Mid-year book sum up

I’ve stolen some of these mid-year round up questions from a book tag but I feel weird tagging other blogs without asking as it feels odd.

Anyway, halfway though the year:

How much have you read?

I aimed to read 90 books this year. I’m going to have to revise that figure as I’ve already read 72. I vowed to review more new books this year and so far, this has worked out well.

What have you been reading?

Mostly fiction, mostly modern fiction with some Twentieth Century classics thrown in and a spot of biography.

Best book so far?

I had a massive book hangover after finishing Decca Aitkenhead’s All At Sea. I’ve also enjoyed discovering Ann Patchett’s books, and I loved Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

The new Maggie O’Farrell is out next month. She is my favourite living writer. I have an advance copy and need to settle myself to start it. My other favourite, Ian Rankin, has a new Rebus book out in October. Reliable old bugger.

Biggest disappointment?

Hmmm, there’s so much hype around books these days. We were discussing this in my reading group recently – that we’re finding a lot of new books just don’t hold up well. Early-mid twentieth century literature is proving fertile ground for us. So of the hyped books, I didn’t really like Sorrow and Bliss, I thought Lessons in Chemistry was only ok and I also couldn’t believe the fuss surrounding The Paper Palace (review to come in this month’s round up)

New favourite author (new to you or debut)

I think that’s Ann Patchett. I read her essays These Precious Days first and then found some of her novels. I need to read more.


I’ve not reread much this year. I picked up The Shell Seekers the other day as I have an idea to structure my new MS around a similar idea and ended up reading the whole thing. And that’s about it.

Books that made you cry? Books that made you happy?

I rarely cry at books. There were books that I read and at times thought, ‘oh no!” Queenie was one of these. Take My Hand was another. Happy is an odd emotion for reading. Sometimes I snigger a bit at books. There have been books I thoroughly enjoyed – do they count as making me happy? If so, The Dutch House, Great Circle and The House of Fortune would make the list.

What books you need to read by the end of the year?

Well, I don’t need to read them but we’ve got to the point where the piles of books are starting to bother me so I’ve made a list of unread novels and if I continue at the same reading rate for the rest of the year I may just get through most of these. This is only fiction, doesn’t cover unread non-fiction, reading group choices or deliveries from my book subscription. Or review copies. So somewhat ambitious – or downright ridiculous, if you look at it like that. I have decided that I’m likely never to read The Golden Notebook though so that’s one gap on the shelf.

That’s my half year so far! I’m going to adjust my reading challenge to 120 books this year but I’d like to hear more about your reading so far this year!

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