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Author Topic: Your Best and Worst Read of 2015  (Read 725 times)

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January 03, 2016, 03:34:37 PM

Evreka

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Your Best and Worst Read of 2015
The books that made a lasting impression this year

 :hermioneread:

Bringing an old favourite(?) back...

I've just looked at my list of books that I've finished reading in 2015. Contrary to last year's reading experiences, this has been a much more meagre year, only 19 finished books!  :o That is an incredibly low number, in fact it's by far the least books read since I began listing them in 2005!  :mcgonagall2: In part this is due to me taking 2-3 months at the start of the year to try to make any real progress in what may be the most incredibly boring book I've read since finishing Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry decades ago. However, I allowed myself to take a pause when I had some 200 pages left (of about 1000) ... and so it is still unfinished... for the umpteenth year running.

Still, of the 19 finished books, some have made a lasting impression and others not so much. There are a few really good ones in that list, and as usual also a few more boring ones.

What about your reading experiences though? Which books stands out if you summarize a year worth of books? What were your best and worst reading experiences in 2015?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 03:37:06 PM by Evreka »


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January 05, 2016, 06:21:49 PM
Reply #1

HealerOne

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Oh, I am so glad you put up this thread! It gave me a chance to look over the books that I had read/re-read this year. In total, I read 91 books. And the books I enjoyed the most, were the ones I re-read! Those were The Casual Vacancy (such a lasting message to that book), and the entire Quest series by Lisa Wright DeGroodt (they never fail to lift my spirits!). I also enjoyed several books by one of my favorite authors, Alexander McCall Smith.

One book I didn't finish because it became too boring was the autobiography of Charlie Chaplin. I did, however, enjoy;  Go Set A Watchman and Career of Evil, both featured here on this website.

I find that keeping a list of the books I have read has been quite helpful this year. I plan to continue for next year. I keep them in a notebook ordered by month. How do you keep track?
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January 13, 2016, 01:41:18 AM
Reply #2

paint it Black

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What about your reading experiences though? Which books stands out if you summarize a year worth of books? What were your best and worst reading experiences in 2015?

2015 was the first year that I kept track of which books I read; I read about as many as Evreka, which (just a guess, as I have not kept track before) is slightly fewer than I might normally read in a year.  I just kept my list as a document on my pc; nothing fancy.

Some books this year did stand out as favorites.  Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith was a can't-put-it-down suspense novel about a MGB agent in Stalinist Russia who goes rogue to save his family as he investigates a series of child murders.  Both the character development and tight plotting were top-notch.  :thumbup: I did not enjoy the remaining two books in the trilogy quite as much, but they were still very good.

Loving Day by Mat Johnson is somewhat hard to describe, but I really loved it.  As our protagonist is going through a rough patch in his life, another blow confronts him: he discovers a teen daughter that he never knew he had.  As a man of mixed parentage (his dad was white, his mom black), Warren feels some responsibility to educate his daughter about all aspects of her background, as she was raised by her white mother to believe she was white.  The tale is a bit twisted and quirky and definitely humorous, and it was so easy for me to get lost in Warren's mindset.  I didn't want this book to end.  I'll be eager from here on to read anything new that Johnson or Smith writes.

... I did, however, enjoy;  Go Set A Watchman and Career of Evil, both featured here on this website.


I enjoyed those two as well.  :)

I also found a few books disappointing.  Several readers here enjoyed The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, but I guess it was just not my thing.  It wasn't poorly written, but it was a little too melodramatic for my taste.  I also didn't really care for Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The story and the characters were ok, but I felt like I had to plow through the florid language to get to them, which was a distraction rather than an enhancement for me.  I was also a bit disappointed in The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  This book is a bestseller, yet I felt that it was far from seamless in its construction.  The characters were ok, and the basis for the story (the lives of citizens in occupied France in WWII) was interesting, but to me the plot was too poorly put together to be compelling, and there were too many inconsistencies.  :shake:

Just my 2 Knuts!  ;D

... In total, I read 91 books.

Wow!  Color me impressed!  :clap: Reading is obviously a serious hobby for you!



Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
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January 16, 2016, 10:29:48 PM
Reply #3

Evreka

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... In total, I read 91 books.
Wow!  Color me impressed!  :clap: Reading is obviously a serious hobby for you!
Yeah, that is seriously impressing! W O W!  :hermioneread: Even Hermione would be impressed, I think...  ;)

As for me the very best I read last year was a trilogy by a Swedish author Louise Boije av Gennäs:
Högre än alla himlar, Blå Koral and Folk av en främmande stam my translation of titles become ( Higher than All Heavens, Blue Chorale and People of a Different Tribe/Clan/Family). Together they form a very engaging tale of a group of middle aged friends who lives in Stockholm, Sweden for the first decade of the 21st century. I haven't been close to caring, or indeed worrying, so much for book characters and their fates since I finished reading DH for the first time in 2007!!! The trilogy contains so many highs and lows, so much of what constitutes of life and also gets involved in some of the biggest things that happened during those years. It deals with both joy and tragedy and most things in between - I loved it!

The fourth best book was (unfortunately in this place) another Swedish novel Kärleken blev mitt vapen or, in my translation of the title, Love became My Weapon by Soheila Fors & Ingalill Bergensten. It's a true story of how a Persian princess came to move to Sweden and her journey both geographically and as a person from child to current age. Fascinating, engaging and very well written.


On the whole, I was lucky to escape the really bad books in 2015, so the two worst reads I had were still on the "OK" level. One of them was Jonas Jonasson's second story The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden which is a complete cock-and-bull story. His first book, in the exact same genre, had me laughing out loud regularly, whereas this one was more of a quieter humour. Some smiles yes. But it also included making fun of a few things I'm not comfortable with laughing at: like Apartheid in south Africa, for one. So, for me the good and bad sort of weighed up on each other leaving a faint "OK" as the final verdict.

The other was yet another Swedish book which I won't bother you with.  ;)

A Career of Evil by Galbraith was one of the books in between. I enjoyed it but not enough to achieve my highest grading mark.



I find that keeping a list of the books I have read has been quite helpful this year. I plan to continue for next year. I keep them in a notebook ordered by month. How do you keep track?
I have a notebook which is separated by year, and otherwise I just write down the book titles and authors as I finish them and adds a very crude rating mark. It's great fun to look through it sometimes.  :hermioneread:

2015 was the first year that I kept track of which books I read; I read about as many as Evreka, which (just a guess, as I have not kept track before) is slightly fewer than I might normally read in a year.  I just kept my list as a document on my pc; nothing fancy.
I'm glad you both liked keeping track! :)

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