2018 – Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG

pisa_tower

 

Time for my Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG!

I’m sharing with you the best and worst books I’ve read this year so far.

The picture of Pisa’s tower has not much to do with this post, but I visited it in a rainy summer day and, God, it’s so hot and rainy here now in end of July! So why not, right?

If you want to check out who started this, here is the Original Tag:
Chami – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gz6k0IB-Y
Ely – https://www.youtube.com/user/MidnightBluex

 

Questions:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

That is difficult to choose, but one of my favorites this year was “The Diabolic” by S.J. Kincaid.
Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the Audiobook until the last sentence of the story. The reading performance of Candace Thaxton was quite awesome too.

I also must mention The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen, this was awesome fantasy, a real page turner with great characters, story and oh, all the politics! I’ll definitely go on reading this series and Erika Johansen in one of my new favorite authors. This isn’t just YA though, it has some violence and darkness in it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

“The Empress” by S.J. Kincaid was quite original and full of really unexpected plot twists.
I wonder how the story is going to continue and can’t wait for the next book. In the Audiobook, the reading of Candace Thaxton was as five stars good as in the first book.

 

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

Many books would fit here as an answer, I could make a list with at least twenty books or so, lol. One of them is “Six Wakes” by Mur Lafferty.

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

At the moment there are six unreleased books I’m waiting for, one of them is “A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire, Book Three)” by Jessica Cluess.

 

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
(I would like to thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. The writing style, the characterization, the story itself… I could rant here about all the things I didn’t like, but let’s leave it at that.

 

6. Biggest surprise.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky was a really original and surprising science-fiction book with spiders! This book was so well written, the story world so rich and the characters so likable.

 

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Four, new to me, favorites:

S.J. Kincaid

Jessica Cluess

Erika Johansen

Adrian Tchaikovsky

 

8. Newest fictional crush.

Not a crush, but Prince Cardan, from “The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)” by Holly Black is a very interesting character. Let’s see how his character arc develops in the next books of the series.

 

9. Newest favorite character.

Maven Calore from “War Storm (Red Queen #4)” by Victoria Aveyard was an interesting villain. I wonder if the series is really finished now and if we’ll never hear from those characters again. I need more books in this series!

 

10. Book that made you cry.

None, I usually don’t read books that make people cry, so this rarely happens to me. Instead I’ll answer my own question out of the blue: A main character who was so unlikable and annoyed you so much you couldn’t enjoy the book.
This would be Quentin Coldwater from “The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)” by Lev Grossman.
** spoiler alert ** This book was (for me) like if someone would have taken Holden Caulfield and threw him in Hogwarts and Narnia. He disliked every fantastic things that crossed his way, was a depressed teenager dragging himself through a magic story world filled with other equally annoying characters, and met the love of his life, spoiling things completely even though… The only likable character, his girlfriend, dies at the end of book 1 making him even more depressed.
I stopped reading for awhile after Quentin was left stranded, and picked it up weeks later just to see he was meeting the rest of his selfish friends to go on in an epic adventure that will have probably no other effect on him but to keep him tortured and depressed, so yeah, I want definitely out of this character’s emotional mess. I’ll stop reading this series. I gave this book though, 2 stars, for the originality, and its inspiring, latent emotional turmoil, a masterpiece somehow, even if not for me.

 

11. Book that made you happy.

This would be “Herding Cats (Sarah’s Scribbles #3)” by Sarah Andersen
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This comic book was funny and very relatable, especially for artists. Sarah Andersen’s comics are awesome and surely make me laugh.
I enjoyed the thoughts on what’s happening on the Internet today because I have thought about that lately often enough, and I agree that sometimes you need to back away so that you get a pause of the firestorm of opinions. Therefore, the “Guide For The Young Creative.” with its “Part One: What’s Happening?” and “Part Two: Artist Survival” made a lot of sense to me.

 

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

The anime by Hayao Miyazaki based on the book “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year.

I mostly don’t write long, essay-like reviews like a professional reviewer, but mainly my opinion on the book, mentioning what worked or not for me.

My favorite review this year so far was on the book “The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1)” by Helene Wecker which was: A jewel, I loved everything about this book, the writing style, the story, the theme, the characters, the setting and the ending. It’s a new classic and going towards literary fiction, but it has tension until the last page. I also liked the Audiobook narrator: George Guidall.

14.Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I consider the cover of “A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)” by Jessica Cluess quite beautiful. This was very much fun to hear, a page-turner in audio format. The story was interesting, the characters reminded me of Pride and Prejudice, and the audio performance from Fiona Hardingham was well done. I’ll surely go on reading this series.

 

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

I would like to read nonfiction books on writing, my goal is ten per year. So far I have been quite slow on doing that, I hope I manage to read them eventually.

And you? Consider yourself tagged if you would like to answer these questions and don’t forget to leave a link to your post here.

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The Liebster Award

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It has been more than two years since I was nominated for the Liebster Award. This time I thank Author Gibson for the nomination, check out his blog and his books here.

