Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Books are a uniquely portable magic"*

It's been a year since my last post. I am such a slacker! Sorry to all of my loyal readers (all 2 of you) for the unintentional hiatus. I have no excuse, I just got distracted and busy, and stopped making time for this. I can't promise I'm going to do much better this year, but I have some new projects in the works and I hope to update you more often!

All that aside, I have been doing a lot of reading this year. Like, A LOT. Come back in a few days (hopefully) for an explanation as to why I read what I read.

2015 Reading Stats

Number of Books Read: 52
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Fiction (and I feel no shame), although my book choices this year have been far more varied than in years past

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Such a beautiful book. Beautiful story, beautifully written, it even had a beautiful cover. I loved it through and through. Bonus:the author lives in my hometown, so that;s cool.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn't?
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Maybe I just watch too many crime procedural television shows, but I wasn't as intrigued by this one as I wanted to be, and I kind of felt like the ending was a bit of a let down.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2015? 
Severed Souls by Terry Goodkind. You know that quote about not being afraid to kill the darlings?** Goodkind is certainly not afraid!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2015?
I was pretty good about not pushing books on people this year. That being said, it is kind of part of my job to convince reluctant readers to read, so I did make a bunch of suggestions. I think the most recommended was the Lorien Legacies series (beginning with I Am Number Four) by Pittacus Lore. Looking forward to the (supposed) last installment sometime in 2016!

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best overall series I read this year was probably Legend by Marie Lu. Best sequel is a toss up between Severed Souls by Terry Goodkind and The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore. I love both of the series' as a whole, and I really enjoyed these additions. Best series ender was maybe The Shadow's Curse by Amy McCullouch. 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Marie Lu.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I have been trying to work my way through some of the classics, but I usually find them a bit boring and/or tedious. It;s a personal problem and I am working on it. Anyway, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised and this was one of those times.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Ooh, I read a few action packed books this year, but since I finished all 630 pages of Severed Souls in a weekend I'd say it probably takes the cake on all three counts.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I don't know that I'm likely to re-read any of these books next year, but I will certainly read All The Light We Cannot See again at some point.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Here I go, judging a book by its cover...I think my favorite might have been An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. It's colorful, and fun, and I'm cool with it.

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Raim from The Oathbreaker's Shadow and The Shadow's Curse by Amy McCulloch

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I cannot even put into words how beautiful this book is.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. Made me rethink my beliefs, attitudes, and approach toward food. 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 
Sense and Sensibillity by Jane Austen. Actually, not surprised about this book specifically, but surprised that it took me this long to finally read anything by Jane Austen. This was my first foray, and I wasn't as impressed as I had expected to be, but it wasn't bad. I might get around to reading some more at some point.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
"The sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and hope." from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

16. Shortest & Longest Books You Read In 2015?
 Longest: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Shortest: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

7. Book That Shocked You The Most
Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker. Didn't like it. Kind of hated it. Not really sure why I read it. Definitely shocking though.

18. OTP of the Year (I will go down with this ship!)
Richard and Kahlan from Severed Souls (and the rest of Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series). They are perfect and I will never change my mind about them. This is exactly what I wrote last year with the exception of the book title, I feel no shame in repeating it.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Colin and Hassan from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. If I were under the age of 19, I'd take a road trip with them.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You've Read Previously
Looking for Alaska by John Green. What can I say? I like the way the guy tells a story.

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Brace yourselves for a shocking revelation... I DON'T HAVE ONE! I mean, I have plenty of fictional crushes, but none that are new to the year of 2015.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
I am behind the times and I didn't read any

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Witches by Roald Dahl. Loved it as a kid, enjoyed it as an adult.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I cry over everything so this is a fairly long list. Like 19 of 52. So, 36% of the books I read made me cry.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenburg.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. So many tears. So, so many. I was legitimately torn apart by this one and I'm not sure I have fully recovered (or maybe ever will).

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. A book about comic book authors in the ear;y days of comic books. It's a nerds dream come true. Some other stuff happens too (like a world war), but whatever.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)?
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. To start with, the only copy I could find has the movie cover. I hate when books have movie covers. Even worse, the movie cover is just a picture of James Franco and I think he looks like my brother-in-law (doppelgangers for sure) and I was not a fan of that whole situation. And then there was the book itself, Faulkner certainly has an interesting storytelling approach. Some people love it, I found it frustrating at best.
 Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Warheart by Terry Goodkind. It's the last of the series. What am I gonna do without these books?!?! I just don't know, but I need to see what happens!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
The as yet untitled next (and last) installment in the Lorien Legacies series. They lied to me last year when they said the sixth book was the last, if it happens again I am going to scream. And probably rant. A lot.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
As I said earlier, I am a bit behind the times, so I don't even know what is out there to anticipate.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
I don't typically anticipate series additions since I am slow to get on board and usually don't begin a series until all of the books have already been published. This year is a bit different in that I am anticipating two series enders. One is already out, I just haven't got my hands on it yet (Warheart), the Other doesn't even have a title yet, but if they make me wait I will not handle it well.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
A new challenge. I'll update you in my next post :)

*Stephen King
**Oft quoted, and equally oft misattributed. The most well-known version of the quote comes from William Faulkner and goes "In writing, you must kill all your darlings."

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