Jones. He encountered many obstacles on the way but he never wavered on his journey. He is also very forgiving and very generous. Plus, he always like to have a good time.
- Book that made you cry?
This year, I have yet to cry over a book. However, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara really stirred my emotions because it tackled many profound issues. I was somehow able to relate to Jude and his painful journey. I can’t help but sympathize with him on the things that happened to him when he was younger and his yearning to be a part of a family. Nobody wants to be alone because being alone makes us inflict unnecessary wounds on ourselves.
All of us just wants to live a normal life in spite of all the pain we’ve been through. But we cannot because what we only see are the pain, vestiges of the past that have broken us, torn us into pieces. We all just want to live a “A Little Life” just like Jude did. But life has its own way of realigning our stars.
- Book that made you happy?
Hmmmm. None. Although the ending of The Adventures of Tom Jones really made me feel great. There is some justice in the world after all!
- Favorite book to movie adaptation you saw this year?
None. I have yet to watch any of those movie adaptations. But I am not much of a moviegoer anyway.
- What books do you want to read by the end of the year?
Just to be able to complete all 20 books I have listed on my 2017 Top 20 Reading List would be great! But there are really many books that I want to read. However, I’ll be taking it one step at a time. I’ll be sticking first to the list I made earlier this year. Too many books but just too little time! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my Mid-Year Freak Out Tag. Thankfully, I am not freaking out yet. I still have six more months to read all those books I wanted to read!
You can also do your own version of the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag. Don’t forget to tag me though.
A Little Life made me cry, too!
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It was an emotional roller coaster.
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