Once I have answered the questions, I will nominate 11 new bloggers and ask them 11 questions myself. Should they feel like playing along, they will do the same to other 11 bloggers. The hope is to spread the word and dominate the ‘internet’ world 😉 (super villain laugh included).

Nominee’s Rules:

Thank me, as I nominated you, so you (kind of) own me! and supply a link to my blog for your readers to browse: https://leticiatoraci.wordpress.com/
Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge into your post.
Answer the eleven questions.
Nominate eleven bloggers and inform them of their nomination via social media methods.
List eleven new questions for your nominees to answer.

Once again, there is no obligation to do this. You really should though, as it’s fun and helps spread the word of evil…no wait, it helps spread the word about your blog. Yeah, that’s what I meant!

Have fun with it.

My answers:

1. What do you feel is the best blog post you’ve written to date and why?
One of my favorite blog posts talks about when I started writing. For me the post reads like the page of a diary. It is interesting to see where I stood in 2015 and where I am now; planning not only a novel but also a series of books and having my science fiction and fantasy anthology in its final stages.

2. If you had to choose one of your current projects to tell a group of strangers about, what would it be?
I would talk about my anthology, how I came up with a different world for every short story and what inspired the plot of each of them.
In some stories interesting prompts were the imaginary carrots that made the plot bunnies approach me out of their hiding place; in others a very old piece of writing that had failed at being a good story long ago was made better by a thorough rewrite until its potential could unfold. Their timing was also quite varied, a couple of short stories took more than twenty years to ripen into an good one and others dropped from the sky almost ready.

3. Name an individual that has inspired you?
Most books do inspire me, even the books I didn’t like. So authors, if I read your book, regardless of how many stars I rated it on Goodreads, you have inspired me. Good work!

4. Name a book, you would recommend others read — that you didn’t write?
I would recommend “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley because it shows what happens if humans give up being adults and allow other people to make all decisions for them. Humans without any responsibilities may achieve a kind of hedonistic happiness, which would be so empty that sadness, struggle and the unending search for meaning in life would, at least in my opinion, be a much better option.
My second recommendation would be to read books written in other countries, by authors of other nationalities. This will open your thoughts to new ways of thinking. It’s like mind traveling LOL.

5. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
One of my favorite movies is Blade Runner. I did write a blog post with the longer list.

TV Shows, two I can remember right now are Frasier and Fringe. I will soon write a blog post with my top ten list.

6. Hypothetical: If you were abandoned on a deserted island, what genre of books would you ask to be left with you.
It would be impossible for me to choose. I like Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA and even Romance. I often tire of reading one genre and go reading something completely different next time.

7. Cat, dog, or other?
Cats, dogs are cute but I consider them too high maintenance for my current life style.

8. How easy is it for you to get into creative mode. Do you need to do something special to arrive at that?
For motivation, I need time and a long quiet day. Since such days are extremely rare, I mostly just push trough and get my butt on the chair.

9. Where do you get ideas?
Ideas appear all the time in my mind, like weeds in an untended garden.

10. Which creative endeavor or project would you like to be most remembered for?

To me it seems that to ‘be remembered’ creative endeavors have to be high quality, an original breakthrough, or be highly recommended by the right influential people 😉

A lot of books I considered terrible while reading were considered something to ‘be remembered’, so this isn’t the quality standard by which I choose my books nowadays. I hope though to achieve good quality and originality in all my creative projects, enough to be remembered.

11. Is there a city or place you never tire of?

Never, really never… Probably not. Life had often a way of throwing me around the globe, and I got used to it.

I was for a long time nomadic like the characters in my books and the theme of ‘not settling and wishing for changes’ surfaces often in my stories.
It gets easier to answer this question if I talk about places I like. For starters, most places where you are surrounded by the people you love are great. I like staying at home but often feel I must go out and see new places, and also eat food I didn’t cook, I often get tired of my own seasoning.
I love beaches with good weather, and my favorite ones are in Croatia. They aren’t always sand beaches but therefore less full of tourists and sellers. The only thing that chases me out of the beach is too much sun, but shadow + water is a pleasant combination for any place to stay, watch the kids play and read. And if there is swimming involved that’s great too.

 

So now, here are my questions:

 

1. What is your favorite season of the year?
2. Which were the three best books you ever read?
3. Where would be your dream vacation?
4. Your favorite book genres?
5. Do you have any reading habits or books you like to reread?
6. If you could retire tomorrow (and live a comfortable life with no time pressure), what would you do?
7. Do you have any hobbies?
8. Which book(s) you think every person should read?
9. Do you buddy-read books?
10. Do you participate in Readathons or like to set up TBR lists?
11. Do you have any current artistic/writing/life projects/goals?

I nominate:

1 – The Upstream Writer

2 –  Brandy Potter Books

3 – Bionic Book Worm

4 – Way Too Fantasy

5 – Richie Billing

6 – Amaysn Reads

7 – Author Raimey Gallant

8 – Blackwings666

9 – Saturday Nite Reader

10 – Red Headed Book Lover

11 – Jon Pill

and any of you who has a blog  and would be interested in answering these questions!

Post a comment down with a link to your blog so I may check it out!