I’ve been watching a lot of booktube, which is a nickname for YouTubers that focus on books, and I’ve seen a lot of those channels doing what’s called a Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag. I’ve set a goal of reading 45 books in 2020 and so far I’ve finished 31 books. I thought it’d be fun to answer these questions and I hope that you find it fun to read them. If you’ve read multiple books this year, play along at home. Or, better yet, send me your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to read them and maybe get some suggestions on what to read next.
There may be some slight spoilers, but I’ll make sure not anything big.
- Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?
Hands down, it’d be Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee. I haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird since I was in eighth grade so when I picked up the sequel I shared Scout’s horror and disappointment when she discovered that Atticus was not an ethical pillar that we both saw when we were younger. I was taken on an emotional journey as Scout attempted to battle her own self. I know that some people won’t read this book because Lee never wanted it published, but it’s truly a classic.
- Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020.
I know it’s technically not a true sequel because the author isn’t alive to write it, but my answer is The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson. I was hesitant to read it because I don’t like other authors continuing the series, but in this case I was pleasantly surprised.
- New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
It hasn’t come out yet, but it comes out July 14 and is Peace Talks by Jim Butcher. This is the 16th book in his Dresden Files series. It’s about a wizard in Chicago that gets himself involved in a war between vampires and wizards and it’s simply fantastic. I normally don’t preorder books, but I’ve already preordered this one. Also in second place is Battle Ground by Butcher which is set to come out Sept. 29 and is the 17th in the series.
- Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
Ummm, see the response for question three.
- Biggest disappointment?
Oh man. So, it should be Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling but to be fair, I knew it was going to be a garbage fire when I started reading. Considering that, the biggest disappointment would have to be an audio book I just finished called Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I know people love this book, but I just couldn’t get into it. The main character wasn’t that interesting and only served to be the source of mass exposition as to the world of London Below. As a fan of Gaiman, it just didn’t measure up to some of his later novels.
- Biggest surprise?
Okay, so no judgment please, but I thoroughly enjoyed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Sure, a 30-something white obese man enjoying reading the romantic mis-adventures of a teenage Asian/American girl, may sound weird. However, I’m a sucker for anything that’s tragic, romantic, or a combination of both. It’s funny, witty, and the quirky, self-narcissistic nature of Lara Jean in my opinion is something anyone can identify with.
- Favorite new author? (Debut or new to you)
That’s easy. It would have to be Brandon Sanderson. One of the YouTube channels I watch, Merphy Napier, always talks about how good Sanderson is as an author so I thought I’d try out The Way of Kings and, so far, I’m loving it. I’m about 30 percent of the way there and that’s about 300 pages into it. Ya, it’s a long book.
- New fictional crush?
Ummm, ya, not answering that one.
- Newest favorite character?
It would easily be Yui Shaw, the protagonist from How to Defeat A Demon King in Ten Easy Steps by Andrew Rowe. For gamers, this book is a delight because it’s essentially a loving joke about role playing video games like Zelda or Final Fantasy. Yui is a character that isn’t your normal hero and cheats the world’s system to win the day. It’s quite a marvelous read.
- Book that made you cry?
If It Bleeds by Stephen King has four short stories in it and the one that made me cry was The Life of Chuck. It’s such a unique tale about a very ordinary person, but it’s a tearjerker.
- Book that made you happy?
This one goes to Nora Roberts and her book Shelter in Place. The book is about survivors of a mass shooting in a mall and how they cope with the fact that they survived. It’s a great read of survival and guilt and it just brought a smile to my face by the end of it.
- Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?
That’s an easy one too. That goes to Cassandra Clare’s Chain of Gold. Even though the book itself wasn’t that great (about a 3/5 in my opinion), I thought the cover was beautiful and it was one of the reasons why I purchased it.
- What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
This one is tough for me because I’m a mood reader meaning I read whatever i want when I want. I know that in July I’ll drop everything and read Jim’s Butcher’s newest book. Having said that, here are five books I’d like to read by the end of the year:
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
- The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks
If you’d like to follow my progress, follow me on Goodreads by searching James Master.
Categories: Mastering the Craft