I really have no business blogging about reading goals or accomplishments, because in comparison to most people who call themselves avid readers (which I also tend to happily do, after all I was that kid with a book as an extension to my arm!), I don’t read a whole lot of books these days. I literally don’t find the time. I know, it’s a matter of making reading a priority, but I just have too many competing interests and don’t know how to accommodate them all. The struggle is real, you guys!
But, in an effort to a) keep track of what I did read and b) sharing what I liked and disliked about the books that I’ve read, I decided to post a 2015 round-up.
Maybe there is someone out there who breathes a sigh of relief because they realize that they aren’t the only one to not make enough time for books or who can even undercut my meager list and make me feel less like a reading-failure, but it is what it is and I am more than happy to at least be back in some kind of regular reading routine. Even if it’s only a book per month.
If you’re part of the #PostalBookclub that I am part of (and which I have repeatedly mentioned on this blog because it has helped me get back into reading more regularly), you’ll have heard and/or read many of these books that I mention here last year as well.
Books I loved:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (My rating: ★★★★★)
Of course, this is a classic and must-read. A wonderful and raw story of growing up, the wisdom and unapologetic honesty of children and life lessons that can only be learned from great role models.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (re-read) (My rating: ★★★★★)
One of my all-time favorite books. One of the books with which I got my non-reading friend hooked on reading. If you haven’t read (or even heard) of the Outlander series, I highly recommend you get with the times and start with this one. There are seven more books after that one. (Note: The books were made into a TV series and while I heard good reviews about the TV series, I refuse to watch it. Once you’ve created your own images of Jamie and Claire in your head, you might understand why.)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (My rating: ★★★★☆)
I loved this book. I know this because I finished it in three days (which hasn’t happened very often). I just really enjoyed to see Eleanor’s and Park’s relationship unfold. The only reason why I only gave it four stars is that the ending didn’t sit quite right with me after all they had been through together.
Momo by Michael Ende (My rating: ★★★★★)
I love this book. It’s one of my favorite childhood books. Michael Ende wrote many more amazing books (unfortunately, only “The Never-ending story” seems to be universally known) and this book is definitely no exception. You should check it out.
Books that I liked a lot:
City of Thieves by David Benioff (My rating: ★★★★☆)
I am usually always a little wary of WWII stories, but this was a great read. Gruesome, dark, funny and fascinating all at once. I found it interesting to read a story from the perspective of a Russian boy who lived through that time. I enjoy (half-)fiction with a historical background and highly recommend this book.
Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp (My rating: ★★★★☆)
I really enjoyed this book, not for Caroline Knapp’s tragic life (I was so sad to find out that she died of lung cancer a few years after reaching sobriety!), but for the honesty and rawness with which she told her story and the story of so many people suffering from alcohol addiction.
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos (My rating: ★★★★☆)
I really enjoyed this book. It was a sweet story and I found myself capitvated by the dynamic between Cornelia and Theo and Cornelias relationship with Clare. I was a little bit annoyed how easily everything “fell into place” at the end, but not annoyed enough to not love the book.
The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman (My rating: ★★★★☆)
This was a fun read. I quite enjoyed this book and its characters. The story is sweet and compelling and I loved the unexpected “twists and turns” and the way that the story was strung together…. however, the end was almost a little bit “too good to be true” (and I am someone who LIKES happy endings!)
Respected: How one word can change more than your love life by Akirah Robinson (My rating: ★★★★☆)
Akirah is an online friend and I received this book through a giveaway on her blog. How lucky I was to not only get this book for free (you should totally invest and buy it!), but also be friends with such a wise lady. Akirah’s relationship advice is spot on and this book reads less like a “self-help” book and more like a conversation with a friend, because she shares her personal struggles with such humbleness and honesty and teaches some great lessons in the process.
Books that I liked just fine:
Love the home you have by Melissa Michaels (My rating: ★★★☆☆)
This book was just “ok” for me. I had higher hopes because I do enjoy Melissa’s blog (The Inspired Room), but I was hoping for a little less fluff and more practical advice I guess. I started this book when we were still in our apartment and I was desperate to move, so maybe I was not in the right mindset to really “internalize” her ideas. Maybe I’ll thumb through this book again now that I am living in a happier place.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (My rating: ★★★☆☆)
This was a good book, but it started out very slow. It wish it had captivated me more (I had to push through it at times), because I think that the story and characters were interesting, but I got lost in some of the philosophical passages and didn’t always see how it connected to the story. I was a bit shocked by the rather abrupt ending, too.
Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata (My rating: ★★★☆☆)
This was a fascinating story of love, betrayal, and tragedy and the book left me with a feeling of sadness. Unfortunately, I felt like I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters and it made it hard for me to keep me “invested” in the book. I missed the feeling of ‘wanting to know what happens next’ that ususally keeps me engaged in a story.
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I hardly ever put down a book if I can’t get into it. I always think – because other people love it – there must be something in there for me. I know, that might not always be true. Luckily, none of the books I read in 2015 fell into the categoryof “not interested at all” and I finished and (more or less) enjoyed them all.
What was your favorite book of 2015?