Hello, lovely bookish people! It’s been some time since I disappeared from the blog without an explanation again, but we’re not going to talk about that. The Third Anuual Book Blogger Awards Round 1 hosted by May @ Forever and Everly closes tonight and I’ve been nominated by quite a few people – Kate @ Your Tita Kate, Camillea @ Camillea Reads, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea and Simant @ Flipping Through the Pages. Thank you all so much for thinking of me and I just wanted to say that your kind words has got me out my blogging slump. I’m finally motivated to get back to my regular posting schedule and, as my dearest friend, Shruti @ This is Lit, suggested, it’s easiest to start off with a tag. The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag has really caught on with book bloggers in the recent years, which I’m really happy to see. I have tweaked the original questions a bit to make it more like a mid-year check-in kind of post. You can find the original questions and a slightly tweaked version on Simant’s post. Now let’s move on to the tag itself!
1. How many books have you read so far in 2019?
I’ve managed to read 31 books already and Goodreads tells me I’m 4 books ahead of my goal of 50 books to read this year. I kept my goal low because I knew this would be a busy year and thanks to my hectic job, I’ve been reading less compared to when I was in college and could attempt to read 100 per year. I’m really pleased with my progress so far as I’ve been seeking out more diverse books, enjoying most of my books, keeping up with book club reads and doing pretty well at readathons and reading challenges so far.
2. Which is the best book you’ve read so far in 2019?
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi is hands down my favourite book of the year. To be fair, I’ve read better crafted books but this book captured my heart the most. I was also lucky enough to be on the street team for it and interview Roshani herself on the blog, so I just couldn’t pick anything else!
3. Which is the best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019?
Jade War by Fonda Lee is the lastest book I’m obsessed about. I read it right after I finished Jade City and the sequel was even better! The world-building was expanded upon, there was more political intrigue and more intense action. I’m on the blog tour for this book, so watch out for my review which will be up on Thursday!
4. Which new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa came out last month but I’m yet to read it. Shadow of the Fox ended at such a good place that I can’t wait to dive back into the series. This is definitely on my priority TBR for the year!
5. Which is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
I’ve been screaming about The Poppy War ever since I devoured it last year, so The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang is at the top of my anticipated releases list for what’s left of the year. If you want to know what other books I’m looking forward to, check out my post for the 15 books I can’t wait to get my hands on that are coming out in July-Dec 2019.
6. Which book has been the biggest disappointment so far in 2019?
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson was a bit of a let down for me. There was so much hype surrounding this book and I read it as part of The Banned Book Club hosted by Shruti @ This is Lit. I expected the end to be a lot more explosive than it was. Although the suspense was great, the payoff wasn’t strong enough.
7. Which book has been the biggest surprise so far in 2019?
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie is the cleverest mystery I’ve ever read and is my favourite Christie book so far. I really challenged myself to get to the heart of the mystery before Poirot did but the ending gave me goosebumps and I was stumped yet again. Most of Christie’s books are 4 star reads for me, but this one blew my mind.
8. Who is your new favourite author (debut or new to you)?
Joan He has not only written one of my favourite books of the year but is also the absolute sweetest person who deserves the world! I was humbled to get my hands on an early copy of Descendant of the Crane and have had the pleasure of interacting with Joan over Twitter. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, you really should as it is the best debut of 2019 for sure.
9. Who is your newest favorite character?
Dana from Kindred by Octavia Butler is a truly memorable character. She’s clever, resourceful and brave even in life-threatening situations. Her personality really spoke to me and it was really nice to read an adult female character who felt complex and real.
10. Which book made you cry so far in 2019?
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf is the kind of book that I expected to make me cry and it delivered. It is the heart-wrenching story of a teen with OCD during the Kuala Lumpur race riots of 1969. It was not only an emotionally rollercoaster but also gave a well-rounded perspective of the events that led up to the riots and the consequences. This is the kind of book I wish everyone had on their bookshelves.
11. Which book made you happy so far in 2019?
Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond put a huge smile on my face when I was done with it. Each story gave me a range of emotions and made me hungry for sure but the overall tone is hopeful and uplifting, which I loved. I was lucky enough to read an early copy as I was on the blog tour (food crawl) for this book and I couldn’t be more thankful to have this book in my life.
12. Which is the most beautiful book you’ve bought so far in 2019 (or received)?
Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve laid my eyes on. The UK hardback not only has a magical dust jacket but looks great underneath too! I’ve heard high praise for this series and it’s widely known as the next best thing for Harry Potter fans, so I hope the story inside doesn’t disappoint.
13. Which post are you most proud of so far in 2019?
2019 has been a good blogging year and I’ve gained a lot more confidence in terms of the kind of content I want to put out. Sticking to my schedule is still a weak point for me, but I’m hoping to improve that. I’m still looking for ways to improve all the time, so I just hope that the growth I’ve seen so far continues throughout the rest of 2019. The post I’m proudest of so far is my list of cli-fi books that I did around World Environment Day because that is my most on-brand post.
14. Who has become your favourite book community member in 2019?
I’ve made a number of new friends this year, but my new favourite person in the book community is CW @ The Quiet Pond. Her blog is an absolutely enchanting place and her content is always A+. She has two co-bloggers who joined her this year and I can’t wait for all the combined magic coming our way!
15. What are your goals for the next half of 2019?
I’m a bit afraid to reveal my goals because I don’t know if I’ll have the time to follow through with them but I do want a re-brand. I don’t think it’ll be a drastic re-brand because I have bigger plans for next year, so expect a change in graphics and such. My primary goal is to get back to my regular blogging schedule and be consistent for the rest of the year.
How has 2019 been for you so far? How many books have you managed to read? What are your plans for the rest of the year? Let’s discuss in the comments section below!