I've been keeping track of the books I read for the past four years now . . . not via Goodreads (I'm not on there--yet?), but in a black three-ring binder. I wish I'd started sooner, because it's such fun to keep a record of my reading adventures, to see what genres I've been gravitating toward, and to check whether or not I've actually read that book that looks vaguely familiar but seems somehow new.
So as 2015 is drawing to a close, I've been looking back at the books in which I buried my nose this year. Of course you're curious too, aren't you? Yes you are. You're scrolling down already, I know it. Bookworms love peeking in on other bookworms' bookish lives.
Rereads are starred (*), and my favorite book (or two or three) of each month is pictured.
The Hunger Games // Suzanne Collins
*Prince Caspian // C.S. Lewis
|One of my favorite Narnia books ever!|
|Mockingjay follows close behind, but in|
an entirely different way.
Whadd'ya Gonna Do? // Joey O'Connor
Stormbreaker // Anthony Horowitz
The Giver // Lois Lowry
|Series finale! Glory! Epicness! Pain!|
|I couldn't decide! How do I pit a mind-transforming book against a fast-paced bullet of a book against a yummy fantasy|
book? How, I ask you?? Answer: I don't. I choose them all. ^_^
Gathering Blue // Lois Lowry
|Because one's fiction and the other is non-fiction, it's completely fair|
to pick both as favorites, right? Both rattled my mind in a very,
very good way.
Pride and Prejudice // Jane Austen
|I'm sorry, Jane Austen, but Plain Kate is|
just an easier read. That's the only thing putting
it ahead of P&P, and only by a very little bit.
Like a millimeter or two.
|Words cannot express my love. (The|
Spirit Well and Mindwar follow on
this book's heels, though.)
Full Disclosure // Dee Henderson
Captivating // John & Stasi Eldredge
|I couldn't get enough of the fantasy|
Omega Dragon // Bryan Davis
Point Blank // Anthony Horowitz
|During which I sniffled and waved|
goodbye to beloved characters...
The Choosing // Rachelle Dekker
A.D. 30 // Ted Dekker
Angels Walking // Karen Kingsbury
Life Is ___ // Judah Smith
(I haven't picked a favorite for this month yet,
because I'm not quite finished the last two books.)
Total:52 books all told! February, April, and May were my biggest reading months--six books each. July and November were my lowest with two books each.
My books-per-year has been going slowly downward since I started keeping track, but a) I'm reading bigger books than I did as a mid-teen, b) I'm working now, and c) I'm writing more. So an average of a book per week makes me happy.
GenresMy biggest genre this year was fantasy. Aren't you all shocked? Here, have a slice of pie--that is, a pie graph, because data visuals are fun. After 20 fantasy novels, dystopian takes second place with about half as many books, and romance slides into third with again half as many. (Note: "romance" includes chick-lit and any vaguely romantic contemporaries. "Thriller" includes suspense. They're not quite the same thing, you know.)
Miscellaneous StatsMost read authors:
C.S. Lewis: 7 books
And then Ted Dekker, Suzanne Collins, Erynn Mangum, Veronica Roth, and Lois Lowry tie with 3 books apiece.
Favorite new (to me) authors:
Harper Lee, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Erin Bow, Thomas Locke, Rachelle Dekker.
Worst book of the year:
Leah Bobet's Above. You can read my reaction in this edition of Subplots and Storylines. It was a strange, off-kilter book whose cover LIED TO ME (because it's not actually about that blonde girl with bee's wings--she's just the whiny love interest of the melodramatic main character) and whose plot leaped gleefully into rather muddy waters near the end.
Best fictional book of the year:
Please don't do this to me. I read so many amazing books this year, I just couldn't single out one over the rest! The month-by-month favorites were hard enough. But here's a few that really stood out to me, in no particular order:
Eyes Wide Open
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Hunger Games
(Yay, me. I cut a list of 16 favorites down to 7, and even now I'm still waffling over it.)
Best nonfiction book of the year:
I'd have to say either Anatomy of a Miracle or Life Is ___. (More on the latter in this month's Subplots and Storylines.) The first one shifted the landscape of my thoughts, and the second--which I'm almost done--is written in an accessible style about things we all need to be reminded of often.
I'd say 2015's reads were pretty fabulous, overall. They took me to places I've never been and showed me people I've never seen; and yet many of those places felt like home by the time I reached The End, and many of those people lived in my mind like real human beings. Echoes of our world. And that's what a good book should be. A surprising number of those good books also made an impact on me personally, reinforcing my faith and clarifying my worldview.
I can't wait to see what sort of pages I'll fall into in 2016!
Now's your chance: inundate me with bookish talk! What did you read this year? Best book? Worst? Any surprises, good or bad? And most importantly, do you have any recommendations? Books that Tracey absolutely must read in 2016, or else all life will be dark and meaningless? Chatter away.