The End of the Year Book Tag

I couldn’t find out who began this tag once upon a time. I’ve just seen it pop up in several places in BlogLand and on BookTube, so here we go.

Photo by Ann H on

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Two that I can think of: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine and Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich.

I was enjoying the complexity of the Teixcalaan Empire in A Memory Called Empire, but I think I had a bunch of ARCs I needed to read and review and some library books to deal with, so I set it aside and haven’t gotten back to it. I need to finish it, as book two comes out sometime next year.

Mind of the Raven was interesting, if a bit dry now and then. Heinrich is an ornithologist describing raven behavior, so his language can get a bit scientific, but the subject matter (ravens) is so interesting that I’m not bothered by a bit of dryness now and then. But I had to take it back to the library and haven’t checked it back out yet.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I know what is meant by ‘autumnal book’, but I tend to read them all year ’round, so I don’t have any particular ones to transition into winter or the end of the year or anything like that.

That being said, I tend to read The Lord of the Rings every year, and usually in the winter, so I have another reread coming up soon.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Nothing for the rest of the year (at least that I know of). I have a few ARCs on my NetGalley shelf, but none of them is due out until 2021. The earliest is Alison Weir’s Queens of the Crusades: England’s Medieval Queens, Book 2, which will be published in February.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Just taking looking at the stack waiting on my little gray shelf I see the following:

These are a few that I want to read still in November. I don’t know what else (aside from The Lord of the Rings) I will read before the end of the year.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

What an odd question. ‘Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year’?

As though I go into a book expecting to dislike it? With a notable exception, I don’t hate-read books. I don’t have time to sit down with a book I already know I’m not going to like. So when I pick up a new book, I go into it hoping that it will be a great book and will become a favorite.

So I would not find it shocking if a book I read in the last week of December would end up being a favorite.

I’ve heard that Dissolution is fantastic, so I hope it will be a great opening to the Matthew Shardlake series. I hope Children of Ash and Elm lives up to its beautiful cover design and turns out to be a phenomenal book of Viking history. The Lost Queen by Signe Pike is, so far, a beautifully written take on Arthurian tales, and I am enjoying it. I found a great deal on all four books of Sarah Kozloff’s Nine Realms Series, so I’m hoping that the first book, A Queen in Hiding, will be fantastic.

Why would I assume that any book that I approach might not end up being a favorite?

I am confused.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

Ish. I know I want to read the entirety of the History of Middle-earth collection I bought earlier this year, and I want to get through a significant portion of the unread books I own (they look so good!), but aside from putting together a personal reading challenge on my StoryGraph account to account for all those unread books, I haven’t made any grand plans. I’ll think about it more in December.

Do any of you have any ideas?

So that’s all from me for now. If you find this little tag intriguing, feel free to go ahead and do it. No one tagged me, after all.

13 thoughts on “The End of the Year Book Tag

  1. They’re not in essay form, but I loved the following:
    – Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    – One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman
    – Rough Magic by Laura Prior-Palmer
    – Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller
    – H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
    – Hammer Head by Nina Maclaughlin
    – The Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife
    – The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee

  2. Well, my goal this year was to add more non fiction. I admit, I’m becoming a fan of memoirs told is essay form. So much so I think I’m going to give up fiction writing and delve into that. What I’m disappointed in this year is my light beach reads. I feel like these “light” readers are trying to philosophize too much. I don’t want that in that kind of book. But, I have read some outstanding stuff. I’ll probably do a top ten favorites at year end

  3. Earlier this year I picked up an ebook copy of The Lost Queen so I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it so far. And A Memory Called Empire is one I’d like to start as soon as I can work it in. I’ve read so many good things about it. I’ve not yet put any thought into next year’s goals. My goal for this year was 50 and I didn’t think I’d reach it, but I like to set challenging goals. But with the lockdowns and whatnot I’m up to 72 books. No clue how to set expectations for next year, though…

  4. I’d set your goal for 50 again. No sense in trying to push yourself based on 2020…

    I’m loving the prose in The Lost Queen. It’s elegant and makes the story feel as rain- and wind-swept as Scotland really is. I’ve already asked for the second book in the trilogy for Christmas.

  5. See, this is one reason I don’t do tags. The questions are often so… odd. Poorly written. I don’t like to interpret them. And yes, you should anticipate any new book you read might be a favorite! I love the anticipation of potentially finding a new favorite book. It’s so exciting. (LIKE DUNE. Unexpected yet… not so unexpected.)

    My reading plans for 2021. Yikes. I hope to try to sustain my reading in some way. Little one will certainly muck that one up a bit. I aim to finish reading the remaining Newbery Award winners. We’ll see how that goes. I also want to cut back on my book club participation – heartbreaking, but I think it will alleviate my stress a lot in my free time. I believe in finishing the books for book club so I can defend my position on a book, even if I hate it. Other than that? Just reading. Because I can. It’s nice to not have plans all the time.

  6. Yeah, definitely some odd questions. But every once in a while, I find a fun little tag…

    And it is nice to not have plans all the time. Thought I am coming up with some reading plans for next year. But they’re all books I want to read anyway, so I’m not going to stress out about them.

    Good luck with finishing the Newberys!

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