For some reason, each year I manage to post the Mid-Year Freak-out tag late because time is always flying by! Still, this tag is one of my favorite tags because I like how it allows me to reflect and think about my reading in the first half of the year! 😀
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU READ THIS YEAR?
So far, I’ve read 52 things in 2021 including 25 novels, 10 novellas, 16 magazine issues and 1 collection of short stories. My reading this year has been all over the place, some months I read a lot and other months I barely read anything at all so I don’t know how I managed to read 52 things!
In any case, I’m happy that I managed to read so many magazine issues, I’m trying to rotate issues from my different subscriptions and it has been working for me quite well so, I hope I will manage to read more magazine issues during the second half of the year.
WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2021?
It’s impossible for me to choose a single book so… here’s two!
I couldn’t pick books more different from one another. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo is a quiet and beautiful story about a friendship between two women trying to reclaim their life while Kindred is a hard and heart wrenching story about a black woman who time-travels during the time of slavery to save one of her ancestors who is a plantation owner. I can’t choose a story that I loved more between the two, they are completely different but great in their own ways.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE SEQUEL OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR?
I don’t know if it’s my favorite sequel but the sequel that made me the happiest definitely was The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djéli Clark. I read A Dead Djinn in Cairo earlier this year and I really enjoyed it so, I was very happy to be back in Clark’s magical Cairo. I don’t know how this author always manage to craft such vivid and fantastical worlds with so many amazing characters but he never disappoints! 😀
IS THERE A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED TO?
Yes, of course! Where do I even start?
I am very behind on my ARCs and I am very excited to read more than a handful of them. Here are some titles that I can’t wait to finally read:
WHAT IS YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?
I usually can’t choose a single book BUT this time I have one book in mind that I’m eagerly waiting for and it’s Perhaps the Stars by Ada Palmer, the final book in her Terra Ignota quartet. I loved the first three books so much that I can’t wait to see how Palmer is going to conclude this fantastic series!!
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR?
My biggest disappointment this year is A Broken Darkness by Premee Mohamed, the sequel to the amazing Beneath the Rising, a book that I read and loved in 2020. Beneath the Rising was a crazy ride and I had a lot of fun with it but A Broken Darkness felt rushed and messy. It started off well but then it felt like the book had no direction. I don’t think I will read the third book in the trilogy because at the end of the book, I was done with the world and the characters…
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR?
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor. I am a big fan of Okorafor’s novels but I didn’t like her Binti trilogy so I didn’t have high expectations for her new Tor.com novella. However, I loved it! It was completely different from Binti and after the opening scene, I knew I was going to like this novella a lot. I felt so much for the main character and I loved reading about the world Okorafor created.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR?
Without a doubt Nghi Vo! I read and loved The Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain at the beginning of the year and I can’t stop thinking about both novellas. I squealed when I learned that Tor. com was going to be publishing three more novellas set in this world!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM THIS YEAR?
I don’t have book crushes but Nam Seon Ho from My Country: the New Age definite qualifies as a fictional crush. I already have the biggest crush on Woo Do Hwan the actor who plays this character so, it definitely helps. However, I have a thing for characters who have shitty lives but who are still trying their best to be good people (like Han Ji Pyeong in Start-Up for example) and Nam Seon Ho definitely qualifies for the position. Also, he’s extremely badass.
WHAT IS YOUR NEW FAVOURITE CHARACTER?
Dana from Kindred! She’s not perfect but she tries her best to survive in what is the most dangerous time for a black person to live in and she tries to help as many people as she can even when she has very limited power herself. I didn’t agree with all the decisions she made throughout the book but I understood them all and it’s not something I can say about many characters.
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?
I cry easily when I watch things but I very, very rarely cry while reading. Well, I cried three times while reading The Stars and the Blackness between Them by Junauda Petrus. This book is way better at doing what The Fault in Our Stars tried to do. First of all, it’s a queer story about two young black women (so it’s already going to be a thousand times more interesting than TFIOS!) but even if it deals with illness and grief, it’s full of Black joy and beauty and it’s wonderful. I don’t read many YA books but this particular book is one I would recommend to many people, teens or not.
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY
It’s a bit of a cheat since I already mentioned the series but A Dead Djinn in Cairo and The Haunting of Tram 015 by P. Djéli Clark made me happy for sure. I love the world and the characters so much and both adventures were so fun. I can’t wait to read A Master of Djinn!!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE POST THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN SO FAR THIS YEAR?
2021 has been a very weird blogging-year and I haven’t posted nearly as much as I would like to. However, I am proud of my book discussion Should We Read the SF Canon because it allowed me to have very interesting discussions with other people. It was my first discussion post and it made me want to write many more! 😀
WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK THAT YOU HAVE BOUGHT?
I don’t think I bought a single physical book this year so I don’t really know what’s the most beautiful book I bought since I don’t care nearly as much about ebook covers than physical books…
WHAT BOOK DO YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
At the beginning of the year, I posted a list of books I would like to read this year and so far, I’ve read 10 of the 24 books listed. Of course, I would like to read the remaining 13 books before 2022 but I don’t know if it’s going to be possible. Out of the books I need to read, I think the ones I’m the most excited about are: