This is a bit of a weird end to a weird year for me. I’m having my Christmas in January, so for now I’m just sitting at home enjoying my days off alone and watching lots of Breaking Bad.
*cue “All Alone on Christmas“*
*turn it off and go watch more methheads and murders*
It’s a new Christmas tradition!
Ahem. Anyway. I figured it would be a great time-filler to do this End-of-Year survey compiled by The Perpetual Page Turner. Settle in, it’s a long one.
Number Of Books You Read: 129 [probably still time for 2 more.]
Number of Re-Reads: 3 [possibly 4. A Discworld I read felt vaguely familiar but if I’d read it already it was before I tracked my books.]
Genre You Read The Most From: Um…all of them? Fairly evenly split between nonfiction, fantasy, sci fi, romance, historical fiction, YA.
1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
My initial list was like 40 books long. Then it was 16. But, I guess, feet to the fire, it would have to be Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber. Don’t get me wrong, I love this series, and I’m still looking forward to more. But somehow this installment fell flat.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
In general I was surprised whenever I read erotica that turned out to have much better literary merit than would tend to expect. There were a couple of really surprising ones where the writing felt as good or better as most “literary” books I’ve read. In particular, I’ve gotta mention Scrap Metal by Harper Fox. Got a little soap-opera at the end, but a surprisingly well crafted story about building a home and a family in a place where you aren’t expecting it.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Um, I feel like I push any book I love but I think what I’m most proud of is getting my best friend to read NK Jemisin’s Dreamblood duology.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Series starter- The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles. These books are so much fun, I never want them to end but I keep vacuuming through them anyway.
Sequel- A Week To Be Wicked by Tessa Dare. Reading the first Spindle Cove book, I kept getting sidetracked because I thought the sequelbait couple was more interesting. I want to read that book, I said. And I did and man did it deliver.
Series ender- Police by Jo Nesbo. I…don’t actually know if this is the end of the Harry Hole series? He sets it up pretty hard for an eleventh book. But it’s the only thing on my list that might remotely qualify.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
In terms of most books read to date, let’s say Max Gladstone. I met a lot of great new authors this year, but most of them I’ve only gotten around to once so far.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Lumberjanes vols. 1 & 2
I’m not a big comics reader. But given my job a lot of them have come across my desk this year, so I started to check them out. I’ve read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Spider-Gwen and Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel (are we sensing a theme here on what I am likely to pick up…), and I was also blown away by Bitch Planet even though it’s not really my aesthetic. But Lumberjanes is where it’s at. So much fun. I already loved Noelle Stevenson’s style (although, oddly enough, not really into her famous Nimona that much.) Lumberjanes takes it friendship to the max and its cute and funny and exciting and nostalgia-driven all at once.
(btw, none of these comics collections were included in my reading total. I’m still not sure how to categorize comics or all the sort stories I read over the course of a year.)
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I read both KJ Charles’ The Magpie Lord and A Case of Possession in single sittings. That is not a thing that I ever do.
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Rainbow Rowell- Carry On. I kind of rushed through it and, anyway, I’m thinking of doing a full backlist reread of Rainbow Rowell in 2016.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Jackaby by William Ritter. Damn.
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Hmmm….Baz from Carry On? Yeah, Baz. I love you, Baz.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
Say it with me, now. Tell. The. Wolves. I’m. Home.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Tell The Wolves I’m Home. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but oh well. Maybe not so much life changing as life affirming.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
E.M. Forster- Howards End. Honestly most of my reading this year had not been on my TBR for a spectacularly long time or anything. This is a classic I should have gotten to earlier, though.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
I’m not a big quoter. Actually I kind of think that people who live by ‘inspirational quotes’ like the kind that end up as FB memes are pretty awful in general? It just bugs me and seems so shallow.
