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text 2015-12-31 22:03
2015 Year in Reading Review

According to Goodreads, I read a total of 398 books this year (my goal was 390).  A portion of those were short or graphic novels.  I knocked 163 books off by TBR mountain (and have no idea how many took those places), and I was aiming for 150.  I also completed the Popsugar and A to Z reading Challenges.   I added three books to my ick-attack shelf.  I DNF 18 books.

 

Without further ado, the highlights (and some lowlights) –

 

Award to the Book that would win many things on this list - Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  If you live in America and have not read this book, read it.  Seriously.  It is one of those hyped books that really are worth it.

 

Favorite New Author Discovered This Year -  This one is a tie between Dreda Say Mitchell, whose fictional book Hit Girls, I loved and Fatema Mernissi whose non-fiction I discovered this year (and whose work I have since read more of than Mitchell’s).  Of course, then  Mernissi died this year because apparently that’s what happens when I “discover” older writers.

 

Favorite New Series Discovered This YearLove the graphic novel series.  Each volume focuses on a different animal.  The first one was a tiger, the second was a fox.  The illustrations are stunning and there is no dialogue.  It is absolutely wonderful.  Seriously, read this series.

 

Book that Made Me Think – Besides Coates’ book mentioned at the beginning of this list, Headscarves and Hymens.  Be warned, though, Elthaway’s book will turn you on to a host of other writers, like Mernissi.

 

Book that Made Me Mad and Want to Murder the Author - False Rape Claims.  Not only does the author name his penis Pokey, and not only does he seem to want us to take him seriously, he also writes like this

                                "If the 'male gaze' is too strong for her then where is her strong women image; beaten by our gazes? Our glances do they crucify you. Then die on the cross for us our gentler living dildo is no-able; hers cannot say yes or no. her mechanical love is tiresome. Try the real thing. You then too have proven empathy, without it none. Pornographic rape is the mind of the dally dildo."

 

And no, I am not going to name him because that would give him too much notice.

 

Book that Made Me Mad and Want to Murder PeopleLiberty and Sexuality tied with May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons

 

Book that Made Me Mad and Want to Kill the People Who Put it on the Bestseller List -   it is any of the paranormal romance books I read with were bear stepbrothers who may be brothers and where the author does not even use spell-check.

 

Book Readers Should ReadThe Mysterious Disappearance of the Reluctant Book Fairy  tied with What We See When We Read

 

Book I’m Glad I Stuck with – the Brutal Telling

 

First Novel Award – So I didn’t read a first novel that was published this year – so first novel award goes to a first novel that I read for the first time this year but published earlier.  Sanaaq – a novel about Inuit.

 

Best Entry in a Series  (Fiction)The Bull of Min  by L.M. Ironside (She-King series).

 

Best Entry in a Series (Non-Fiction)Women Heroes of WW I

 

Worst Entry in a Series-  British Legends: George III tied with Pumped by the Pterodactyl.

 

Best Book Published 2015 (Non-Fiction) – Coates’s Between the World and Me.  Though a close second is Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm.

 

Best Book Published in 2015 (Fiction) Unpredictable Worlds – Stories  by Jessica Knauss

 

Best Book Re-released as Kindle Version this Year – The Geometry of Love.  Open Road Media released this for Kindle this year.  It is stunning.

 

So That’s How You Got Published Award – The Lost Painting

 

The Poor TressFeminist Fairy Tales

 

Graphic Novel of the Year – If you are tired of me raving about Love then check out Rat Queens.

 

Everyone Loved it but MeHouse of Special Purpose tied with Grave Mercy

 

Best YA book Read this Year – The Green Knight  by Vera Chapman

 

Best Children’s Book Read this YearArtmouse

 

Best Children’s Fairy Tale BookFinn Family Moomintroll  (a re-read)

 

 Teacher’s AwardGhettoside.  A hard looking book at murder in LA.  My students loved it.

 

English Teacher’s Award – Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog

 

Reporting Book of the Year – Dancing with the Devil in the City of God tied with One of Us

 

Most Disappointing Book Read This YearDear Zari

 

Best Audio BookFrench Revolutions.  The audio of one man’s quest to ride the Tour De France will make you laugh milk up your nose.  I know this.

 

OMG This was better than I thoughtMounted by a Monster: Werepuffer.  Seriously, you think it would suck.

