Mid Year Update: Books and Blogging!

It’s June, which means that we are officially halfway through this crazy year known as 2017.  So much has already happened this year, and so I’m looking forward to sharing my midyear book wrap and other updates.

This is the first year that I’ve had my blog from the beginning, and therefore my first midyear wrap, so bare with me if it’s sort of messy.  All links will take you to the review, unless otherwise specified.

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Total: 19

5 Star Reads

Little BeeI'll Give You the SunThe NightingaleThe Roanoke GirlsFinal GirlsOrange Is the New Black

 

4 Star Reads

The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)Truly Madly GuiltyGirl Out of WaterScrappy Little NobodyThe Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)Smugglers & Scones (Moorehaven Mysteries, #1)The Corner Office by Katerina Baker

3 Star Reads

Invisible ManThe Fourth MonkeyGo Set a Watchman by Harper LeeThe Darkest Lies

2 Star Reads

HamletThe Orphan Master's Son

  • Hamlet
  • The Orphan Master’s Son (DNF)

1 Star Reads

none

Obviously, I’m well over halfway to my goal of 25 books this year. Because of that, I’m updating and saying that I want to read 40.  That’s a bit of a stretch, but I think that I should be able to do it if I push through and read a lot on road trips this summer.

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Since I read a wide variety of books from nearly every genre, I decided that I would name my favorite book from each genre that I have read so far this year, as well as list the number of books that I read from each genre.

Historical Fiction (4)

  • THE NIGHTINGALE, BY KRISTIN HANNAH— This was by far the hardest category to pick just one favorite.  In the end, I had to go with this one because I felt for the characters the most, and it is the one that keeps coming back to me over and over again.

Mystery / Thriller (7)

  • FINAL GIRLS, BY RILEY SAGER—  I said back in January that this was going to be one of my favorite books of the year, and halfway through it’s still going strong.  It was such a shocking, amazing novel I still can’t get my mind around it.  AND I NEED to know who Riley Sager really is.  It’s an emergency.

YA (2)

  • I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, BY JANDY NELSON– This book was just so utterly fabulous that I cannot accurately put it into words.  I have so much love for all of the characters, and I was so sad when this book finally ended.

Fantasy (1)

  • THE BONE WITCH, BY RIN CHUPECO– Yes, yes I know I only read 1 fantasy book this year, but still, this one was pretty good.  I really enjoyed it once I got into it, and it’s the start of a series, so you should get excited and start reading this one.

Romance (1)

  • THE CORNER OFFICE, BY KATERINA BAKER– Another category with only one book, but deserving all the same.  I don’t read a lot of romance but this was super enjoyable and I loved the main character because she was feminist and that’s rare in romance!!!!

Classics & Nonfiction (4)

  • ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, BY PIPER CHAPMAN– Maybe it’s because I’m watching the show too, or maybe it’s just the fact that it seemed like Piper was really talking to me, since it was an audiobook, but I ADORED hearing her story, it was incredible and I found it super interesting to hear about.

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Total Pages Read– 6464

Longest Book Read– Invisible Man (581 pages)

Oldest Book Read– Hamlet, by Shakespeare

Newest Book Read– The Darkest Lies, by Barbara Copperthwaite

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Books With LGBTQ+ Representation– 2

Books With PoC Representation– 4

Purchased Books Read– 3

eARCs Read– 5

Physical ARCs– 1

I personally find it very interesting that I’ve only read 4 books with non-white people in it, because I feel like there should be fairy equal representation, or at least have more books with SOMEBODY being not white.  This might be slightly skewed because of the amount of historical fiction I read, but I still feel like something should have to change.

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I was thinking about approaching this the same way I normally do, by talking about my 5 most popular posts of the year, but I think that a different approach will actually be more effective.  In addition to the 5 most popular, I’m going to name 5 posts that I loved, but didn’t quite reach as many views as I wanted them to.

