Partially due to taking a break from forum Mafia for 2/3 of the year plus changing job positions so that I am more likely to take the bus and have more time to read I hit a new high mark for reading in 2015, 70 books. I posted this previously, but feel free to add me if you have an account on Goodreads. Here is my account: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3660669-jed-l
Highlights from the year:
- Sand (Omnibus)
- newer book by Hugh Howey (author of the Silo Series). Really interesting concept of people who live in a sand waste land and dive to find hidden treasures to survive. Might be better than the Silo Series, which for me is saying a lot. Read three other books by Howey (The Shell Collector, The Hurricane and Half Way Home) that weren't nearly as good though.
- The Paying Guests
- by Sarah Waters - set in post WWI London about a mother and a daughter who are forced, for economic reasons, to rent out a room of their home. I think this book could be one that is referenced in future generations as a classic. It reminded me of Tolstoy, Dickens and Flaubert with multiple provocative themes from love to the judicial system to postwar depression and isolation. It is really, really good with a compelling story line to boot.
- Reread the first 5 books of the ASOIAF series
in anticipation of book 6 coming out soon(ish). Liked the series even more the second time around, except for the second book. That one was kind of a dud for me. But the fourth and fifth book really came alive during the second reading as the first time around I missed a lot with new characters, settings and plots that I either just didn't remember or flew past previously.
- Big Little Lies
- by Lianne Moriarty - went into it expecting a chick-lit novel, cause sometimes those are just fun to read. But it ended up being a really, well written funny and morbid novel with deep tones about domestic violence. Was really surprised and excited about how good it was. Bought my mother and sisters-in-laws copies and they loved it more than I did.
- Probably the favorite book of the year was Anathem
by Neal Stephenson. I already talked about it above, but again, it was really good. I can't even compare it to anything as it was completely unlike anything I have ever read.
Low-lights of the year:
- Read a lot of overrated claptrap including: Ready Player One
(was OK, but the nostalgia factor was just too much and felt the real world applications were underdeveloped), The Goldfinch
(oh my goodness the entire section in Nevada was just completely and totally awful and just gave me further reason to avoid that Godforsaken state), Name of the Wind--King Killer Chronicles
(ego driven fantasy, felt like the author used a maxed out Dungeon and Dragons character sheet that he uses with his gaming group and wrote an over sized novel from it), The Girl on the Train
(Big Little Lies was way better) and All the Light We Cannot See
(another WWII story that has more sentiment than heart).
Also got in some classics: Hunchback of Notre Dame
(good), 20 Thousand Leagues under the Sea
(sci-fi has come a long way from this), Lord of the Flies
(wow!), Tender is the Night
(yuck) and The Gambler
(Dostoevsky at his best).
Anyways, what did you read this last year?
Happy New Year. Hope your 2016 is full of good books.