Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Looking Back at This Year in Reading - 2015

Isn't this graphic awesome!  I'm borrowing it from Michelle over at Because Reading

Every year I like to look back at the reading I did and see what worked and what didn't.  Going in this year I didn't really have any goals in mind other than to read 130 books.  I had signed up for a few challenges which were all awesome but this is the year that I'm finally going to admit that while I love the idea of challenges I kind of suck at the actual execution of them.


Thinking back on this year there aren't many books that jump out at me.  I made my 130 goal (or I will have if I finish the 2 books I'm almost done with by Dec 31) and liked the overwhelming majority of books I read but there weren't very many that I just loved.  On the plus side there weren't very many that I hated either.  Part of this could be that I did get a little bit better at DNFing but for the most part I think it's because I stayed within my comfort zone and didn't push myself very much.  I read a lot of what I consider comfort reading which makes for an unfocused feeling.  I think I would like to come up with some more personal goals for next year but haven't quite formalized what that means yet.


These are all books I read in 2015 though not all were published this year.  Rereads, unfortunately, not count which is why my beloved Agatha Christie does not appear.

Mysteries - This is my most read genre with over 40 regular mysteries and 6 classic mysteries read.  

There were several mysteries in the running for favorite but I think the one that really sticks out is:

Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern - I loved this cozy set in the 1970s and can't wait to read more of the series.

Honorable Mention:  Henrietta Who? by Catherine Aird - this is a classic mystery author that I've just discovered in the last couple of years.  It's only the 2nd book I've read by her but I'm looking forward to reading more.

I really didn't think I had read much nonfiction this year but I ended up reading more than I thought - especially at the end with a plunge into Russian history.  I read a lot more humorous nonfiction so that may have been the reason?  

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower - This was the clear winner.  While I loved all the nonfiction I read this year this one really stands out.

Honorable Mention: Two way tie - Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson and Recipes for a Beautiful Life by Rebecca Barry

I'm including regular Fiction, Children's, and Classics in this category
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen - What really made this the favorite is that not only did I really enjoy the book while I was reading it but the story and the feel of the story really stuck with me.  This is an author I really wanted to read this year and I"m so glad I did!

Honorable Mention: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman because the idea of a game focused around books sounds fantastic and I loved this MG bookish adventure.

This includes Contemporary, Historical, and Romantic Suspense.  My Historical reading took a serious hit this year as I only read 2 (and one of those was a reread so it doesn't count) but my romantic suspense was way up with 15 and the Contemporary count was fairly high as well with 25.

The Liar by Nora Roberts - Roberts has long been one of my go-to authors in the romance genre but her books the last few years just haven't grabbed me.  I was thrilled when I immediately connected with The Liar and tore through it in just a couple of days.

Honorable Mention - Pretty much anything Jill Shalvis and RaeAnne Thayne wrote.  Everything I read by either of those authors I absolutely loved.

So that was 2015 for me.  How was your year in reading?  Any favorites?  Anything you want to do differently next year?


  1. 130 is awesome! Congrats. I was kind of the same- I read lots that I liked, and a few that I loved. I read more mysteries and contemps myself than I normally do, and I'm pretty satisfied with that as I discovered some new authors and expanded my horizons a bit.

  2. I'd say that was a pretty good year!! The Country Club Murders is an excellent series and I can't wait for book three. You and Greg deserve the credit for introducing me to that series - thank you:) The Residence is high on my nonfiction wish list.

  3. This was actually an excellent reading year for me. But I did also have some books that I really had issues with. I love Jill Shalvis too! She is the best! I still need to read RaeAnne Thayne, though.

    I'm not always that great at Challenges either. Well, let me re-phrase. I'm great with the challenges that I would have done regardless. Like reading romance, because I would have done that whether I signed up or not. But the ones that push me a bit, I'm not so good at following through.

  4. I love this time of year, reading everyone's yearly wrap ups and lists of favorites. It sounds like you had a good year in books overall, even if not many books stood out. I'm tried to swear off challenges in the past, but it never completely took. I am going for moderation this year and letting myself indulge in them. I think my biggest goal this coming year is to do some major catching up on my NetGalley and Edelweiss books, which is why I couldn't resist joining COYER.

    Here is to an wonderful 2016 in books!

  5. Great post! I'm having fun sharing my favorites with the Top 10 of 2015 challenge right now. I've got to be good this year about not grabbing every book on Netgalley and Edelweiss and getting caught up on those that I have already downloaded.
    Check out my Top 10 Reads of 2015

  6. I only joined one challenge this year besides the Goodreads Challenge and I failed miserably. It was a fairytale retelling challenge and I only read one book for it. Ha ha. Earlier today I took all the picture books out of my GR totals and some cookbooks that I only skimmed through, and I almost went below my goal of 104! Yikes! I joined three challenges for next year, but they are all pretty much free-range. Two have to be books on your TBR that you already own, and one is for rereads. I think I can manage those. I get where you were coming from with the comfort reading, though. I want to have my reading be more about my likes this next year. I did a lot of reading outside of my comfort zone in 2015 and it actually left me feeling meh and not invigorated.

  7. You did awesome with 130 books! I think mysteries was my most read/listened to genre this year. :)

  8. Reading 130 books is great! I'm struggling to get to my goal of 100. I only need three more books.

    Sounds like you had a great 2015, though. I cut down on the challenges I'm going to do in 2016, but I do enjoy them.

  9. *big sigh* yes on the Shalvis. Hers were good this year. I was much the same in not having many that really stood out as WHOA reads. I ended up with a number of meh ones though but mostly because I read most of the cold request books that were sent to me in print. A number of them I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise (with good reason it seems lol). Hopefully there will be a lot of awesome ones in 2016 :D

  10. Congratulations on making your goal and reading 130 books! My year was similar in that I had very few books which really knocked my socks off, though I did read quiet a few books that I enjoyed, and only a few which I ended up DNF-ing.

    I'm going to try to take on fewer review books in 2016, as well as fewer challenges, in order to have time to read more of the books on my TBR list. I'm also hoping to prune some books off that list; it's gotten really out of hand!

  11. I totally get what you mean about the feel of Sarah Addison Allen's books - she's wonderful! Also agree about RaeAnne Thayne and Jill Shalvis. I would add Kristan Higgins to those two :)

  12. I loved both The Liar and The Peach Keeper, but I read The Peach Keeper last year. Enjoy the New Year, and I hope you have more bookish LOVE in 2016.

  13. I love Nora Roberts and Agatha also, it looks like you ENJOYED the books you read, and that is the important thing!!

  14. My reading was much the same (although no where near as many!) - some real standouts but not nearly as many great books as I've read some other years.

  15. 130 books is fantastic! Way to go!
    I think 2015 was an amazing year for me. Goodreads says my average rating was a 4. Which is great.
    Good job with the non-fiction. I keep thinking how I need to read at least non-fic every year.