That being said:
“I really wondered why people were always doing what they didn’t like doing. It seemed like life was a sort of narrowing tunnel. Right when you were born, the tunnel was huge. You could be anything. Then, like, the absolute second after you were born, the tunnel narrowed down to about half that size. You were a boy, and already it was certain you wouldn’t be a mother and it was likely you wouldn’t become a manicurist or a kindergarten teacher. Then you started to grow up and everything you did closed the tunnel in some more. You broke your arm climbing a tree and you ruled out being a baseball pitcher. You failed every math test you ever took and you canceled any hope of ever being a scientist. Like that. On and on through the years until you were stuck. You’d become a baker or a librarian or a bartender. Or an accountant. And there you were. I figured that on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you’d have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed.”
– Tell The Wolves I’m Home
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Shortest: Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck. Longest: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Police by Jo Nesbo. I thought I was over his ability to shock me. I thought I had been desensitized to the fact that he routinely kills off my favorite characters in ways more gruesome than even George R. R. Martin. I thought a certain character was untouchable.
Reader, they were not. My face:
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Simon and Baaaaaaaaaaaz.
No, no. Wait. Simon and Blue. (sidenote: why are there so many gay boys in books named Simon, anyway?)
Or. Wait. Alexander and Bagoas. (history otp).
Or my newest loves Lucien Vaudrey and Stephen Day.
Guys. I swear I do read about straight people sometimes. They just don’t inspire all my otp flailings, I guess.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Maddie and Julie, Code Name Verity. I’m still crying.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years Of Pilgrimage- Haruki Murakami. Hadn’t read Murakami in a while so I liked delving back into his style.
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Hmm. I read Theresa Romain’s Secrets of A Scandalous Heiress solely based on a review and a recommendation from someone whom I asked for interracial historical titles. (The hero is 1/4 Indian which is…ok, looked at today would be judged pretty white, but in a historical setting had some interesting things to say about race and class.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Tyrannus. Basilton. Pitch. (Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaz.)
Oh and Winter Makepeace. *fans self*
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
I’m not sure I read any 2015 debuts, except The Girl On the Train which was…okay. Overhyped.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence world is one of the cooler fantasy settings I’ve visited in a while.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Right now, KJ Charles’ A Charm of Magpies books are making me laugh more than any books have a right to.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein had me weeping uncontrollably.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Hot Head by Damon Suede was supposed to just be a fun romp about fire fighters falling for each other…and instead it brought me all the feels. Annnnd…I may have already read it twice. (not sorry.)
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Wilkie Collins- The Moonstone because it certainly felt like the longest book I read even if it wasn’t.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Charlotte Gordon- Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Live of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley. This book had a really interesting structure that took some getting used to but was ultimately fascinating.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood. Greenwood uses the lazy and highly offensive trope of asexuality = evil. I almost burned something down.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
I abstain. I love you all.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
I feel like, for a book review blog, I have not been doing all that much reviewing. But I guess maybe this one?
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
Had a lot of fun doing the Max Gladstone readalongs.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I really enjoyed participating in Austen in August a lot.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My short story Sunday posts always get the most views, although I guess they’re mostly spam. *shruggy guy*
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Any of my reviews. Really, any of them. They were the reason I wanted to write this blog to begin with and I feel like no one even looks at them. Which leads me to writing less of them. Which just keeps the cycle going.
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I’m not sure that I made any.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I didn’t formally set out any challenges, but one of my goals was to read at least one book of nonfiction a month, and I generally wanted to focus on reading more diverse authors and characters. I read 13 nonfiction books in all, and I think I did an ok job on the diversity front.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Three, because I’ve been a bad TBR reader and these will be the three I tackle first in January:
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal, Winter by Marissa Meyer
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
At the moment, the YA historical anthology A Tyranny of Petticoats. It just looks so good.
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I…don’t know any debuts that are coming out *fail*
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin. I won’t be able to read it until 2017, unfortunately [see below], but damn. It is time. I have been waiting for this book so long.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
So, 2016 is officially my year of No Boys Allowed. Female-identifying authors only. A little experiment, and something I’ve wanted to do for a while.
I’m also hoping to up my nonfiction ratio to a full 25%. (right now, it’s hovering around 10%)
6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I have not read any 2016 releases. I have not read any ARCs in what feels like a very long time.
If you got through all that: have a cookie!
Ok…I don’t have any cookies. Have a good holiday if you celebrate, and a good day in general even if you don’t, how about that?