It’s time to freak out!
Specifically, over books. But I have been proactive this year and I’ve been freaking out since March, 2020, and I think that’s very sweet of me to have practised with such dedication. But since I just hit 100 books and it’s June, it’s time for the…
Let’s be real in that 2020 has not been….great. From being stressful (and horrifying) regarding worldwide events to everyone’s mental health going through the meat grinder…it’s been a lot. I’m personally not super well as I write this — and I’m trying to balance getting better vs working on self acceptance regarding my mental health.
I feel like I’ve done nothing this year since I didn’t have a book release. BUT I have signed with a new agent (which is HUGE and I am so so happy). I have outlined a new book. I have ferociously and continuously edited another book that 👀 who knows 👀maybe has a chance out there in the world 👀 fingers crossed. I’ve kept my dog alive (he has severe pancreatitis). Anxiety is beating me up, but I’m still HERE. 🥺💛
I’m constantly sorry I’m not more active as a blogger, but I AM on instagram as my main platform now. I’m not quitting the blog, but I do feel I have less to say and contribute.
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1. HOW MUCH HAVE YOU READ?
I laugh because I actually lowered my goal from 200 to 150 this year in an effort not to stress as much. Good news is: I haven’t been stressing as much! Being 20+ books ahead makes me feel relaxed? I no longer feel I have to read EVERY day. I even have read more thicker books. So I’ve successfully self-tricked myself into a better reading year. Althooough, I legitimately am not aiming for 200. I want to write in July and not be anxious about reading less.
Look at me! Being HEALTHY. (Well😂I’m still a raging overachiever.)
2. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN READING?
This is a question I add in each year for an excuse to make pie charts. I do love pie (who doesn’t?!).
As usual, I show gross favouritism by reading mostly contemporary and fantasy. Sci-Fi was so small it didn’t get rated on the left pie (sorry, scifi). My star ratings are also pretty much same-for-same as 2019, which I’m a little sad about because I considered 2019 a crappy reading year and I thought I was doing better this year. 😂
3. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020
I haven’t had a ton of 5-stars, but I have some new soul favourites and this is making me very happy.
4. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020
Unless I count rereads, I haven’t been reading sequels this year?! But this is alright because The Chorus of Dragons has fast become my favourite adult epic fantasy series to exist in this dimension. It is SO GOOD. Clever, witty, diverse, dark. 😚When I settle down with pure joy to a 700 page book, you know it’s good.
5. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
I have The House In the Cerulean Sea, but The Sound of Stars and Seasons Of the Storm (covers = GOREOUS) are both still on their way. I don’t have Chosen Ones because Australian book prices are absolutely obscene and I can’t bring myself to pay $40 for it 😂 Library maybe? I haven’t read anything from her since Allegiant and…lol. But I’ve heard good things about this!
6. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I am utterly dying for them. DESPERATE I tell you. Also why is it that books you don’t have are way way more interesting than books you do have.
Look is anyone going to be shocked if I say A Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes? 😂I’m not even sure it counts here because I had NO expectations and they still managed to be left on the ground.
I didn’t even hate Corovirus Snow’s teenhood because he was so ridiculously bland. It’s not even an ambitious or cunning rise to power. I don’t know what it is? 500 pages and I’m so tired.
I definitely am pointing to Hold Back The Tide! I just didn’t expect to be so addicted to it and then left in tattered ruins by the edge of the loch, waiting for monsters to come eat me too. It was just brilliant with a dash of horror and a Stranger Things vibe but set in Scotland. With LOCH(ness?)MONSTERS.
9. New Favourite author (debut or new to you)
Oh I have read so many excellent debuts already! A Song Below Water is this gorgeous magical realism about sirens and gargoyles (and other mythological creatures shapeshifting into human) with Black Girl Magic and such a tight sister bond. SO good. Then Only Mostly Devastated made me laugh AND cry and that’s ridiculously ambitious of it. I approve. (Seriously the cutest though!) I also adored A Dress For The Wicked which is this historical alternate reality where fashion is power, and it was both refreshing and ambitious and clever. And lastly The Fascinators! Magical contemporary where it’s our world but…everyone can do magic. And it had complex messy friendships, queer rep, and this lovely storytelling style that felt like home.
No pressure but go read them all.
10. underrated gems you’ve discovered recently
Taking Down Evelyn Tait is a #LoveOzYA delight. So much mischief and epic banter (also friends to lovers!). And definitely Let Me Hear A Rhyme. It’s so good and I need the whole world to read it asap. It’s a love letter to Black teens and New York and music and it deals with grief with such raw aching. And laaaast off (I cannot make myself do one book per category apparently) Beneath Cruel Fathoms was just SO good! It’s all Norse mythology and sea aesthetic, with perfect banter between a merman and a lonely lady. I just kind of fell in love?!
11. rereads this year
So I have reread quite a lot this year already and no regrets 😭💛 Rereading is so comforting, plus I hate the feeling that my favourites can only be enjoyed once. And when it’s been 5+ years, it’s practically a new book anyway if you have a brain like swiss cheese. 😌Also I rediscovered Holly Black’s backlist and JUST how much I’ve been influenced by The Darkest Part of the Forest in my own writing ajfdkslad I love it so much I cannot breathe.
Rereading After The Game surprises no one. The only one I wish I hadn’t reread is History Is All You Left Me unfortunately. Did not age well with me and I dropped the star rating. 😭
So I thoroughly teared up for Felix Ever After, but for good reasons?! Just there were some really affirming lines and raw confessions that really stole my entire soul. 😭 I will stop crying eventually but not today.
And also More Happy Than Not came along to remind me that I picked it up CHOOSING TO SUFFER and suffer I did 😭How dare you. I am NOT happy, sir, change the title. (Also I love it to bits and its truly a work of art.)
13. Book that made you happy
This is kind of cheating but…my Holly Black rereads! I just rediscovered how deeply I love her backlist, from the cons and schemes of the Sharpe brothers in the Curseworker trilogy, to the magic and dark whimsy of The Darkest Part of the Forest.
It was like being enchanted by a fairy wood and remember why I love telling stories. This year has felt thin for inspiration so I really appreciated this re-fuel.
I’m obsessed with the cover of What I Carry and also Deeplight! These aren’t 2020 releases but still!! How dare they 😍will stare forever thank you.
Have I read either of them? No. Let’s not get carried away with high expectations for me.
15. goals for the rest of the year
- I really want to draft a new book and conquer my blank-page-new-book fear. I haven’t done anything from scratch in years so it’s getting ridiculously daunting.
WANT A BOOK DEAL— [muffles self]
- I refuse to aim for 200 reads but I also want 200 reads for 2020.
- I’d like to keep this rhythm of actually getting some eARCs read on time.
- Keep diversifying my reading lists. More Black authors. More trans authors. More sapphic romances. More #ownvoices.
- I want someone to make me a cheesecake. 🥺
| What about you? |
time to tell me all your half-yearly news!! are you behind or on track with your Goodreads goal? what have been your highlight reads of 2020 so far? have you done much writing?