Northern Lights

Mid-Year Reading Update

We’re (over) halfway through the year and as I did a mid-year check in for what films I’ve been watching, I thought I’d do one for what books I’ve been reading too. Plus, I haven’t managed to read one book so far in July (though I’ve nearly finished rereading The Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman on audio, but I started that last month) so these stats are definitely for the first six months of the year.

I kept my reading goals for 2019 pretty simple. I didn’t sign up for any reading challenges though I set my Goodreads goal to 52 books and I wanted to review at least 26 of them. I’m right on track with that as so far, I’ve read 41 books and have reviewed 25 of them (review 26 is half written and will be posted next week). I read 12 books in June which definitely helped these stats. I spent 10 days at my dad’s and pretty much all I did there was read.

I wanted to get my physical TBR down from 100 books to 50 and that’s going well so far too. While I have acquired books, through subscription boxes, the London Bookshop Crawl, and just taking advantage of when I see a book has become somewhat cheap as it sits on my Amazon Wishlist, I have been reading a lot of what I already owned. My current TBR stands at 88 books and while I’m not sure I’ll actually manage to hit my target of 50 by the time 2019 is finished, it looks like (for once) I’m reading more than I’m bringing in.

I’m always interested in who I’m reading books by and try and have an even split of books by men and women (though I naturally tend to read more books by women than men). So far this year I’ve read 25 books by women and 16 books by men. I can see this sort of split continue for the rest of the year as I do own slightly more books by women than men. But then again, I’m a mood reader with eclectic taste so who knows what I’ll read next!

I also started tracking if the authors I’m reading are white or people of colour and I wanted at least 25% of the books I read to be by non-white authors. So far, I’ve read 27 books by white authors and 14 books by authors of colour – which is 34% of what I’ve read! If I keep on like this, I should achieve my goal. I do think my Read the World Project helps me with this as it has really broadened my reading tastes and I’ve discovered so many new authors and stories.

Speaking of the Read the World Project, out of the 41 books I’ve read this year, 23 of them have been by international authors. That leaves me with 133 countries (by my count) left to read in the next 2 years and 2 months-ish if I want to meet my thirtieth birthday deadline I imposed on myself. At the start of the year I said I’d need to read about 50 books for the Read the World project to be in with a chance of finishing the project before my 30th birthday, and I’ve read just a bit less than half of that in the first half of the year so I may be able to achieve that goal. North America is where most of the authors I’ve read so far this year are from (which makes sense as if I’m not reading something for the Read the World project it tends to be YA by American authors) but then there’s Europe, which is not just the UK as I’ve only read 3 books from authors from there, and Africa and Asia. I have more books from both of those continents to read before the year is out so it’ll be interesting to see how this chart looks at the end of 2019.

Did you have any reading goals for this year? If you did, how are you doing with them? I’m a big fan of charts and stats so thought it’d be cool to see how my reading was now, so I could have something to compare it to at the end of the year.

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books Featuring Witches

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s about books that feature witches, whether they are the main characters or there just happens to be a witch as a side character.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eragon, and the whole Inheritance Cycle, features one of my favourite witches ever – Angela. I love her so much because she’s much older and wiser than she appears, she can make potions, she can fight and maybe she can see the future. You never really know what she’s capable of and that’s what makes Angela such a great character.

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan
This is the first book in the Sweep (or as I knew it Wicca) series. it’s about a girl called Morgan who thinks she’s perfectly normally until she discovers she’s a “blood witch” which is someone who is born with magical powers and she’s in fact a descendent of a long line of witches. I read this book, and the whole series, when I was about eleven or twelve and it was the first series I read solely by getting it out of the library.

Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
It’s been a while since I’ve read Northern Lights but the witches in it, including witch queen Serafina Pekkala, came straight to mind when I saw this week’s topic. The witches in this book live in the north, don’t feel the cold and they can fly if they have the right type of tree branch. I really like their relationship with their dæmons, which are always birds, because they can be a part from each other without it causing either of them pain.

The Graces by Laure Eve
The Graces is one of those books where you it makes you wonder if magic and witches are real or if what happens is just pure chance. It’s such an intriguing read and there’s definitely magic in the air of some sort and the Graces do seem all powerful and mysterious.

Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pieńkowski
This is the first book I thought of when I saw this topic. It’s an illustrated series of stories about a witch called Meg whose spells always go a bit wrong and her black and white stripped cat Mog. I had a collection of these stories when I was little and apparently I drove my mum mad by getting her to read it to me every single night!

What are some of your favourite books featuring witches?