Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Obviously I wasn’t tag but this tag sounds like fun, even though it’s not exactly mid year?? It’s like late mid year. But anyway

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

Well I have read quite a few books that made it into my favourite list, so I read Dune By Frank Herbert, The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin, Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, Wise Man Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, and I also re-read The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. So I’ve read quite a few favourites which is also very exciting!

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, honestly it could be my favourite book. I never expected a sequel to be this good as The Way Of Kings (the first book in the stormlight archive) was amazing! But compared to the Words of Radiance it was all just set up(beautiful set up) for the next book!! And I’m so currently reading Oathbringer the next book is the series, obviously it’s quite good, but not as good as the Words of Radiance to be expected

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

I would have to say The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. I’ve recently been listening to the podcast writing excuses which is hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal and a bunch of other authors make an appearance. But anyway I love to hear artist talk about their art, their process and their passion for what they do and this podcast is exactly that. It honestly inspires me to write or making any type of art, but also it has changed the way I read books and understand how books are written. Anyway I’ve been really excited to read any Mary Robinette Kowal novel and this one came out this year and it’s supposed to be quite good so I’m excited.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018?

An Absolutely Remarkable thing by Hank Green. I’m so excited it sounds so good!! I’m a big fan of the vlogbrothers, mostly I don’t like YA but I do like some of John Green’s book, though I haven’t read them in about 4 years and now to know that Hank is releasing a book is so exciting!

5. Biggest Disappointment?

Children of Dune by Frank Herbert. Look I’m not going to go in much depth because I started writing my July wrap up and it turned into Children of dune review, I’m gonna be posting it at some point but this is all i will say. This book is very ambitious and if someone would describe the book to me I would think it was quite interesting, however, the execution, in my opinion, was very poor. It comes down to if you think the characters would make the decisions that they do, and I don’t think they would. Children of Dune gets quite mixed reviews to say the least, some people love and some absolute hate it.

6. Biggest Surprise?

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, I was kind of expecting it to be a trashy YA romance but everyone kept saying it was so good and I know see why. As someone who has really fallen out of love with young adult, mainly due to be growing up and just liking different kinds of books, I adore Radio Silence its really what I want out a YA novel. It’s about social media, going to university/college, and being a teenager in the modern world. An overarching theme in the novel is expectations and how people try so hard to fulfill expectations even if that’s not what they want out of life. It was really relatable as someone who was just about to start university and wondering wtf to do with my life. This book isn’t a romance and thank god! It just seems to me that all popular YA novels have to have a romance in them and honestly that’s not what I’m here for, I love me a good friendship and this novel has many of those.

7. Favourite New Author?

I have decided this year that Ursula K Le Guin is my favourite author. I have never really had a “favourite author”, I’ve had my favourite books written by authors I like but either I hadn’t read enough of their books or I just didn’t agree with some of their values in life and the world. However, Le Guin and I just have so many of the same opinions on the world, on life and how we want to live, her books are exactly what I look for in fantasy and science fiction. I love that she wasn’t just a one hit wonder and she continued to write amazing, thought provoking books throughout her career. Anyway she is amazing and I will one day read all of her books

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

I don’t really have fictional crushes? So get rekt

9. Newest Favourite Character?

Since I re-read The Way of Kings and read Words of Radiance, I just realised how much I love Adolin as a character, especially is the Words of Radiance. Anyway I won’t say anymore because of spoilers but he is such a good character.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

I don’t think I’ve cry about a book since reading Divergent (lol i used to love that series) when I was 14. So no books did?

11. Book That Made You Happy?

All my new favourites?? But specifically Words of Radiance

12. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?

You know I haven’t seen many good ones but I’ll just say one my favourite A Clockwork Orange. What an amazing book and amazing movie.

13. Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year?

I don’t know I don’t really remember my reviews, well at least the quality of them.

14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

Firstly, I haven’t bought that many books this year, but let’s be honest I buy way too many books and then don’t read them. I now just use the library and if the library doesn’t have it then I will buy it. But I can’t remember any very beautiful books that I bought this year. But I borrowed Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson from the library and it’s BEAUTIFUL!! So there is your answer

15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

Here is the list:

  1. Necromancer by William Gibson, I just borrowed this from the library and after Oathbringer I’m going to read it and I’m quite excited
  2. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb it’s one of my best friends favourite books and it’s currently on reserve at the library
  3. The fifth season by N.K. Jemisin, also on reserve at the library
  4. Any Ursula K Le Guin book at the library, but I do own The Telling so I might read that next.
  5. Catch 22, I’m 150 pages through it and I need to finish it as it’s my best friend favourite book
  6. Clash of Kings by George RR Martin, because game of thrones is amazing
  7. Shades of milk and honey by Mary Robinette Kowal because that’s at my library, but I want to read any book by her
  8. I also want to read so more poetry and my library doesn’t have that much so I might have to buy it but we will see
  9. More Brandon Sanderson! I’ve only read 3 Sanderson novels and I need to read more. My library has a lot of his novels so I will be borrowing more.

