Mid-year Book Freak Out

 I got this list of questions from watching Jen Campbell’s YouTube channel (although someone else created the list). I think it’s mainly aimed at YouTubers, but I’ve adapted it to my own purposes, because it looked like fun. 

A selection of books.

  1. Best book you’ve read in 2022 so far. How can I possibly choose? I’ve bought a lot of folklore books this year, mostly second-hand, which are all great. A very beautiful, illustrated book of Fairies and Elves. Likewise, an illustrated book of Celtic Pilgrimages. I enjoyed Storyland by Amy Jeffs, which is new this year. I loved The Last Firefox by Lee Newbury. 
  2. Best sequel you’ve read. Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory, which is the sequel to Tidelands. I listened to the audiobook version.
  3. New releases you haven’t read but want to. So many. The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield. Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman. The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola. To name but three. 
  4. Most anticipated releases for the second half of the year. The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton. And The Wish Gatherers by Karin Celestine. 
  5. Biggest disappointment. I liked Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, but I was disappointed by the ending.
  6. Biggest surprise. Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins. It’s an utterly charming and unique book. A scientific biography in poetry of Maria Merian, Mary Anning and Maria Mitchell. I just longed for something else like it. Nothing else is like it.
  7. New favourite author. Not quite an author, but I’ve discovered traditional storyteller Owen Staton, who does the Time Between Times podcast. He is fantastic.
  8. Newest fictional crush. Charlie & Nick from Heartstopper. My new couple crush. They’re so sweet!
  9. New favourite character. After listening to 20+ hours of The Adventures of Moriarty, a short story anthology edited by Maxim Jakubowsky, I’m starting to see the appeal of him. (It made me listen to more Sherlock Holmes, at least). And Bogdan from Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series is pretty good too. 
  10. Book that made you cry. Strangely, I can’t remember actually crying while reading so far this year. However, I did pick up Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman after watching Heartstopper on Netflix (which did make me cry) and I was devastated by the idea they might break up! Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone by Jackie Morris is also pretty moving, as she was dealing with grief when she created it.
  11. Book that made you happy. I’m very happy and excited to be reading Music, Men & Manners in France & Italy, 1770 by Charles Burney. I was afraid that would make me cry because it would remind me too much of my unpublished Cage of Nightingales. But I’m loving it! I just read the bit where he met Farinelli!!! The Last Firefox by Lee Newbury also made me very happy.
  12. Favourite book to film adaptation. Heartstopper on Netflix. Can’t wait to watch it again.
  13. Most beautiful book cover you’ve bought this year. Too many beautiful covers, but the most beautiful entire book is probably The Silent Unwinding by Jackie Morris.
  14. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? Next on my TBR pile is An Illustrated Treasury of Swedish Folk & Fairy Tales, which contains a potential new (to me) asexual fairy tale. So I need to read that. And I keep thinking I must get around to finishing a biography of Margot Fonteyn that I read about half of. 

Which books would you choose?


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