What I Read in 2015

I started reading 102 books this year, and completed 98 of them.  I abandoned one book this year and didn’t complete three others (though I’m working on them).  I completed reading 69 new books this year, and three of them were from the list of classics I’m working through.  I liked most of the books I read this year.

In past years, what I’ve read has skewed more heavily toward romance.  Because I’m working on being a more critical reader (and hopefully a better writer), I started taking a closer look at what I enjoy about the books I read.

I realized that in general, I enjoy romance novels, but I don’t love them.  Reading romance novels is like eating potato chips.  I can go through them quickly, and they kind of taste good, but after while, it becomes mindless consumption.

My favorite books are the ones that make me think, surprise me, and take me on a journey I haven’t been on before.  I enjoy highlighting passages of beautiful language, thoughtful observations, and philosophical musings.  I like books that are hard to put down because I don’t know exactly where they’re going, and I’m enjoying the ride too much to get off, even if it makes me a little dizzy.

That being said, I don’t want to wade through thoughtful observations so deep that the plot gets lost.  I think it’s more difficult to weave that kind of thing into an intriguing plot than it would be to just write a book full of purple prose.

Knowing what I know about what I like to read, I’m going to treat romance novels like sweet tooth cravings.  There’s nothing wrong with satisfying it once in awhile, curling up on a rainy Saturday and racing through an easy book, but my challenge to myself this year is to choose more books that I’m really going to like, to make my reading life more interesting and enjoyable.  I want to read the types of books I’d like to write.  Maybe that will help me figure out what works and what doesn’t.  If nothing else, I’m sure I’ll learn a few things through observation.

*This is a book I’ve read before.
+This is a book I didn’t finish.
x Recommended by my book club.
# From classics list
= audiobook

