Happy 2016, ODeck! A few people have started to post their various faves of 2015, and I’d like to join the crowd with my Year in Reading: 2015. I did the same thing for my reading in 2014, which also included some reading goals for 2015.
I read a total of 36 new books in 2015 (not quite averaging a book each week, which is one of my goals for 2016), with the page counts for each book totaling 11,442 new pages this year*. Below is a pie chart breaking down the new pages read by genre:
Fantasy takes the lead, comprising 39% of the new stuff I read in 2015. I had intended to read more science fiction, but when Terry Pratchett passed away in early 2015, I found myself finishing up the Discworld series by reading the more recent novels, including all of the books starring Moist Von Lipwig as well as The Shepherd’s Crown.
Fantasy YA, which I’ve made distinct from the Fantasy genre, is in second place - largely because of authors Rick Riordan and Jonathan Stroud. I finished up Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, read the first book of the new Magnus Chase series (looks promising) and sped through Stroud’s new Lockwood & Co. series (I’d previously read Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy, which is great).
In 2014 there was a 50/50 split between male and female authors I’d read, but this year I’d only read books from 6 female authors, versus 10 male authors.
I had nearly an equal split between paper/hardcover books and ebooks in 2015, which is a little surprising as my ebooks typically outnumber the paper ones since I’ve owned a tablet.
Autobiography: Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler
Fantasy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin
Fantasy YA: Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud
Graphic Novel: Saga, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Humor: Felines of New York, by Jim Tews
Mystery: Blood and Circuses: Phryne Fisher #6, by Kerry Greenwood
Nonfiction: Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, by Bill Nye
Science Fiction: The Martian, by Andy Weir
Science Fiction YA: The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex
The Martian was simply pure joy to read. It was incredibly engaging, I felt that the switch between Mark Watney’s log and the third-person narrative for Watney’s crewmates and NASA personnel was well-executed, and the character of Mark Watney was fantastic. I’d assume that aside from degrees in botany and mechanical engineering, the number one thing someone would need to survive alone on an alien planet would be a good sense of humor, and Watney has that in spades. I didn’t catch the film adaptation of this book while it was in theaters, so I’m planning to buy the DVD sight unseen as soon as it comes out on January 12.
N.K. Jemisin is probably my favorite new author of 2015. I had never read any of her books, but I had seen on Twitter that the Kindle version of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was available for $1.99 (when you follow authors, you get to learn about these great deals pretty quickly!) and gave it a shot. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season has been counted among a lot of lists as one of the top fantasy novels of 2015 (including io9’s), so that’s next on my list.
I have really enjoyed Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons and sequels, as well. It’s rare that I can recommend books to my mom that she will actually enjoy, and she definitely enjoyed this one! My copies of these books have made the rounds of family and friends, all with good reviews.
Last year I had made the goal to read more science fiction, specifically Iain M. Banks, and I utterly failed, there. I’m renewing that goal, as well as the one to continue Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller books. I also want to read more nonfiction books that aren’t work-related.
*I specify “new books” and “new pages” because I do a lot of re-reading.