Yes, it’s a little (a lot) past the middle of the year, but let’s take a general glance at the first half of 2015 as a reading year with this “mid-year” book tag.
- Best book you’ve read so far in 2015. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Complex, easy-to-read, brilliant. Eye/mind/life-opening. Beautiful.
- Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2015. I haven’t read any sequels, but I read Crooked House by Agatha Christie, and that’s one of a… “series” of crime novels… I guess?
- New release you haven’t read yet, but want to. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – a lovely reader and ex-classmate (hi, Kirsten!) messaged me a couple of weeks ago and recommended this book to me. It’s only been out since February, but I’m very excited to read it.
- Most anticipated release for the second half of the year. First & Then by Emma Mills – I’ve watched this YouTuber for years, and her awkwardness and her trials and tribulations with life and getting through education and getting a job have made me see her as a sort of kindred spirit somewhere on the other side of the world. I’m so happy that she’s written a book! I’d love to read it. It comes out in October.
- Biggest disappointment. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – ooooooooooooh. It was my first Neil Gaiman. I really wanted to like it. I wanted to love it. I didn’t love it. It was fine, and an OK story, but I was very indifferent to the “brilliant” parts.
- Biggest surprise. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I had been meaning to read this for years, and then my beautiful best friend wanted to buy me a book as an extra birthday present, and I chose this one. It has started a love affair with this wonderful author.
- Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you.) Definitely Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She’s up there with my favourite authors of all time now, actually.
- Newest fictional crush. I’d say Obinze from Americanah. He sounds like he’s not afraid to feel his feelings.
- Newest favourite character. This is turning into a total Adichie love-fest, but it has to be Ifemelu from Americanah. She is everything I want to BE.
- Book that made you cry. Wild by Cheryl Strayed – and the crying happened quite close to the beginning of the book, which is strange, because I’m usually sobbing when we’re reaching the classic four-fifths-of-the-way-in climax of a book. This book was beautiful and very touching.
- Book that made you happy. Yes Please by Amy Poehler – I heard the audio book of this book, read by Amy Poehler herself, and it was pleasant and made me happy. I could listen to it anywhere – on buses, in bed – and it had quite a few pearls of wisdom that made me smile.
- Favourite book-to-film adaptation you saw this year. Wild by Cheryl Strayed – I read the book at the beginning of the year (cried) and watched the film a few days ago (cried).
- Favourite review you’ve written this year. (For The Innocent by Francesca Segal): “Ugh, I’m so glad I finished this book. I mostly disliked it. I hate the protagonist, Adam. What an idiot. The book sounded to me like it was written by a man who was up to his ear lobes in male-privilege. I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s about a 2.5 out of 5 stars. It was a very easy, flowing read, and well-written, but the story and the characters – ughhhhhhh, so eye-rollingly frustrating.”
- Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received). Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky – this was part of my birthday present this year from my boyfriend. I essentially read it in a day, and loved every bit of it. And it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen or owned. I love islands, I love stories about islands, I want more.
- What books do you need to read by the end of the year? (1) They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie – this is the first Christie that is taking me FOREVER to read. I’m about halfway through and really need to finish it ASAP. (2) Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – since Adichie has become one of my favourite authors, I need to do a McEwan and read EVERYTHING SHE’S EVER HAD PUBLISHED. (3) A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – currently reading this too, and adoring it. Can’t wait to finish it.
Hope everyone has had a good reading year so far. Please let me know if you have any opinions/recommendations.