I admire bloggers who manage to find all the fun tags. The best tag-loving blogger I follow is Kate Hoppman from Once upon an Ordinary, and I love reading through her lighthearted, upbeat posts—even though her reading styles are WAY different than mine.
And hey, I’ve had a great reading year so far, and have wanted to write a mid-year post to share all the books anyway—so why not use a fun tag to do so? Let us begin!
(Some links in this post are affiliate links, which help support this blog at no extra expense to you. 🙂 )
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2023:
I have two titles that are close ties for this place, but I’m going to pick He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox. A solid story, relatable characters, delightful setting . . . I sped through this story and was sad when I got to the end.
2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2023:
A Light to My Path by Lynn Austin. Oh wow. This one broke my heart, but was it ever spectacular! The history! The setting! The characters! It drew me in and I remembered again why I fell in love with Austin’s writing in the first place.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To:
Voice of the Ancient by Connilyn Cossette. It’s been FAR too long since I read a Cossette novel, and I can’t wait to dive into this one! It makes my heart happy to know that this is the first in a tetralogy, too . . . so I have three more delightful books to look forward to after this one! (And isn’t the cover gorgeous?)
4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2023:
I would say Voice of the Ancient, but since that’s already picked, can I pick a book I’ve already read that is releasing in August? I LOVED A Beautiful Disguise by Roseanna M. White—it was a super-fast, gripping read for me, with delightful characters and a hilarious premise. Aristocrats who run their own secret spy service and own a pet lion? Yes, please!
5. Biggest Disappointment:
I hate to admit it, but Walking in Tall Weeds by Robin W. Pearson was the first book that came to mind for this category. I loved her debut novel, and had high hopes for this one . . . but it fell flat for me. It was still a good story, but I struggled to get through it.
6. Biggest Surprise:
With Every Memory by Janine Rosche. This book was way deeper than I thought it would be, which was a lovely surprise! Follow the link to read my review.
7. Favorite New Author:
Chelsea Michelle. I read their (free!) prequel novella earlier this year, and my only complaint was that it wasn’t longer. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next!
8. Newest Fictional Crush:
Del Rankin from This Is Where It Ends by Cindy K. Sproles. He’s loving, caring, selfless, and the kind of steady, hard-working gentleman you want to have around. I loved the way he treated Minerva in the story!
9. Newest Favorite Character:
Either Lady Marigold Fairfax from A Beautiful Disguise, or Del Rankin from This Is Where It Ends—I can’t decide. I loved both of them!
10. Book That Made You Cry:
I don’t cry easily. It’s rare that a book makes me cry, but both With Every Memory by Janine Rosche and The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers came close a time or two.
11. Book That Made You Happy:
A Beautiful Disguise by Roseanna M. White, definitely. This one dealt with some heavier topics, but most of it was very upbeat.
12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year:
Jane Eyre. That book will forever be one of my most favorite classics, and for the most part, I loved the BBC version of the story. Unfortunately, there were a few scenes that crossed boundaries for me, so I can’t fully recommend it . . . but they did stick to the story pretty well, which I was happy about!
13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year:
Ooh, tough call. I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I remember my review of Worthy of Legend by Roseanna M. White basically wrote itself once I got going. I had so many thoughts about it that that was an easy one to write.
14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year:
I don’t have it on my shelf yet, but Drawn by the Current by Jocelyn Green is one I’ve bought this year, because I loved the ebook so much, and I think the cover is gorgeous!
15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year:
Um . . . I have to pick a few? Well, Voice of the Ancient by Connilyn Cossette, definitely. That is the next one on my TBR pile I’m planning to focus on. Byrd’s Eye View by Chautona Havig, because I’ve read the rest in the series and never quite got to this one. The Accident by A.M. Heath (there are one or two by her that I haven’t read yet, and I really want to rectify that situation!). And The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox, because 1) I’ve wanted to read it for a long time, 2) it’s on our shelf, and 3) it just doesn’t feel right to say I adored two of her books and haven’t had time for the other one. 😀
What would your top picks be for these categories? I’d love to hear them. What have you been reading lately? Feel free to consider yourself tagged; I’d love to see your list, if you care to share!