Jennie Made Me Write This: My Favorite Books of 2015

First of all.  Heeeeeey! What’s up? Its been awhile! It’s cool though, I haven’t done much except drive children back and forth to school and send ten million texts about Cillian Murphy.  Regular stuff.

I promised a certain person I would write this blog post even though I didn’t actually read very many good books this year.  My therapist is very proud of me because I only read 50 something books in 2015.  In 2013 I read over 200 and reading became my retreat from the world.  So I actually had a goal to read LESS and I feel like 50 is a good number.  It’s enough so I’m still doing something I love but not so many that I miss out on life because I’m trying to beat a number.  Anyway.  I am starting a new book blog, I think, because I miss writing and I miss using the word “magnificent” 400 times during my horrible book reviews and I miss you guys.  Should be fun.

Ok.  So these were my favorite books this year.  I am right in the middle of “Among the Ten Thousand Things” but honestly it’s not lighting my pants on fire so who cares.  I also have a big pile of stuff I wish I had read already because maybe it would be on this list, but mediocrity.  It’s what makes all this shit work.

  1. The Girl With All The Gifts.  I suspect everyone already read this book last year but I really enjoyed it.  Fun adventure story, kinda creepy, fast paced.  I recommended it to Erik and he liked it too. Not magnificent but a good time.
  2. Brutal Youth.  Long, crazy, and kind of bizarre.  I really liked it and I find myself thinking about it all the time.  I loved it way more than I thought I would. If you’re not into kind of a violent prep school genre quite as much as I am I’m not sure it would be for you, but I dug it.
  3. Bellweather Rhapsody. This was ALMOST my favorite book of the year.  LOVED LOVED LOVED.  This is just my kind of book.  Interesting, weird, funny.  The first book I was really happy about in 2015.  Definitely magnificent.
  4. A Little Life.  My favorite book of the year.  It changed my life. It’s absolutely on my top books of all time list.  And I can’t really recommend it per se because it is HARD TRIGGERY UPSETTING read, but it is something so special and beautiful and I can’t even explain what a tour de force I thought it was.  I’ve never seen an author write so perfectly about someone’s whole life in just this way.  Epic.  Absolutely the most magnificent of magnificence.
  5. My New American Life.  I assigned myself a project this summer: to read about the American immigrant experience, and this was my favorite book I read.  I still think about it all the time.  I loved Lula, the main character, a whole lot.
  6. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank To Forget. I took about a thousand pictures of this book while I read it because it was genius on every page. I’m very glad I discovered Sarah Hepola and I need to read all her books.  She is super magnificent.
  7. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.  My favorite YAF of the year, recommended to me by Jennie and thank goodness.  I can’t remember being this happy after reading a book maybe ever. I was grinning ear to ear.  This is what Sarah Dessen used to be, with a main character you just adore but also an entire supporting cast of characters you want to know more about and that make you love the world you’re in while you read.  Fantastic, funny, heartbreaking, romantic, amazing.  PRETTY UTTERLY MAGNIFICENT.  Truly.
  8. Kitchens of the Great Midwest.  Probably my third favorite book of the year.  So weird and cool and the ending was very pleasing to me.  My favorite kind of book, with a biting insight into people and how they tick but also strange and fantastical at the same time, and it’s great.  Read it.
  9. Mislaid.  Also kind of weird, but fun?  It didn’t take itself too seriously but I felt like it was written with much love, if that makes any sense.
  10. Slaughterhouse 90210.  This isn’t a novel, more like a mini coffee table book with famous quotes matched up with pictures from pop culture. I thought it was fabulous.  It made me want to watch more TV and read more books and think about how cool the world is.  I bought myself a copy, so there you go.

SOMEONE also requested I rant about my least favorite books, because apparently I have been known to do this? It’s true I do love a good bad book rant. Most of what I read this was just boring or meh but there were a couple real stinkers.  These are those. I’m not linking to this crap, sorry.

  1. Once I was Cool.  Four typos within the first 20 pages. I don’t care how fucking cool you were, hire an editor.
  2. The Nightingale. OH MY GAWD WHY SOOOOO MUCH LOVE FOR SOMETHING SO EFFFING BORING AND STUPID NOOOOO.  BLECH. TRES CRAPTACULAR. VERY FAR FROM MAGNIFICENT.
  3. After You.  This is the sequel to Me Before You, and if I could light all the copies of this in the world on fire with the power of my mind, I would.  Seriously.  What a pile of poo. It’s not just that it was awful and predictable and boring and stupid and the characters were uninteresting and just sat around being lame, but the first book was SO GOOD and this just SHITS on it.  I wish I had never even heard of it.  God.  Go away terrible terrible book GO AWAY.