Today I’m doing a very late Mid-Year Freakout Tag after being tagged by Danni from ForBookSake, thank you! 🙂  Please do check out her blog and her answers to this tag, there’s some really great books mentioned there!  Now this tag is supposed to be done mid-way through the year, and obviously the second week of August is quite a bit more than half way through the year, but I still wanted to do this tag as I’ve never tried doing any of these mid-year freakout book tags before! 🙂  If you’d like to do this tag then do please go ahead, I’m not tagging anyone specific today, and just let me know where your answers are so I can read them, or alternatively comment below what you would answer to these question.  Ok, so let’s begin…

How much have you read?

So I stumble at the first question because at this point I really have no idea!🙈😅  I haven’t been good with my Goodreads account, having left it without adding reviews for most of the year, which is what I did last year.🙈  I’ll have to get on and see to it and then I’ll know how many books I’ve read but I definitely feel like I’m on target for my Goodreads goal of reading 90 books this year.

What have you been reading?

A mixture of different books, a lot of historical fiction this year from different time periods as well as some fantasy and a good amount of children’s fiction too!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2022?

There are so many different books which are good this year but by far my favourite so far has to be Equinox by David Towsey.  It’s about a night and day brother sharing the same body, one living at night the other during the day, and how the night-brother is investigating a strange crime caused by dark magic while his day-brother counterpart seems to be hindering his investigation.  The whole story was so brilliant, exciting, and it’s still my favourite read so far of the year! 🙂

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022?

I haven’t read many sequels this year at all.  I did like the sequel book to the Gutterlings Chronicles series that’s also great a a stadalone too: The Dragon and Her Boy by Penny Chrimes.  It’s the sequel to Tiger Heart, which I absolutely loved!  It’s the story of Stick, one of the gutterlings from the streets of London and what happens when he happens upon a dragon one day, which is hiding under the streets of London.  Stick ends up confronting his past with the dragon’s help and I just loved this return to the gutterlings who were last seen in the first half of Tiger Heart.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

This has to be The Night Ship which I received a proof of but only now have had time to sit down and start reading it.  I’m only just starting this but the beginning is already so engrossing so I’ll definitely be enjoying this one I think! 🙂

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

There are several books I’m really interested in this year, especially those that come out in September onwards!  One I’m really looking forward to is the concluding final part of The Inheritance Games trilogy and that is The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.  But I’m also looking forward to Karen M McManus’s new book Nothing More to Tell as well as the Scythe short story collection Gleanings that’s out in november!😃

Biggest disappointment

Pod by Laline Paull.  This has to be my biggest disappointment of the year and why I have only given it one strawberry as I just couldn’t face the prospect of ever reading it again!  The story is set in the ocean, mianly following Ea a spinner dolphin from the Longi tribe.  She ends up separating from her pod after something horrible happens to her mother which she blames herself for, and ends up just swimming through the ocean alone.  Meanwhile a group of male bottlenose dolphins finds her and take her back to their pod but not before having their sexual way with her.  The book follows a few other chracters too, but is heavily engaged in showing repeated raping of dolphins including poor Ea who is raped more than once (in fact quite a few times 😥 )!  Although the book is well researched (aparently real bottlenose males have been known to gang rape females) it’s just too sad a book with an ending that is also rather sad for the main character too.  It was finally building up to what I though would be a beautiful ending fro two of the characters which would sort of make all the sadness I’d had to read worth it, but it just was disappointing and made me want to throw my digital reader at the wall. :/

Biggest surprise

One book I enjoyed far more than I thought I would is Oath Bound by Richard Cullen.  I’ve read a lot of historical fiction books set in the earlier medieval period and so it was no surprise that I might like a book set during the Norman conquest.  However what surprised me was just how thrilling the book was, far more exciting than most books I’ve read which play out generally slower and the book wasn’t as gory with the violence as virtually all the others I’ve read during this time period which was a big plus for me as while I don’t mind soe blood and death in books, detailed descriptions of which internal organs are taken out or destroyed is a big thing that makes me feel a little queasy when reading these sorts of novels, so I’m glad it wasn’t overly graphic in this book.  The writing was also so good and excting, it really felt like I was watching a movie while reading the book! 😀

