Reading in 2015

Either I didn’t track all of my books properly in GoodReads or I didn’t track them properly here. I dunno. GoodReads said I only read 222 books but my blog tracking says I read 233. Either way, it wasn’t the best year of reading for me. I normally hit 250 and I always try to hit 300. Darn it.

It’s ok though since this was a busy year in a lot of other ways. A lot of art happened. A lot of travel. A lot of date nights. And, a heck of a lot of KonMari. Not to mention a weird and hectic work year.

I did finish my Cybils Shortlist Challenge. I did read 6 books from my stacks, an improvement over my normal 4 but nowhere near the 12 I always hope for. I suspect 2016 will be a better from the stacks year since we’ll be moving into a new library system. We also did pretty well with audiobooks this year – 17! Thank you Glenview Public Library, (Overdrive and Hoopla were super helpful.)

I feel like I read more non-fiction this year – 72 seems like an awful lot, doesn’t it? For me, at least.

I read a ton of children’s fiction because of JMP, obviously. I hope to do more of that next year.

I put 85 books on my “Favorites” list and I quit a LOT of books this year. So many that I can’t even remember them all. I’m adding a “Quits” folder to my GoodReads to track them properly next year. I’m still trying to get through Bleak House and I started the Miniaturist and had to return it to the library before I was even half-way — I’ll try to pick that up again next year.

I don’t think I’m going to set any specific goals for next year — except to read all of the Cybils + more books from my stacks. Next year is going to be seriously hectic (again) so non-fiction and audio will save me.

Reading In December

Not bad, all things considered. And, even better, I finished the Cybils shortlist challenge without scrambling at the last minute to do so. That’s an accomplishment!

24 books total

2 were audio

10 from the Cybils shortlist

3 were graphic novels (ya/middle grade)

And, of course, a whopping 9 non-fiction books this month.

The Nightingale Before Christmas

We needed an audio book and none of our audio holds were in so I turned to Hooplah… but the only thing I could find quickly was The Nightingale Before Christmas… so I downloaded it. I figured since I liked that flamingo one all those years ago, (And maybe we’ve also ready another one?), and it was Christmas, then this would be a fine choice.

And it was.

Meg amuses me and so do the rest of the residents of Caerphilly.

Saint Mazie

I’m so glad I read Saint Mazie. It was a great book and she was an awesome character (woman, since the book is partially based on a real person.)

We need more people like Mazie in the world.

The Last Seven Cybils

This was a pretty uninspiring batch of easy readers and a bit of a dull way to finish up my Cybils shortlist challenge fore the year. Oh well. They weren’t bad, just not great.

Mo Willems, of course, duh. “My New Friend Is So Fun” was cute. I liked it.

“Okay, Andy” has great illustrations, really bright color. I liked that about it.

Extraordinary Warren: Super Chicken was cute. It amused me. I’d read more about Warren.

Inch and Roly and the Sunny Day Scare… I liked this one. But, it felt like it was titled badly. Yes, it was sunny out but the sun had nothing to do with the scare. I dunno. I read it twice because I was sure I’d missed something important (which is ridiculous since it’s 13 pages and there are three words on a page, or something like that. lol)

Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey. I felt like I’d read this before. Maybe I’ve read another Pigsticks and Harold book? I dunno. It was ok. I don’t love Pigsticks. Or Harold. But, it was ok.

The Ice Cream Shop (Scholastic Level 1) was very cute. That push/pull thing is a hard thing to figure out.

Clara and Clem Under the Sea was fine. The rhymes were nice. It’s a little like a Dr Seuss book, but not quite.

Tis the Season for Non-Fiction

Whenever my work or home life get busy, I reach for non-fiction because they’re often quick and easy to read. So, here are the five I’ve read in the last week or so… some pretty good, some not so much.

Lovable Livable Home is the newest Young House Love book and I liked it so much better than their first book. I mean, I really enjoyed it. A lot.

Next, Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) is Angela England’s book and I could have sworn I’d already read it. I mean I’ve followed her blogs/twitter/facebook forever, how could I have not read her book. But, apparently I hadn’t. I enjoyed it. It’s a nice look at how you can have a backyard farm with not a lot of land.

The New Christmas Tree was an impulse pick up from the library shelf because it’s Christmas, after all. Some of the trees were really cute. I kind of want a snack food tree. But, I totally stressed over all of the lit candles in the trees. Don’t do that. Gah.

My Cool Kitchens was… not cool. Yes, there were some nice kitchens but I didn’t like the structure of the book itself. Ho hum.

Heartlandia was a nice enough cookbook but not really my thing, though it did make me want fried chicken (and maybe to go to their restaurant should I ever find myself in Portland.

Two Non-Fiction Books

I enjoyed Thug Kitchen so much that I reserved Thug Kitchen Party Grub. This is a good cookbook, though I didn’t find it quite as good as their first book. Not quite as many, “Oh I want to try that” moments but still a very good book.

I enjoyed Bound: Over 20 Artful Handmade Books though it wasn’t quite what I’d been looking for when I picked it up. Still, I have some old books that I might just use to create a new book, someday.

A Cup of Water Under My Bed

I wish I remembered where I saw A Cup of Water Under My Bed, some list, somewhere. Whatever, I probably wouldn’t have read this had it not been on a list that interested me – and I’m glad I did read it.

Daisy Hernandez is a great story teller and this is one of the best memoirs I’ve read in a long, long time.

In the Unlikely Event

I had no idea Elizabeth, NJ had three plane crashes over the course of a few weeks. How horrendous that must have been. And Judy Blume does an excellent job of fictionalizing the events in In An Unlikely Event.

There are a ton of characters introduced early and that was a little confusing, particularly since I had no idea what the darn book was about when we started listening to it on audio. Once I realized – multiple plane crashes and that’s why all of these people were important, it was easier to follow.

Well done, Judy Blume. Well done.

Unbuttoning of America: A Biography of “Peyton Place”

I read Peyton Place in the late 70s or early 80s and only barely remember it, so I’m not sure why I grabbed Unbuttoning of America off of the library shelf. But, I did and I’m glad. It was excellent and has inspired me to re-read Peyton Place. I highly recommend this book, whether you’ve read Peyton Place or not.