Monday, January 4, 2016

LIST: Best Reading of 2015

Number Of Books You Read: 114
 Number of Re-Reads: 7 (shocked how many books I re-read! )
Audiobooks: 62
Genre You Read The Most From:   mysteries (33)


1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
The Martian by Andy Weir
The mix of adventure and humor and science made this a big win for me. I answered this last, after almost filling it into several categories (memorable character, world building, action-packed/unputdownable) Can't wait to see the movie!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
I raced through the last half of the series last year and loved Maisie's growth and how the series developed (and ended at Leaving Everything Most Loved). This lastest book was a huge disappointment. Winspear progressed a couple of years, after Maisie's marriage, move to Canada, and death of husband and baby. She then proceeded to 'tell' this story in flashback as Maisie deals with her sad, sad life, yet again in Gilbraltar as she hides after she already lived in India after all that.

Also, Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Heaney. Keeping information from the reader because the main character had Alzheimers so she kept forgetting what people told her was annoying. I get that she was confused, but it seemed like a cheap technique to keep the suspense up.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari was not a stand up comedy routine, or essays on love by a comedian. It was a sociological study, with a real researcher, with results and statistics and everything. Plus, it was narrated by a comedian, so it was funny and informative. It will also make you happy to be married and not out there. That was not surprising.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series started : Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter (Triptych and Fractured)
Best series From Beginning to End: Miss Marple by Agatha Christie (read all 12 novels)
Best sequel: The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Parallel story to  Life As We Knew It, a dystopian young adult book)

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
I mostly read tried and true authors (even a new Judy Blume!) so I guess Karin Slaughter is the author and series I discovered this year that I will be reading more of.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia was a young adult vampire/supernatural story from YA Sync. Let's not say the 'best book', let's just call it the book most out of my comfort zone.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Cobra by Deon Meyer
Another Bennie Griesell police mystery in South Africa. Always layered characters, great pacing, great mystery.

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill was a unique, nonlinear story that I listened to quite quickly, and when it was done, thought I'd like to listen again, because I think there was more to get, but the first time through I was just trying to put the story together

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Inside by Alix Ohlin

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Jack Caffrey from Mo Hayder's mystery/thriller series is a always memorable character. The two books I read this year (Gone and Skin) also have Flea Marley, the police diver; also memorable.

Also memorable in a bad way was Mr March, the sad sack soldier, provider, and preacher. Nothing he did impressed me in March by Geraldine Brooks. I may still write a post on how much he annoyed me.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan was a crazy memoir about a brain infection that manifested itself as a psychotic condition until the right doctor got called in. This was very scary and amazing how the author reconstructed her terrible month.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
I think I borrowed this 3 years ago from our school library, and then I adored it once I read it. Carol Shields wrote such wonderful books.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
I loved the passages in Ask the Passenger by AS King that show the passengers on planes getting affected by Astrid's messages of love sent skyward. Slightly magical, the passengers suddenly start thinking about a problem in their life, and end up feeling better. I'm becoming a fan of King.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Shortest? a few audio books were only a few hours long The Explorers Club,by Nell Benjamin or Here in Harlemby Walter Dean Myeres
Longest: 16 h 3 min (531 pages) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Walt by Russell Wangersky was a great book with an unreliable narrator, but you were never quite sure how unreliable or crazy he was

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Once we dial back the twee excitement of OTP, I like Lady Georgiana Rannoch and that Irish rogue Darcy O'Meara from the Royal Spyness mysteries by Rhys Bowen. I read three this year, and I'm up to book 6 and there does seem to be a somewhat commitment made between them, but the obstacles are still many. Royal Blood, Naughty in Nice, and The Twelve Clues of Christmas

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Eighty year old Addie and five year old Sharla in Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens was a wonderful connection of two people who didn't know how much they needed each other

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
Chevalier (Girl With a Pearl Earring) does historical fiction so well, creating stories based on real people

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
School library book passed to me in the staff room (instead of returned to library.) I actually knew very little about it when I took it for March break. Nice thoughtful look at a family in the 1970s.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was a great suspenseful read

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Mars from The Martian by Andy Weir

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Dodger by Terry Pratchett was a very fun book, imagining Charles Dickens meeting a character who he will then base The Artful Dodger on

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I'm pretty sure I was bawling by the end of Martin Short's autobiography  I Must Say: My Life as Humble Comedy Legend Made me laugh and cry 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Banks was a connected short story collection about one character trying to find love. First published in 1999, I picked this up at a book sale somewhere and quite enjoyed it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
X by Ilyasah Shabazz
A fictionalized story of the beginning part of Malcolm X written by his daughter.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
I wrote a whole post on A Corner of White by Jacklyn Moriarty

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Hated in in high school, still hated it now. (Golding's opening essay defending why he couldn't write this with girls just got me started)


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?  
Her by Harriet Lane

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
Tracy Chevalier has a new book coming out, and it has JOHNNY APPLESEED
(I had a record when I was little about singing Johnny Appleseed - "Oh, the Lord is good to me"
At the Edge of the Orchard in March 2016

 3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I'm always looking back at books I missed, seldom aware of new books coming out, except by my favourite authors

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Maybe there will be a new Tana French? Or a newly translated Deon Meyer?
I am waiting for the audiobook of Mrs Roosevelt's Confidente by Susan Elia MacNeal. I've only listened to this series and don't want to change now.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
Just keep at the blog sporadically, read a few good books
I also want to read the books I picked for my Once & Again Challenge.

Thanks for reading all my ramblings, if you made it to the end. I enjoy looking back at my books and thinking about which book best fits the category, and making sure I mentioned all the books that were memorable for some reason or other. Let me know where you agree or disagree. Thanks for all the reviews and recs!