I’m not tagging anyone because I don’t know anyone on here.

The artwork in the image title is by Edgar Degas

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What you can expect out of this blog

High school really made me hate reading (which I am going to future blog post), and for the last few years I have hardly been reading any books at all. Last year I think I read about 25 books if you count school books and books that I read for dungeons and dragons (which in some sense don’t exactly count). And the year before that I read 5 books, ONLY 5 BOOKS and that is including school books and also a graphic novel, Watchmen (which is actually one of my favourites). So in other words, I have not been reading much at all. But this year I have read 36 books yay go me! I know for some people that isn’t much but for me that is literally so many books and the year isn’t even over. I think I’m probably going to do another book post about why I fell out of love with reading and how I fell in love again. Oooh look at me making all these promises! Let’s hope that I keep them all. Well actually lets hope that I actually keep writing blog posts.

So what I want to do with blog is chronical my journey deep driving into fantasy and science fiction. I want to read all the greats such as every single Ursula Le Guin book to ever exist (it will happen!), Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick, Robert Jordan etc. But I also want to read new/current fantasy and sci-fi authors such Seanan McGuire, every single Brandon Sanderson novel (this will also happen!), Mary Robinette Kowal etc. And I want a place to write about it. I have been member of the booktube /book blogging / book reviewing community for at least four years now, I mean as a watcher/ reader and I have always really loved it. And since I’m wayyyyy too shy to film myself, I thought I would start a blog instead.

This blog will probably have occasional book reviews, but I want it more as a place to talk about books in a general sense rather than just primarily reviewing books. If you want to read individual reviews on most of the books I have read I post them on my goodreads. I think I might do monthly wrap ups, those are always fun, so that’s probably the most likely form to see book reviews on this blog. I’ll try to make them short but we will see, I do love to ramble as you have probably realised if you have read this far. I honestly have no expectations for any one to read this blog. I’ll be very proud of myself to be perfect honest if I actually keep blogging a month from now.

Artwork: The Sower Arles by Van Gogh

A Wizard of Earthsea Review

3.5 stars out of 5?? I think either 3 or 3.5

I did really enjoy A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin but I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more when I was 12. It’s a really good middle grade epic fantasy novel but I just prefer my fantasy to be a lot more strange and weird such as The Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin (one of my favourite novel) and I don’t enjoy middle grade as much as I used to. So, when I say I would have loved it when I was 12, that’s not an insult to the book, I’m just merely saying that I’m not the target audience.

The novel is about a boy called Ged (or Sparrowhawk) and you follow his journey in becoming a really powerful wizard.

Despite that fact, I’m so glad that I have read this book. As you probably all know this book is one of the classics in fantasy literature and popularised/ invented then tropes and “typical” concepts in a fantasy novel. This book is cliché and it doesn’t try to be any other than that, it just tries to tell a fun quick story for children and I think it achieves that.

Personally, I think the starting was way too quick, its as if Le Guin wanted to get us up to speed on Ged’s life. For the first 80 or so pages it feels as if the story is being told rather than shown, as Le Guin is like Ged is learning magic!! Now he is learning more magic!! Wooo!! I really wanted the wizard school and Ged’s backstory to be explored a lot more. Although I do understand why she did tell Ged’s backstory so fast, as she wanted to show Ged’s power and magic rather than having the audience wait around for book and books to see Ged gain that power. I think that she could have started the novel half way through the story and the audience won’t have missed much.

For the second half of the book, there is a lot more showing and we got to see Ged do some epic things, which I really liked.

As we are being told a lot of story rather than shown I don’t think Ged is really characterised that much because who is Ged really?? The only words I can think of is badass and good. He is just the embodiment of goodness, no real depth, no nothing. I could ask the same question for each character and again I don’t really know who they are, I know what they do, but not how they and perceive their lives. It didn’t bother me that much because the book is more focused on Ged being epic and good vs evil, the usual middle grade fantasy themes, which is fine. I just would have liked to get to know Ged a bit more I want know his opinions, experiences, how he thinks etc. I didn’t hate him, it just wasn’t a character driven novel, which was fine.

Another thing that I wanted to mention is that The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (my favourite book) is essentially A Wizard of Earthsea but with all the problems I had with the novel fixed. I don’t know Rothfuss influences or inspiration for The Name of the Wind, but damn are these books general ideas and concept similar, but obviously very different in execution. They are both about a boy (Kvothe and Ged) who goes to a wizard school that have Masters (eg. Master Namer) and they aren’t the chosen one(but very powerful), they both were trained by some guy before hand that through they were really powerful, and “Naming” is the most powerful magic in the world. I would also say that Kvothe and Ged conflicts in their stories are often caused by them (normally being idiots or being ignorant) rather than external sources. I just thought it was interesting to compare these books.

Anyway, if you really love middle grade fantasy or just enjoy fantasy I think you should try this novel out.

Artwork: Westminster Sunset by JMW Turner, oil painting, 1800