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2015 in Books

Dear Reader,

First of all, thank you for all the kind words on my last post, 15 for 2015. I realized that it was probably way too wordy for its own good, and that 5-10 items were probably enough, but thank you for enduring. On the third day of January 2016, I think that some of us are still half-stuck in 2015. Expect a barrage of me trying to quantify the last year in cultural consumption. (Or maybe not. Might be wise to look ahead, anyway.)

For 2015, I read a whopping 29 books (and 1 re-read). I hope I don’t need to use my “sarcasm voice,” but that’s kind of sad, considering I set my goal to 52. It’s still not as bad as 2011, during which I finished 6 freaking books the entire year.

If you wanted to see the books I read in 2015: GoodReads | 2015. Not listed: all the fanfic, because… Well. Because.

I thought I’d answer a series of questions instead of posting reviews. Is this the lazy way out? Probably. But let me know if you want more information on the books I’m about the mention. I started out the year posting little reviews on GoodReads, but that fell by the wayside. I wonder why.

(This list is from Eva, which explains the specificity, but u know. I took out the N/A’s, so just look at her list if you want to see the rest of the categories.)

Best Picture Book: I didn’t read a lot of these/didn’t count them, but I enjoyed “Wild” by Emily Hughes, which we ended up gifting to our wildest niece, Summer.

Best Children’s Chapter Book: “Wildwood” by Colin Meloy, and illustrated by Carson Ellis.

Best YA Book That Wasn’t The Raven Cycle: “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

Best YA Book That Was The Raven Cycle:
“The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater

Best YA Graphic Novel: (IDK if this is YA, but—) “Nimona” by Noelle Stevenson; “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Jillian Tamaki

Best Adult Fiction Book: “S” by Doug Dorst & JJ Abrams

YA Book That Made Me Cry the Hardest: “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

Adult Memoir That Made Me Cry the Hardest: “Girl in a Band” by Kim Gordon

Best Re-read: “The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon

Overhyped: “The Summer I Turned Pretty” series by Jenny Han, barf barf barf; “The Sea of Tranquility” by Katja Millay; “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan

Weirdest YA Book I Was Surprised to Like: “How to Repair a Mechanical Heart” by J.C. Lillis

Best Sequel: “The Dream Thieves” by Maggie Stiefvater

Worst Sequel: “We’ll Always Have Summer” by Jenny Han (Book 3 of “The Summer I Turned Pretty”)

Best Book That Felt Like Reading a Delightful Fanfiction: “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater; “How to Repair a Mechanical Heart” by J.C. Lillis

Most Skillfully Written Book That Wasn’t Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell*: “The Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamison

Best Book I Can’t Think of a Good Category For But I Still Loved It: “Saga: Volume 5” by Brian K. Vaughan, illus. by Fiona Staples

Like I said, if you want the complete list of finished and unfinished reads for 2015, head on over here. It’s a little embarrassing, but so is the rest of this blog, so.

A photo posted by Carina Santos (@presidents) on

It may interest you to know that I’ve finished one of the books I started on last year: Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit. Then, I was craving fiction, so I dipped into a new book instead of the “currently reading” titles I have piled up. I’m really enjoying Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and expect to finish it soon. If I don’t get distracted by anything, that is.

If you wanted to follow my 2016 reading challenge on GoodReads, it’s viewable here. Feel free to add me, too. I’ll be listing my reads on my book blog, which I’ve decided to try and religiously update. I know that Yoda says “there is no try,” but honestly, that feels like a dangerous burden to put on people. But that’s just me.

* I have yet to read this, so don’t ask me how I like it. “The Empathy Exams” is a collection of essays, unlike “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell,” which is fiction.