2015 :: My Year in Books

2015 was the best reading year I’ve ever had in my life! I successfully read 25 books this year and even joined book/beer club called Titles on Tap, which has largely contributed to so many books under my belt. Taking the train every day and having 40 minutes of quiet time both ways also provided the perfect time for reading. Since I’ve read such a wide range, I decided to share the best and worst of the year, and what I hope to accomplish in 2016.

Best Reads of 2015

  1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel // This novel was on many “best of” lists this year. And rightfully so! It’s lyrical, haunting, and impossible to put down. There are a lot of post-apocolyptic novels out there, but this is the first I’ve read that really explored the things we take for granted in modern society. This was one of those books, that was truly an amazing reading experience.
  2. Horns by Joe Hill // I don’t know what it was, but I feel like I read this book at the perfect time in my life. The New England imagery, twenty-something year old ennui, themes of Catholic guilt, a healthy dose of magical realism; it just spoke to me. If you saw the terrible disappointment 0f a movie this was, don’t be dissuaded. I couldn’t believe how much they changed. It was practically a different story! But if you want a very juicy, dark tale, this novel will hit you.
  3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood // This is supposedly a work of fiction, but it is very much on its way to being a reality. With the upcoming election looming over us, this classic work is more poignant than ever. With it’s powerful themes and symbols, it’s easy to see why this book has become a must-read in everyone’s lifetime. You can read more of my thoughts on The Handmaid’s Tale in my book pairings post.

Worst of 2015

I usually have more to say about books I don’t like…

  1. Dietland by Sarai Walker // Ugh. This book was so misguided. Many have praised it as Margaret Atwood meets that biddy who wrote the Something BorrowedSomething Blue books – the modern feminist manifesto. Well as we know, I adored The Handmaid’s Tale and Margaret Atwood this was not. I guess it had potential; I’m always down for women overthrowing the patriarchy, but this book had a serious tone problem. For an earnest attempt at satire, it lacked the necessary snark. The good? It is a voice out there campaigning for change. But is this the kind of feminism that we want? One that believes their way is the only way? One that has an extremely narrow view on mental health, body acceptance, and sexual expression? I implore that this book be kept out of the hands of baby feminists so they don’t make it their doctrine.
  2. Breed by Chase Novak // What an ill-written, hot mess. To be fair, it was for book club and I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. The narrative style changed throughout, not a care was given for the characters, the story was figutatively and geologically all over the place, and for a horror novel, it was about as scary as your 6 year old neighbor with a sheet over his head. Snore.
  3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn // Dark is right. I don’t know what disturbed me more: pedophilia and assisted suicide, or Middle America? At least it inspired my first Book Pairings Post!

2016 Reading Goals

  1. 24 Books! 2 Books a month. I think that’s a good pace.
  2. More non-fiction.
  3. Read the Cormoran Strike series.
  4. Try to dive into graphic novels.

Happy New Year, bookworms!

5 Fandom Friday :: Surviving the Apocalypse

5fandomfriday

Welcome back to 5 Fandom Friday!! Since it’s October, and danger and creepiness is in the air, this week’s topic is 5 People I’d Want By My Side During the Apocalypse. In an age of zombie movies and apocalyptic fiction, it’s hard not to think of how I’d survive after civilized society falls; is it more strategic to live in a city or the country? Would I stay true to my morals? What would be my weapon of choice? I’m not going to lie, I probably wouldn’t survive very long. But with this squad by my side, maybe I’d have a chance!

Daryl Dixon ((The Walking Dead))

It isn’t clear whether this is a zombie apocalypse or not, but either way, Daryl is a fighter you’d want as part of your alliance. His skills with a crossbow are lethal and perfect to keep any danger from getting too close. Yes, he’s a bit moody, but his rugged good looks would boost morale.

Katniss Everdeen ((The Hunger Games))

Katniss is a true survivor. Not only is she deadly with a bow, but she has crucial knowledge of what plants are safe to eat and what herbs can heal wounds. I’d most likely off myself in a way completely unrelated to the apocalypse — eating too many poisonous berries or something — so having Katniss around would probably save me. She’s also cool,clever, and funny; someone who’d make the end of the world more bearable.

Buffy Summers ((Buffy the Vampire Slayer))

Buffy’s already dealed with the end of the world once, a second time would be nothing. In addition to being a complete badass, she’s loyal to her friends until the very end. She’d never leave me behind if I contracted the plague. And if the end of times happened to be caused by something supernatural, I’m sure Buffy would be able to solve it.

Ron Swanson ((Parks and Rec))

Ron’s been prepping for the apocalypse even before he had his first taste of bacon. Since he’s already so accustomed to living off the grid, he’d build us the most secure safehouse ever and use his wilderness skills to keep us alive. Even though he’s tough as nails, he’s a big softie on the inside and would be a great companion to have when all else is lost.

The Traveling Symphony ((Station Eleven))

Ok, the Traveling Symphony is more than one person, but as any good nerd knows, “survival is insufficient.” I may have this crew that could fight away zombies, hunt for food, and keep us alive, but what is the point of surviving without art? The Traveling Symphony would provide something to stay alive for, I’d probably even contribute my own musical talents and join them!

And the cheat…

The Doctor ((Doctor Who))

And when things get too rough, I’d just call the Doctor to get us the hell out of here.


As always, 5 Fandom Friday is brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Follow them to participate!