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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 2015-12-27 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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text 2015-12-27 16:05
Reading Year in Review Part 2 - Popsugar Challenge - Completed

A Book with More Than 500 pages

                The Tale of Heike

A Classic Romance

                Three Arthurian Romances: Poems from Medieval France

A Book that Became a Movie

                Rose Water

A Book Published This Year

                The Rocheford Family

A Book with a Number in the Title

                Women Heroes of WW I

A Book Written by Someone under 30

                Night Horses

A Book With nonhuman Characters

                James the Connoisseur Cat

A Funny Book

                So Anyway

A Book by a Female Author

                Eva’s Eye

A Mystery or Thriller

                Rhode Island Red

A Book with a one Word Title

                Sluts

 

A Book of Short Stories

                Victorian Fairy Tales

A Book Set in a Different Country

                Ramayana

A Nonfiction Book

                The World of Odysseus

A Popular Author’s First Book

                The Evil Seed

A Book from an Author you love that you haven’t read yet

                The Loneliness of the Long Distance Time Traveler

A book a friend recommends

                The Dovekeepers

A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book

                To Kill a Mockingbird

A Book Based on a True Story

                City of God

A Book at the Bottom of Your TBR List

                How to Fail in Literature

A Book your Mom Loves

                The Secret Rooms

A Book that Scares You

                Missoula

A Book More than 100 Years Old

                Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 

A Book Based Entirely on Its Cover

                Wings of Flame

A Book you were Supposed to Read in School but Didn’t

                Treasure of the City of Ladies

A Memoir

                Dead White Guys

A Book You Can Finish in a Day

                American Legends: Gene Kelly

A Book with antonyms in the Title

                Sister Light, Sister Dark

A Book set somewhere you always wanted to visit

                Do Penance or Perish

A Book that came out the Year you were born

                Shelley the Pursuit

A Book with Bad Reviews

                The Green Knight

A Trilogy

                The Duncton Chronicles

A Book from Your Childhood

                Finn Family Moomintroll

A Book with a love triangle

                The Heptamon

A Book set in the Future

                Abducted by the Star Prince

 

A Book set in high school

                Causal Vacancy

A Book with a color in the title

                Black Betty

A Book that Made You Cry

                Shoulder a Coffin a Kura Vol 4

A Book with Magic

                Song of the Quarkbeast

A Graphic Novel

                Complete Elfquest Vol 1

A Book by an Author you’ve never read before

                Love #2

A Book You Own but Never Read

                Hit Girls

A Book that takes place in your hometown

                Summer 1787

A Book that was originally written in a Different Language

                The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony

A Book Set during Christmas

                Christmas Frost

A Book Written by an Author with your same initials

                British Legends: George III

A Play

                12 Angry Men

 

A Banned Book

                Huck Finn

A Book Based on or turned into a TV Show

                The Thick of It – DOS Files

A Book you started by never finished

                A Brutal Telling

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text 2015-12-27 15:26
Year in Reading Review Part 1 - Olga Godim's Interview Questions

So Olga came up with the categories, and I am just jumping on the bandwagon. 

 

 

 

Most memorable encounter  A Distant View of Minaret and Other Stories by Alifa                                                           Rifaat

 

Best vacation spot                French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France by Tim                                                         Moore

 

Most exciting adventure        Love # 2 

 

Favorite place                      The Peacock Room Comes to America

 

Least favorite place              Horrorstor

 

Worst person you met          Abducted by the Star Prince by Juno Wells

 

Most embarrassing memory  James the Connoisseur Cat

 

Worst weather of the year    Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

 

Scariest event                      Dead Wake Erik Larson

 

Funniest moment                So Anyway by John Cleese

 

Saddest moment                  One of Us by Asne Seierstand

 

Worst food you ate              The Dinner  by Herman Koch

 

Best food you ate                 Dreams of Trepass By Fatema Mernisi tied with the                                                            Winemaker books

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text 2014-12-31 20:00
2014 Edition - A Year of Reading in Review - In Review

Now that I’ve done a pretty thorough job of looking back, it’s time to take that and look ahead to the future. What does 2015 have in store for me? What do I want to do with my reading life?

 

One thing is certain: comic books and graphic novels are definitely becoming more prominent in my life. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re fast and I have less time to read or if I’ve finally hit upon the authors I like – or both. I foresee that 2015 will see me reading more graphic novels and comics, probably even further refining my tastes. 2014 was a year of comic and graphic novel exploration; 2015 will be solidifying those bonds.

 

I do have some carry over goals from last year, as well. I want to continue to read through my Book Club books, as much as possible (which reminds me – I need to get started on The Magicians STAT!). However, if I can’t get a copy or don’t want to read it, I’ll deploy the DNF or just skip. There is no shame in doing that. I also plan on finishing off all those questionable YA books I bought in earlier years – namely the ones from yesterday’s list – and my Amazon Vine ARCs. And of course, I’ve signed up for the 2015 Mount TBR Challenge once again. I don’t think I’ll try for any more than 12 books from my TBR, but maybe I’ll be able to manage more.

 

I will continue to DNF as liberally as I need. I also will continue to limit physical book spending and focus more on buying books in ebook format – or rebuying in ebook and selling/donating my old books.

 

A lot of the same goals, but with a twist. Some new goals: a friend is reading all the Star Wars Legends books (I hate how “The EU Canon” is now “Star Wars Legends” – Screw you, Disney!), from A to Z (actually, in chronological order); I won’t be doing that, but I WILL be reading all the Legends books that I didn’t read and rereading some treasures (Outbound Flight, Heir to the Empire, you know the drill). “Into the Void” is the one I’m currently working on. These are the only books that I will NOT DNF, as I’ve prided myself on reading every single Star Wars book, beginning to end.

 

I also want to read “The Astronaut’s Wives’ Club” and Malala’s book. Those are the two books that don’t really fit into any of the other goals quite well.

 

Modest goals. I’m a little sad I couldn’t add a bunch of new exciting ones to the mix, but the fact is, I want to keep it manageable. Read through my already owned books? Easy and cheap. Finally weed through those YA I bought? That’s been bugging me forever!

 

But the biggest goal: to read what I enjoy. No more pushing myself through crap I am not enjoying. Books are to be loved; if I am not loving it, it goes. (To those who are astonished that I don’t like something: I’m sorry if you loved it, but each person is different and I’m entitled not to like something just as much as you are entitled to like it!) My reading time is precious and sacred, and I have no time to spare on shit books.

 

And really, what better goal is there than that?

 

I hope 2014 treated you well, but I hope 2015 treats you better!

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