#BookishBloggersUnite | Mid-Year Reading in Review
#BookishBloggersUnite | Mid-Year Reading in Review
#BookishBloggersUnite is a weekly(ish) tag that a group of bookish friends participate in to talk about books. There is a different host each week and this week it is my turn to host. If you want to participate, link your mid-year reading review post to the linky button below so I can check it out :)
I haven't participated in a #BookishBloggersUnite tag for a long time and I've missed it and the posts of my fellow book bloggers that participate. I also haven't posted ANYTHING AT ALL ON THIS BLOG for a while so this week is the perfect post to give everyone an update on the state of things.
You don't have to follow each of the prompts below I've chosen, customise the post to comment on what was important to you, or goals you have set for yourself in your reading life this year.
1. Number of Books Read
It is all about the QUALITY of the books that you read, not the quantity. That being said, I did have a Goodreads goal of 100 books this year. At the time of this post, I have just hit 89 books, so I am definitely on track. I have a page on the blog where I keep a list of all the books I've read (whether they have been reviewed or not). If you would like to check the list out, click here.
2. Tracking my Books
This year, not only am I keeping track of my reading on Goodreads and on my blog, but I also have an extremely complicated and much loved reading spreadsheet that I use and absolutely love for the overload of data. I can see how many pages I have read in each genre, at a glance how many female authors read, where I have been reading digitally or physical copies, my most read publishing imprint, the days per month I spend per book, etc. I thought I would abandon it at the start of the year but so far, I've been vigilant in updating it and hope to continue using it for years to come.
3. Reading Challenges
I may have been a tad ambitious this year taking on four reading challenges in addition to the GR reading challenge but I am loving how diverse following the challenges have made my reading so far. I admittedly do need to pay more attention to updating the individual challenge pages on this blog - and actually create an Aussie Rules page!
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2018: 13 out 24 prompts completed
Reading Women Challenge 2018: 13 out of 26 prompts completed
AusYA Blogger Challenge 2018: 16 out of 24 prompts completed so far (4 new prompts added each month, so out of 48 by the end of the year).
Aussie Rules Challenge 2018: 8 out of 24 prompts completed.
So I haven't been consistent as I would have liked to be with this blog but I have enjoyed the process of creating the blog, reviewing books in a way in which I hope I am able to articulate what I loved (or didn't love as much) in the books as well as the delicate balance of sharing enough of book to interest you as readers but not so much that it would count as a spoiler.
My favourite blog post so far: Hosting #BookishBloggersUnite and creating a spotify playlist, matching books to songs. It was so much fun and combines my two favourite things. Click here to read the post.
My favourite review: The Changeling or Mrs Dalloway. I loved going into depth about my slight obsession with fairy myths and legends, and seeing other readers pick up either the Changeling or the Good People based on my recommendation was amazing. Mrs Dalloway, on the other hand was a quiet book that stayed with me for a long time after reading it. Utilising my favourite quotes to write the review was fun and challenging, as it was hard to put into words my thoughts on that one, as there wasn't a lot happening in the story on the surface, but digging underneath, you find all the complex layers woven together that makes it a classic. For a list on all the books I have reviewed this year so far, please click here. (This list won't always include everything on my GR challenge list, and will always be lagging behind!).
5. The Bookish Community
I have been continuing to go to my IRL bookclub. We predominately read YA but have started to introduce classics in our picks which has been fun. I have gotten to know everyone really well and look forward to our monthly catchups so much!
Additionally, being a part of an online book community has been amazing, with the most supportive people I have ever met. If I have been having a bad day or want a book recommendation, or even just to see what someone is reading, what someone's view is on pineapple pizza or a pet photo or six, Book Riot Insiders has been my go to.
I even received an international postcard from one of the amazing members and it warmed my heart on a day I really needed the boost.
6. Favourite Books So Far
I wasn't sure if I should include this section or not. Why on a book blog dedicated to reviews would I hesitate to name my favourites? Because there have been so many 5 star reviews! Even the 4 star reviewed books have been excellent and the handful of 3-star books I've read have been really enjoyable. There has not been one book so far this year that I've put down or rated below 3 stars.
So subject to change, here are just ten of some of my notable reads so far, also in the infographic above (I've rated 45 books 5 stars so this was tough):
1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, notable mention of the Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. Both of these books had a notorious author of fairy tales, both had a gothic tone, both were 5 star reads for me.
2. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. Why I waited so long to read any of Butler's work, I don't know but it was incredible.
3. The Break by Katherena Vermette. It could have been a story about an attack on a young girl but it was so much more than that, it was a story of connections, of women looking out for one another, of family, of the Metis people, of violence against women and how it has long-lasting effects across generations, of belonging and what happens when you are cast out.
4. The Wayward Children Series by Seanan Macguire. Portal fantasy in the best sense, I read all three novels (Novellas?) in the series so far and each was a 5 star read for me.
5. Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge. A snapshot of a day where 10 kids were killed by gun violence. It focuses on the individual story of each child, but also a larger look at the communities in which they live as well as different facts on what has been done, what is being done and where things continue to go wrong.
6. The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester. A must read author for me, she weaves together dual timelines, a woman or two focused on their career as well as having a love story which is secondary to their goals and ambitions.
7. Tin Man by Sarah Winman. A slow, reflective novel on friendship, love, and how titles don't aren't always needed, how someone can have more than one soulmate and how do you go on when you have lost everyone you care about?
8. The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. I don't normally read a lot of nonfiction, but this year, I have been gravitating to it more and more. Even rarer is for me to read a book on true crime but it was a prompt for a challenge and here we are, having read a book that just touched me to the core, with an amazing structure, combing the authors own experiences and the story of a murder in a way that broke me again and again.
9. Clock Dance by Anne Tyler. My first by the author, but not my last. I really enjoyed this one, focusing on the life of a woman who has always played second to the male in her life until she decides to take ownership of her choices. I loved the characters in the street, the unlikely friendships that formed and the quiet but powerful message this book contained.
10. The Power by Naomi Alderman. I know this book has mixed reviews but I really enjoyed how it cleverly turned everything upside down. I can't wait until I review this one. I have so much to say.
So how has you reading gone so far this year? Are you happy with what you have read? Did you set any challenges? Are you blogging about it? I would love to know. Please link your post using the button below.