The Best and Worst of 2015

It is officially 2016!  I have been looking back at the books I read last year and thinking about the ones I enjoyed the most and those I liked the least.  Here is my list of both and why.  Keep in mind, I read about 130 books this year.

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2015

  1. The Goldfinch was something I read at the beginning of the year, but one of the most compelling books of the year.  The audiobook was amazingly done as well.  It is easy to understand why it won and was nominated for so many awards.
  2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir is one book I know I have not stopped talking about all year.  That is how much I loved it.  You should read it, especially if you have anxiety issues.  You know who you are… you should get anxious about still not having read this book.
  3. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride was a book I read before I started this blog, so someone else wrote the entry.  Cary Elwes was one of the most gracious audiobook readers I have heard.  He clearly loved writing this book.  Also, I saw him talk about the book at Book Expo and saw a massive group of librarians swoon.  It was fantastic.
  4. The Shadow of the Wind was one that was suggested by my friend Debbie.  I love stories with mystery elements and danger.  Also, it is about books!  I want to read the rest of the series, but I may have to wait.
  5. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography was so much fun, even as an audiobook.  What was nice is that it could be read like a traditional book (unlike traditional Choose Your Own Adventure books).
  6. Armada and I wrote a whole entry about it.  If it’s 80s nostalgia, I will probably enjoy it.
  7. Boy Meets Boy was a new book for me.  I have never really read LGBTQ before.  I thought it was overly positive, but it was a nice entry into the genre.
  8. Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle is one I did not shut up about when I was reading it.  I loved, even though it was decades ago, a positive story about life in the Middle East.
  9. Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter was something I have had on my shelf for a while and am glad I finally read.  To have the chance to learn what life is/was like in an African country by Africans is a few perspective for me as a reader.  So much of what I have read about African countries is written by white people and about colonialism.
  10. Beware the Kitten Holy (Lumberjanes) was my favorite graphic novel of the year.  I already raved about this one.  Why have you not read it yet?

The 10 Worst Books I Read in 2015

  1. Someone Else’s Love Story was my first disappointment of the year.  I don’t enjoy Chick Lit unless it is very well done.  I just have no tolerance for self-loathing in female characters.  Add to it that the author narrated the book and used the most high-pitch, child-like voice for her main character.  I only finished it because it was for the real-life book club.
  2. The Chaperone is an example of how you can tell too much of a story.  I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, but that last third ruined it all for me.  It should have ended much sooner than it did and has an epilogue that was significantly shorter.
  3. Bleak House is the longest book in the world. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it felt like it.  I had to keep reminding myself that Dickens was writing a serial and had to have enough content to keep people coming back and buying the next issue.  I think Jarndyce v Jarndyce ended in less time that it took me to read this book.
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey was just… I said enough about it.
  5. Dirty Love was hard for me to dislike.  I have met Dubus many time as he works 2 floors above me.  I find his style to be too much in character’s heads.  It isn’t that this is a bad book, it’s just not for me.
  6. City of Women This book made me realize I was burnt out from World War 2 related books.  I will not be seeking them out for 2016.  When the title is never connected to the narrative, I get pissed off.  In this case, there were plenty of men instead of Berlin absent of men because of war (which is what I expected).
  7. Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined is another I have said enough about.  You know why it’s on this list.
  8. The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, #1) was one I really wanted to like, but the time travel and the steampunk and the clearly ripping of vampire slayers was just too much for me.
  9. Wallflower in Bloom is another Chick Lit book.  Again, not bad, just not for me.  I think this graphic sums up my opinion of this book:
    The littlest violin playing just for you...
    The littlest violin playing just for you…
  10. Defending Jacob is the last on this list because I should have liked this.  It has all the makings of a book I typically enjoy: crime, mystery, legal systems, and it took place in a town I know well.  What I found is that I am tired of parents ignoring the flaws of their children and living in denial about their own flaws.  I am tired of entitled sociopaths and psychopaths.  Actually, I am tired of male entitlement.  At least it was an easy read.  I just can’t…

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