The Books I Read in 2015

At the beginning of 2015, I did something new. I set a reading goal for myself.

Admittedly, I set the bar for this resolution pretty low, considering…but it was a new thing, so whatever.
I decided to read two books every month, bringing the end total to a whopping, 24 – wow!
Only problem with that number, is my OCD would not allow for something as abhorrent as the number 24, ahh!
So, in an extraordinary feat of bravery, I decided I would have to get in one extra book, rounding the number up to 25 – yay!
Well, I am happy to report that I exceeded that number with flying colors.

Dedicating myself to this goal made sure I was getting my reading in, and I started looking for new things to read. Which in turn led to all kinds of wonderful new book discoveries, basically lubing the reading path.
I found the more I read, the more I found to read. So I kept on reading, more…and more.
Darn you books! I really love the dang things, I do.

But without further ado, here is my reading list for 2015:

January ~
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The Storied Life of A.J. Fickery – this one was recommended by a friend, and while a bit literary for my overall tastes, was pretty wonderful. The characters were rich and the story was good. Pretty much a book about people who love books, written for people who love books.

February ~

My first introduction to Scalzi, and my first Gaiman book (I know, I know, give me a break, but I’ve read them now).
Old Man’s War was great, loved the main character, loved the idea, wished it had been longer.
American Gods started out great, but for me, fell apart just a little bit at the end. Not that that took away from it, it was very good.

March ~

Do we see a Gaiman trend occuring? Yup.
Also, in an effort to ensure I’m not beaten on the street by a gang of Pratchett fans, I’ll just say Good Omens wasn’t the  best book I’ve ever read. But that’s just because I’m a character driven reader, and there wasn’t a truly central character to get attached to.
The writing is rich, very funny, and the characters all unique and worthwhile – I do recommend it.
Neverwhere on the other hand, I ADORED! Oh, the main character drove me bonkers for a bit, but being the reading sadist I am, I can come to enjoy that. When he (the character) finally caught up with the story, I loved him, and his adventures.
So far, this is my favorite Gaiman book. I said so far.
And my introduction to The Dresden Files – oh yeah, you’ll see these all throughout my year. I practically read a Dresden book almost every month. Fun books, and I mean really, how can anyone not like Harry.

April ~

Second Dresden Files book, yep.
My first Robert Jordan book, and the first book in the Wheel of Time series, The Eye of the World – I had a lot of firsts this year. Good stuff though – great book, and I do plan to continue reading the rest of the series.
RuPaul and Russell Brand bios. Oh, did I not mention I love drag queens and flamboyant, ex-drug addicted, British comedians? I do. So, so much.
And they were both excellent reads. In their own right, they’ve both overcome some serious hurdles in life to be on the covers of these books, and I find them inspiring.

May ~

Surprise, more Gaiman! The Graveyard Book is considered a children’s book I think, but it’s an adult worthy read – endearing and very cute.
Ta-Da! More Dresden Files – but you will notice, I got two in this month. Man these books are addictive, and they make me miss my Dad a little bit because he would have loved them as well, and read them with me. One of my favorite things was sharing books with him. Well with anyone really. It’s a bright spot in a dreary world for me to share my love of books 🙂
Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination. ~Read it~ It’s Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech for the graduating class of 2008. It’s really short, but packed full of wonderful bits, she’s awesome. This is a book I now own, cause yes. That awesome.
In following the reading about writers trend, Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I found out so much I didn’t know about this household name, and I’m better for knowing it now (and applying his tips on writing to my own). I am fully suspicious of those -ly words now because of you King. <_<
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird – if you want a good, no, great book on writing. Read this. It’s one of my favorites now, and I’m no longer scared of the shitty first draft for having read this one. Thank you for that Anne.

June ~
I am sad to announce, I spent most of this month studying other things and didn’t read a single book. But I’m pleased to announce, I missed this month and STILL exceeded my reading goal – take that imaginary adversary who takes pleasure in my not having read for this month, ha!  ::shakes fist::

July ~
51K78thSaVL._SX282_BO1,204,203,200_For those not keeping count, this is book five of The Dresden Files.
Also I should mention, I don’t read read these books, I listen to them on audio book. They are read by James Marsters, who most of you may know as Spike from the hit TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I know, I sound like a commercial. But really I am advocating for him. For me this man IS Harry, and he absolutely makes these books come to life. If I ever ran into him on the street, I’d probably call him Harry. Hey Harry!
Also, you’ll notice this is the only book I read this month, boo! But, I’m on the upswing – let’s keep going…

August ~

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Yes, another one book month. Though in my defense, I traveled a lot this month.
This is the second book in the Bill Hodges trilogy. I didn’t read the first one, and I won’t read the third one. I have no idea why I started on the second book, but I did, and I got away with reading it as a stand-alone. It’s the first new King novel I’ve read in years, and it was okay. I liked the kid in it, and I really wanted to read the Jimmy Gold books. Weird that a real book made me want to read a fictional book more than this one. But it was a decent book, characters were rich and fun.

