I like to think I’m a voracious reader. When I lived in Italy for a brief stint of six months – without a TV, a radio, or enough Italian to have interesting conversations beyond “Where’s the bathroom?” and “I’ll have the pizza please” – I read 60 books in 24 months. I have never reached such reading heights since.
Enter 2015 as a good example of how far I’ve fallen.
Granted, I did write a book this year and that should count because I read, re-read, and read that thing about thirty times. And I am writing another, which has made a pretty big dent in my ability to focus, imagine, and think about other worlds, other characters, other plots and timelines.
In total, I read a scant 17 books this year – had the best intentions with 7 others – and loved 4 of them (for comparison, here’s last year’s list).
A quick caveat: The whole experience of writing, publishing and putting a book on the public bookshelf for people to poke at, pass over, review and star has changed how I feel about reviewing and starring the books I read. I feel much kinder now and want to give everything five stars. Alas, I’m also an old English teacher gone to pasture.
My apologies in advance if you loved a book that I did not love. Clearly the issue is with this reader.
Top Books of Wow
(In the Order of Wow-ness)
- All the Light We Cannot See
- Station Eleven
- The Lost City of Z
- We Were Liars
Most Hyped, Less Loved
- The Girl on the Train
- The Bone Clocks
In the Land of Meh-bee
(Most Meh of Them All First)
- As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
- Istanbul Passage
- The Golem and the Jinni
- A Spool of Blue Thread
- In the Garden of Beasts
- A Discovery of Witches
I Read This? Are You Sure? I Don’t Remember It At All
(Most Unremembered First)
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
- To Say Nothing of the Dog
- The Song of Achilles
The Best Intentions, But I Probably Won’t Finish
- Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor’s Life at Sea
- Around the World in 80 Days (Jules Verne)
- Around the World in 72 Days (Nellie Bly)
- The Innocents Abroad
- Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone
- Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
- In the Unlikely Event
I’m always on the lookout for a good book. So if you’ve got a recommendation, pass it along. I’d love to check it out. As you can see, I’m in need of some books for 2016.