the books of 2015
i read eighteen books in 2015, but it still wasn’t good enough to complete my goodreads goal of twenty books. i was on pace most of the year, but the end of the year really snuck up on me and even with reading obsessively the last few days of the year, i couldn’t pull it off. however, third time’s a charm, the twenty books goal is happening in 2016.
i want to cite the excuse that “i was busy”, but it’s true that i did read a lot…. of internet and blogs! i’m hoping to shift that focus more towards books over internet this year. as aziz ansari once said,
“i read the internet so much i feel like i’m like on page a million of the worst book ever."
here are some mentionable books i read last year!
most unforgettable: all the light we cannot see, anthony doerr. one of those "couldn’t put it down-ers”, i remember poring over the end of this book with bated breath in athens on a ninety degree balcony having a good cry. a must read for a great story set in germany and france during the second world war.
most enjoyable: dry, augusten burroughs. burroughs was one of my favorite finds of 2014 as his book, running with scissors, is now one of my all-time favorites, and dry was almost just as great. not only is this guy and excellent and hilarious story-teller, but his unbelievable-seeming stories are all true. what a life.
the struggle with the biggest pay-off: jane eyre, charlotte brönte. this book got often forgotten under the growing stack of books on the bed-side table throughout the year, but i was so glad to finally have finished it (it took about nine months, hah), which i enjoyed more than any austen i’ve ever read. the way brönte writes is in a style that is hyper-aware of her audience and what they must be thinking or feeling about the events of jane’s life, which i really liked. even though it was written in the mid-19th century, the words don’t seem so out of place with life today… certainly brönte was ahead of her time!
i think anyone who ever reads the tale won’t forget about the life of miss eyre.
best expat story: paris, i love you but you’re bringing me down, rosencrans baldwin & down and out in paris and london, george orwell.
too hard to decide between these two as i enjoyed them quite a lot. i enjoyed “going to work” every day in paris with baldwin and follow his attempts to try to fit into life with the parisians, as i did orwell’s exploits hopping from restaurant to restaurant as a dishwasher in the same city about a hundred years ago, trying to make his rent. i can highly recommend them both of you like a good (and true) expat tale.
most pleasant surprise: wolf in white van, john darnielle. we all had high hopes for literature works from revered mountain goats front-man darnielle as we’ve loved his lyrics for decades. if you are a darnielle fan (or even if you’re not), this short book won’t disappoint. in each chapter, more and more was revealed about the protagonist that was shocking and drew me in further and further into both the virtual world of trace italian and the real-life repercussions of creating such a fantasy world. the surprise wasn’t so much that it was excellent, but more in the subject matter. terrific. word gold.
biggest disappointment: girl in a band, kim gordon. i love girls in bands. i think there should be much more of them and i was really looking forward to hearing what kim gordon had to say about her time with sonic youth. as great of a musician as she is, her writing fell pretty flat with me and was hardly compelling. i appreciated her honesty (as did many readers, because man, was she honest) but i don’t have much else to say about it. i’m just glad that i checked out it from the library instead of paying +$15 for it.
best book-related discovery of 2015: the book depository. decent prices, great selection, free shipping worldwide. how’s that for a find? i’ve got a book on the way as i speak!
what was your favorite book of 2015? are we friends on goodreads yet?