Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books I Read in 2015

Last year was my first time joining the reading challenge on Goodreads. I was able to read 25 books in 2014 and decided to do the challenge again this year. I really wanted to read 30 books but I found I didn't have time during some months to read like I wanted to and some of the books I read just didn't catch and hold my attention like I hoped for. As this year comes to an end, I decided I would write about the books I read during 2015.

Now that I work at a used book store, I’m always being asked for recommendations. One problem with that is everyone reads different types of books and I tend to read the books we don’t have in stock. So I decided this year to read authors I’ve never read before. It wasn’t really my intention when 2015 started but that’s how the year went for me and to be honest, I loved it.

Like with all authors, there were some I absolutely loved and others, not so much. And like with all books, there were ones that shocked me, made me cry and touched my soul. Then there were the stories that disappointed me, ones I thought I would love and it turns out they didn’t.

1. I didn’t have to read To Kill a Mockingbird in school and it was on my to-read list for a VERY long time. Knowing that the sequel was going to be released in July, I wanted to read this amazing novel.

I recommend this book to anyone and I do believe that teenagers should read it. This story that is set in the 1930’s is relevant to today’s current events. This is a book I will never get rid of and will read many more times in my life.

2. I felt like this story jumped around a little too much and got confused in a few spots. In the end I love that Sylvia Plath was able to help you understand the mind of a person in an asylum. While I had to deal with a little confusion, I enjoyed this book.

I wanted to read the book because I have depression and this story deals with mental illness.

3. Kiss of Deception was one of the books that surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I couldn’t put this book down. The sequel came out in July, but I have yet to read that novel.

I love reading young-adult fiction because they are an easy read and this story kept my attention every step of the way.

4. Little Gale Gumbo was an impulse buy that sounded amazing and yet I was disappointed in it. When I first purchased this book, I was expecting a murder mystery. That’s not what I got. While the story was okay, it focused on the background of the characters and their various love stories than it did the actual murder/death that occurred.

5. After watching the movie several times, I knew I has to read the book. This was one book that we had several copies in stock.

I’m always nervous when books are turned into movies, especially the books I love. In a way I’m glad I saw the movie first, but I have to say this is one instance where I love both the book and the movie.

6. When I came back from my birthday trip to Disneyland, there was a package sitting on my bed. There was no note inside saying who sent them to me, but it contained the first two novels in Miss Peregrine series and The Night Circus. Turns out the package came from my cousin Genaphur (who is also a reading fanatic) and her daughter Rory.

Once I read how Ransom Riggs wrote the story, this story intrigued me even more. He collects all these vintage photos that you can buy at flea markets for less than a dollar. Once he had gathered quite a collection, he wrote the story around them. The people you see in the photos are the ones you are reading in the story.

 7. The second novel of the Miss Peregrine series was just as intriguing as the first. In this story you get the travel into the past while following these children on their incredible journey. My friend Margi wanted to read these books and while I was waiting for her to read these, she bought book three once it came out (because I forgot… bad book nut) and other novels got in the way and I have yet to read book three. I will be reading it soon though.

8. A mysterious circus that shows up out of nowhere, no one even sees them set up, and unbeknownst to the visitors of the circus there is a magic duel going on between two young magicians.

Unfortunately, this story was not exactly what I expected. While I still enjoyed the story, for me it seemed to just end. I still did enjoy the book and I will probably read it again, just not soon.

9. To be honest, this was a cheater read. I bought it because I love Halloween and poems and this has incredible illustrations. Most of the poems were not that great, but I mainly got it for the drawings.

10. This was another book that surprised me. Based on an Irish folktale that didn’t have much known about the whole story, the author did a good job at telling her version of the tale. This was a great story about a kidnapped princess that learned that silence can be a life-saver.

 11. Go Set a Watchman was probably the most anticipated book of the year. For me, it took about 100 pages for this to feel like To Kill a Mockingbird. I was upset with the outcome of certain characters, but this still showed how much Scout changed in the following years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird.

12. I got this book confused with another, but I still liked the sound of the book. How would you like to repeat the last day of your life until you learn what you did wrong, how mean you were to someone who didn’t deserve it and the reason for your death? The pouty teenager narrator kind of got on my nerves, but I still enjoyed the message of the book.

13. I usually don’t read short stories, but Jennifer Weiner is one author I was really wanting to read this year. Once I finished this story though, I realized that it was just a prequel to a novel. I do want to read the actual novel to continue the story.

 14. For Kindle owners, Amazon has this great deal called Amazon First. Every month Amazon will give you one book for free, one month before the book is published. I usually don’t read romance, but none of my other options interested me. To my surprise, I loved this book and would like to read more by Michelle Major.

15. I heard that they created a show on FOX based on Pines. I love a good mystery and this one really kept me thinking. It was nothing like I expected, but I immediately bought the other two books of the trilogy. At one point I got confused because this went from a mystery to science fiction and I wasn’t sure if I misread something, but turns out I didn’t. That’s just the story.

16. I bought this book at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon in 2012 then it got lost on my shelf. Unfortunately, I could not keep up with it. For me it felt like the story was dragged out way too much. I still have to finish it, but kind of read a few paragraphs here and there and feel like I know somewhat of how the story ends. I will probably finish it this coming year. This was a big disappointment for me.

17. Jodi Picoult is another author we have a lot of at the store and one that I’ve been wanting to read for some time now. Leaving Time was recommended to me by a friend. I didn’t read it as quickly as I wanted to but I still enjoyed the story. You will learn a lot about elephants. The ending was great and not what I expected. Usually I pay better attention, but this one surprised me.

18. You want to talk about a book that can touch your soul? This one certainly did for me. I believe this is a must read for teens and anyone wanting to read a great story that can show you a way to just enjoy life.

19. This was another short story and one that while I knew what was going to happen, I still enjoyed the story. I’ve really gotten into short stories this year and I’m planning to read more in 2016.

20. Another short story that was really short, only 27 pages, and took no time to read. Even though I just read it just about a month and a half ago, I honestly don’t remember the story. I’ll have to read it again.

21. I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary fiction novels that I was craving a good murder mystery. My mom told me to try Lee Child so we found this at Barnes & Noble. I really had to get used to Lee Child’s style of writing. I’m not used to the broken sentences and I’m fond of “and” being used to string sentences together. But once I realized that he kind of writes like he’s writing a police report, the story really took off for me. I read the majority of this book over Thanksgiving.

22: I bought this as a short story, but it took me a few days, in between working, to read it. It was a cute story and I would like to read the rest of them.