1. X The Night Circus, by Erin Morganstern (12/30/14- 1/2/15)
2. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1/3/15-not completed)
3. The Curvy, Not So Skinny Girls Dating Agency, Ava Catori (1/5/15- 1/6)
4. If I Stay, Gayle Forman (1/14/15)
5. Where She Went, Gayle Forman (1/15/15)
6. X Me Before You, JoJo Moyes (1/16/15)
7. *Me Before You, JoJo Moyes (1/24/15- 1/26)
8. Paper Towns, John Green (1/27/15- 1/28)
9. # A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving (1/29- 2/8)
10. Dark Witch, Nora Roberts (2/12- 2/13)
11. Graveminder, Melissa Marr (2/13- 2/16)
12. Shadow Spell, Nora Roberts (2/17- 2/19)
13. *Treachery in Death (#32), JD Robb (2/20- 2/22)
14. Concealed in Death (#38), JD Robb (2/22-2/24)
15. Stories from the Open Range, Anne Proulx (2/25-not completed)
16. Blood Magick, Nora Roberts (2/26- 2/27)
17. x+The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (3/1-abandoned)
18. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (3/11-not completed)
19. The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, A Love Story, Ree Drummond (3/11)
20. Every You, Every Me, David Levithan (3/17)
21. Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi (3/18-3/23)
22. Every Day, David Levithan (3/24)
23. Let It Snow, John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle (3/25)
24. There Will Be Lies, Nick Lake (3/28- 3/30)
25. *The Baby-Sitters Club, Book 1, Kristy’s Big Idea, Ann M. Martin (4/2)
26. You Are Destined To Be Together Forever, Dean Koontz (4/3)
27. *The Baby-Sitters Club, Book 2, Claudia and The Phantom Phone Calls, Ann M. Martin (4/5)
28. *The Baby-Sitters Club, Book 3, The Truth About Stacey, Ann M. Martin (4/5)
29. *The Baby-Sitters Club, Book 4, Maryanne Saves the Day, Ann M. Martin (4/5)
30. Boy Meets Boy, David Levithan (4/6)
31. Unite Me (Destroy Me & Fracture Me), Tahereh Mafi (4/10- 4/24)
32. Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen, Jane Hawking (4/10- 4/14)
33. *The Fault in Our Stars, John Green (4/15)
34. The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick (4/18)
35. *Firestarter, Stephen King, (4/24- 4/26)
36. When Beauty Tamed the Beast, Eloisa James (4/28-4/29)
37. The Neighbor, Dean Koontz, (5/3)
38. The City, Dean Koontz, (5/3- 5/8)
39. Obsession in Death (#40), JD Robb (5/9- 5/10)
40. *The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, (5/12- 5/14)
41. x Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald (5/15- 5/31)
42. Those Who Live Long Forgotten (6/1- 6/20)
43. Festive in Death, JD Robb (#39) (6/3-6/4)
44. *Naked in Death, JD Robb (#1) (6/4)
45. *Glory in Death, JD Robb (#2) (6/5)
46. *Immortal in Death, JD Robb (#3) (6/6-6/7)
47. *Rapture in Death, JD Robb (#4) (6/8- 6/9)
48. *Ceremony in Death (#5) (6/9- 6/10)
49. The New World, Eli Horowitz & Chris Adrian (6/11- 6/12)
50. #Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck (6/1- 6/13)
51. *Vengence in Death (#6), JD Robb (6/12- 6/13)
52. *Holiday in Death (#7), JD Robb (6/13- 6/14)
53. *Conspiracy in Death (#8), JD Robb (6/14- 6/15)
54. x Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins (6/16- 6/19)
54. *Witness in Death (#10), JD Robb (6/19-6/20)
55. *Judgement in Death (#11), JD Robb (6/20-6/21)
56. *Betrayal in Death (#12), JD Robb (6/21- 6/23)
57. *Seduction in Death (#13), JD Robb (6/23- 6/24
58. *Reunion in Death, (#14), JD Robb (6/24- 6/25)
59. *Purity in Death (#15), JD Robb (6/25- 6/26)
60. *Portrait in Death (#16), JD Robb (6/26- 6/27)
61. +The Truth About Mr. Darcy, Susan Adriani (6/30-
62. *Loyalty in Death (#9), JD Robb (7/6- 7/7)
63. How Not to Write a Novel, Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman (7/10- 7/13)
64. *Imitation in Death (#17), JD Robb (7/14)
65. Don’t Stay Up Late, RL Stine (7/15)
66. 21 Proms, (7/16- 8/16)
67. A Certain Light, Garth Stein (7/21- 7/27)
68. The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson(7/29- 8/4)
69. Siri & Me: A Modern Love Story, David Milgrim (7/30)
70. Forever, Chanda Hahn (8/7- 8/8)
71. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel, (8/9- 8/11)
72. The Fine Art of Pretending, Rachel Harris (8/12- 8/14)
73. Unpublished manuscript of my critique partner (8/17- 8/21)
74. The Love Book, Rachel Harris (8/21- 8/25)
75. The Darkest Part of the Forest, Rachel Harris (8/27)
76. Grey, EL James (8/27- 9/4)
77. x# To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (9/5)
78. The Giver, Lois Lowry (9/10- 9/11)
79. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbit (9/13)
80. The Martian, Andy Weir (9/14- 9/15)
81. It, Stephen King (9/17- 12/10)
82. Between the Lines, Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer (9/20- 9/21)
83. Which Brings Me To You, Steve Almond & Julianna Baggott (10/8- 10/11)
84. The Seventh Tower, Book 1, The Fall, Garth Nix (10/12)
85. The Seventh Tower, Book 2, Castle, Garth Nix (10/13)
86. The Seventh Tower, Book 3, Aenir, Garth Nix (10/14)
87. The Seventh Tower, Book 4, Above the Veil, Garth Nix (10/14- 10/15)
88. The Seventh Tower, Book 5, Into Battle, Garth Nix (10/15- 10/16)
89. The Seventh Tower, Book 6, The Violet Keystone, Garth Nix (10/16)
90. Hanover House, Brenda Novak (10/19- 10/20)
91. *Out of the Shadows, Kay Hooper (10/22)
92. Off the Page, Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer (10/31- 11/1)
93. Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari (11/2- 11/10)
94. Carter & Lovecraft, Jonathan L. Howard (11/4- 11/5)
95. After You, Jojo Moynes (11/7- 11/8)
96. *If I Stay, Gayle Forman (11/9)
97. *Where She Went, Gayle Forman (11/12)
98. x Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (11/17- 11/26)
99. A Certain Slant of Light, Laura Whitcomb (11/29- 12/1)
100. Ready, Player One, Ernest Cline (12/14- 12/17)
101. =* Life Expectancy, Dean Koontz (12/15- 12/31)
102. Same Kind of Different as Me, Ron Hall & Denver Moore (12/21/15- 12/23/15)

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