The 7/12 Year Check In Tag

The 7/12 Year Check In Tag

hi guys everybody else did this tag last month because it is the mid-year check-in tag technically created by Dane reads and Harriet Rosie last year I think saw linked to both their channels below but the I block out specific times to film and the last time I blocked out it was over a hundred group 100 degrees in this room we don't have any fans or air conditioning and we're at the top of a fifth floor walk-up so it was just too hot to film happy to be here today though to talk about these general questions because as I haven't been filming as much this year you guys don't know a lot of these very basic things about my reading life so far question one is how many books have you read so far this year good read says 43 I think the actual number is closer to 70 and I'm not thrilled with that number but I'm not disappointed either I think you know I'm still generally stressed about how much I'm reading but it's more because of these big long-term goals that I'm steadily working toward and not so much on a on a year-by-year basis anymore which is great because I've I felt more freedom this year than ever before to pick up you big or otherwise time consuming books question 2 is what's your favorite book you've read so far this year a few standout to me but one that I haven't mentioned at all yet on this channel is old baggage by ELISA Evans which came out in April this year and a big thanks to see you first and I made this early copy of it ignored the jaundiced cover I don't know what's going on there so I I knew that the premise of this and it sounded like a very me book it takes place in 1928 in London with two spinster suffragettes who are reckoning with the fact that now that women have the right to vote in Britain people are acting like well what are you still fighting for why do we still have to listen to you why are you here what do you want and one of them in particular lives by what she considers her moral code and she's put into a situation where gradually she betrays her own morals so I thought that I would enjoy this and I'd heard other people say they liked it but fountain flaws in it that kind of thing I didn't expect it to be so good it is almost the perfect combination of charming and substantive tight writing beautiful character portraits I so enjoyed spending time with these characters interesting plot decisions – it's not plot driven but she does cool things with that I I just presented the time that I had to leave the house while I was reading this number three is what's the most disappointing book you've read so far this year and I'm self-conscious about this choice partly because it's it's a far cry from being the worst book I've read in fact I wouldn't even feel confident evaluating it at all but it's where reasons end by you me I rarely buy card backs I just don't have the money or the space for them so that gives you a good indication of how much I expected to love this I've always been intrigued by even these short stories the reviews of this were fantastic and just the basic description it's o Lee's teenage son committed suicide several years ago and this is a fictionalized version of a mother talking to her teenage son who has committed suicide or the idea that remains of her teenage son so to call it it fraud is an understatement the strange thing was I felt no emotional or intellectual connection to this whatsoever and it can often happen that a book isn't completely resonating with me but it still makes me ask questions I have that urge to analyze while I'm experiencing it and and this one I wasn't even curious about it it felt like these were private thoughts and in our own sort of walled off garden and that word meant to be walled off from outside understanding and I experienced it at such a remove that I had this almost uncharitable thought I'm sure that you needed to write this in some respects but did I need to read it you know does every private diary benefit from other people experiencing it question four is what genre have you read most of this year literary fiction mostly novels I read plenty of other stuff but that's still my my bread and butter does that even count as a genre though I don't know let's hurry on to your question that makes me seem less boring okay this should be much better question five is name a new favorite author you've discovered this year and for me without a doubt its Peter Horner Maggie Brown and others is his short story collection that came out at the beginning of July and it's a number of shorter than short stories with a novella at the end two reviews of this in the New York Times give you a good idea of what the reading experience is like and he has that sort of classic American Carver fellow esque feel to him but something I appreciate was that I I couldn't tell the genders of the narrators when the story started I usually had to wait for an indicator which isn't something I necessarily expected and reading order just makes me it makes me notice what it is about short stories you know what they can achieve that isn't replicated in any other form these aren't the kind of stories where each one is going to be you know distinct in your memory I don't think unless you read the collection several times there are just too many stories and a lot of them are about everyday life but they're these tender moving flashes of experience and I'm in awe of his craft and I want to read so many more of his books number six is what's the most surprisingly good book you've read this year and this is me outing myself as a milkman lover guys I loved this book in a way that felt out of the blue it probably shouldn't have but that's the way it did feel because opinion has been so divided on it and when there are two camps and one is saying this is gorgeous it's a masterpiece the odd language makes it all the more profound and there's another camp saying this is overwritten it's cluttered and it makes you put in more work than it's worth historically I've often been in that second camp and it wasn't just casual reviewers saying those things professional reviewers too were kind of puzzled by it to a certain degree but I I was spellbound for those of you who aren't familiar this came to prominence because it surprisingly won the Booker last year and it said in the 1970s in Northern Ireland during the Troubles for the first 30 to 40 pages I was interested in what it was doing but I kept thinking what is gonna compel me to pick this back up again and again it does feel like work at this point but gradually I surrendered to it and I keep coming back to words like primal and a mythic for for what it does with lots of funny passages and just everyday observations as well the Booker is on it you guys Lincoln in the bardo and then this like I don't want to get too carried away because it did shortlist exit West all too recently but like get it judges question 7 is what are your favorite and most anticipated 2019 releases so other than a few that I've already mentioned I loved inland by Te'o but this is the galley covered and this is what the actual finished covers is gonna look like I didn't love the Tigers why if I was impressed by elements of it but but never became invested and so I went into this fairly cynical and didn't love the first section and then something happens where it just got its hooks in me and it does feel like a real progression for this author so I'm going to be doing a written review of this soon actually I have a deadline for it so I can't put it off and I'll link you guys for that when it's up and then for anticipated releases I'm gonna quickly mention three fiction and three nonfiction that either have come out already or are going to come out later this year so for fiction there's lots been found by Nell Freudian burger she's a writer right I'm always keeping my eye on singing to it by Aimee Hempel and other collection of short stories from just touches of the short stories and the Dutch house by Ann Patchett I've never read any Ann Patchett and that is going to okay and then for 2019 nonfiction I want to sink my teeth into we have mamas last hug by Franz Wall about animal emotions midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham I did just watch the HBO series and the Benjamin Moser biography of Susan Sontag that's scheduled to come out in September of this year number eight is what's your next big priority for your reading and for me it's continuing to focus on what I call time consuming nonfiction so that could be you know a thousand page biography or it could be a 350 page book but still denser and requires a little more effort than your average novel so I have a list of essentials books that I am going to read and I'm crossing one off every month so it's not you know an intensive project but Michael is after I read three of them to have many reviews of them for this channel we'll see if I follow for you guys but I'm excited about the idea of it and I have two answers for the last question what's your bookish highlight of the year so far one is classic and contemporary pairings my previous video as some of you will have seen was talking about Aeschylus in conversation with a recent novel by column Tobin and I have several other pairs planned throughout the year stay tuned for those videos and then the second highlight surprising no one who has watched the handful of videos I've put out this year is reading and Heaney Trollope's the chronic was a farce it sure so the first one which I actually wrote last year is the warden and this will drag you in because you think it's not gonna be a huge commitment and then you get these beasts so there's Barchester towers my favorite so far dr. Thorne and family parsonage which I'm hoping to read in August there are two more in this series as well and when I finish all six I'll make you know general video with my thoughts but oh he's delightful okay I am so glad that his books are in my life for question ten who do you tag I would have to start naming people for the 2020 edition of this so I won't but I want to thank Harriet and Dane for coming up with these really helpful questions especial in my situation this year as I mentioned work I haven't been checking in very often and I will see you as soon hopefully for another video

