The Mid-Year Reflection Book Tag

2022 Edition

This post is all about books. Specifically the books I’ve read this year, 2022, between January and June. I’m not sure where the questions originally came from — a “tag” is meant to be posted, shared, and reposted with people answering the questions in their own way. I don’t know if the questions are supposed to be changed but… I’m taking some liberties because I don’t want to bother with a question I can’t even answer. (Also I changed the title from “The Mid-Year Freakout Tag” to what you see above because who’s freaking out? And why?!)

So let’s begin!

A little note on my Yearly Reading Challenge on The Story Graph.

I am way ahead. I haven’t read less than 35 books in a year since 2005. I mostly set this goal as a reminder for me to slow down my reading. That I do this for fun, to really enjoy the books, and to not rush through pages to meet an arbitrary stressful goal. Being 91% complete with my challenge sounds good, but I’m actually failing at slowing down, ha.

1 – Best Book Read So Far In 2022?

What You Can See From Here
written - Mariana Leky
translated - Tess Lewis

This was book was everything I wanted without knowing I wanted it. I think it is pretty well heard of in Europe, especially Germany where it originated, but I wish more people here in the US were reading and enjoying it. It is a soft book dealing with some hard issues. Curious, beautiful, thoughtful, funny. An interesting cast of characters. Some magical realism? I truly loved this book. And as a German descendent, I really connected with how the characters always had liverwurst in the refrigerator and were constantly going for walks in the forest and frying potatoes.

A Man Called Ove
written - Fredrik Backman
translated - Henning Kock
narrated - J. K. Simmons

Honorary mention goes to this book. I feel like most people have heard of, read, and appreciated this book already. If you haven’t, or want to revisit it, I highly recommend the audiobook. The voices and inflections are done so well I can’t imagine it not adding to the experience of the story. Again, all the feelings are here. Perfectly paced with a satisfying ending. Enjoyable from beginning to end.

2 – Best Sequel Read So Far In 2022?

Infinity Blade: Redemption
written - Brandon Sanderson
narrated - Samuel Roukin

I’ve read a few sequels so far this year, but I think this one is the best for a few reasons. It’s part of a duology, so the story is just incomplete without this sequel. The total story arc was very intriguing and kept me listening even after the time I usually plug in audiobooks. I didn’t have many expectations going in, but this story still surprised me (Brandon Sanderson is good at that). And if he ever writes more in this series or world, I would definitely read it.

3 – New Release Not Yet Read?

Skyward Flight: The Collection
(Cytonic #2.4, #2.5, #3.5)
written - Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson

This book just came out in April and contains three novellas as part of Brandon Sanderson’s Cytonic Series. I haven’t read it yet because this collection contains Books 2.4, 2.5, and 3.5 in the series and I haven’t yet read Book 2. I’ve been spreading the entire series throughout this year because the final book comes out in November. I am due back to this series and should be reading Book 2 within the next month or so. (Maybe it will usurp “Infinity Blade: Redemption” as my favorite sequel this year? We’ll see…)

4 – Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

The Lost Metal
(Mistborn #7 / Wax and Wayne #4)
written - Brandon Sanderson

Sorry to sound like such a Brandon Sanderson fangirl but… I am one. His Mistborn series is quite well-known and beloved, but some may not know that there is a second era to this series. It takes place hundreds of years after the first origin-story-esque trilogy and has more of a wild west/steampunk vibe. It may be an unpopular opinion, but I prefer the Wax and Wayne series over the original trilogy. It’s a bit more gung-ho adventure-y with train chases and shoot-outs and the like. And I love all the characters so much. The previous book came out way back in 2016 so I’ve been waiting a good minute for this book and am very excited to get my hands on it in November!

5 – Biggest Disappointment?

The Hunting Wives
written - May Cobb

This book was everything I didn’t want. It was the May pick for the book club at my local independent bookstore. I thought it would at least be interesting, but I didn’t enjoy it at all. It’s only saving grace for me was that it read quickly. (Don’t let the blurbs fool you – it is not like “Mean Girls” at all.)

The Recovery Agent
(Gabriela Rose #1)
written - Janet Evanovich

This one was only really disappointing because I wanted to love it so much. I love Indiana Jones and treasure hunts and exotic locales and action and adventure. And this novel is modern and has a female protagonist — it could have been everything I ever wanted in an adventure story. And it was ~good~; I’ll probably read the rest of the series, but it is not ~beloved~ to me. The book didn’t have much depth — it read a bit like a movie script. Next to zero emotion on those pages. There weren’t even as many funny lines as I expected/hoped for. So it was a disappointment.

6 – Biggest Surprise?

The Maid
written - Nita Prose

This is a mystery novel so it has the standard surprises as part of the plot, but this book also surprised me by not being quite what I expected. I thought it was going to be a closed-room Clue-like murder mystery with lots of points-of-view and intercepting storylines. Instead it followed one very unique character struggling with societal expectations and personal interactions amidst some truly shady dealings. I found it delightful to read, was rooting for the character the whole time, except when I wasn’t really sure if everything was as it seemed…

7 – Favorite New Author (Debut Or Discovered)?

Mary Oliver
nature poetry, essays

Quiet easy-to-read poetry. Calm and atmospheric. Her “Devotions” collection is the first thing of hers I’ve read. I would definitely pick up her other work when I’m in the mood for something thoughtful and reflective.

8 – Newest Favorite Character?

Matrim Cauthon
(The Wheel of Time)
written - Robert Jordan

I like him because he’s fun and capable. Tough, yet nonchalant. He’s lucky and I love that. A bit of a ladies man. I even think it’s kind of cute when he complains. I have many more books in The Wheel of Time series to go in which to enjoy Mat. The only downside is, there are so many characters in this series it’s not often that I get to spend a lot of time with Mat.

9 – Book That Gave Happy Feels?

The League of Gentlewomen Witches
(Dangerous Damsels #2)
written - India Holton

The author of this book is from New Zealand and that brand of humor definitely shines here. This book made me happy because it was easy to read, funny, was not problematic for me at all, had adventure, cool male and female leads, flying, and a cottage.

10 – Favorite Adaptation?

By the Book
(A Meant To Be Novel)
written - Jasmine Guillory

I don’t watch many movies (and rarely watch book-to-movie adaptations) so I picked a re-telling for this. I’m not done with it yet, but I am truly loving it. It is a modern-day Beauty and the Beast re-telling and the Easter Eggs are sooo much fun! I’m only on page 77 out of 313, but I can’t wait to read more. Also, I got the hardcover from the library and it’s beautiful.

11- Books To Read By The End Of The Year?

It is, like, my dream to get down to a zero TBR. To be able to buy or borrow a book and read it right away with absolutely no guilt. Hence, I want to read ALL the books I have by the end of the year. I bought two more just today so… we’ll see how it goes. (I don’t own “By the Book” but I already started it so I definitely want to finished reading it by the end of the year!) And maybe I want to finish the Wheel of Time series this year? I’m only on book five though so I doubt that’ll happen. But it could.

My husband is currently reading # 11 “Knife of Dreams” so that one’s missing.

I hope you enjoyed this bookish post. I think about books a lot so writing about them can be fun. Happy reading!

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