2015 Book List

I pledged to read 20 books in 2015 and I did it! Here’s a list of all the books I read, and the rating I gave them (out of 5)

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls – David Sedaris (5)
Witty, sardonic short stories and poetry. Hilarious to the sarcastically (and liberally) inclined
White Fang – Jack London (4)
Beautifully written. Difficult to read sometimes because of the abuse White Fang suffered, but a lovely story survival and hope, and the difference one compassionate person can make
Don’t Point That Thing At Me (Book 1 of the Mortdecai Trilogy) – Kyril Bonfiglioli (4)
Full of wit and humor, though sometimes difficult to really grasp because of the ’70’s British slang. The second and third books are not as good and become increasingly sexist and racist. I only finished the third book because I couldn’t read the first two and only part of the third… it would feel… unsymmetrical.
After You with the Pistol (Book 2 of the Mortdecai Trilogy) – Kyril Bonfiglioli (3)
Something Nasty in the Woodshed (Book 3 of the Mortdecai Trilogy) – Kyril Bonfiglioli (2)
The Book Theif – Markus Zusak (5)
Haunting, beautiful. Told from the perspective of Death. He tells you how the story ends right away, but you still want to find out how the characters get there
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen (2)
So many people loved this book. I just didn’t. The writing was not very engaging and the author even used the line, “please let me be inside you,” during a love scene.
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating – Elisabeth Tova Bailey (3)
Wanted this to be better than it was, but still worthwhile. The main character is bedridden and has a single snail as a companion. Reads a bit like a text book on snails, but there were enough personal moments to keep me mildly interested
Thruhiking with Break Your Heart – Carrot Quinn (4)
Want to know something about what it’s like to be a thru-hiker? This book gives you one girl’s perspective. Engaging, but far too focused on sex.
Pines (Book 1 of the Wayward Pines Trilogy) – Blake Crouch (4)
All three Pines books were great. They suck you in and the reading goes FAST. Lots of plot holes, but I just didn’t care. The series is for pure entertainment. Read my full review
Wayward (Book 2 of the Wayward Pines Trilogy) – Blake Crouch (4)
The Last Town (Book 3 of the Wayward Pines Trilogy) – Blake Crouch (4)

Read my full review

If I Stay – Gayle Forman (3)
An ok story for a teenager, perhaps, but definitely not for this adult. The main character seemed self-absorbed and was difficult to relate to. Read my full review
House – Frank Peretti & Ted Dekker (3)
Another one that I wanted to be better than it was. I picked up the book and put it back down many times over the past few years. Finally committed to finishing it. It was predictable. Read my full review
Wild – Cheryl Strayed (3)
True story of a girl who made a mess of her life, went on a hike and magically got all better. No wonder it was made into a movie. Like the last book about hiking, this one focused a lot on sex.
As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner (4)
Not a quick read for those of us unfamiliar with 1930’s southern vernacular, but a very good book about how each member of a family deals with the matriarch’s death.
Animal Madness – Laurel Braitman (4)
I expected far more scientific study and empirical evidence regarding animal psychology, but it was almost purely anecdotal and most of it read like an ASPCA ad (of course an animal will go berserk when faced with endless abuse). Still a good book and worth the read for the epilogue. Read my full review
Divergent (Book 1 of the Divergent Trilogy) – Veronica Roth (5)
Great things to say about this series. Holds its own against Hunger Games. The only negatives: one of the main characters, Tobias, is not very well developed and isn’t terribly complex. Also, just like the Hunger Games, the “second ending,” as I like to call it – the one after the main action and story is over – is weak and out of character for the rest of the books. The authors should have stopped writing several pages before they did.
Insurgent (Book 2 of the Divergent Trilogy) – Veronica Roth (5)
Allegiant (Book 3 of the Divergent Trilogy) – Veronica Roth (4)
The Giver – Lois Lowry (3)
A book about a community that has embraced “Sameness” at the expense of love and compassion. Honestly, most of the characteristics of the Community sound kind of nice to me. Read my full review

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