2015 Reading Statistics

2015 was a really good reading year for me. In 2014 I didn’t feel entirely satisfied with the books I was reading, and struggled to chose favorites. In 2015 I tried to focus more on trying to love everything I read, and in this I was very successful. It’s the cause of my average rating of books I read in 2015 is 4.3 as opposed to the 3.99 average I had before the year started bring my overall rating to 4.04 on goodreads.

For this list I’m going to try to focus on statistics not already covered in goodreads gorgeous “my 2015 in books feature.”

Pages Read in 2015 Vs. 2014

2015 Statistics Pages

In spite of the fact that I read fewer books in total in 2015 than I did the previous year (73 as opposed to 77) I read slightly more pages in 2015, so I consider the amount read to be a success.

Age Groups

2015 Statistics Age Groups

These statistics surprised me a little, I’d thought I’d read more middle grade books. Next year I’d like to read more of those, but since most of the eight middle grade books I read were completed towards the end of the year I suspect this goal will be easily achieved.

This year I read far more adult fiction than I have in previous years though I do not have statistics to confirm this. I was always scared off by all of the content I was told there was in adult books. While most of the adult books I read this year were probably on the tamer side of the genre, I’m glad I decided to read more adult books as some of them are new favorites.

I’d like to see the division between intended audience look more evenly divided into thirds.

Genre

2015 Statistics Genres

This graph is a little disappointing, but not all that surprising. This year I discovered my love for epic fantasy novels, particularly those written by a certain author. Hence, the fantasy section being so large. I also decided to focus more on trying to read what I enjoy in 2015, and this graph reflects that. I think I’ll continue with this goal for next year and see how my preferences towards genres change naturally.

Where Books Took Place

2015 Statistics Locations

I made this chart because I was curious about where the books I was reading took place. I was expecting more books to take place in space, fictional locations, and North America. I was expecting fewer to take place in all of the slices not previously mentioned.

All but one of the books taking place in North America took place in the US or alternative worlds/future equivalents thereof. I considered Mexico/alternative future equivalents thereof as part of North America as that is where the book that did not take place in the US counted in that segment took place. A significant number of the books taking place in the section labeled “Europe/UK” took place in London.

It is interesting to note that I read more books that took place off of Earth than on it.

The reason the books do not add to the total number I read this year is because several books had significant portions taking place in more than one location.

Most Read Author

Brandon Sanderson: 12 Books

I’m actually surprised this number is this low. As many of the Sanderson books I read were over 600 pages, it feels like I read more than 12 of them in 2015.

Favorite Books of 2015

I was planning to make a top ten list, but was having too much trouble narrowing it down in a way that didn’t make just about every book fall into a particular category written by a particular author. Instead I will be listing my favorite in each category.

Note that this is a list of favorite books I read in 2015. Not all were published in 2015.

Young Adult Fantasy

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Picking a book for this category was hard. It was a close call between this book and several others especially the Seven Realms series and later too books in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

In the end I chose Six of Crows because it has so many different elements that were well executed as discussed in my review.

Adult Fantasy

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Words of Radiance is the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series which is part of the Cosmere, which is the larger fictional universe in which Sanderson’s adult fantasy novels take place.

I read just about all of Sanderson’s currently published Cosmere works this year, and I am now a huge fan. It was hard to chose only one, but this is my favorite Cosmere book so far.

I would not, however, recommend readers start with Words of Radiance, not just because its the second book in a series, but also because it’s hard to get through books in the Stormlight Archive for readers not used to long books. Starting with Mistborn: The Final Empire or Warbreaker might make Sanderson’s work easier to get into.

I have not yet reviewed Words of Radiance, but I have reviewed the first book, The Way of Kings.

Middle Grade Fantasy

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I have always loved books about dragons, and look for novels with nonhuman narrators. For these reasons, this book written from the perspective of a young dragon was almost exactly what I was looking for.

If I had read this book while I was part of the intended age group it would probably have become one of my favorite books ever. As it was, I still enjoyed it enough to make it my favorite for this category, and I plan to continue with this series.

Young Adult Sci-Fi

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Choosing a favorite for this category was hard. In the end I chose Illuminae in spite of the fact that I had a little trouble getting used to the formatting at the beginning because the second half makes up for the first. I have not yet written a review, but hope to soon.

Adult Sci-Fi

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Really enjoyed this book. Have read it around three times now. Golden Son is the second book in the Red Rising Trilogy. I have reviewed both Golden Son and Red Rising in which I express my enjoyment.

Middle Grade Sci-Fi

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This book is in the hazy area between YA and MG, but for the purpose of this list I will consider it middle grade. This book was very thought provoking, and I think it would be a great novel for discussion in a book club or classroom. It’s also the only book I’ve read set in Mexico, even if it is called something else in this novel.

