New Reading Goals & A Mid-Year Book Freak Out


There hasn’t been a lot going on with me recently. My reading slowed down at the start of June when I picked up War & Peace before shortly coming to a complete stop. I found myself juggling five books at the same time but had no motivation to pick up any of them. That’s right. A complete and utter book slump.

This really shouldn’t have been an issue but reading is my number one hobby and, when I’m not immersed in some kind of book, it feels weird.

I finally figured out that trying to read so many books all at once was the problem. I have enough trouble trying to balance two. Five was overwhelming and I really wasn’t getting into the stories properly so I decided to DNF the one I was having the biggest trouble with and concentrate on each one at a time.

It worked like a charm and, before I knew it, my reading mojo returned. 😀

Another reason I think I fell into a bit of a funk was that at the end of May, I achieved my New Year’s resolution of reading 30 books this year.

That had been my only reading goal for 2017 so once I’d done it, I was like, Okay, what now?

So, as it’s midway through the year, I’ve decided to add a few extra reading challenges to see me off for the next 6 months.

Before I go into those, I want to take a look back at the books I’ve read so far this year with the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag:

Credit goes to ReadLikeWildfire as the creator of this tag.

1) Best book you’ve read so far this year:


I feel like Milk and Honey is such an obvious choice given how much it’s already been hailed. I can’t help it. I LOVED this. I loved Rupi Kaur’s style of writing and swept through the whole thing in a mess of emotions.

Everyone I know is getting a copy of it from me this year.

Angels in America quickly became one of my all-time favourite plays. This is a gay fantasia that revolves around a group of people in 1980s New York right at the height of the AIDS epidemic. I don’t know how Tony Kushner managed to find the perfect balance of humour and tragedy but, nonetheless, he did it. What I wouldn’t give to see this live. Prior Walter is one of my new favourite characters.

The Good Immigrant was perfectly put together. I feel like I’ve heard a lot about immigration in America in the last 12 months (no thanks to the inflated butternut squash) so it was refreshing and educational to read about people’s experiences in my home country. As much as Britain tries to take the moral high ground when it comes to racism and discrimination, there are deep-rooted problems that we really should be addressing. This book gave a voice to those who are often overlooked.

And last, but certainly not least, Giovanni’s Room. What can I say about James Baldwin that hasn’t already been said? His writing is divine and delicious and provocative and controversial and rich and layered and just all-out brilliant. This story centers on an American man living in Paris in the 1950s and the relationship he begins with an explosive Italian bartender named Giovanni. I can’t recommend this book enough. I fell in love with it.

2) Best Sequel you’ve read so far this year:

None. All of my reads have been stand alones.

3) New release you haven’t read yet but want to:


4) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:


5) Biggest disappointment:


I wanted to love this because The Sound of Music was a huge part of my childhood. Unfortunately I ending up DNFing it. There was no depth to any of the people in this book and the whole thing was dull as dishwater.

6) Biggest surprise:


I didn’t expect to fall in love with Baldwin’s writing as much as I did. ❤

7) Favourite new author:


Once again, my love, James Baldwin.

8 + 9) Newest Fictional Crush + Newest favourite character:

Prior Walter from Angels in America. His wit and sass and strength are everything.

10) Book that made you cry:

Maybe I’m heartless but I don’t think any of them made me cry.

Oh wait, no, here’s one that chokes me up every time I read it:


I hear you. Ceri, WTF is this and why is it making you weep?

I’m a primary school teacher and, three times a week, I have storytime with my youngest classes. On the occasions they choose this book, I have to brace myself. It’s not even a sad book but there’s a little thing at the end between mother and daughter that really gets me going, makes me think of my own mum, and has me getting all emotional. (My mum lives 7000 miles away, okay? I’m allowed to be delicate.)

Thank god I’m an expert in redirecting children’s attention away from me. (“Okay, go get your bags! It’s time to go!”)

(Note: I don’t include the children’s books I read for my students in my own list of books read for the year.)

11) Book that made you happy:


I’m the first to tell you that we do need political correctness. However, I’m also well aware that people online can go overboard and create drama and issues and oversensitivity where there shouldn’t be.

This book re-tells all the old childhood classics like Little Red Riding HoodCinderellaThree Little Pigs, etc. with a satirical PC twist. I found the ridiculousness of it hilarious.

12) Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year:

I honestly can’t think of any I’ve seen so far.

I am looking forward to the new adaptation of Stephen King’s It, though. 😀

13) Favourite review you’ve written this year:

Oh yeah, fail. I should probably do that. (See below for my new reading challenges)

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


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

Cue the new reading goals …

Updated Reading Goals for 2017

+ Kill my TBR

I currently have 6 physical books and 22 ebooks sitting unread. I don’t like that I’m ignoring them and have decided to try and finish at least 20 by the end of the year.

+ Read two more Stephen King books

I’m currently working my way through all of King’s books chronologically. I’ve already read The Dead Zone and Firestarter this year. I’d quite like to read another two.

+ Read horror & gothic literature in the month of October

Is this cliché? I don’t care.

+ Read a book by Maya Angelou

I am currently working my way through Maya Angelou’s autobiographies. This year, I haven’t picked up any of them yet so I need to get on that.

+ Read a book by Zora Neale Hurston

+ Read a book by Toni Morrison

+ (Re)Read all of Carrie Fisher’s books

+ Write at least five full book reviews

+ Only borrow a book from the library after reading two from my TBR


And that’s it. Those are my new reading goals. Honestly, I really do feel more motivated to read again now that I’ve found the directions I want to go.

That’s it for now. Hopefully there’ll be more bookish news the next time I log on to WordPress. Let me know how your reading goals are coming along.


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