Mid Year Freak Out Tag

Sunday 3 November 2019

Hey folks. Here’s another dual blog with my wife Anne (Rooting Branches). This time we’re answering a 13 question list that’s been going around in the book blogging community. We changed the 8th question which originally was “who is your new fictional crush,” because we really didn’t have an answer for that. So in the spirit of the original question we kept it romance related. If you want to take part in this as well, you can always do the original question.
You can read Anne’s blog by clicking here
(1) The Best Book You’ve Read So Far
Answer: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
This question was actually quite tough for me, which makes me lucky, I guess. Out of the 33 books I’ve read so far this year I decided that the best one, and obvious contender for book of the year, is Less and it was by a narrow margin. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a very very close second and, depending on what day you ask me, may even be my favorite. But less wins, for now, because it was a thoroughly enjoyable book that still makes me smile when I think about it.
(2) The Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far
Answer: Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
This book came out back in April and I grabbed it right away and dove right in. The first book, Trail of Lightning, introduced me to Maggie Hoskie and I loved the character and the world right away. This book was just as good as the first and expanded the world that Trail of Lightning introduced me to and it did something that the Dresden Files has always been great at doing. Roanhorse finished the story but tease just enough to make me crave the next book.
(3) New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
Answer: Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt De La Pena
This one was easier than I thought. Thank God that Goodreads has a list of books released this year. My pick for this topic is Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena. It’s the fourth and final book in the DC Icons series which is about teenage versions of Wonder Woman, Batman, Catwoman, and Superman, in that order. So far I’ve only read the Batman book and I enjoyed it, I already own Wonder Woman and plan on picking that up next and I have my eyes set on Superman after that. This book is about Superman before he became Superman. Think Smallville, but a single story and a slightly topical premise.
(4) Most Anticipated Release From The Second Half of the Year
Answer: Lock Every Door by Riley Sageer
This was was harder for me to narrow down than some of the other questions. I went down a list of books coming out later this year and felt like a kid in a candy shop. But it was Lock Every Door by Riley Sager that really caught my eye. To be honest, I’ve only read one of his book so far but I loved the one I did. The Last Time I Lied was, in my humble opinion, a great thriller. This book is about Jules Larson, a woman who becomes an apartment sitter in a swanky apartment building. She befriends fellow sitter Ingrid but soon Ingrid disappears and she learns that Ingrid isn’t the first sitter to go missing, but what happened to the others and why has no one looked into this before?
(5) Biggest Disappointment
Answer: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Easy peasy. Super easy. Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire is easily the worst book I’ve read this year and has been placed on my list of worst books of all time. I would gladly read the Twilight series, the whole series, than this book again. The reason this book was my biggest disappointment is because it had so much promise. The idea was super cool and could have been really well done but McGuire is such a bad writer that she found a way to ruin a fantastic premise.
(6) Biggest Surprise
Answer: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Another easy peasy question. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid was recommended to me by Anne and I knew I was going to like it. What I didn’t know, was that I was going to love it and that I’d put Taylor Jenkins Reid on my list of favorite authors. Anne and I know each others tastes and we enjoy the books that the other recommends, but I wasn’t ready for this book to be catapulted to near the top of my favorite books of all time. This is a beautiful and sad nod to the old days of Hollywood and the glitz, glamour, and prejudice of the time told through the life story of a fictional silver screen starlet.
(7) Favorite New Author
Answer: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Picture Courtesy of Magic City Books
Duh. Taylor Jenkins Reid. Hands down. I’ve now read two of her books. Anne has read five of them and enjoyed them all. I will one day catch up with her and read these books because I love Reid’s voice. Her style, her prose, her flow, it’s all wonderful and even Daisy Jones and The Six, with it’s interview style, was so engrossing I had trouble walking away.
(8) Favorite Fictional Couple (originally Newest Fictional Crush)
Answer: Less and Freddy (from Less by Andrew Sean Greer)
This one was difficult because two of my possible answers would have been spoilers. But after thinking about it a while I decided my favorite fictional couple is Less and Freddy from Andrew Sean Greer’s Less. In this book, Less is trying to get out of town to avoid the wedding of his ex-boyfriend Freddy. As Less travels the world you learn more about his and his relationship with Freddy and even though you know Freddy is going to get married to someone else, I couldn’t help but love them.
(9) Newest Favorite Character
Answer: Maggie Hoskie (From The Sixth World series by Rebecca Roanhorse)
She’s the main character from the previously mentioned Storm of Locusts and Trail of Lightening by Rebecca Roanhorse. She’s a strong, and badass, female character who doesn’t fall into the tropes that a kickass female character can fall into. She’s a character I root for and can’t wait to read more about.
(10) Book that Made Me Cry
Answer: I Must Say: My Life as a Hunble Comedy Legend by Martin Short
I cry a lot at movies. TV shows make me cry. And yes, books make me cry too. The book that made me cry the most this year, so far, was I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short. The part that made me cry? When he talk about losing his wife. As a guy that’s been married for a little over a year, it hit me quite hard. But that feels like an easy answer. The fictional book that made me cry was Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. What made me cry? That, my friend, is a spoiler.
(11) Book That Made Me Happy
Answer: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
Just like with the last answer, I have two books for this one. One non-fiction and one fiction. The non-fiction is The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. This made me happy because they just seem like really good, down-to-earth people and if I ever meet them, thanks to the book, I know exactly how to approach them. The fiction book that made me happy was Less by Andrew Sean Greer because the whole journey culminated into a very satisfying ending.
(12) The Most Beautiful Book I’ve Bought So Far This Year
Answer: Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
This was another hard one. First, as Anne and I go to so many book sales at libraries that it’s difficult to remember which books I bought this year. Second, I had three that I knew I got this year, which all would be worthy of being called most beautiful. The first runner up is The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang, the second is Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg, and the winner, the most beautiful book of the year, is Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor. It’s based of the popular podcast of the same name and is one of the best designed covers I own.
(13) Which Books Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year
Answer: More That I’m Willing to Admit
So many. Soooooo many. First is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It’s a book Anne’s been trying to get me to read for a while now. Next is A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (A sequel to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet). After that comes Final Girls by Riley Sager and Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey, and finally a reread of the entire Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. And those are just the most pressing books on my ever growing, never once shrinking, to be read list.
So those are my answers for the Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag. What are yours? I always love to hear from fellow readers.

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