Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review 2015

Wow. I felt like last year was plenty busy, but I read more books than I ever have before. I'm sure it helps that I am part of two book groups, but that would only account for 24 books, and I read another 15 on top of that. What can I say? It was a great year for reading.

This year I'm joining a third book group. Ambitious, I know, but I think I can handle it because they aren't going to meet as often. And by they, I mean us...we are starting a family book group. I asked the girls and they seemed to like the idea and we quickly got more people involved. We have two grandma's, one aunt, and one uncle in the mix. Really, it is just the Dargan clan up in WA, and Vicki in ID. I would add more, but I'm already wondering how we are going to skype two directions at once.

You must be ten to join, so Ivory will barely make the cut-off before the first meeting. We will only meet eight times this year, but I am already excited to get to discuss books with my kids. We'll see if it ends up working out.

In the meantime, let's look at all the books I read this year. There are a LOT. (For me.) They aren't listed in any particular order, although sometimes they are kind of alphabetical because that is how the pictures are organized.

And now for the top five. This was extremely difficult this year. I'm going to have to add some honorable mentions in to feel okay. I think I enjoyed all the books I read this year, although some more than others obviously. (Island of the Lost was a little slow, but I have great respect for the true story and the men who were involved.) I don't always pick my top five based on writing or theme. I pick them simply for how I feel after I read them, or whether they cross my mind again. (It is a given that if I see a title and can't remember what the book was about, it probably won't make the top five.) Now...without further ado.


5. The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas. This book is about a tight knit group of friends that meet regularly. Similar to a book group, instead they get together to sew. It seems like there is nothing they wouldn't do for each other and it made me consider my loyalty versus honesty. I want to reread this book, which is rare for me.

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry. This book is a classic and a reread for me. I wanted to read it again before I watched the movie. (Which I thought was very good as well.) I also read some of the sequels, (which I didn't know about before this year) Gathering Blue and The Messenger, but I didn't like them quite as well. Another Dystopian novel I read this year was Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode. I really enjoyed that one too. I like me a good Dystopian novel every now and then.

3. Ellie and the Mermaid by Megan Dargan. This book is not for sale and I don't have a picture of it above because it isn't in print yet. My mom wrote this book and it is fantastic. It is about a human and a mermaid and the adventures that bring them together. It was easily in my top five, and I'm already excited for the sequel. (She read me the synopsis during my last visit.) I truly am sorry that you can't get a copy of this yet. Give it time...

2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Another fantastic book. This book is about a boy with facial disfigurements and his transition from homeschool to public school (which we all know can be difficult without any hindrances.) It was real and down to earth, but my favorite part was a special addition at the end. Sadly, it is not in all the books. I got a special copy with The Julian chapters and that was easily my favorite part of the book. So look for that, if you read it. I'm planning on reading the sequel, Auggie and Me, this year.

1. Masterminds by Gordon Korman. I read six Gordon Korman books this year and it is safe to say that he is one of my favorite authors. Swindle was a huge favorite. I read it to the kids and we have been reading the series together. I picked up Masterminds on a whim and ate it up, but was severely disappointed to find out that the sequel is not out yet. So...maybe wait a bit to read this one because you will want to find out what happens next for sure.

Other Items:
* I really enjoyed the Familiar's series. Robyn showed me that one. (Honorable Mention!)
** The Forgotten Garden is a strange book with an interesting twist. Weird, but good. (Honorable Mention!)
*** Far from the Madding Crowd was interesting, but it was like reading a soap opera in flowery language. You could skip it and just watch the movie instead.
**** For informational books, I thought Killing Lincoln and My Jesus Year were great for learning new things and thinking outside the box. (Honorable Mention!)
*****One more. If you are a Princess Bride fan, you need to read the book. It has stuff that isn't in the movie. I was surprised. Both are good, but nothing can replace the movie.

I really love books. I feel like I live a double life because part of my mind is always with characters experiencing something completely different. What an amazing world is revealed with each cover that is opened.

1 comment:

meganmushrat said...

I am highly honored that you included my not-yet-published book among your top five. I will have to revisit the Familiars series - I think I read the first book. I will definitely have to go over your list and pick a few of them to read myself. My problem is - I tend to spend most of my reading time rereading favorites. Thanks for the tips!