June 13th, 2024 - mid-year book freak out tag

I haven’t participated in the mid-year book freak out tag in past years but this time, I want to give it a go! So far this year, I have read 26 books. My goal is 40, so this means I am well on track to meet my reading goal for 2024.

I’ve also managed to already check off two of my other goals that I set myself for the year which are:

✅ Read a book in Danish: I have read 3 books in Danish so far.

✅ Read a book in Icelandic (which I do shamefully little of): I have read 1 book in my native language so far this year 😅  Here’s a quick overview of the ratings I’ve given this year - quite high actually, with an average of 3.75.

Now, I’ll jump into the questions of the mid-year book freakout tag:

Favorite book of the year? What a priveliged position to be in to be able to say I’ve read some amazing books already this year and many of them deserve a favorite ranking but I think there’s no doubt about it, my favorite book I’ve read so far this year is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I recently saw an interview with Stephen Fry where he was asked what book(s) would he love to be able to read again for the first time, and he mentioned Dorian, as well as Jekyll & Hyde, which is now at the top of my “to-be-read” list, as he said they are considered companion pieces, which I had no idea about. He said he rereads both of these regularly and I definitely see myself doing that with Dorian. It’s is not a book that I’d necessarily recommend to everyone, especially not to folks who either haven’t read or don’t like classical literature, because it’s dense, it’s difficult, it’s heavy, but it’s oh, so incredibly rewarding. I could honestly write an entire essay about this book so I’ll stop here.

Favorite sequel that you’ve read this year? I have only read one sequel so far this year and it doesn’t deserve to be mentioned as a favorite, so I’ll pass on this one.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to? I’m not super aware of release dates but I really want to read Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange, his follow-up to There There, which I loved.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year? Again, not super aware of release dates, and I am not reading any current series, so I looked up what’s coming out. There’s definitely some interesting upcoming releases but I don’t think I can name a single one that I am most excited about, so I’ll pass.

Biggest disappointment? Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is for sure the biggest disappointment of the year for me, because it has a lot going for it, I really liked the first 100 pages or so. I can truly see all the ingredients for a great book within it, but it just fell flat for me.

Biggest surprise? Again, I’m gonna have to go with Dorian Gray for this one. I was expecting to like it, I was not expecting to be completely blown away by it and then spend the next several weeks/months reading more by Wilde and researching his life. The tempo, the crescendo, the climax, it is just a masterpiece.

New favorite author? Predictably, I’ll have to say Oscar Wilde. Funnily enough I have yet to read more of his fiction though. Dorian was obviously amazing, then I read De Profundis (basically, a really, really long letter) and currently I am reading Oscar Wilde: A life in letters. I’m looking forward to reading more of his fiction but I am just obsessed with the way he put pen to paper when communicating with ohers. His insults, legendary. His pining love letters, exquisite.

I’ll insert a recent insult from one of his letters that I can’t get out of my head: “He is incapable of managing the domestic affairs of a tom-tit in a hedge for a single afternoon. He is a stupid man, in practical concerns.”

I’ve recently been made aware that if I like Wilde’s insults, the next place to go for some epic ones is Shakespeare. If I read something by Shakespeare by the end of this year, put that down as “What is ‘the biggest surprise of 2024’, Alex?”.

Newest fictional crush? Oh man, I think I might be aging out of this category because I barely remember any, though I did like some of the people Addie LaRue dated in The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

Newest favorite character? I loved Marcellus from Remarkably Bright Creatures, and I actually really liked Tova as well. And then of course Basil Hallward, Lord Henry Watton and Dorian Gray are incredibly compelling characters, each for very different but mostly problematic reasons.

Book that made you cry? Honestly, it doesn’t take much for me to shed a tear over a book and there’s probably several that I cried over this year, but the most memorable cry was surprisingly Addie LaRue.

Book that made you happy? This question made me realize that I definitely reach for tragedies moreso than comedies if you will, but I laughed a lot at Lafayette and the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell.

Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year? Does it count if I haven’t read the book? I loved Dune: Part Two and Poor Things but I haven’t read either book.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year? I have to give it to the still tragically unread A Day of Fallen Night, the prequel to A Priory of the Orange Tree which I absolutely adored.


What books do you need to read by the end of the year? Maybe “need” is a strong word, but I would really love to finish the books I am currently slowly working my way through which are Oscar Wilde: A Life in Letters and Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet.

I started Severance by Ling Ma and loved the start so I am really looking forward to finishing it. My bookclub is currently reading The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin, which I have read and loved so I am in the middle of a re-read of that.

My most anticipated reads that I want to get to after those are: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, The Secret History by Dona Tartt, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, The Convent of Water by Abraham Verghese, Arrival by Ted Chiang and The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Looking forward to checking in at the end of the year to see if I actually manage to read any of these!


TitleAuthorReleasedDate readRating
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Gabrielle Zevin

March 24, 2024


Sea of Tranquility

Emily St. John Mandel

March 28, 2024


De Profundis

Oscar Wilde

March 29, 2024


Strong Female Character

Fern Brady

April 21, 2024


Pigen under træet

Sara Blædel

April 22, 2024


Hugrekki til að hafa áhrif

Halla Tómasdóttir


June 9, 2024


Den tavse enke

Sara Blædel

April 27, 2024