All authors love books, so it didn't seem off-brand or inappropriate to grace this blog with something a little more lighthearted and bookish!
When I saw this tag floating around the blogosphere, I knew I had to jump onboard.
And now, without further ado, the reading highlights of 2021 . . . so far.
1. Best book you've read so far in 2021
Starting things off with a hard one, eh?
I read quite a number of good books this year, but one that stands out in my mind is Beowulf.
Wonderfully translated in glorious verse that stirs your blood and sets your heart to singing. I read it in one day, and I highly recommend this method. As a ballad, it really is (I think) meant to be consumed in one sitting. Doing so, allows one to get into the rhythm more easily. Full of doughty warriors, thrilling action, and mesmerizing locations, it's a classic for a reason!
2. Best Sequel You've Read So Far In 2021
While this is not, technically, a sequel, it's a continuation of the classic children's series that began with Swallows and Amazons. There is something about this series that makes me incredibly, infinitely, happy. It's glorious, free-spirited, happy-hearted childhood - condensed into a few hundred pages. It makes me incandescently happy and fills me to the brim. Few books leave me feeling so content as this delightful series by Arthur Ransome.
3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
This looks very sweet and magical! I recently started following the author on Instagram and I’m anticipating trying out her books!
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
5. Biggest disappointment in 2021
A Place To Hang the Moon or The Squirrel Squirrel. Probably The Squirrel Squire.
Doesn't that little guy remind you of an Ewok? Another major draw for me. A number of things disappointed me about this one, among them, I was expecting this to be a fantasy. Instead, it was set in a contemporary park populated by squirrels that, for some odd reason, wear tunics and carry swords.
6. Biggest surprise in 2021
Long ago, I read The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke and was not impressed with her writing.
I am now beginning to believe that it was the translator of The Thief Lord that was subpar, and not Funke, because this book was absolutely delightful.
This is an adorable story full of all of the Arthurian tropes served up with a portion of zaniness! Many authors have attempted to do the trope of tomboys wanting to be knights, but Funke hits it out of the ballpark with the lovable and scruffy scrubby Igraine. Full of whimsical illustrations and magical worldbuilding, this book would be the perfect read aloud for any family!
7. Favorite new author in 2021
Greg Van Eekhout. No question. I read his book, Cog, for the first time this August and I can’t wait to discover the rest of his books. This short novel had me laughing till I couldn’t breath one moment and brought tears to my eyes the next.
I wasn’t expecting to have my heart stolen by a bunch of little robots but, it’s very on brand for me. It’s not a Prince Charming that’s going to sweep me off my feet, it’s four adolescent robots looking for a home.
8. Newest fictional crush/ship
Well, as most of you know, I don't do fiction crushes - 'tis silly.
And I'm not much of a romance fan, so I don't really do a lot of shipping.
That being said, I shall cheat once more and select the main couple of my upcoming book, The Goblin and the Dancer. They're pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
9. Newest favorite character.
*tries not to get distracted by the grammar of that question*
I really enjoyed the Sullustan character in a Star Wars novel by John Jackson Miller.