2015: A Year in Books

I know you have all been anxiously awaiting my fourth annual book review. And here is it, unfortunately my attention span has been severally restricted either because of binge watching The Walking Dead or the general stress and anxiety of dealing with an aged and ailing father, but whatever the reason this years list seems shorter than it should be:

1

Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend

This was a weird book and when I started it I didn’t think I could get in to it but it turned out to be very endearing and in the end I was moved by this crazy made-up relationship.

2

Mom’s Who Drink And Swear

No, I didn’t write this book, but I probably could have. These are essays of a, well a Mom who likes to drink and swear, some of them are super funny and others not so much. I really really enjoyed about half of this book.

3

Unbroken

This was a fantastic read, a true and amazing story well told that became a complete page turner. I really liked it but felt that the last quarter of the book was rushed through.

4

The Slow Regard for Silent Things

Patrick Rothhfuss is a literary genius and reading him makes me understand Kathy Bates character in Misery. If I knew where he lived I’d be there with a sledge hammer getting him to write the 3rd book in his Kingkiller trilogy… Anywho, this was a weird little book and I loved it.

5

A Secret History

Not my favorite book. I really expected more from the author of The Goldfinch but I generally don’t get in to murder mysteries and this was no exception. The book started off with a confession of how this murder took place and then the rest of the book explained the events leading up to it – I couldn’t relate to the characters or sympathize with their situation.

6

Blood of Dragons

The 4th and final book in Ronib Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles. I love Robin Hobb and can’t wait to read her newest trilogy. This book was good (as all her books are) but this series of hers was not my favorite.

7

All The Light We Cannot See

This was an amazing book, when I started it I just assumed it would be sad at the end so I called my sister (who had just finished it) to see if I was going to need tissues and she told me “You will cry not because the ending is sad but because the book is over and you will still want to keep reading it” and she was right. Go read it now.

8

A Canticle for Liebowitz

In my hunt for weirdly obscure science fiction I found this book that had been a #1 bestseller in the 60’s. I loved this book, it is a mind trip and as relevant today as it was 57 years ago when it was written.

9

God, if you’re Not up There

Darryl Hammond autobiography is dark and upsetting. This is a book that a co-worker loaned to me and I’m still not entirely sure why. Darryl has lead an impossibly hard life and every time something good happened to him there was an opposite reaction that was even worse. This book depressed the hell out of me.

10

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Meh. I generally really enjoy everything that Neil Gaiman touches (his Sandman series literally BLEW MY MIND). And while I enjoyed this little book it was definitely not my favorite of his.

27

The Marriage Plot

Not as good as Middlesex but still readable.

11

The Martian

This book is dry and scientific and still very enjoyable, a veritable page turner it gave me nightmares about being alone in space but overall very entertaining.

12

Unabrow

Definitely the best essayist I read all year. Una LaMarche is super funny and self deprecating; I will try and read more of her.

13

Swan Thieves

Ugh. This book is BIG and mediocre and took forever to get through. It was recommended to me because I really liked The Goldfinch but this tome fell far short of the magnificence that Donna Tartt created.

 14

Station Eleven

One of my favorite books of the year. This is a post apocalyptic story (right up my alley) that takes place 20-25 years after the fall of civilization, it was so well done and so engaging I did not want it to end.

15

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Meh. I liked this book, I didn’t love it – it was pure ridiculousness which I knew it would be from the outset but not as well done as I would have liked.

16

People are Unappealing, even me

A funny and endearing memoir that I would recommend again and again.

17

The Never Ending Story

Who knew the movie was only the first 25% of the story? I really enjoyed reading this book – it was full of imagination and new and interesting ideas, I am looking forward to reading it to Lucy when she is a little bit older.

18

Picking Up

Who knew that a story about collecting garbage could be so interesting? I really enjoyed this book.

19

Lucky Us

I have no memory of this book – but it’s on my list and in my “read it” pile so I know I must have. I just looked it up online and it seems familiar – clearly not a memorable story although it won a lot of acclaim. Huh.

20

RailSea

Another sci-fi book – this one was pretty bizarre and I was rushing through it to be done with it and move on to something else when a surprise twist at the end made it almost worth the read. Almost.

21

Feeling Sorry for Celia

A cute, coming of age novel, I liked it but didn’t love it.

22Furiously Happy

Oh, Jenny Lawson… I love her and everything that she produces, this book did not disappoint it was hysterically funny and tragically awful all at the same time. Everyone should read this book.

23

The Samurai and the Tea

An interesting, little, self published book about the history of Christianity in Japan. I learned a lot of history I was unaware of but was constantly distracted by the typeface and poor editing.

24

This Where I Leave You

I honestly thought this book would be funnier. I saw the movie before I read the book and the screenplay definitely lightened things up. The book I found a little disheartening – this dysfunctional family trying to keep their lives and relationships intact.

25

The Legend of Colton H. Bryant

Not a book I probably would have picked up except that it was written by Alexandra Fuller (I will read ANYTHING of hers). I didn’t realize that this was a true story until the very last page. I don’t know if it would have changed my opinion if I had known from the beginning. I liked this book but found it slow and… sluggish.

26

You Deserve a Drink

Another book of essays from a woman who drinks a lot (do you see a theme here?). This was a gift and was 50% really funny.

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