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?
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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

Monthly Wrap-up: June 2015

I read a total of eight books in June with two of them being over 1000 pages in length. Before this past month I had not read even one book over 1000 pages long so I consider this an accomplishment even if the books didn’t feel 1000 pages long because of how much I enjoyed them. Five of the books I read were YA fiction, and three were adult fiction. All fell into the fantasy genre. Five were high fantasy, and three were dystopian with a paranormal twist.

June was one of my most reading intensive months this year, if not the most so far. Sure, eight books is not the highest number I’ve read, but it’s close and some of the books I read in June were also incredibly long.

In terms of writing I didn’t post very much last month due to the fact that all I wanted to do was read. This is specifically true of my blog since I did manage to write around 5,000 words of my current work in progress, but didn’t manage to keep up my goal of posting at least once per week. Throughout July I’ll be participating in Camp National Novel Writing Month so all the reviews for the amazing books I read but didn’t write about last month may have to wait as I try to focus on finishing my current manuscript, but I do plan on reviewing at least a few more of the ones I’ve read eventually.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Short Synopsis: Conclusion to Brandon Sanderson’s original Mistborn trilogy.

Thoughts: This was a really great end to a trilogy. I had a few minor problems with it, but those were mostly subjective. Mistborn may well become one of my favorite series depending on my thoughts of the new continuation books.

Rating:

 five blue jays

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehShort Synopsis: A man marries a new woman everyday to kill her at dawn. Shahrahzad agrees to marry him so she can kill the man and end the cycle.

Thoughts: I had a few, mostly nit-picky, issues but overall this was very enjoyable. For my full thoughts see my review.

Rating: 

4 blue jays

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirShort Synopsis: The most promising aspirant in his class tries to find a way out of doing the terrible things his empire asks of him. Meanwhile, a slave girl infiltrates the compound where he goes to school in order to save her brother.

Thoughts: I have some conflicted feelings about this book, but am giving it a relatively high rating because it was extremely addictive and left me wanting more.

Rating:

 4 blue jays

The Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonShort Synopsis: Kaladin was a prominent young squad leader in an army until one day he was sold into slavery. Now forced into the position of bridgeman, considered the worst position in the army because it has the highest death rate, Kaladin struggles to protect the lives of those around him.

Meanwhile, a girl named Shallan tries to steal one of a princess’s most valuable possessions to save her family from financial ruin and Highprince Dalinar tries to make sense of his strange visions.
Thoughts: This book was very good, but due to it’s length this is the book that took me the longest to read this month. It follows the stories of several different characters, many of whom never meet in this novel, and at times it could be a little hard to remember which perspective I was reading from, but the formatting really helped with that. The world building was some of the most unique and well developed I’ve read. Overall this book was long, but amazing and worth it.

Rating: 

five blue jays

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Short Synopsis: The second book in the Stormlight Archive and the sequel to The Way of Kings.

Thoughts: This book might have been over 1000 pages long, but I read it in about four days because I was just so invested in the story and loving the way it came together. I can’t wait for book three to be released next July.

Rating:

five blue jays

The Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaThe Eternity Cure by Julie KagawaThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Short Synopsis: In a dystopian future where vampires rule and humans are herded like cattle our main character must chose between true death and becoming the thing she hates most: a vampire. The entire Blood of Eden Trilogy.

Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting to like this one and actually started reading the first book because I was hoping to read something that wouldn’t distract from my writing, but ended up really enjoying it and reading the entire trilogy in three days.

Rating:

4 blue jays

(series rating)

Currently reading:

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