Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

My friend Meredith over at On Stories and Words nominated anyone who has read Chesterton this year for the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag, and since good ol' GKC has had a huge impact on my way of thinking and I'm pretty sure I read a few of his essays this year, I couldn't resist.

Disclaimer: I honestly haven't read that much this year, so I'll have to try hard to think of enough books to answer all the questions.
Yeah, I know, it's sad.  :P

Here we go!

1) Best book you've read so far in 2016

Definitely Bridge to Terabithia.

This book was beautiful and my pillow may or may not have been soaked in tears by the time I was done…it was really sad to see characters dealing with tragedy from a secular viewpoint, since without faith in God suffering appears to have no redemptive value.

2) Best sequel you've read so far in 2016

I really haven't read any good sequels in 2016, so we'll have to go with "least bad." That would probably be Calamity by Brandon Sanderson.

It's the third book in a series though, so I don't know if it'd be called a sequel…what else would it be, though? A triquel? Anyway, it was pretty good until the end. Sanderson is a genius at good plot twists, the ones that surprise me but make me kick myself since I didn't see them coming. He must've given up on Calamity, though, because the final plot twist made no sense and the end was a complete deus ex machina. A big disappointment, especially since his conclusion to the Mistborn trilogy is probably my favorite conclusion to any series ever (besides The Return of the King, of course).

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


I actually have a copy of it, but I'm trying to reread the rest of the Lunar Chronicles beforehand so I can have the story fresh in my mind.

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

*looks up Brandon Sanderson new releases, like I didn't just complain about his writing*

Arcanum Unbounded, a collection of short fiction by Brandon Sanderson. He has an overarching fantasy world called the Cosmere that most of his novels are set in, so this collection appears to reference a lot of his books.

5) Biggest Disappointment

Mistborn: Bands of Mourning. Also by--you guessed it--Brandon Sanderson. This post has made me realize that I need to branch out.  xP

6) Biggest Surprise

In a used book shop in Ireland, I found a collection of unsent "letters" to both fictional and real people written by Pope John Paul I (before he became pope). He died one month after becoming pope, but he always seemed really joyful so people called him "the smiling pope." I was not expecting to find anything written by him, much less in that bookstore! It's really good, though. He has a letter to G.K. Chesterton which is especially interesting.

7) Favorite New Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read The Great Gatsby for school and I had read it and liked it previously, but this time I appreciated it a lot more. I love his imagery and realism. But I haven't read any of his other stuff, so if you've read anything else by him, I'd be interested to know how it is.

8) Newest fiction crush/ship


Steris and Wax. Despite listing Mistborn: Bands of Mourning as my greatest disappointment, it does contain one of my favorite scenes ever written. I wouldn't recommend reading this spinoff series, so I'll include this brief scene so you know what I'm talking about.

It takes a preface, though, if you're not familiar with the magic system. Wax is flying through the air with Steris. He uses "anchors," objects below him that he uses to mentally "push" on so he can fly. He "burns" metals inside his body to fuel this power. Hopefully that helps.

Oh, and before this Wax and Steris have been had a fairly distant, businesslike relationship. Anyway:
Wax looked down at her [Steris] as she held to him while trying to stare in every direction at once. He suddenly found something burning in him, like a metal. A protectiveness for this woman in his arms, so full of logic and yet so full of wonder at the same time. And a powerful affection. 
So he let himself kiss her. She was surprised by it, but melted into the embrace. They started to drift sideways and arc downward as he lost his balance on his anchors, but he held on to the kiss, letting them slip back down into the churning mists.

Don't you just love that symbolism of him finally letting go? I didn't really care about their relationship before then, but after that…well...
Ok, let's move on.

9) Newest favorite character

Captain Thorne. I forgot how much I liked him until I started rereading Scarlet. I know he's a controversial choice, but for some reason I tend to fall in love with cocky, obnoxious, morally challenged male characters. 

Like this guy.

10) Book that made you cry

Bridge to Terabithia. *sniff*

11) Book that made you happy

The Bible. In particular I've been slowly working my way through the Psalms, and they are truly epic.

12) Favorite book-to-film adaptation you saw this year

Sherlock's The Abominable Bride. It's more tv than film, but my parents and I went and saw it on the big screen so it felt quite cinematic. There was good character tension, a few jump scares, and an abundance of clever one-liners. 

13) Favorite post you have done so far this year

There aren't many to choose from so far, but I'd have to go with this. Nothing like some good self-inspiration!

14) Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year

The John Paul I book:

15) Books you need to read by the end of this year

The first few are for a competition that our parish is hosting:

Evangelizing Catholics: a Mission Manual for the New Evangelization; Scott Hahn
The Joyful Beggar; Louis de Wohl
Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves; Jason Evert
He Leadeth Me; Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.

And a few miscellaneous ones: 

Arcanum Unbounded; Brandon Sanderson 
Diary of a Young Girl; Anne Frank
Winter; Marissa Meyer
The Great Divorce; C.S. Lewis

Also I want to slog through something Russian, like War and Peace or The Brothers Karamazov, but school and my limited attention span might put a damper on that.  

That was really satisfying. I think I like tags. Thanks, Meredith, for the bookish inspiration! 

I hereby nominate anyone who reads this post! And if you don't have a blog feel free to leave your answers in the comments.


  1. (Apologies for this comment being almost as long as your post. xD)

    Yay! You did the tag! :D

    I know what you mean about watching characters encounter death without hope of salvation. Isn't it interesting how death is approached so much differently in books like The Chronicles of Narnia than in stories like, say Star Wars?

    Oh, I need to read Brandon Sanderson someday! I haven't yet, partially because of the content, but maybe sometime when my tolerance for content is higher, I'll give him a try. What is your favorite book of his?

    How is re-reading the Lunar Chronicles going? Did you finish Cinder?

    Somehow I missed out on reading The Great Gatsby, even with my school year spent on American literature. I need to go back and read that!

    That Emma Watson gif. (It is Emma Watson right?) That's really sad even though I have no idea where in the movies it came from.

    Haha, "morally challenged" is a good way to say it. ;p I actually rather hate Thorne from what I've read. I'm usually a sucker for morally struggling characters(like Flynn Rider), but he hits on all of the faults I particularly detest in someone. I'm hoping he reforms in Cress...

    The Bible is always a good answer! I love the psalms.

    "Anne Frank" will make you very sad, I can pretty much promise, but it's worth reading. Our local performing arts theater put on an Anne Frank play last summer and the feels WERE TOO MUCH. :(

    Considering that you weren't crazy for Les Mis, I'm not sure how much you'd enjoy War and Peace, but if you read it tell me what you think! "The Brothers Karamazov" might be my next "I-feel-like-ruining-the-next-few-weeks-on-swimming-through-a-ridiculously-long-novel" choice. :)

    I'm glad you liked it! Tags are great fun.

    1. Apology accepted. ;) Actually, my thought process when I saw the length of your comment was

      1. YES, it's so long!!!
      2. Wait…maybe it's not that long and something else is taking up all that space.
      3. *scrolls through comment again* Nope, that’s all one comment.
      4. YAY!

      Yes, the different perspectives on death are intriguing. In Star Wars death seems to turn you into a holographic ghosty thing, which I guess isn't too bad, but in Narnia death is viewed as a passage to a more intense and fulfilling form of life. Being Christian is amazing. :)

      The Mistborn trilogy is definitely my favorite work of his so far. The way he concludes it is brilliant. The books contain some suggestive material and are very violent, so I definitely understand if you don’t feel comfortable reading them.

      The Lunar Chronicles are going swimmingly! I finished Cinder and I’m working my way through Scarlet. I can’t wait until I get to Cress because it’s my favorite. Who knows, you might actually change your mind about Thorne when you read that one... ;)

      I think you would find The Great Gatsby interesting, although I’m not sure that I would otherwise recommend it--it’s good for discussion, but not particularly uplifting or wholesome.

      Yep, it’s Emma Watson. It’s from The Deathly Hallows in a certain burial scene (trying to leave this spoiler free ;)).

      Good point--maybe I should put War and Peace to the side for now until I gain enough patience for that sort of novel. :) Enjoy the Brothers K. if you get around to it; a friend of mine said that it’s really good--but then he also is a huge fan of Paradise Lost and Dante’s Inferno, so he tends towards rather difficult reads!

  2. Proud to say I cannot answer any of those questions because I haven't read anything.

    1. MJ, thanks so much for your input. ;P I still need to find you a book!!!

  3. Lol that was anonymous!! Yes a good book. Um can I borrow mere Christianity? I actually want to read it this time.

    1. You can't hide from me! ;D You can totally borrow Mere Christianity. I'll make sure to give it to you next time I see you.


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