June is coming to an end, and with it, the first half of the year as well. If I listen to the people around me, they clearly can’t believe it’s Summer already. Well, I can, cause I’ve been.. err.. living my life for the past six months and thus noticed the passing of the day and another one and.. But for those of you who like some drama [insert outcries of chock and non-belief at the fact that time passes at its same old steady pace].
Halfway through the year also means half through the challenges we’ve set ourselves. Do you still go to the gym? Let the sugary sweets for what they are? And most important: have you read x/2 of your x-books challenge?! Let’s take a look at the happenings of the months gone by..
As for my GoodReads reading challenge, I’m perfectly on track. Hurray for me! I’ve challenged myself to read 50 books over the course of 2015, and halfway through the year, I’ve read 25 so far. Every once in a while GoodReads does complain that I’m getting behind, but compared to last year, I’m reading bigger books. For comparison: I’ve read 11.213 pages so far this year, almost half of the 22.525 of last year with a total of 59 books.
The best book yet is my most recent read, Rebecca Levene’s Smiler’s Fair. Review to come, but let’s say that this book was stunningly captivating. This year’s dud was the very first book I’ve read, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. I hope that it stays that way, cause I have no intent on reading something even worse than that steaming pile of crap..
Another challenge I’ve set myself is to participate in the monthly themed reading challenge of my Bookclub. So far, I’ve succeeded in finding a fitting book and read it before the passing of the month. With said Bookclub, we’re also reading – rereading for me – the Harry Potter series. So far, I’ve read the first three and I’m about to start the fourth, so all is looking well there. Another series that we’re reading is the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, but it wasn’t really my intent on participating in that readalong, so I’m not berating myself for not picking it up yet. I did, however, plan to do some #YearOfCosmere reading, but that’s failing miserably.. I’ve yet to read a Brandon Sanderson this year, so I guess that challenge won’t end well.
Catching up with and/or finishing some series is going good, though. I’ve started four new series and only finished or caught up with three, but amongst them are Katharine Kerr’s Deverry series and Kim Harrison’s The Hollows. Both series whom I’ve been reading for the past five years, so it felt really good to finally wrap them up. Especially Kerr’s, cause that one was starting to feel like a burden. I’m also one book away from finishing The Sword Of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, or at least the first cycle of eleven books. God knows why he felt the need to continue that series.. I initially started to reread them – cause yes, I’ve read them all once before and the first six more than once – because I wanted to relive the glory of the Chainfire trilogy. As it turns out, the Suckfairy(*) paid me a visit there, and where in my mind they used to be great, they’re really dull now, though.
So far, there haven’t been any real surprises. Books I had high hopes for delivered and others, well, they delivered in their own way. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by the graphic novel Saga. I’m not big on graphic novels and/or comics, but while browsing the shelves of the local library for the next Sisters Grimm book, I stumbled upon a misplaced copy of Saga vol. 1 and decided to give it a go. While I still won’t buy my own copies, I enjoyed reading it and will perhaps pick up the next couple of volumes when available.
Another book that surprised me in a good way is An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I’m still reading this on my Smartphone – and because I don’t enjoy eReading all that much I’m getting through this one really slowly – but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far. I was a bit hesitant because of the hype and the genre – cause let’s be honest, I’ve never seen any other genre but YA that’s so prone on overhyping – but while I’m not giddy with joy, it’s very much pleasant and definitely one of the better YA novels out there. It shows that with a little bit more effort than blatantly copy-pasting and replacing names, your book might just turn out decent.
If the second half of 2015 continues like this, it will have been a very good year for reading. For those of you who are interested, my top three best and worst books of the year so far:
1. Rebecca Levene, Smiler’s Fair
2. Kim Harrison, The Witch With No Name
3. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
23. E. Lockheart, We Were Liars
24. Terry Goodkind, Naked Empire
25. Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol
For more details on the books I’ve read for each and every challenge, you can pay my Challenge-page a little visit.
(*) If you are scratching your head because you have no idea what I’m talking about, stay tuned, cause I’ll talk more about this vile creature in a post to come soon-ish.