Contemporary

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This book is unlike anything else I’ve read. So different that I haven’t been able to compose my thoughts into a review. It’s hard to adjust to the disjointed way the story is told at first, but once I adjusted this book was heartbreaking and thought provoking.

Classic

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I’ll admit that I don’t enjoy classics as much as some people seem to, but I really enjoyed reading and learning about the symbolism involved in this one. The fact that a large canvas painting/picture of myself I’d forgotten about arrived soon after I’d finished was a coincidence that finalized making this one of my favorite classics.

Non-Fiction

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This book was shocking for me because I had no idea any of what it discussed was taking place in the medical community. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks explores the ethical questions of who owns body parts after they have been removed for medical reasons though the true story of Henrietta Lacks and her decedents.

Liebster Award

I’d like to thank Alicia @The Cyborg Knight for the nomination!

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 question that the presenter asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers. You may have to go hunting for these blogs, the idea is to find new blogs and share them with the community.
  • Write 11 questions for the bloggers you nominated to answer
  • Inform the bloggers you nominated by leaving a comment on their blog.

Questions Given to me

  • What is your favorite dessert?

Mint chocolate chip ice cream.

  • Think back to your childhood, what is one of your favorite memories?
Clue

Clue board game: Professor Plum in the library with a rope.

When I was twelve I had a birthday party that was essentially a life sized game of Clue. We made personalized invitations assigning each person a name from the board game or additional color themed names. It wasn’t as successful as we would have liked due to lying, but it was still very fun and well put together.

Edit: I’d like to clarify that it was a pretend life sized version of Clue. No one actually died, though we did make a fake crime scene. If it had been real it wouldn’t have been a very happy memory, now would it?

  • Who or what got into reading – why are you the bookworm you are today?
20151220_153826Narnia2

My well loved edition of The Chronicles of Narnia that helped me get into reading.

I had a hard time learning to read, but have always loved stories. At school I was forced to read books for children younger than my age group because of my low reading level. Thus, books seemed overly simplistic to me until I discovered fantasy books lying around my house. I think it was the Chronicles of Narnia that made me first start to enjoy reading.

  •  What goals do you have for your blog?

I started this blog because I wanted people to talk to about what I was reading. My goal remains the same: to have a place where I can discuss what I’m reading and writing with people who are actually interested in it.

  • If you could be featured by or write for any blog or publication, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to write for just about any famous blog or publication. None in particular come to mind at the moment.

  • You are being sent into space for a year and can only bring one book because of the weight restrictions (no Kindle) what book would you bring?

thick book

I would bring Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Not sure it would pass the weight restriction because of how huge it is (see above), but I could reread this book for a long time without getting board. If I can bring unpublished books I would bring the next book in the series.

  • What was your favorite subject in school?

History because it’s as close to storytelling and reading as you can get in a class.

  • You can only pick one superpower, what would it be?

I’ve written an entire novel length work from the perspective of a character who can read minds, but that has only made me realize how much I don’t want that ability.

The ability to move objects with my mind would be my choice. It would be extremely helpful to be able to get to objects too far to reach.

  • Coffee or tea?

Tea

  • Dogs or cats?

This is a hard question for me. Probably dogs because I currently have one, but I don’t have a cat.

  • Last question, if you could make enough money to live comfortably no matter what you do, what would your dream job be?

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    Printed draft of one of my works in progress.

Fiction writer, I write novel length works in my spare time, but would love being able to do so full time with no financial pressure.

My Questions for Nominees

  • How has blogging influenced the way you read?
  • What motivated you to start a blog?
  • What has been your favorite thing about blogging so far?
  • How do you decide what to read?
  • What are you currently reading, or if you’re not reading anything at the moment what is the last book you read?
  • If you could have an advanced copy of any book that has not yet been released which book would you choose?
  • Do you prefer ebooks, audio books, or physical books?
  • If you could interview any author who would you chose?
  • Which currently unadapted book would you most like to see adapted into a movie or TV show?
  • If you could have a signed copy of any book that you’ve read which would you chose?
  • If you could visit any place mentioned in a book you’ve read for a day (real or fictional locations) where would you go?

I Nominate

Windie @ Geek Apprentice, Bree @Literary Hellion@masquereader, Nya @nyareads, Emma @Emma the Book Lover, Hayley @Dream. Read. Believe., Estefani @fiction jungle, Aubrey @Aubrey’s Book Nook, Evie @justanotherbelle, Maye @akosimayeee,  and Morgan @Hopeless Book Addict

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

23437156Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Published: September 29, 2015

Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy

Synopsis: When a substance is developed that turns magic users known as Grisha into mindless slaves of great power the world is put at risk. A crew of six thieves are hired to pull off the heist that could save the world.

