Saturday, February 6, 2016

Books I read in 2015

A few of my blog friends have done a year-in-reading review, and they inspired me to do one of my own. Karen of Random Reflections listed her top 10 in this post, and Carola's list can be found here.
I'm not a big reader. I love books, love reading book reviews and love purchasing books. But somehow reading itself is something that tends to get pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. The one saving grace in this regard is my book group. We meet about once a month, and I do try to read our monthly book. They also have great recommendations for other books.
In 2015, I read in order of preference:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Very good book telling the story of two very different people during the rise of Nazi Germany. Loved it.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. A very good book set in the 1920's New York City. Interesting characters, themes and plot. I liked it a lot.
The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson. An excellent courtroom drama set in the 1940's south. Deals with civil rights issues prior to the emergence of the 1950's civil rights era. Interesting and funny characters. While not a "greatest book of all time," I definitely recommend it.
Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin. A memoir about growing up in the New York City suburbs in the 1950's. It says a lot about baseball, neighborhoods, and childhood. I really liked it.
Still Life and A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. Enjoyed both of these Inspector Gamache mysteries set in a small village in Quebec, Canada. I have already purchased number three in the series (The Cruelest Month) and am looking forward to reading it.
The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey. I'm not sure how or why I found this book, which might be better categorized as Young Adult fiction, but I really liked it and it has stuck with me. It's a zombie apocalypse book told from the perspective of a zombie-mutant that is evolving into a different species. A quick read.
In the Woods by Tana French Set in Ireland and volume 1 of the Dublin Murder Squad series; very atmospheric; well-written; story fell apart a bit at the end, but I liked it well enough to buy another in the series (Broken Harbor), which I haven't gotten around to reading yet.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. An okay book. Set in the San Francisco bay area, tells the story of a girl making her way out of foster care into independence, with the help of her love of flowers. Others in the book group liked it more than I did.
Mary Coin by Marisa Silver. Tells the fictionalized story of the famous Dorothea Lange photograph Migrant Mother. I liked it a lot less than everyone else in my book group. Too many undeveloped stories and the end came together like a "ten second tidy." 
So, that's ten books for me for the year. Not too many, I know. But it's better than nothing!
What's up this year? I read a very short, fast-read but not great courtroom drama called The Neon Lawyer by Victor Methos (perfect for sitting around in waiting rooms or commuting, but nothing memorable). I didn't finish the January book group book, My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. Our February book is Fates and Furies by Lauren Goff. I'm committed to reading and/or listening to it! Also, I liked this list from the Washington Post of great books coming out in 2016.


Karen said...

I'm a huge fan of Louise Penny, and have the last in the series which I'm saving for our Florida vacation. "Fates and Furies" is also on my list, and reportedly Obama's favorite book of 2015. Our book group is currently reading "Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking." Tracy and I are both enjoying it, and I'm looking forward to a lively discussion. Thanks for the link-up.

Janet Ghio said...

Thanks for the book list--I've only read one on your list--the language of flowers which was wonderful and she has a newer book called "We Never Asked for Wings". At our library we are able to create an online list of "for later" books--I have such a long list that I will never finish them all!!

Sian said...

It's always interesting to see what everyone else has on their reading lists. I have a copy of "All the Light" but haven't started it yet. I love the title though

Melissa said...

All The Light We Cannot See is on my list for this year!

Anonymous said...

Love seeing what others are reading or have read. I haven't read any of these but will be checking them out when we get home. Last year for me was a bust reading wise. I can't think of 1 book I finished. (:

Susanne said...

All The Light is on my list too - and I think I have a couple each by Louise Penny and Tara French that I want to read too. Interesting post - thanks for sharing.