I can’t believe we’re already in the second half of the year! Time surely flies, and so does my reading time! Therefore, I thought it was time to do a mid-year reading update for 2023.
I’m also curious to find out how your reading of this first half of 2023 went, so please leave me your input in the comments section below.
Now, let me explain how I’m structuring this post so it can be easier to follow for you guys.
At the beginning of 2023, I made a couple of posts on the following topics: authors to read this year, ten thrillers I have on my shelves I want to read, as well as ten of some anticipated reads from the first trimester of the year.
On top of all that, I’m part of the Nordic Noir Redalong hosted by Aina, aka @readbydusk, as well as the LIVELAUGHMURDER virtual book club.
How have I managed with everything going on so far? As you will shortly see, not great!
First of all, let me give you a quick summary of my attempts to get through some of my interminable tbr lists.
Five Authors to Read
I still plan to give the following five authors a go, but as of now I haven’t got to them yet.
- Chloe Benjamin’s novel The Immortalists has been on my radar ever since its publication date. I will definitely get to it, eventually.. Le sigh..
- Ann Patchett is a popular literary fiction author whose books are very well-rated. Among some of the books I want to read are Bel Canto, The Dutch House, and The Patron Saint of Liars, just to name a few.
- Louise Penny is a fellow Montrealer who writes thrillers, so it’s absolutely shocking that I haven’t read any of her works yet. But I did start the Amazon series on Prime, based on her Inspector Gamache novels.
- Joan Didion is a legend in the literary fiction world. The late author marked us with a unique writing style that can be considered a classic. The Year of Magical Thinking and Play it As It Lays are two books I own by the author, and which I need to get to this year.
- Stephen King is probably the biggest surprise on this list. I’ve probably had his books on my shelves the longest, and honestly a little embarrassed I haven’t read any of his books yet. Will I finally read at least one book of his this year? Cross your fingers for me, I need to change that, and fast!
Ten Thrillers to Read in 2023
Then I had planned to read the following ten thrillers this year:
The Retreat by Sarah Pearse
I started it in 2022 if I’m not mistaken, but I’m only on page 25. Gulp..
Girl In Ice by Erica Ferencik
I also started this one early on in the year, but I’m barely a quarter in. Another gulp!
The Killing by David Hewson
Although I didn’t get to the book yet (shocker, right??) I at least managed to watch the entire original Danish TV series. That in itself is an accomplishment, as far as I’m concerned.
The following seven books I haven’t cracked yet:
- Lazarus by Lars Kepler
- The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
- The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson
- Trapped by Camilla Lackberg
- Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert
- Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier
- The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck
Most Anticipated Books
Then I had a list of ten of my most anticipated book releases from the first trimester of 2023, which included the following ten books:
I did a little better here, since I’m required to send my reviews on Netgalley. That’s an incentive that always prompts me to actually read the books.
Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon
I didn’t even attempt to get this book yet, although the synopsis seems right up my alley.
The Girls who Disappeared By Claire Douglas
This was one of the first NetGalley books I requested, but got a rejection. I still haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my tbr shelves.
Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey
The book seemed very popular when it first came out, but it has surprisingly low ratings. With only 3.18 stars on Goodreads, it isn’t as awesome as many anticipated. I still want to read it at some point and form my own opinion.
The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz
Another closed-room mystery that involves a writing retreat and some unhinged characters. With 3.45 stars on Goodreads it’s a bit more popular than the previous book I’ve mentioned, but still a let down, according to some reviewers. I might end up skipping this one, as I’m getting tired of the closed-room mystery settings.
Maame by Jessica George
This book came out in January and it quickly became a crowd favorite. With more than 4.10 stars on Goodreads and close to 40,000 ratings, it is a must-read for me. Plus, I think that cover is absolutely gorgeous!
The Fake by Zoe Whittall
The Fake was one of the first books I read this year. Although I love the author’s writing style and will continue to read anything she will publish, but I didn’t love this one. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, and I recommend it to those who like the con-artist tro[pe. I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters, hence my rating.
A Death at a Party by Amy Stuart
One of my very first Galleys I was accepted for, and I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t the best book of the year for me, but it was still a pleasant reading experience.
What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall
This book is one of the best thrillers I read this year. If you weren’t sure about it, it lives up to the hype. With more than 55,000 ratings, and an average of 4 stars, you can add it to your tbr list with confidence.
I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
Second book I read by the author but I didn’t love it as much as The Great Believers. That being said, I recommend it to dark academia, thriller lovers who love complex characters and well developed plots.
Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
This book is a mixed bag. While I enjoyed reading it, it was infuriating at times. Following three women that come from a wealthy family, the author portrayed their entitlement and privilege with expertise. That part of the story is what made me rate it only 3 stars on Goodreads.
Read-Alongs and Book Clubs
As far as my read-alongs and book clubs go, I’m way behind.
For the last couple of Nordic Noir Read-Alongs, I haven’t even finished the books. Although I did start We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal, and I’m about halfway through.
As far as the virtual book club, LIVELAUGHMURDER goes, I think I only managed to attend one group discussion. I’m currently reading The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh, which was discussed on June 25th if i’m not mistaken.
But the following 45 books are the ones I actually read so far this year:
So I think that warrants a separate article, so stay tuned.
This is my mid-year reading update, friends. As you can see I overcommitted again and haven’t met any of my goals as of yet. It’s all good though, I’m still reading a good amount, considering how busy I’ve been.
How have you done with your reading so far this year? Whether you read one book or 100, as long as it makes you happy, that’s all that counts.
I will leave you with that today. Until next time, my fellow bookworms!