At some point I can call this thing that I’m doing — recycling my own original tag for a new post — a tradition, so that it becomes cool instead of self-absorbed, right? Four years and counting, let’s go!
(I am, as always, in denial about the passage of time. It is absolutely still the new year.)
auld lang syne: a childhood favorite that you want to reread
I’ve actually been rereading a lot the past couple of years, particularly when I’m feeling an oncoming reading slump, but at the same time I have an irrational worry that rereading a book too often will dispel its emotional effect on me? So I either reread something on repeat (see: Fangirl, In Other Lands, Red, White & Royal Blue) or only very rarely (see: The Night Circus, Middlegame).
Anyway. Last year I picked up a copy of Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass at a quarterly book sale hosted by my local library. It’s kind of a dark horse in that I was very intensely into this book for a very brief period of my middle-grade years and kind of forgot about it until I saw it in the stacks recently, but I jumped at the chance to add it to the collection and it’s pretty high on the to-reread list.
in with the new: the most recent addition to your TBR
That would be Making a Scene by Constance Wu. I am apparently totally out of the loop with both book news and celebrity / public figure news, so the existence of this memoir was a total surprise to me. A pleasant surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. (Though I have no idea if it’s any good or not; I am also out of the loop with other people’s reviews.)
countdown: an upcoming release you’re excited about
Oh hey, I was hoping I’d get to talk about this one! So I follow the artist Rovina Cai on Instagram because, obviously, I love their art, which is how I found out that they were the illustrator for the “interior spots” in the Wayward Children books and they also designed the cover for the upcoming omnibus edition of books 1-3, Be Sure. I mean, just look at it. *dreamy sigh*
champagne: a bubbly, light read
I swear, one of these days I’m going to revise this prompt because it’s too hard for me to answer. Um, I guess we’ll go with a kind-of punny but sincere answer: Let’s Make Ramen! by Hugh Amano & Sarah Becan. Yes, it’s a “comic book cookbook” about ramen (get it, because ramen broth bubbles, i.e., comes to a boil, and can be lighter or richer) — and it’s a great resource, with helpful information and bright illustrations that makes making ramen seem more approachable.
Also, another thank-you to my Books and Tea No-Longer-Secret Santa for gifting me an e-copy back in 2021! I have to confess that I have not cooked from it yet, but it is on my list for 2023.
sparklers: a literary couple with bright, hot chemistry
Not gonna lie, the Declan x Jordan (Jordeclan?) relationship arc is one of my favorite things about Maggie Stiefvater’s Dreamer trilogy. (Not a spoiler, hopefully — it’s pretty clear from the first book that they’re gonna be A Thing, and now the last book is out….) While I love Pynch as much as the next Raven Cycle fan, it’s not a competition, I really love Jordan & Declan together. Their banter, the scenes and art they create, the way they validate each other’s existence and identity. 🥰
noisemaker: an attention-catching cover design
Maybe I was primed after just talking about art, but in scrolling through my top-rated books, my eye was definitely caught by Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert. Perhaps a bit ironic, given that this book is one of my go-to examples for Quiet YA / NA and the subgenre’s power; though then again, maybe not, since it does pack a potent emotional punch. It’s not a childhood favorite since I first read it in the past five years, but it’s another one that I want to reread.
hangover: a trope that you can’t seem to avoid
Again, I have basically no idea what current bookish trends look like and I have been rereading a lot. My tired brain wants to fixate on the wording of the prompt and say underage drinking, so let’s go with that since it’s not untrue. Books are definitely part of the broader media landscape perpetuating this idea that high school and college are “party years” and “everyone else is doing it” and so on and so forth. But again, tired brain, so I won’t get up on my soapbox except to say that everyone lives life at their own pace with their own values, and everyone else is not actually doing it.
first: a book you love but none of your friends have read (yet)
Since it has apparently become my go-to First Read of the Year, it seems only fitting to give another shoutout to This Is How You Survive by Lana Rafaela Cindric. This is a lovely poetry collection with great range, and it makes me feel things. Like alive, and very human, and prone to ramble on too long if I keep trying to describe how much I love this book.
Disclaimer: Lana and I were Tumblr mutuals — dare I even say Internet friends? — back in the day, but I bought my own copies (yes, plural) of her books (yes, plural) and I genuinely think her writing is amazing, wonderful, evocative. I am in awe of her talent and her dedication to the craft.
resolutions: your bookish goals for the new year
- Goodreads / StoryGraph Challenge: 50 books
- Prompt Reviews: 90% of Read / DNF books reviewed within a week
- Project Backlist (hosted by Kal @ Reader Voracious)
- Read an owned book per week.
- Soft book buying & ARC ban.
- Eliminate (read, DNF, or unhaul) half my Owned TBR, from 200 to 100.
Yup, that’s the whole list this year! (More details are shared in my 2023 reading challenges post.)
Please feel free to consider yourself tagged if you want, and don’t forget to link back to the original post (or this one) so I can find and read all your answers!
The New Year Book Tag – Prompts
- Auld Lang Syne: A Childhood Favorite You Want to Reread
- In With the New: The Most Recent Addition to Your TBR
- Countdown: An Upcoming Release You’re Excited About
- Champagne: A Bubbly, Light Read
- Sparklers: A Literary Couple With Bright, Hot Chemistry
- Noisemaker: An Attention-Catching Cover Design
- Hangover: A Trope You Can’t Seem to Avoid
- First: A Book You Love But None of Your Friends Have Read (Yet)
- Resolutions: Your Bookish Goals for the New Year