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Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

This is my first year of blogging so it’s my first mid-freak out.

I came across it on Kristin Kraves Books and I’ve read loads of these over the past few days and enjoyed seeing how other people’s year is going and adding more books to my TBR shelf.

At this point, I have no idea if I’m on track to complete my challenge, I’m going to say I am, being in quarantine has helped, I’ve read more rather than binge watch TV (though there’s been a fair amount of that too).


I can’t pick a stand-out winner. Educated by Tara Westover was the first book I read this year and I was gobsmacked. It’s a true story about her growing up in a survivalist Mormon family and her battle to get an education and to be herself. It was fascinating and left me in awe of her. 

Apeirogon by Colum McCann had a huge effect on me, it’s a beautifully written book about the Israel Palestine conflict with two bereaved fathers at the heart of it. Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian and Rami Elhanan, an Israeli have both lost daughters in the conflict, both are good friends and campaign to end the occupation. It was filled with facts, formatted differently to anything else I’ve ever read, moving and thought provoking – I have raved about this book to anyone who’ll listen.

I have to mention How to break up with Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo too because it marked a big change in my own habits. It made me reassess my -at times – dysfunctional relationship with clothes and shopping as well as opening my eyes to the environmental and human rights problems surrounding the fashion industry. I’m now more than 6 months shop free, so I really should thank her for saving me some cash. 

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

Technically not a sequel but I have read The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, the prequal to The Shadow of the Wind – I love the cemetery of forgotten books series. Delving into a mystery set in Barcelona is the perfect way to escape. It’s series responsible for one of my favourite quotes 

“This place is a mystery. A sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader’s hands, a new spirit……” Carlos Ruiz Zafon

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, I have it on my kindle ready to go, I’ve heard so much about this book and can’t wait to get stuck in.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton. I. Can. Not. Wait. For. This.

I read Dolly’s memoir, Everything I know about love, last summer and have followed her columns and work ever since. I love this woman. Ghosts is her first novel and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with – roll on October.

Biggest disappointment

The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter, I didn’t hate it completely I just felt more could have been done with it. I liked the idea of it, a woman being raised as a boy so she could be heir to her father, but it fell short and I felt a little flat at the end of it. 

Biggest Surprise

I’d have to say Roar by Cecelia Ahern, only because it’s a collection of short stories and I wouldn’t normally read a collection like this. I should point I love Cecelia Ahern’s books and the twist of magic she puts into them, I wasn’t sure if my imagination would be captured the way with short stories, she delivered, as always.

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)

Bernardine Evaristo is new to me – ridiculous I know – she’s written eight novels. I read Girl, Woman, Other a couple of weeks ago and loved the variety of characters she depicted. I’ll be going through the back catalogue and reading more of her work. 

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really have fictional crushes. I’d probably say Heathcliffe. I don’t know why, he’s brooding and let’s be honest a right nasty, calculating, sod. It’s most definitely because I saw Tom Hardy play him in a TV adaptation (where Cathy and Heathcliffe ACTUALLY had Yorkshire accents). I’m also drawn to the complete tragedy of Wuthering Heights and of the Bronte family. 

Newest favourite character

David Martin in The Angel’s Game – I like him because he isn’t easy to like. He’s cynical, sarcastic, greedy and moody – on the outside. On the inside he’s got a good heart, it shows through how he cares for Sempere and Isabella among others. I like the fact that he is flawed it makes him much more interesting.

Book that made you cry

I cried at the end of The Angel’s Game – I won’t tell you why.

I cried reading A Detail of History by Arek Hersh, Arek’s a survivor of the Holocaust and was brought to England at the end of the war and sent to Windermere in the Lake District. I interviewed him ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day in January, after meeting him I read his book. Arek lost most of family, death was a part of his daily life, he’d seen and survived horrific things before he was a teenager, still he turned his back on hate, we could all learn a thing or two from Arek. 

Book that made you happy

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson, it’s a tale about first love that uses music as a character, Daniel and Alison meet as teenagers and fall in love, he’s the first boy to make her a Mix Tape. They go their separate ways and meet again thirty years later, it’s a reminder of what it’s like to be young and in the throes of first love, it just left me smiling.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Letters of Note compiled by Shaun Usher It’s a collection of letters that give us an insight into history from people who were there including Virginia Wolf, Henry James, Kurt Vonnegut, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Mario Puzo, Albert Einstein, Iggy Pop, Emily Dickinson and Katherine Hepburn. It is fascinating and I loved reading the thoughts and feelings of these people. The book is beautiful, the lay out is stunning, it’s filled with pictures of the original letters.

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

There are sooooo many I need to read. I definitely need to read Testaments, I just never seem to have been able to get myself into the mood despite being excited when I heard there was to be a follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale.

Favourite book community member

I love the Book Blogger Group on Facebook it’s a really handy group to be part of and a good place to share posts. It’s ran by Lauren Becker and definitely worth checking out.

On WordPress there are so many book bloggers whose posts I enjoy and who give me ideas for what to read, including Holly at Nut Free Nerd , Just one more Paige, Stargazer, and many, many, many more. I’m really enjoying blogging and being part of the book community 🙂

radiosarahc View All

Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm

4 thoughts on “Mid-Year Freak Out Tag Leave a comment

  1. Aw, thanks for the shout out on the group! I’m so glad that you’re loving it. I’ve definitely found new bloggy friends because of it and I LOVE that.

    I’ve heard good things about Roar. I don’t read a ton of short story collections, but I remember being curious about this one.

    And there are soooo many books I hope to read by the end of the year as well. LOL



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