Books + Brews: 2015 shelf

December 29, 2015


 

Books (in reading order January – December):

The Geography of you and me – Jennifer E. Smith
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting – Holly Bourne
Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens
Geek Girl (Geek Drama) – Holly Smale
How to Survive your Sisters – Ellie Campbell
The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton
The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
A Possible Life – Sebastian Faulks
Singling out the Couples – Stella Duffy
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
Arsenic for Tea – Robin Stevens
Death Keeps His Court, the Rule of Richard the II – Anselm Audley
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson
Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey
Home – Toni Morrison
Trains and Lovers – Alexander McCall Smith
Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen – Susan Gregg Gilmore
The Most of Norah Ephron – Norah Ephron
Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
Asking For It – Louise O’Neill
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Essentialism – Greg McKeown
The Humans – Matt Haig
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Because You’ll Never Meet Me – Leah Thomas
My Own Story – Emmeline Pankhurst
Creativity Inc – Ed Catmull

2015 has been an interesting year in books for me. This year I let myself get back to reading whatever I wanted, just for me, which probably sounds odd to most people (don’t you always read books just for you?) but makes sense in light of some interning and work I did in the last few years before 2015, which meant I read a lot of things for other people. I was obviously more than happy to do at the time, but it certainly made this year (and getting back to reading whatever I felt like, whenever I felt like it) feel fresher and better than ever.

This year there were a lot of great, funny reads (Geek Girl, The Wells & Wong books) and gut-punching reads (Asking for It, Elizabeth is Missing, and to an extent, Me Before You) and some others that were just okay, a solid 3 stars-wouldn’t-read-again. There were a surprising number of non-fiction books in the form of productivity and management reads (The Power of Habit, Essentialism, Creativity Inc), all of which I know I’ll keep dipping in and out of, and one of which lead me to my now favourite podcast. There were also a few essential feminism texts that I can’t believe I had left until now to actually read (We Should all be Feminists, My Own Story, The Bell Jar). There were surprising disappointments (The Goldfinch – nothing but a downward, irredeemable spiral of misery for 700+ pages – The Humans, Modern Romance and The Miniaturist, which I thought was fine, but not the amazing book everyone portrayed it to be). Books I’d enjoyed, but knew I would, because I already have many books by the authors on my shelves (A Possible Life, Home). And ‘That One That Was Pure Poetry, Picked Up On A Whim In Dar Es Salaam’ (Singling out the Couples).

And then. My stand-out favourites of the year: Big MagicThe Bone Clocks, Everything I Never Told You, Because You’ll Never Meet MeCreativity Inc. Each one so very different, but I loved and possibly needed right at that moment. So while I was one book shy of my 33 book aim for the year, I’m still content. I’d chosen the number at random after reading 36 books in 2014 (and feeling as though I rushed a few just for the sake of ticking off a number). I read more widely this year than I probably have ever done (given that I’ve always been more obsessed with novels and plays). I brought physical books back towards the end of the year after being obsessed with my kindle (the price! the ease!) but then realising I wanted to a) take photos of and enjoy the physical books and b) didn’t feel like I was retaining too much from reading on the kindle. (Not a problem when it’s a forgettable mid-range novel, more frustrating when it’s something you want to be able to reference again).

What did you read this year? What were your standout favourites? Can’t wait to get stuck into the TBR pile for 2016…

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