Fun for Monday: The Mid-Year Check In Tag

The Orang-utan Librarian did this tag last week and I’m jumping aboard because I wanna do a tag to cheer myself up (it’s a grumpy Sunday over here as I’m writing – I’ve no idea why). So what better way to do that than with a half-year (already?!) squeeing over books read and books still to read?

Here we go …



Best Book You’ve Read So Far This Year

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It’s between Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho and This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Don’t make me choose. Both of these were stunning reads in completely different ways. I was super excited to learn today (yesterday by the time this is posted) that This is How You Lose the Time War won the Locus Award for Best Novella.



Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far This Year


It absolutely has to be Lirael by Garth Nix. I have just two words for you: Disreputable Dog.



New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To

Ummm, you all know me by now, right?

I still haven’t caught up on the stuff released in 2019 that I wanted to read (or 2018, 2017, 2016 …). Give me a year or ten – I’ll get round to it.



Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year


Jo Walton’s Or What You Will is coming out in just a few days’ time now and I am all kinds of excited!



Biggest Disappointment

That humanity hasn’t proved itself more compassionate… wait. You mean books, right? Ok, scrub that last…

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Supercute Futures by Martin Millar was … underwhelming, I thought. It was one of those books I found myself reading with a kind of cold fascination. I wasn’t able to like any of the characters and yet I needed to see how it would pan out all the same. A peculiar reading experience.



Biggest Surprise

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Thumbs was bought the first two volumes of Joe Benitez’s comic series Lady Mechanika for Christmas last year and I steadfastly refused to read them because of … well, *ahem* … because of the boobs. I thought it was going to be a trashy story (because sometimes I can be a judgmental asshole). But during lockdown, scrabbling for something to read (despite my literal mountain of unread books), I picked up the first volume and … I should probably go find a hat to eat. These graphic novels are great fun!



Favourite New Author


I know he’s only new to me, but Samuel R Delany. He was my favourite read for Vintage SciFi Month back in January. Driftglass was a brilliant introduction to his writing and I am really looking forward to reading more by him.



Newest Fictional Crush

The Finishing School Series

I am currently loving couples who fall into the ‘deadly, but adorable’ category. So right now that’s Sophronia and Soap from Gail Carriger’s Finishing School books  and Richard and Alec from Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint (she calls them her “mad, bad boys” – need I say more?)




Newest Favourite Character

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Eyas in Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. I just finished this book last week (there’s a post in the offing) and I was sooo into Eyas and her work that I’ve been thinking about her ever since. I really love Chambers’ characterisation.

(Aside: my husband Thumbs has just started reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and I am soooo excited for him … but I don’t imagine it’s easy to read something with someone staring at you and periodically whispering with suppressed impatience “which bit are you reading now?” … so please, spare him a thought).



Book that Made You Cry


I said I didn’t cry rereading Jo Walton’s The Prize in the Game.

I lied.

So sue me.



Book that Made You Happy

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The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison made me very happy. I expected it to be dark and doomy, and instead (despite intrigues and assassination attempts) it warmed me from cockles to toes.



Favourite Book to Film Adaptation

*laughs so hard and so long she has to go have a lie down*



Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

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We got Simon Stålenhag’s Things From the Flood at the beginning of the year – that’s probably the prettiest. Can’t really say it’s been a big year for buying books so far …



What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

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Well, I definitely need to read Temeraire by Naomi Novik and Do You Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh because I’m going to be buddy-reading these with Alex of Spells and Spaceships and Maryam The Curious SFF Reader respectively. (Coming soon! Watch this space!).

I’m also going to be doing a private buddy-read of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon with my Other Brother soon, as we discovered we both had it on our tbr piles and we haven’t seen each other in … like … forever.


Other than that, I don’t really make reading plans as such. I know a lot of you awesome people have these incredible to-read lists for your ARCs and whatnot. Mine is a scribbled list in the front of this year’s notebook and I don’t do ARCs. I’m totally bumbling about in the background while everyone’s being professional and organised. And that’s the way I like it.

Notebook TBR List
This is how a bookforager do


But enough about me, what about you? What have your favourite books been so far this year? Your prettiest purchases? What are you looking forward to being published in the next six months?








  1. Lovely tag! I might steal/borrow it soon!
    And let me share a secret: no one can remain “professional and organized” (insert big laugh) in the face of so many books we want to read, and of the many books we see cropping up day after day… We muddle through and hope for the best – which in my case is a 48-hours day and no need for sleep! 😀 😀

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  2. The Zen Cho arrived this morning, a day or two earlier than expected, so woohoo! I think I may be reading this ahead of what I had planned… I have a copy of ‘Priory’ but as it’s a chunkster I may have to leave it till later in the year.

    Some other tasty treats here but *must resist, resist* as I’m so enjoying ‘Middlemarch’ and I I’m barely a tenth of the way in…

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  3. I love this tag, and I have it scheduled for next week😁 I’m so excited you and Maryam are buddy reading Do You Dream!! One of my favorite books ever😁

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    • Ooo, I’ll look out for your tag post. It was fun to do. 🙂
      Was hoping to get to read at least a bit of Terra-Two today … hopefully this evening. I’m so excited!


  4. lol at your response to “Favourite Book to Film Adaptation”. It made me think of the Artemis Fowl movie, which I waited approximately 17 years for and turned out to be one of the worst movies of all time (I didn’t watch it)… I finally got a copy of The Goblin Emperor, so I’ll look forward to a reading a not-dark-and-gloomy fantasy 🙂


    • It’s just an incredible book, isn’t it?! ❤
      Hope your exams all went well. A well-deserved break is needed! I am finally going to start Terra-Two today – look forward to chatting with you about it! 😄

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