Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag: 2020

Yep, yep. It’s that time of year again when I do the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag. It was created by Chami and Ely Jayne.

Best book I’ve read so far

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

A children’s picture book that does not have pictures. It’s probably my absolute favorite book so far this year. It was such a fun read. I loved it’s silliness. It was a delight!

Best sequel I’ve read so far

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

I can’t decide between these two. First Frost was a sweet follow up after Garden Spells, a contemporary story with hints of magical realism about the Waverley sisters whose family is known for its apple tree that bears fruit that foretells the future when eaten. As with the first book, I immediately fell in love with the story and writing in First Frost.

Meanwhile, Wyrd Sisters was a wild ride and very entertaining. I enjoyed it and was again tickled by Pratchett’s humor and amazed by Discworld. I will never get tired of learning about it.

New release I haven’t read yet but want to

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus
The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

I read The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus and have wanted to read a novel solely by Daniel Kraus since then because I think I’ll like his writing. So I bought Bent Heavens but have yet to read it.

I really enjoyed The Strain book and TV series written by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan, so I’d like to try out this new book, The Hollow Ones, by the pair.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

I’m really looking forward to the release of these three. Hollowpox is the third novel in the Nevermoor series, a middle-grade fantasy series that reminds me of the Harry Potter books.

Transcendent Kingdom is Yaa Gyasi’s second novel, I believe. I love her Homegoing, which is one of my favorite books, and I highly expect that I’ll love this story as much…although I have no idea what it’s about.

It’s the same with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman. I learned of it from the Book Satchel, but quickly scrapped from my memory what I learned of it there, lol. I want to go in not knowing much about the story. I really loved Makumbi’s Kintu, so I expect that I’ll also like The First Woman.

Biggest disappointment

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

This was such a big disappointment for me because I really expected and wanted it to be good. It is the fourth novel in the Steampunk Proper Romance series, which is a series of romance novels with strong paranormal elements and some steampunk influences. The stories are often influenced by fairytales and sometimes by classic novels.

I enjoyed the first novel, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, which was influenced by both Beauty and the Beast and Jane Eyre. However, Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts has a faint resemblance to the Cinderella fairytale, my favorite fairytale. Unfortunately, I hated the protagonist, whose actions sometimes made no sense to me. Also, the plot was sometimes unappealing. 😦 I’m so upset this one didn’t work out.

Biggest surprise

Nimona by Noelle Stephenson (illus.)

Well, it was a big surprise that I didn’t like Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts, but it was an even bigger surprised that I loved Nimona and even marked it as a favorite. It’s a YA fantasy graphic novel about a young woman who becomes an assistant to a notorious villain. I loved the story and hope for more. It was funny and a quick read too.

Favorite new author (debut or new to me)

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner

I wouldn’t say they are favorites, but I enjoyed these three books and would like to try more of these authors’ work.

The Penguin Classic Tell-Tale Heart above contains three of Poe’s short stories of which the titular story was my favorite. It was the first of Poe’s work I’ve ever read and I’d love to try more. Same with Vicious. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was entertained by the story although it’s about horrible people behaving badly. And Unnatural Magic was such a good read that I wanted the story to continue after I’d finished it so I can learn more about the story and characters. (I’m glad that Waggoner is coming out with another novel in November that’s set in the same world — The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry. Unnatural Magic is her debut novel.)

Newest favorite character


In Katherine Addison’s Goblin Emperor, an unassuming teenage goblin becomes the unexpected leader of a kingdom. The story is more of a character study as we focus on how the protagonist, Maia, develops due to and according to his new stature in society. I loved the story and know I will return to it.

Book that made me cry

None that I think of.

Book that made me happy

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

I was plenty happy when I read this book, so I’ll go with it for this category.

Favorite book to film adaptation I saw this year

Umm… I can’t think of anything.

Favorite review I’ve written this year

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

I enjoyed the story, and I think it shows in my review how entertained I was by it.

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

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

I’m proud to say that I bought several beautiful books so far this year 🙂 but I love the design of The Fox and the Star the most. It’s so gorgeous!

Books I need to read by the end of the year

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Every year I make a list of books I NEED to read in that year and every year I always read either one or none of the books on the list, lol! The list has 8 books and I’d like to read at least 4 of them this year, starting with these three.

So that’s my year so far.
What are you currently reading and what’s your favorite book of the year so far?

26 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag: 2020

  1. oh I really want to check out the book with no pictures! And so glad you liked wyrd sisters 😀 And I loved Nimona too. Very curious about the first woman as well! *love* the cover for the fox and the star as well!


  2. Yay for Nimona and Discworld! ❤
    And I look forward to hearing what you think of Under the Pendulum Sun if you choose to post about it after you've read it – it's on my list (that cover!) but I think I've only read one review for it.
    Loved all your answers, Zezee! Happy reading for the next half of the year! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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