2015 Book Report

One of the most satisfying things I accomplished in 2015 was to fall in love with reading again. I had always been a voracious reader - my parents actually used to punish me as a kid by taking books away - but somehow, particularly during a tough period of my life, I stopped reading almost completely. I decided a few years back that I wanted to read Modern Library's Top 100 Novels, and from 2012-2014 all the reading I did was various attempts at struggling through Ulysses, and that was pretty much it. 

Then, this past year, I realized it made way more sense to start reading from the BOTTOM of the Top 100 list. I also put together a book club with some friends, which provided some great peer pressure to actually finish what I started reading. It really helped me to reintroduce reading back into my life, and I once again have piles of books all over my apartment because my bookcase is too small. 

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  • GOAL: 12 books
  • READ: 12 books! I actually thought I had only finished 11 and was really disappointed, but then I remembered that I read Coming Clean on Kindle at the very beginning of the year, before I really started using Goodreads. 
  • BOOKS BOUGHT AT INDIE STORES: 9 - going to local bookstores is one of my favorite things and I willingly shell out money to buy my books there. #hipster
  • FAVORITE:  Easily Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman.
  • HATED:  The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy. This is supposed to be a "wildly funny" novel, according to descriptions, and the first couple dozen pages involve the main character beating his wife and trying to strangle his kid. Har har. I can't believe this made the Top 100 Novels list; it's awful. 
  • LONGEST:  Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - 447 pages. 
  • SHORTEST:  The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain - 116 pages.
  • FUNNIEST:  Most of these books were not at all funny, so definitely One More Thing by B.J. Novak, though I wasn't a huge fan of it.
  • SADDEST:  Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli, told from a child's point of view during the Holocaust.  Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller is a memoir about a childhood spent living with hoarder parents; very sad in a totally different way.
  • BEST COVER:  I bought The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman entirely based on the cover, so that's a clear win. Honorable mention to The Postman Always Rings Twice.
  • WORST COVER:  The Ginger Man's gross illustration matches its repulsive interior.
  • MOST OVERRATED:  I know everyone loves Devil in the White City, but it left me cold, despite being from Chicago and loving the history of the city.
  • READ OFF MODERN LIBRARY TOP 100:  4 - I made it through books #100-97 (I finished #96 a few days into the new year).
  • READ FOR BOOK CLUB:  8
  • GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR:  I'm being ambitious and going for 24, double what I finished this year.  I'm on track so far!