September ~

Dietland was a trip and a half, but sooo good. It’s weird and feminist, and made me wish Jennifer was real, but that’s beside the point. Full of wacky parts, an engaging story, and some amazing female empowerment points. I highly recommend!
All that new King reading made me wanna take it back old school, and The Eyes of the Dragon didn’t disappoint. I know some people slammed King for his Fantasy book, but I liked it, so good. And I like the narrator POV, sort of talking right to you, breaking the fourth wall. Excellent characters throughout. This is my second read through this book, and it didn’t let me down. Loved it then, love it now.

October ~

And, I’m back – seven books this month. Though at least one of them I’m a bit loath to admit I even read.

Bellwether by Connie Willis. It’s by Connie Willis, whom I adore, need I say more? Okay, I will say this, omg, I like totally fricken hate Flip! But I still Love Ms. Willis 😉
Numero six in the Dresden Files series – puppies and porn, that about sums this one up, Lol.
After seeing Robert Silverberg at WorldCon, I got a bit nostalgic for the classic SF of ol’ and found this lil’ gem, Man in the Maze. A little heart-wrenching, but oh, so, good.
Dawn by Octavia Butler –  she is amazing, and this book was really thought provoking for me. What would I do in Lilith’s place?
And now we come to it. I have literally no idea why I read this piece of crap, but alas! I did do it. Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants, so awful, I can’t even.
WotF Volume 30 – AND – Volume 31, and now some of these amazing authors have even deigned to be friends with me on FB, which tickles me to no end. Congrats to them all. Fantastic collection of stories.

November ~

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This was a strange month, I know I read more than just one book, but I didn’t write it down on my list, and for the life of me, I cannot remember what the other book was that I read.
Christmas on a cracker I’m getting old. So it begins.  ::cue ominous music::
But on a high note, I do remember number 7 in the Dresden Files series. All about Dinosaurs and Necromancers – I mean really, put those two together in your head and see what you come up with. Yeah, probably not as good as what Mr. Butcher came up with. Anyway, you can tell the series is changing by this point, and this one while darker, was my favorite so far. Although I’m conflicted about Harry’s sudden romantic interest in Murph. Hmmm, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I guess we’ll have to see where it goes…

December ~

I saved the best for last!

Andy Weir’s The Martian – OMG, hands down, my favorite book of the year. It was funny, realistic, interesting. Every time I had to put it down, I could not wait to pick it back up again. Great book, great story. Keeps you on the edge of your seat, but doesn’t let you down. So good. So, so good.
Did I mention how good this book was?
Seriously, go read it now and tell me when it’s done (That’s a little dispatcher humor for you. You didn’t get it? I didn’t expect you would).
Did you know I had never read The War of the Worlds? I can’t believe it either! Love H.G. Wells. I mean he’s a master. The Island of Dr. Moreau, Time Machine, seriously need I go on? Okay, I will. This book is great, especially considering how long ago it was written, and it stands the test of time. Also most of the places he mentions in London are still there, which tickled me to no end (because I adore London!). Mr. Wells is great with words, but not wordy or too purple, he’s got it nailed down just right. The story moves, but it’s beautiful too, and the ending, the last line, ahhh – got me in the feels.
Clockwork Lives by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart (the drummer for the legendary band Rush) – collaborated on this project. It’s also the second book of its kind. The first was Clockwork Angels. I have no idea why I start book series in the middle, whatever, give me  a break. The stories the main character collects are interspersed throughout the main story, and while there are some serious flaws with this book, the tales Marinda collects kept me engaged and interested enough to see it through to the end.
Speaking of the end, the last book I read this year…
Not as old school as H.G., but classic SF none the less. Robert Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit Will Travel was recommended to me by Connie Willis at MileHiCon this year. And can you believe my library did NOT have it! I know, right! So I bought it. And I have no regrets. Fantastic, awesome, yep all that and a cherry on top.

So, that’s it folks. We’ve come to the end of this – HOLY CRAP WHEN WILL THIS FRACKEN BLOG ENTRY END! – post.

I’m not even going to get into all the miscellaneous short stories I read this year…we’ll save those for another day.

~xo

 

 

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