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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Make Me a Reader: More Books of 2015

by Tonya

Today I have Part 2 of my reading list from 2015. We're pretty close to the end of the year, so I probably won't finish any more books. We'll see how much reading I do in the next couple days.

Did you read any of these books? I'd love to hear what you thought. 

26. The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. This one has tarot cards, circus performers, secret loves, a dilapidated house, and a secret family history. Having said that, I expected a bit more magic in this book. I liked it, but I kept waiting for more.

27. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. It's a classic horror tale about a mysterious circus coming to town off-season and the way that young people want to grow up and old people want to be young again. Can you be satisfied with the lovely little life you've made for yourself, or do you yearn for adventure? It's spooky and very thought-provoking.

28. The Worrier's Guide to Life by Gemma Correll. This is a cute book of drawings that you will love if you worry about weird stuff (and normal stuff). Do you overthink things or feel anxious about your anxiety? You might enjoy these lighthearted illustrations.

29. Tie Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It by Shabd Simon-Alexander. This summer I checked out a stack of library books about dyeing fabric. This was my favorite! I ended up buying a copy since I liked it so much. She lays out exactly what to do. You don't have to keep flipping back and forth to see all the steps. Her projects are beautiful and inspiring. Some of the other books had similar instructions but their projects weren't very attractive so I didn't feel like I just had to try them. Flipping through this book, I wanted to make everything!

30. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. Here's a little nonfiction book, by a novelist, about why he runs marathons. Really it could be inspiring for anyone who does anything that requires commitment, dedication, and consistency. It made me want to try running again. I love the idea of it - not needing anything buy yourself and a good pair of shoes. My hip doesn't really like it, but somehow I think if I get my form right, I could be a runner. 

31. The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. Ooh, I liked this one. We're in an apocolyptic world that's filled with flesh-eating monsters. Not many humans are left, and they're trying to survive. I don't want to spoil the fun for you, but I really enjoyed it. 

32. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This book was really popular this year, but I thought it was just okay. I don't think it lived up to its potential, but I definitely listened to the whole thing and wanted to hear the ending. The girl is an unreliable narrator, an alcoholic with memory loss. I do enjoy an unreliable narrator now and then. It's an interesting way to tell a story and lets us be suspicious and surprised.

33. The Vikings by Kenneth Harl. This is a Great Courses book that I listened to on Audible. I am currently fascinated by Vikings. I've been watching the tv show called Vikings on the History Channel. The show's main character, Ragnar Lothbrok, turned out to be a historical figure - I had no idea. Now I know how and where he died, and I wonder if the show will follow the stories in that respect, and I won't ruin it for you. When does the next season start?  

34. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Loved it! It's about immigrants to the U.S., (often a fascinating story by itself), but these immigrants happened to be a woman made of clay and an imprisoned genie. They are complete opposites but both struggle to fit in with humans (or struggle against fitting in). 

35. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin. I listened to this book on Audible, with Martin narrating. I enjoyed his story of learning magic as a kid and eventually figuring out how to do well at stand-up comedy. 

36. Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch. I also listened to this on Audible, and Dratch does her own narration. It was fun to listen to her story! I loved the little peeks behind the scenes at SNL and 30 Rock. Her personal life was really interesting, too. 

37. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood. I generally love Margaret Atwood! I thought this novel was okay, but it didn't really feel like her writing. I'm not sure why, as it's her usual theme of people trying to get by in a dystopian world. But I think I'd rather have re-read the Oryx and Crake trilogy, which I thought was great.

38. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. In this one Harry lives and dies over and over again, remembering each life. He has to discover why the world is ending, and decide if he should do anything about it. I liked it and was kind of sad that I finished it. I wanted to keep reading.  

39. A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear. I have loved the Maisie Dobbs series, but this installment felt too sad to me and left me feeling depressed. I'll probably read reviews of future books before buying - if they're too depressing, I will skip them!

40. Denton Little's Death Date by Lance Rubin. In this young adult novel's world, almost everyone knows, from birth, the day they'll die. It's a pretty fun book, as Denton tries to solve some mysteries before he dies. It's way less morbid than #39.

41. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths. This is the first in a series of mysteries starring British archeologist Ruth Galloway. She is a fun character and I already bought copies of the next few books in the series.

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