Reading Round-Up for 2015

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My reading mojo officially returned in 2015, for the first time since having a child in 2012, and I finished 86 books. This comes just in time for me to have a second child during 2016. Hopefully Baby No. 2 is less of a shock to the system and it won’t take me as long to remember how to read again.

Look! Here you can see the covers of all 86 books prettily laid out with links to their pages on Goodreads and so on.

Some very thrilling percentages that are of interest only to me and people genetically related to me who find all my activities fascinating because they are legally required to do so:

  1. I rated 40% of the books I read 4 stars and above.
  2. Romance/erotica (both the historical and contemporary variety)replaced speculative YA as my light and relaxing genre of choice, and made up 19% of my reading for the year.
  3. Fantasy and science fiction still made up a large chunk of my reading – 40% – although I would guess this is slightly less than previous years, as I feel like I read more contemporary fiction this year.
  4. I read a couple of reasonably long series this year:
    1. Rosemary Kirstein’s Steerswoman series (4 novels so far)
    2. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries (8 novels so far)
    3. Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series (4 novels so far – this is really appallingly written erotica which I don’t recommend, but which was strangely addictive).
    4. Pretty much everything written by Liane Moriarty, which are all stand-alone novels, but it sort of felt like a series because I was reading them one after the other and they’re stylistically similar (6 novels so far).

A few stand-out books from 2015:

Euphoria by Lily King is an excellent short novel, loosely based on events in the life of Margaret Mead, and centres around three anthropologists working in PNG in the 1930s. It is quite a sombre book, but just stunningly written. One of my favourites for the year.

The Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein is one I really enjoyed but it does feature a gentle rambly sort of pacing which may not be to everyone’s taste. It works perfectly with the theme of the novels though, and they were such a pleasure to read.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty was one of my favourite contemporary novels, which managed to pull off a narrative that was both funny and light-hearted, as well as darkly serious (dealing with various types of abuse).

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan is a gorgeously surreal fantasy, filled with beautiful imagery. On the opposite side of the fantasy spectrum, An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet feels very earthly and grounded, exploring the lives of its characters with a wonderful depth and seriousness.

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin is a more traditional other-world fantasy, and it is both wonderful and quite horrifying. (If death-of-children is something you avoid in fiction, this is not the book for you.)

The Race by Nina Allan is four interlinked novellas which form a novel-length work, and is really wonderfully done – all four stories are excellent, and the way they link together is fascinating.

As at 5 January 2016, I’m already reading three books at the same time, so I’m well on the way to getting through another 80 or so books this year. Depending on how disruptive Baby No. 2 is, anyway. I am optimistically and no doubt vainly hoping for an excellent sleeper this time around. Please politely smother your derisive laughter and wish me all the best in this endeavour.

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