This posting can be totally blamed on Erin at Manuscripts & Marginalia. Seriously. All. Her. Fault! I started commenting on her blog post about the Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinals, since I finally broke down and voted, and ended up with a paragraph so long that I thought. Shoot! Just a bit more text and this could be a blog post...and here it is! :)
I finally voted. I just always feel so guilty about voting without having read more than one or at least one in the various categories! :) You will probably NEVER see me vote in the HORROR, ROMANCE, or GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMICS categories since I never read in those genres. Likewise, you'll probably rarely ever see me select any title in FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FANTASY, FOOD & COOKBOOKS, or POETRY, since I rarely read anything in these areas. This automatically eliminates 8 of the 20 categories for this year. That makes it a bit easier! :)
Then the books included in this listing by authors who are favorites for me: Lisa Genova and Harper Lee. (Now you can add Bill Clegg!)
And then the titles that all sound absolutely fascinating and are on my TBR list: Girl at War, When the Moon is Low, Trail of Broken Wings, and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry.
Authors I really really want to read but still haven't yet: Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost), Jojo Moyes (After You), Karen White (The Sound of Glass), Barbara Claypole White (The Perfect Son) and Anne Tyler (A Spool of Blue Thread). I hope to read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, if I can handle it, since so many have loved it so much. And I am definitely interested in all the remaining titles, except one, The Royal We doesn't interest me much...
Shall we just say Fiction is definitely my FAVORITE genre? :)
Other fiction favorites I have read this year: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, Growin' Up White by Dwight Ritter (one of my favorite books ever--blog post to come), Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon (excellent, excellent book--blog post to come), One Day by David Nicholls, The Rosie Effect and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin, and Everything I Never Told You (another absolute favorite) by Celeste Ng.
I love the Alan Bradley series, but haven't kept up reading them after the second installment. I really should since my husband loves Flavia and this series and owns them all!
Rather out of character for me, I adored all three of Stieg Larsson's books in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo/Lisbeth Salander series! And, after hearing this NPR interview with David Lagercrantz, I just have to read The Girl in the Spider's Web! Although I own it...yep, you guessed it! I have yet to read it. Though my husband read it and was mightily impressed, feeling that it was a genuine continuation of Lisbeth's life. That is enough recommendation for me, and for all these reasons, though I've not yet experienced it, this book gets my vote!
I really really want to read Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling's books, but although I own the first two, I have yet to read either one. :(
The only one listed here that I have read is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. While it was definitely a page-turner and I could appreciate her writing skills, this one didn't 'knock my hat off,' as they say! It was okay...
I have read one book by several of these authors and didn't enjoy them enough to read any more: David Baldacci, JD Robb, and Harlan Coben. I did enjoy the Daniel Silva book I read, but there are other authors I enjoy much more... And since I typically don't like blood, guts, and gore, I'll probably not read any of the other titles/authors listed here.
My nominations in this area would have included Crooked River by Valerie Geary and The Black Hour or Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (reviews of both her books coming here at a later date).
In this category this year I read and loved the Green Gables series by LM Montgomery, the Al Capone series by Gennifer Choldenko, and of course, and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (one of my favorite books ever--blog post to come). And I just completed reading Jam On the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett and loved it!
PLUG! PLUG! FREE ADVERTISEMENT!! Don't forget to join Bex (An Armchair By The Sea) and me beginning January 2016 for a Little House Read-Along throughout 2016! :)
I have read a Jen Lancaster book about 6 years ago and liked it. However, I am now on the third listen to Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson and I love this woman!! She speaks my language! (Warning: lots of 'bad words' in it!)
Therefore, I voted for Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, since I'm sure I'll be listening to that one in the near future! And laughing and chuckling my way down the road! :) And how can you NOT laugh just looking at that cover? ;)
I do intend to try out a Mindy Kaling, too. This year I also listened to Yes Please by Amy Poehler and I really liked it. Though I really like her as a person, too! I feel as if I would like for her to be my friend!
I voted for H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald just because of the great reviews I've seen for it among bloggers/reviewers I follow and typically agree with... It sounds truly unique and informative!
