Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Year In Reading - 2015

It's been a terrific year of reading for me. Last year felt like a jumble of misplaced words and thoughts, after losing my reading list in the birth year of my son. I remember reading Me Before You early last January, in a strange, milky haze of motherhood and misplaced sleep. Beyond that, everything in that year, including my newfound identity of 'mother', felt like an interrupted thought, a word at the tip of my tongue that never quite leaked out.

This year felt more solid and whole on the reading front (and many others). I aimed to read a book a week, which is my goal every year. And that seems to work for me. I guess I even surpassed that goal.

I don't like to list favorites here. Books are so uniquely their own, to stand them up against one another feels wrong. However, I was asked to compile a list of recommended young adult books for Cleaver Magazine and, while I personally hesitate to call it a 'best of' anything, it is a list of amazing books that were powerful and meant something to me and each of our awesome reviewers. I link to it here.

I love to list the books I've read, to remember where I've been and where I ended up in my reading year, in the hopes that you'll tell me where you were and we can talk about the places we overlapped. I only included books I completed and enjoyed. So this list is made up of a ton of excellent reads and I celebrate all of them. I also linked to the books I offered more thoughts on in my blog or on the Barnes and Noble Kids blog.

I suppose the best thing about this reading year were how many of my amazing friends published incredible books this year and last (highlighted below). And I discovered some new-to-me authors that are probably not new to anyone else whose books I'm thrilled to have finally found: Lauren Groff, Nova Ren Suma, Lucia Berlin, Elana K. Arnold, Celeste Ng, Angela Flournoy, and Marilynne Robinson.

I hope you had a terrific reading year too. And I have more news soon, about a redesign for this ole blog in the new year.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Brunt Rifka
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose
The Summer Prince by Alaya Johnson Dawn
Free to Learn by Peter Gray
I'll Be Right There by Kyung-sook Shin
The Girl with Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rosetti
The Color Master: Stories by Aimee Bender
Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
The Professor and the Madmen by Simon Winchester
Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis
Evil Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Outline by Rachel Cusk
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Neilsen
One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Suart Little by E.B. White
The Penderwicks #1 by Jeanne Birdsall
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
For Real by Alison Cherry
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls by Liz Kessler
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich
Smile by Raina Telegmeier
He's Gone by Deb Caletti
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Some Luck by Jane Smiley
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
M Train by Patti Smith
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Infandous by Elana K. Arnold
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahesi Coates
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin
My True Love Gave to Me: Stories Edited by Stephanie Perkins
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Stories by Lucia Berlin


  1. Glad you had such a productive and enjoyable reading year! Impressive list. I've read 96 books, just shy of my hundred goal but that's fine with me. And some of my favorites live on your list too.

  2. Glad you had such a productive and enjoyable reading year! Impressive list. I've read 96 books, just shy of my hundred goal but that's fine with me. And some of my favorites live on your list too.

  3. Ah, how quickly our lifetimes pass and 1-outta-1 perishes. TheEnd. I aint being pissimistic, dear, Im only telln you the Truth of what happened to us. Lemme fill-you-up withe avant-gardeness and wisdom necessary to achieve Seventh-Heaven, dear...

    Wanna wiseabove to help a 'Plethora Of Wurdz' which are look'n for a new home in your novelty?? Yay!

    Q: But [gulp] can anyone tell me the difference between K2 and IQ? A: Nthn. In Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HA! Need a few more thots, ideers, wild wurdz (whoa, Nelly! Easy, girl!) or ironclad iconoclasms? Voila!!

    VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go thro in this lifelong demise, I wanna help U.S. git past the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to [the] wise)...

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence". Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET! any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs (in [the] end without end -Saint Augustine) when my o-so-beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3, NJB

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go gitt'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
    PS Need summore unique, uncivilized, useless names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoo, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Martini, Ivy Squire, Sauer Wolfe, Yankee Cooky, -blessed b9 ...shake well B4 use!

    God blessa youse
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL