I almost didn’t write anything for a books roundup for 2015, because I’m so annoyed with myself at how little I read last year. Having set myself a goal of 75 for the two previous years, and met or surpassed it, I was sure that I could do the same again.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. I don’t really know what happened, but between my first full-time job in a while, moving out, and just… doing other stuff, I only managed 41 books.
I know that for some people, that’s still a lot. And I also know that it doesn’t count as a failure, because it was a self-imposed target, and it matters to nobody that I didn’t reach it. In fact, I’ve been tidying up my blog, and updating various book journals that I have, and in doing so, I’ve been reflecting on some of the books I have read, and it feels even less like a failure now than it did before.
I read some cracking books last year, so it’s easy to take pleasure in that – quality over quantity. Here are a few of my favourites:
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – I read this very early in the year, and it set the bar very high! Following the story of a group of nomadic travellers in the years following the collapse of modern civilisation, Emily St. John Mandel’s novel is a masterpiece. Read my review here.
- Under the Skin by Michel Faber – I was simultaneously disgusted and intrigued by this book, and that’s not a feeling that has gone away thinking about it with several months distance. I still haven’t seen the film adaptation, but I thought the book was excellent; Isserley is a character who will stay with me for a long time.
- The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton – On the subject of characters who stay with you, Ruby from The Quality of Silence is ten years old, deaf, and provides a compelling voice from whom we hear this incredible story of a terrifying journey across the Alaskan landscape. Read my review here.
- The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katrina Bivald – Books about books are my favourite. If I’m presented with a character who finds it easier to relate to the people in her favourite books than the people she encounters in real life, I’m instantly won over, and that’s exactly what happened here. Read my review here.
- The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows – I’m rarely moved to pay full price for a brand new book; I’m usually much more inclined to wait for it to come in at the library, or pick it up in a charity shop. But I enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society so much that I couldn’t wait to read Annie Barrows’ new book. I wasn’t disappointed; it’s a richly dense novel with some wonderful characters.
- In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume – There’s no denying the power of Judy Blume; it took months and months for this book to become available at the library! When I finally got my hands on it, I absolutely loved it. Drawing on her own teenage experience of three planes crashing in her home town, Blume tells the story not only of her adolescent protagonist, but of the community at large, and does so with a skill and dexterity that I’ve admired since my own teenage years.
I also loved Jurassic Park, The Lost World, The New York Four, The Sky is Everywhere, and The Royal We amongst the 41 that I read in 2015.
So even though I’m disappointed that I didn’t hit my total in 2015, I am pleased that I took the time to write this post, because it shows that I read some great books!