I really want to read Krakauer's book, Missoula, since that is a subject near and dear to my heart. I especially appreciate the courage it required for him to be honest in writing the book, as you can learn in the NPR interview with him. Neither Big Magic nor Modern Romance is all that appealing to me, but again, having heard and read so much positive feedback about both, I am rather interested. Rising Strong, Humans of New York, and Better Than Before all interest me a lot! Guantánamo Diary, Ghettoside, and especially Between the World and Me are must-reads!
Red Notice is the only other one I would like to read, though it brings tears to my eyes just reading the Goodreads synopsis...
And there are so many in the category that are on my TBR list! Honestly, anything written by Sara Vowell or Erik Larson! I actually own Dead Wake, so it needs to be read soon! :) The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue looks fascinating! I would hope I can stand to read Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women, because honestly, that should be the least I could do... The same for Born Survivors since reading the Goodreads synopsis has my eyes welling...to think of being pregnant and in the same camp with Mengele! Oh...it makes my heart hurt. And we here in the US should probably all be forced to read Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War...because there are consequences... Ashley's War looks to be good, and my book club loved The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, also written by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon... I can't imagine When Books Went to War and The Wright Brothers wouldn't also be well worth the reading time.
And although I typically don't tend to read much about "famous people," I am rather fascinated by Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, especially after having heard part of the NPR interview with Kate Clifford Larson.
Second on my list would be Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. I realize that overall we humans totally short-change animals, assuming that we alone understand virtually EVERYTHING about the world and they know nothing! But we are the stupidly arrogant ones for believing that to be so. I believe elephants to be one of the best examples currently... And if you've not yet read The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony, then you have missed it...totally...missed IT!!! Get it now! :)
Having read and loved The Wave by Susan Casey, I would love to read The Voices in the Ocean. Again, especially after hearing part of her NPR interview! (Yes, I am an NPR NERD!!) Oliver Sacks' On the Move is a wonderful read, I am sure! He is/was amazing! Here's an NPR presentation about him...
Whew! Only 4 more categories to go...this is exhausting...and exhilarating! :) Okay...
I keep hearing so much about Dietland, but I still can't get truly interested enough to want to read it. I definitely want to read Girl at War and maybe Everything, Everything....
Category #10 Young Adult Fiction
I've not read much of anything in this category this year. My vote went to one that has been on top of one of my TBR piles for sooooooo long! I have read rave reviews and have been told Niven uses settings local to where I currently live. It is All the Bright Places and it must be read by year's end. Really. It. Must. :) I've also owned Velva Jean Learns to Drive, also written by Niven, for several years now and it also hasn't been read! Yikes!!
Last year, I read Eleanor & Park, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and Paper Towns--all of which I loved!! Paper Towns was my least favorite of these four, but I did still love it! But if you've not read any of these, at least read the first two! Truly classics, in my opinion! I look forward to reading more of Green!
Only two more! YAY!!
Serafina and the Black Cloak looks amazing, too! And Echo sounds wonderful! I'm really interested to read A Handful of Stars, as well as Rules, the 2007 Newbery Honor book also authored by Cynthia Lord. The War That Saved My Life and The Penderwicks in Spring look to be good reads, too! And, of course, Crenshaw looks to be absolutely amazing!!! My book club read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate last year and adored it! (I really need to post a review!) Can't imagine this newer release about a cat won't be wonderful, too! And...it's a cat!!! (We share our house with five felines!)
My finds in this area from this year include the Al Capone series by Gennifer Choldenko--excellent historical fiction and wonderfully vibrant and well-drawn characterization! I love her writing! And don't forget L.M. Montgomery's Green Gable series! Amazing! Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era by Sterling North was another winning title, though I truly finished it at the end of 2014, I'm cheating to include it here as an 'almost' 2015 read! All three of these mentions also qualify as great historical fiction!
And...I may have mentioned the upcoming Little House Read-Along with myself and Bex, to begin January 2016! An excellent opportunity to involve your children/grandchildren/whomever in a reading activity. Just one book per month! Details to be published next week!