Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My top ten books of 2015

I love GoodReads.  I don't know how any true reader lives without it. Even though I keep a paper journal of what I've read it is such a convenience to click into my GR's app to look up a book while conversing; while others rack their brains for a title I can easily go back and look the title up for reference.

Here are my statistics for 2015.  I read 55 books and 18,541 pages. The shortest book was Honey by Sarah Weeks-a sweet little tale and my longest title was written by the indomitable George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones which is also the "most popular title".  If given the choice I'd rather read my least popular title, Summer Cocktails, as it was a lot more entertaining!

Here are my top ten titles in no particular order:

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith; Most memorable and quirky tale of an future world transformed by oversized people-eating grasshoppers.Two main characters were hysterical.  Young adult and not for everyone. Read my official review here.

A hundred pieces of me by Lucy Dillon: A telling tale of life and what we really want out of-a bunch of stuff or true experiences with those we love. Pairs well with The Life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo. Read about this book here, A hundred pieces of me, where I share my reading retreat.

Girl at War by Sara Novic;  Excellent look at the Serbian conflict from a young person's viewpoint.  This book is eloquent and took my breath away.  Read my review here-Girl at War

All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr;  Brilliant look at WWII from many angles showing even in the ugliest of wars that survival is part of our human spirit.  Beautiful writing and I never wrote a review for it. Shame on me.  If you haven't had a chance to read it order it now using your xmas gift cards.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie;  I loved this book-it opened a can of worms about race in a detailed and interesting story. I thought I knew a lot about race, my friends are a variety pack of colors, yet this showed me my thought process was often skewed in trying to be "color-blind".  I realize that my view is not the major problem with race in this country, I know, and yet I want to be standing on the far right of good. Give this book a try-don't be afraid of the length-it reads fast.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; This eloquent book made me cry and read many parts aloud to my husband/Groovy Girl as we drove cross country this summer.  I'm a fan of Woodson's and hearing her story in all its truths was a learning experience.

Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson; Homelessness is the problem in this excellent YA novel. A brother and sister strike out on their own because the older sibling can't get along with their guardian.  He feels obligated to take care of his sister and works to keep them together. Everyday is a struggle as they seek shelter and food but for the young girl it is difficult to make it to school in clean clothes with homework finished. Just thinking about these characters makes me think I might reread this story again.  Sexual overtones keep me from reading it with my 6th grade book club.  Read my review here of Paper Things.

Loot by Jude Watson;  This book is a unique mystery with great characters. They work to solve problems on their own not trusting the adults around them. I recommend this one to students and each one is surprised by how good the story is.

The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult; Amazing modern tale about Sage Singer, a baker with a messy personal life, that twists and turns telling us through flashbacks about another story during WWII. Holocaust stories often make me ill as you read about concentration camp horrors and this one made me angry, sad, yet often joyful.  The story is well-told and I thought very different than the good but frequently formulaic Picoult tales.  I mention it in this summer post.

Honorable mentions (all perfect elementary reads)

If you find this by Matthew Baker
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Switch by Ingrid Law
Rain, Reign by Ann M. Martin
The False Prince by Jennifer E. Nielsen

and 3 young adult books with one common thread, e. lockhart.  It was my year to connect with her books. I enjoyed We were liars, Dramarama, and The Disreputable history of Frankie Landau Banks. All good solid stories.

(you didn't really think I was just going to talk about ten books, did you?)

1 comment:

Marce said...

My book club read All the Light we cannot see, it was beautiful writing.

I think I am going to try Brown Girl Dreaming, it keeps coming across me.