 

OMG That’s A TitleTaken by the Gay Tank by Randy Dangle

 

Best Travel Book – Samarkand by Colin Thubord

 

There’s A Book About That?The World of Poo

 

Art BookBooks without Words the Visual Poetry of Elisabetta Gut

 

Collection of EssaysKilling Rage

 

Still as Good as when I first read itDuncton Chronicles tied with Handmaid’s Tale

 

Animal Book (Fiction)House of Tribes

 

Animal Book (Non-fiction) The Great Horned Owl

 

People Don’t Like This, Surely you are joking -  Causal Vacancy

 

Fantasy of the YearTwo Serpents Rise

 

Mystery of the Year – Rhode Island Red

 

I’m Not Sure What This Is But It is GoodNunslinger

 

Short Story CollectionVictorian Fairy Tales

 

Not Another Book about ____ , OMG That was GoodDead Wake 

 

Book about ShakespeareThe Millionaire and the Bard

 

Audio DramaThe Starling Project

 

Poetry – Conference of the Birds tied with Manifestation Wolverine

 

Souvenir Book – Peacock Room Comes to America

 

Fairy Tales – Norway Home of the Trolls

 

You Demented Writer you – Crimson Frost  by Jim C. Hines tied with Deck the Halls  by Edward Lorn

 

Wow, I Did Not Know ThatIvory Vikings tied with Harlots, Hussies, and Poor Women

 

LGBT - Shirewode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2015-12-31 20:09
My Favorite Books of the Year (My Year in Books - 2015)

It was kind of hard to keep this list at just 10, but I managed to do it! These are books that rated 4 stars or higher. As with my 'least favorites' post, if I wrote a review for the book, it will be included in a link that looks like this: [x]

 

Winterblaze - Kristen Callihan 

 

Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan is the third book in the Darkest London series. These books have a mix of historical, paranormal, and steampunk elements, so they're right in my wheelhouse. I've loved the series as a whole, but this one was by far my favorite. Poppy was always my favorite of my three sisters, and I also loved her husband, Winston, as a side character in the first two. PLUS, this book centers around an already married couple, and y'all know how I love that. I am shocked that I didn't write a review for this one. [no review] Rating: 4 stars

 

The Haunting of a Duke (Dark Regency Book 1) - Chasity Bowlin 

 

The Haunting of a Duke by Chasity Bowlin was one of those rare jewels you sometimes stumble upon is the world of free kindle books. It's the first in the Dark Regency trilogy (?), and it also combines historical and paranormal elements and did it beautifully. I loved the fact that the author often wrote against trope, and that the heroine never displayed any TSTL moments and the hero never devolved into the asshat kind of alpha male. It also featured well written and steamy sexy times. [x] Rating: 4 stars

 

The Redemption of a Rogue (Dark Regency Book 2) - Chasity Bowlin 

 

The Redemption of a Rogue by Chasity Bowlin is book two in the Dark Regency series. Everything I liked about the first book was featured in this book as well, and I ended up liking this one even more. Oh, and I should add both books feature the main couples having to get married for reasons, and then falling in love, and that's a trope I love. [x] Rating: 4 stars

 

High-Rise - J.G. Ballard, 'Tom Hiddleston Fans' 

 

High-Rise (audiobook) by J.G. Ballard and read by Tom Hiddleston. This year was the year I discovered I truly enjoyed audiobooks. I've read this books twice--once in print, and this audiobook--and I still can tell you what I think of the actual story, but Tom Hiddleston read the hell out of it, which totally boosted the rating. [x] Rating: 5 stars

 

A Dark Lure - Loreth Anne White 

 

A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White was my Kindle First selection for June. I felt this was a very taut, suspenseful thriller, and loved how at it's heart it was about two damaged people finding their way to each other. My review states all this better. [x] Rating: 4 stars

 

Why Kings Confess: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery - C.S. Harris 

 

Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris is book nine in the Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries. This is a series I've enjoyed from the start, and in my opinion they only get better and better. Love Sebastian and his fabulous wife, Hero. And this book featured a larger that average amount of Paul Gibson, which was a definite bonus. [x] Rating: 4 stars

 

Venetia - Georgette Heyer,Richard Armitage 

 

Venetia (audiobook) by Georgette Heyer and read by Richard Armitage. One of my favorite books, narrated by one of my favorite actors, what could possibly be better than that? [x] Rating: 5 stars

 

Carmilla - Audible Ltd.,Hannah Genesius,Phoebe Fox,Leslie S. Rose,Susan Wooldridge,Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu,David Tennant,David Horovitch,James Wilby 

 

Carmilla (audiobook) by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, adapted by Robin Brooks, and read by Rose Leslie, Phoebe Fox, David Tennant, and others. A wonderful adaptation of the classic story performed by fantastic voice actor, and it's everything a good vampire story should be. [x] Rating: 5 stars

 

Crimson Peak: The Official Movie Novelization - Nancy Holder 

 

Crimson Peak: Official Movie Novelization by Nancy Holder and Guillermo Del Toro. It's rare when a tie-in novel actually enhances your enjoyment of the movie. This is one of those times. I also feel that it could stand pretty well on its own as a Gothic romance novel. [x] Rating: 5 stars

 