35 thoughts on “The 7/12 Year Check In Tag

  1. Old Baggage is looking really good to me; thank you for recommending it!
    And Barchester! Yes! It’s one of the loveliest series I’ve ever come across. Barchester Towers is my favorite, but The
    Last Chronicle of Barchester is a magnificent book.
    It’s wonderful to see you here.

  2. Milkman sounds so good, I really want to pick up a copy soon. Anthony Trollope is the next classic author I want to delve into as I haven't read any of his works yet. Maybe I'll pick up The Warden for Victober this year 🙂

  3. aw man i love yiyun li too so i see how that would be disappointing for you! i would love to learn more about your non-fiction selection. <3

  4. Always lovely to see a video of yours pop up in my timeline. I really enjoyed Old Baggage, I really want to read the sort-of prequel, yet sort of standalone novel Crooked Heart. Reading Old Baggage made me feel like Evans could be a future favourite author. I am thrilled to see you loved Inland without loving The Tigers Wife, I found The Tigers Wife an odd experience which I kind of didn't like. (But I might have read it too early in my 'getting back to reading' life in my early twenties.)

  5. I am so happy you loved Milkman. It will be released in Italy in a couple of months and I am really interested in reading it. Can't wait to see another "Classic and contemporary pairs": I myself would like to prepare another one in a few months 🙂

  6. Old Baggage sounds interesting. That much have been such an odd time in history for women, and I haven't seen it get much attention yet.