Review: 

Six of Crows is a great book, and so much fun to read. It was very reminiscent of some of my favorite fantasy novels, but at the same time stood apart from others in this category.

Six of Crows Crew

The strongest aspect of Six of Crows is the characters. In spite of the fact that there are so many narrators, each one comes across as distinct. I especially appreciate the fact that the characters actually acted like thieves.

In many books the character will go around saying that they’re known as an assassin, an experienced solider, or have a lot of experience stealing from important people, but then when it comes down to the act of either murdering or stealing something they hesitate.

This has never come across as realistic to me. At the same time, however, I recognize why many authors chose to portray their “ruthless” characters in this manor. It is difficult to sympathize with a person who can harm or steal from innocent people and feel no remorse, but Bardugo managed to pull it off. 

The relatively small number of characters with magical abilities made them all the more impressive. The main characters in Six of Crows are highly skilled individuals, yet for many of them these skills are natural in origin (ie intelligence), but the characters use them in such a way that seems almost supernatural.

Six of Crows Map

That said, the magic that we did get to see was a great addition to the story. My favorite aspects of the first book and a half that I read of the Grisha Trilogy was the world-building, so I was more than happy to reenter that world in Six of Crows.

Bardugo has created a very complex magic system different from what I’ve seen in many fantasy novels (especially YA) where the magic is often glossed over. Though this novel has much less focus on the magic system than the Grisha Trilogy, it managed to further expand upon it by showing what a Grisha’s power can do when pushed to extremes.

The world itself was expanded upon as well. I really liked how many of the characters in this novel were from very different parts of this world as this isn’t something we often get to see in fantasy, which often focus on one region of the world the writer has created.

The only negative criticism I have to offer is related to the reason I did not finish the Grisha Trilogy. That is to say that a significant portion of this novel was spent on build up. This is not to say that nothing happens, quite to the contrary, things seem to go wrong quite often. What I mean is that I spent most of the book anticipating the climax of the actual theft as opposed to anything the characters were trying to overcome at that particular moment.

I really wanted to love the Grisha Trilogy because I have a signed copy (see the image below), but am so glad that I can now consider myself a fan of Bardugo thanks to this book. I was hesitant to read this one because I thought I might need to finish the Grisha Trilogy first, but was pleased to find that this duology stands on its own.

Siege and Storm

In any case, I managed to get a hold of a signed bookplate. Used as a book mark, really like the way my copy of Six of Crows looks:

Be Dangerous

What readers should know: Though this book keeps everything very vague, one of the narrators was forced to work in a brothel against her will. She has since left this profession behind, but still bares negative effects of her time there.

As stated in this review the thieves in this book truly act as thieves. This means that some of the narrators steal and kill people throughout the story. There is also some language.

Rating: This is a really great book. I highly recommend it to fans of fantasy and people trying to get into fantasy.

4.5 blue jays

Post NaNoWriMo/November 2015 Wrap-up

Nano 2015 Chart

I technically didn’t win NaNoWriMo, but did finish my first draft. This was my original goal for the month, so I’m satisfied. I also managed to keep up with the progress bar for the first fifteen days as shown above. Considering this was my first semester in college, I’m surprised I managed to keep up for so long.

The reason this draft was so short is in part because my first drafts are very underwritten, and also because I was writing middle grade. My November project follows twelve-year-old Rebah who has grown up to believe she is a robot, and has never seen another human-being.

Reading

I didn’t read much this month because I was so busy writing. I’m actually surprised I found any time to read at all.

Short Synopsis: In this futuristic society children are raised to be turned into horrific “creatures” on their fourteenth birthdays.

Thoughts:  I’ve read many of Garth Nix’s books. As always there was unique world building, but in this case the execution left something to be desired. I never felt entirely invested in the characters and the story.

Rating: 3 blue jays

Short Synopsis: Book six in a series about aliens blending in on Earth while other aliens try to invade.

Thoughts: These books are very addictive. Normally, I would have stopped reading a series I was having this level of enjoyment of, but I just feel too much urge to find out what happens next. That doesn’t mean I’m beyond skimming, though.

I had some issues with plot holes in previous books that were solved in this one. (*book 1 minor spoilers* How were they planning to repopulate a planet with only nine people left?)

Rating: 

3 blue jays

Short Synopsis: Four children summon ancient beasts of legend though a ritual that binds a human and an animal.

Thoughts: Each book in this series is written by a different author, many of them well known. I’m interested to see how the series will progress through each change in writer. This book was a fun introduction to this fictional universe. I have recommended this series to my brother.

Rating: 

4 blue jays