books i’ve read, 2015

It’s that time of year again! Below is my reading list for 2015, plus a preview of what’s in store for next year.

In a bid to make new friends, I joined a book club. We read classic novels, which helps fill gaps in my reading and allows me to re-discover books assigned during high school and college. A large portion of this year’s list are book club selections, many of which I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. I enjoyed some more than others, but the discussion for all was lively and fun. Sometimes I go into a meeting hating a book, but come out with a greater appreciation for the text. I look forward to joining this group of intelligent and hilarious ladies as often as I can in 2016!

I’ve also started curating a selection of books on writing, marketing, and business. This isn’t necessarily a New Year’s Resolution, more of a long term plan for career development. Expect more books in this vein next year.

Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol (book club selection)
The Stranger by Albert Camus (book club selection)
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Free Comic Book Day issues
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay (book club selection)
Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov (book club selection)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (book club selection)
Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (book club selection, reread)
Thor: Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman
1984 by George Orwell (book club selection, reread)
Brand Like a Rock Star by Steve Jones
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Thor: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron and Rusell Dauterman
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (book club selection, reread)
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Steven King
The Princess Bride by William Goldman (book club selection)
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Best Books
This was a good year for reading. It’s hard to pick only a few favorites, because almost every book on this list left some sort of impression on me.

Chief among them was Yes Please by the smart and funny Amy Poehler. This book is bursting with optimism, much like her character in Pixar’s Inside Out (one of my favorite movies this year). In the past I would have rolled my eyes at so much earnestness, but it was just what I needed this year.

I was surprisingly moved by Lolita and One Hundred Years of Solitude, two novels I felt sure I would dislike. Nabokov’s literary masterpiece haunted me for months after, so much so that I wrote a post about it. My previous experience with Marquez’s work (Love in the Time of Cholera) left me underwhelmed, but Solitude was entrancing.

Non-fiction continues to draw my attention, and there were several standouts on this year’s list. Steven King’s memoir/advice for writers, On Writing, is a continual source of inspiration as I continue work on my short stories and novels. I also loved Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, the recollections of mortician and YouTube star Caitlin Doughty. Finally, Masters of Sex tells the history of sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The truth is slightly less dramitic than the fiction presented on the TV show of the same name, but no less fascinating.

Worst Books
I wouldn’t say that any of the books I read in 2015 were truly terrible. I disliked The Stranger, but only because it didn’t grab my attention and I could not relate to the protagonist. It’s still well written, just not something I’d recommend. The same can be said of Picnic at Hanging Rock, an Australian classic I was excited to read. This book left me wanting more, but not in a good way. Finally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was interesting, however I preferred the short stories included in the book to Capote’s titular novella.

Looking Forward to in 2016
Having finally read the second Cormoran Strike mystery by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. JK Rowling), I’m excited to read the latest installment, Career of Evil. I’ve heard great things about it, so it’s high on my 2016 list.

Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is waiting for the flight back to Australia. I’ve also started reading The Birth of the Pill by Jonathan Eig. Non-fiction, science, and feminism– needless to say I’m loving it thus far.

 

What were your favorite reads this year? I love suggestions, so please leave them in the comments. Finally, you can connect with my on Goodreads and stay up to date on my reading throughout the year. Happy 2016!

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