  7. Okay okay I'll read Milkman, I swear!! Reading Say Nothing right now, which should be good background. Im embarrassingly ignorant about The Troubles. There but for the grace of god, etc, or the grace of my ancestors who emigrated to Canada, anyway.

  8. I felt the same way about Milkman! “Surrendered to it” is the perfect way to describe my experience as well. I expected to be somewhat impressed by its style and themes, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.

  9. Nice to see you back Jen! Hope to see more of you on my subscription feed! Glad you are reading chunksters. So enjoyfull to fall in love with a book and realize that there is left so much yet in the book!

  10. Ohhh I agree about Milkman, I loved this book. And agree about Lincoln in the Bardo before that in the Booker . I can not walk past these books in a book shop without touching then sort of purring and feeling my heart give a bit

  11. I loved (loved loved loved) Milkman, and i think it gave me a good reason to follow literary awards because without the booker Milkman it's a book that probably i would have never read.
    I really liked the writing and her dark humour. It's my favourite novel of this year.

    I was not a big fan of The tiger's wife but i think it was an interesting enough debut to follow her career for a while, so i hope i will enjoy her new novel too

  12. Okay, just read the synopsis of this on Amazon and it's a prequel to Crooked Heart! I will definitely be reading this. Thanks, so much!

  13. I wasn't even going to go on youtube this week, and you (happily) rewrote my plans. Old Baggage is now heading onto my list. Also, maybe, some Thorpe. Oh, I must mention: I literally just minutes ago finished Bodies of Light. So, you will be pleased to know, I am now firmly in the Sarah Moss Camp. I purchased it thanks to your Goodreads review. I expected it to be delicious, smart, and a perfect tea accompaniment. I didn't realize it would be such a deeply personal read for me. I'm ever so glad this book came into my life. I was so excited to see your video pop up. It was lovely to spend some time with you, your taste, and your yellow… dress? Top? Garment. Pip pip.

  14. Hello, Jennifer, thanks for the recs! Old Baggage and Maggie Brown and Sing to It alllllll sound like books I'd enjoy. I absolutely adored Milk, one of my fav reads in years (along w Crawdads and Black Leopard. ) I also want to read Trollope! Mayhap this #Victober … 😄🤯🤔

  15. You and @abookolive are my 2 absolute favorite booktubers. Articulate, engaging, and to the point (no fluff, lol). Both of you have introduced me to some excellent reads, and for that I am grateful.

  16. Always a treat to hear from you.
    Looking forward to your continuing 'literature pairs' series. It's a great concept.

  17. I’ve heard good things about that Sontag biography. Eventually I’d love to read it as well. Lovely to see a video from you!

  18. How has your Robin Hobb reading been going? I for one cannot wait for you to finish the last Fitz and the Fool trilogy then make a video in which you intellectualize the fuck outta the entire series.

  19. After reading a few of her books, I think that starting out with Yi-Yun Li's Where Reasons End is not the best place to start. Her novel about late-70s China called The Vagrants and her connected essay collection Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life are more emotionally resonant. Good to see what a great reading year you are having.

  20. Are you planning to read Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans since you loved Old Baggage so much?

    I too felt a bit meh about The Tiger's Wife so you've made me look forward to Inland sooo much more.

  21. A guaranteed hilite of my booktube vid watching of any day is…a Jen vid. And more are announced as coming down the pipeline. Alright! One of these weeks I should pick up some Trollope books. You like 'em and I'm hoping I will too.

  22. 👋Jen 🌻☕️Always great to see you. I'd love to see you do the literature fiction tag by Jasmines Reads.

  23. I read Maggie Brown at your mention of it previously and really enjoyed it, sort of reminds me of Carver. Orner somehow manages to blend a lucid presence in his stories but also a good bit of feeling like a fever dream. I also loved that Li. I also really liked her nonfiction, Dear Friend. Milkman is my favorite book of the year so far! Also surprised me and was a very rewarding reading experience.

  24. Lots of crossover with my tastes here! I LOVED Old Baggage, was very cross it wasn't longlisted for the Women's Prize. I've just finished Inland and, while The Tiger's Wife worked better for me, I thought it was a hugely impressive novel. Lost and Wanted is great, if less speculative than I was originally expecting. I'm also looking forward to The Dutch House.

  25. I studied the fifth book in Barsetshire series and I loved it so I'm planning on starting from the beginning in Victober. Always happy to see another video from you whenever you have the time (or it's a comfortable temperature).

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