The Top 5

  1. The Book Blogger Awards— Although it was actually the rules page that got the most views, I’m going to link the winners, because I think they could always deserve just a little bit more love.  For the first time ever doing this, I’m so happy with how much positive feedback I received!!!  I truly found some fabulous new bloggers and I could not be more happy about that.
  2. Author Interview with Hugh Roberts-– Hugh happens to be a blogger and an author, and someone I have a huge amount of respect for.  I was so, so honored by the fact that he wanted to do an interview with me, and I love the way it came out.
  3. Book Trends that Need to Stop— I talked about my least favorite book tropes that keep coming back but actually SUCK and I think a lot of you guys fully supported this angry rant.
  4. 5 Summer Reads— ’tis the season for reading!!  I matched up with T5W and did a post on my top 5 summer reads.  Although my choices were a little bit odd (aka not contemporary lit) I still feel like they are perfect choices to bring to the beach or read laying out under the stars.
  5. 9 Steps for Improving Your Blog— I wrote a guideline post about everything I’ve learned that I feel can help you improve your blogging, and I was happy to see that people thought my advice was helpful.  I love helping everyone in the blogging community, and so if anyone ever has any questions or just wants to chat, come to me!

My Personal Favorites (That You Guys Ignored)

  1. Current Books That Will Become Classics— I wrote a post about books that were published recently but will, within the next couple of generations, be considered classics.   I personally read and adored all of these, and so the list is also helpful if you’re looking for high quality book recommendations.
  2. Short Story by Adrian Burrows— Adrian has been on this blog 2x now.  The first was an author interview, and the most recent was to share a short story that he had written.  It was super mysterious and he wanted opinions on what we think happened, so if you’re interested in spooky short stories then you should 100% give this one a shot.
  3. A Letter To JK Rowling— I wrote a sort of sentimental post about why I adore JK Rowling, in letter format.  It’s a bit different than my normal posts, but it made me really happy writing it, and I’d love to hear if any of you have similar experiences with an author.
  4. The Book Cover Guessing Game— I tried to guess what 2 popular books are about from their covers, and was horribly wrong, which may be comical to read about.  I stole this idea from someone else, and I still love finding them and seeing how hard it is to guess synopses from just the cover, even though it’s the cover that normally leads me to pick up a book.
  5. Fictional Characters I would Love to Meet— I wrote about what it would be like to actually meet my favorite fictional characters, which gave me the perfect excuse to FANGIRL LIKE CRAZY over everything and just be super happy while sharing the people I love with the crazy world of the internet.

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As far as actually reading books goes, I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far this year in reading more than I ever have before while still keeping up with blogging and other responsibilities.  Part of this has been reading on my phone, and another part has been audiobooks, but mostly it’s just that I WANT to read more.  I’ve been getting behind on ARC copies lately, so I need to put more energy into those, but otherwise I’m feeling pretty good about myself.  Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of this year and then many more years into the future!

Let's Talk

How many books have you read so far this year? Which book has been your favorite? Have you read any of the books on my list? Do you agree with the ratings?

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13 thoughts on “Mid Year Update: Books and Blogging!

  1. I had a reading goal of 25 as well, and I’ve already read 17 books! I’ve been trying to step up my reading game forever lol. I was thinking of bumping my challenge up as well! I think I may do 40 too, I gotta keep my good reading streak going 😅
    I also just read your 9 steps to improve your blog, as I am a wee baby blogger, and I found it very helpful! Thanks for that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. awww yay I’m so glad it’s helpful!!!!!!!!!!!

      and that’s great that you’ve read so much, I’m still so in shock that I’m doing it so you must feel the same way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you seemed to have a great first half of the year, reading-wise! I’ve read 43 books so far, but 1) I’m reading two at the same time and it is NOT working, and 2) I have eight other books to read by the end of this month. D:

    Anyways, I’ll definitely be taking a look at those posts you linked! They sound awesome. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AAAAHHH THAT’S SO MANY BOOK. It actually stresses me out because I’d never be able to do that. I read 3-4 books at a time because it helps me to read faster idk I like it but that’s too bad it’s not working for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like you’ve had an awesome first half of 2017!! I saw Invisible Man on your list and it reminded me that I really want to read it soon…

    It’s hard to pick my favorite book of the year so far because I’ve read so many great ones! But two favorites are Sartoris by William Faulkner and Matilda by Roald Dahl ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE MATILDA!!! I’ve never read the other one though, so I’ll have to soon.

      Invisible man was superrrr slow but if you have a long time to read all at once you’ll probably enjoy it more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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