To wrap up my New Years weekend, one final look at 2015 for me and some goals for 2016.
First things first - the favorite reads, in no particular order (links to reviews):
Kisses, She Wrote by Katherine Ashe
I started the year with this and ended my year still thinking about it - a wonderful novella that is just one big love letter with some beautifully crafted prose AND poetry by Katharine Ashe. I really enjoyed it and had a year of catching up on Ashe's back catalog.
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
I loved this for more than just enjoying a great book. My husband and I read this together, we had a ton of car discussions during the reading of and somehow included our, then, 6 yr old. And this happened:
(A little Mother/Son book-related coloring time...appropriate sound effects added and everything)
This book will always hold some sentiment for me.
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn
A book that most everyone hated and I adored. Also prompted me to read all of Quinn's backlog, searching for another gem like this one. I didn't necessarily find one on the same level, but enjoyed the ride nonetheless.
I don't love many contemporary romances - I can be entertained by them, but rarely feel the type of connection that I do with Hi-Rom. For this one, I think it the was blue-collar struggle that really spoke to me. These aren't rich people, or well educated people, or zany, funny people with perfect famillies. They're just people struggling and lonely who find each other. I really liked it, and the dialogue was fantastic.
This is the book that catapulted me into the world of Harry Dresden so completely that I lost myself for awhile. After working my way through several of the previous in the series without much to say, this was the installment that just hit my sweet spot - mostly because Dresden finally found himself in a spot where people trusted him and he trusted other people. And, Mouse. And, Butters. And, Sue - it's not every book that you have a rampaging dinosaur. Very rich in the feels.
And with my favorites came my least favorites. I don't one star a book lightly, and find myself more often not assigning any stars. I do that sometimes when I know I'm not the audience or I expected to not like and and therefore was biased going in (like, The Fault in Our Stars), or if it is a free-short by a self-pub on Amazon - when those suck, I just mark them as read and move on. But sometimes a book deserves it, in my own opinion. These weren't the only two one-stars this year, but certainly the worst of the worst for me (which are very well-rated in general - 4+ star average w/ thousands of ratings)
Bound by Lorelei James
Slow Heat in Heaven by Sandra Brown
I read a lot of Sandra Brown this year, this one was not the reason I kept reading her.
So, for 2016 my goals are to read some more classics, review books with my boys (so there will be an uptick in a lot of children's and middle grade reading/posting, though I'm not counting that for my overall reading goal), and try to stay interested in my real-life book club. I'll be proud of myself if I last three months and not get too annoyed - I'm the oldest of this group by nearly a decade and I'm the only one with a family, so pray for me - hopefully I won't roll my eyes so hard that they fall out of my head. I can learn something from them, I just know it.
I'm setting my reading goal at 150. Here's to a great year!