New favourite author (debut or new to you)

It’s hard to pick an author based on one book, as sometimes I’ve found subsequent reads haven’t been so good, but there’s a number of authors I’ve enjoyed for the first time this year including Sally page for The Keeper of Stories, Doina Rusti for The Book of Perilous Dishes, Shari Low for One Last Day of Summer and Richard Cullen for Oath Bound. 🙂

Underrated gems you’ve discoverred recently

The two books I’ve read from Envelop books: Belle Nash and the Bath Soufflé by William Keeling and also Spy Artist Prisoner by George Tomaziu are both amazing.  I couldn’t believe how much I have loved these two books and they aren’t really known about so much due to the publisher being relatively new and not so well known but both books, the first an historical Regency romp and the second a brilliant memoir set during the Second World war and afterwards are both books I’d recommend!

Rereads this year

I haven’t re-read any books, in fact I don’t re-read books that often anymore.  I think it’s got something to do with the towering pile of ARCs and new books I’ve bought which has something to do with it! 😉

Newest fictional crush

I don’t think I’ve ever had a fictional crush and still don’t.

Newest fravourite character

Rex from Rex: Dinosaur in Disguise!  More on that book in a question further below. 🙂

Book that made you cry

This has got to be Learwife by J R Thorp.  A sort of sequel to the Shakespeare play King Lear, Learwife is all about King Lear’s wife who is absent from the original play.  Stuck in an abbey for fifteen years, on the king’s orders, the queen hears news that her husband and three daughters are dead.  It begins a lovely and lyrical story about her life in the abbey, flashbacks to her life before with Lear and others, and what ultimately happens to her in the end is so very emotional and sad.  I havne’t felt this emotional about a book sine I read Max so many years ago, this one has really made me cry and is up there with my favourites!

Book that made you happy

Rex: Dinosaur in Disguise by Elys Dolan.  The story of Rex having been frozen in the ice for millions of years and finally thawing out in the modern world only to find that all dinosaurs are gone and the only way to get by is by pretending to be a human is brilliant!  It’s so funny and the ending is so extra special that it made me smile and feel so warm inside! 🙂

Favourite book to film adaptation

I can’t think of anything as I am not really into watching the big screen right now and don’t know what books are being adapted to be honest.  Plus there’s so many films or books I haven’t seen or read yet.  So not sure what to say here.🤷‍♀️

Most beautiful cover you’ve bought (or received) this year

I think there have been some really pretty covers this year.  I can’t think of just one so I’ll post my favourites.  There’s the first which is the most beautiful proof I think I’ve ever received, it’s of The Night Ship by Jess Kidd…

July book haul from Canongate The Night Ship close up
©The Strawberry Post

I’ts shiny gold and sparkly, and beautiful!  The next is the cover for Learwife which I just think is extra beautiful with the bird in the corner and I think it looks better than the hardback of the book to be honest…

July book haul from Canongate Learwife close up
©The Strawberry Post

And finally The Balloon Thief because just look at it😍…

Book haul Chicken House close up of book
©The Strawberry Post

I think I have a thing for any covers with shiny foil details or nature! 😀

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Um, an entire massive pile of books both in my house and on my NetGalley account which I’m sure is so big I’ll need until 2024 to finish reading them all. 😱🤪

Favourite post you have done this year?

It has nothing to do with books but if you are interested in some very dark Victorian humour then look no further than my post called Happy Valentine’s Day…Or Not?  The Less-Than-Pleasant Victorian Vinegar Valentine’s Day Card to find out what bizarre sense of humour the victorian’s had in sending these pretty horrible Valentine’s cards to those they didn’t like!

Favourite book community member

Too many to choose from and it wouldn’t be fair as everyone I follow and love to read posts from is unique with different content and I’d feel like I’m singling out someone and ignoring the others, so I’ll just say that you are all amazing and I love you all! ❤ 😘  😀

What do you think of this tag and my answers?  What would you answer for these questions?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