My 2015 Year in Reading

goodreadsA new year always comes with looking back and looking ahead. Thanks to Goodreads, it helps me track what I’ve read. I always take their book challenge and every year I exceed the goal. This past year I set myself for 60 books and wound up completing 74 titles, the last in the final hours of the year.

Goodreads counts as books just about anything that is a standalone regardless of length so yes, some novellas and novelettes crept in. Additionally, a number of YA books I read for review are ridiculously short on page count but that’s more than made up by the partial books I had to read for my three grad classes in 2015 along with reading to prepare for my week at the Reynolds Institute.

CraftLitMy count would be far higher if I actually counted graphic novel compilations of comics I read as single issues. Instead, the only collected editions I count are the ones I read fresh, figuring this avoids the feeling of double-dipping.

I still read between 50-100 comics a month along with three weekly magazines, a daily newspaper and quite a few blogs and websites. So, I am constantly reading and listening to audiobooks on the commute to and from school.

Thanks to Heather Ordover’s amazing CraftLit podcast, I worked my way through my first Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility and discovered Charles Dicken’s The Chimes. Austen did little for me despite the wonderful commentary so don’t feel a need to return to her other works. I also stayed in the 19th century for A Tale of Two Cities which I felt was just okay.

I_Robot_-_RunaroundI delved back into older Science Fiction with Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot and Frederick Pohl’s Gateway and need to do more in the coming year.

As always, I challenge myself to sample new authors and this year I enjoyed Lauren Goff’s Fates and Furies. Deb and I hoped on the bandwagon and listened to Paula Hawkins’ Girl on a Train while driving to and from Tennessee and mostly liked it.

Thanks to NetGalley I got to sample other new works such as the somewhat bloated The Boy who Granted Dreams by Luca Di Fulvio and the less than impressive Married Sex by Jesse Kornbluth and Try not to Breathe by Holly Seddon.

Nonfiction works of note include Tinseltown by William J. Mann and Cary Elwes’ wonderful As you Wish, recounting the making of The Princess Bride. Mann’s book is a terrific look at the silent era’s heyday and the murder of a director and subsequent police investigation, shining a light on the culture of the day.

Since my laptop can take between 10-15 minutes to boot up and load Outlook, I read nonfiction works incrementally and therefore managed the mammoth but entertaining How to be a Superhero by Mark Edlitz and exhaustive Return to Tomorrow by Preston Neal Jones.

Overall, it was a good year for reading although the Kindle library and bookshelves continue to fill with other things I desperately want to read. I suppose that’s always a good thing.

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