Widow Town - Joe Hart 

 

Widow Town by Joe Hart. Joe Hart was definitely my book/author discovery of the year. I'd read several of his horror short stories back around Halloween, and was anxious to read a full length novel by him. This one definitely delivered, not only as a horror novel, but as a good mystery/thriller as well. Look forward to reading much more from him in the future. [x] Rating: 5 stars

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text 2015-12-30 23:44
The Bottom of the Heap (My Year in Books - 2015)

I figured I'd start with the least favorite and save the best for last. These are the books that I rated two stars or less. If I wrote a review for the book, I'll include it in a link that looks like this: [x]

 

Bellfield Hall - Or, The Oberservations Of Miss Dido Kent - Anna Dean 

 

Bellfield Hall by Anna Dean is the first of the Dido Kent Mysteries. I felt the heroine was immensely unlikable, and the added moralizing by the author through a couple of plot points really soured me on this book. [x] Rating: 2 stars

 

A Gentleman of Fortune - Anna Dean 

 

A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean is the second of the Dido Kent mysteries. Since I owned the first two books, I thought I would give the author one more chance to win me over. It didn't happen. [x] Rating: 2 Stars

 

Voyage of the Dead - David P. Forsyth 

 

Voyage of the Damned by David P. Forsyth is the first in a series of zombie apocalypse fiction. I felt there was actual little threat to the characters, the 'hero' was a pompous Gary Stu of the highest order, and the female characters had less than zero development and served to panic, cry, and or offer sexual favors to their rescuers. [x] Rating: 1 star

 

The Haunting - Nicole Garcia,Patty Hanson 

 

The Haunting by Nicole Garcia. What I thought I was getting based on the description: 6 people from various walks of life spending the night in a haunted house for a shot at a million dollars. What I got: Two TSTL main characters who decide that the best time to have really badly written sex was smack in the middle of a killer killing everyone else in the house. [no review] Rating: 1 star

 

Night Manager - John le Carré 

 

The Night Manager by John Le Carré is a book that I will admit upfront I only read because they are making a mini series of it, and Tom Hiddleston is gonna star in it. That being said, this book was a struggle. I felt it took far too long to get Pine installed in Roper's organization, and the government figures were pretty much interchangeable. I also felt the book focused far too much on Pine's manpain in regards to women. [x] Rating: 2 stars

 

Circus of Horrors - Carole Gill 

 

Circus of Horrors by Carole Gail. It started out somewhat promising before devolving into a great big pile of WTF. I literally have never seen a book fall apart that fast. [x] Rating 1.5 stars

 

Autumn's Breath: A Horror Short Story - M. R. Mathias,Michael Robb 

 

Autumn's Breath by Michael Robb Mathias. I read this back in October, and ended up not really liking it. Sad thing is, since I didn't write a review, I don't really remember why now. Which, I guess is telling in and of itself. [no review] Rating: 2 stars

 

Paskagankee - Allan Leverone 

 

Paskagankee by Allan Leverone is a book I probably don't have to write too much about because y'all probably remember the numerous updates I posted while reading it. In short, this book made me quite ragey due to it's near constant reminders of just how young and beautiful and SO DAMN YOUNG the female lead was. Add in stilted and hokey dialogue and yeah...reading it was not a good time. [x] Rating 1.5 stars

 

Coming soon: My top books of 2015!

 

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text 2015-12-29 03:12
My Year in Books - 2015

I am using my Goodreads Year in Books thing to make this post. (Borrowing Obsidian Blue's idea)

 

I read 50 books in all for a total of 12,099 pages.

 

Average rating: 3.6

 

Longest Book:

The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling 

(The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling - 738 pages)

 

Shortest Book:

The Edge of Life: A Short Horror Story - Joe Hart 

(The Edge of Life by Joe Hart - 22 pages)

 

Favorite New to Me Author: Joe Hart

 

*Best and Worst Books posts coming later.

 

 

 

 

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text 2015-12-27 16:13
Reading Year in Review Part 3 - A to Z Challenge

A - America's Most Haunted

B - Bull of Min

C - City of God

D - Do Penance or Perish

E - Eva's Eye

F - Footsteps in the Sky

G - Great Shakespearean Actors

H - How to Fail in Literature

I - Iron King

J - James the Connoisseur Cat

K - Kindertransport

L - Loneliness of the Long Distance Time Traveler

M - Man Killed on Christmas Day

N - Night Horses

O - Orc Warfare

P - Paris 1919

Q - Song of the Quarkbeast

R - Rochefort Family

S - So Anyway

T - Thick of It - Missing Dosac Files

U - Unbound

V - Victorian Fairy Tales

W - World of Odysseus

 x  -   Experience of Modern Sculpture

Y - Dobyrd

Z - Short Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan

 

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