2015 Reading Challenge

I’m really upset you guys. I made a vow on Goodreads at the beginning of 2015 to read 40 books from January-December. AND I FAILED. I only read 26. I’M A FAILURE. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up over it but I really thought I could take the heat. I’m friends with some people on Goodreads who vowed to read 120 books. Way to just kick a girl while she’s down.

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Here is the list of 26 books I completed in 2015 with a brief, slightly sarcastic review for your reading pleasure.

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

693208Smart and dorky Indian teenager who decides to go to an all-white school in Washington state. You thought your teenage angst was bad? You are going to look back at your teenage self and think, “That was a walk in the park.”

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard

202372Very insightful lady with some crazy interesting stories to tell including marriage, murder, and one weird incident on a highway involving a man following her because she wouldn’t pull over to have sex with him? Something of that nature.

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

6514If you’re in your twenties and you’re not sure where you’re going in life (i.e. everyone I know), this is the book for you. Just goes to show we are all a little mentally insane and you start to question everything you ever knew. I walked away thinking, “I really relate to Esther Greenwood.” Following, “HOLY SHIT. I CAN RELATE TO ESTHER GREENWOOD.” Panic ensued.

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

81aTBRY7dxLI cried throughout the whole book. End of story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. The Horizontal World: Growing Up in the Middle of Nowhere: A Memoir by Debra Marquart

41nsSG49OXL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_I learned a freaky amount about North Dakota that I may find useful one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut

9597Kurt’s first novel, and I wasn’t in love with it. However, scary accurate since he basically predicted what our generation is doing today: relying on technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Stop-Time by Frank Conroy

stop-timeA genius sentence-maker. Seriously. Beautiful and elegant sentences that everyone should study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

6063187Sophie Kinsella is a guilty pleasure of mine. Is her writing fantastic? No. Are all of her characters the same? Yes. But something about her stories suck me in with all of her hilarity, ridiculousness, and extremely embarrassing moments that have me screaming in my pillow. Now, heads up. I read a lot of Kinsella books this year, but this one was by far the best and most creative.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

8492825The second book to If I Stay, and probably the sequel that wasn’t exactly necessary. But I was curious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Animal Farm by George Orwell

823It’s like the movie Babe but way more serious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

411pakPjvdL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I read this book during an entire plane ride and either it was the high altitude or the actions of the old man, but I was exhausted afterwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. The Passion of Reverend Nash by Rachel Basch

51d21qCUpDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_My professor from graduate school wrote this and it’s pretty fab.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Paper Towns by John Green

51hgkNew+XL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Adorable and quirky, mysterious, and thankfully no heartache like The Fault In Our Stars. I think I cried for days after finishing that book because John Green ripped open my heart and peed on it because he’s a jerk. Also, Cara Delevingne was perfect for her role in the Paper Towns movie.

 

 

 

 

 

14. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The_Book_Thief_by_Markus_Zusak_book_coverOne of the most interesting books I have read this year all because the narrator is Death. Literally, the narrator of the story is the Grim Reaper. And I loved every page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb.

51jZlXQL4RL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I tried with every fiber of my being not to feed this book to the dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. Subject Matter: Poems by Baron Wormser

51+gthu+dzL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Another wonderfully talented professor of mine. I have a fond memory of getting Baron to laugh hysterically in workshop once, and I truly felt like a winner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

71VBpx0qsmLThe Walls family is clearly off their rocker, but you can’t help but love them. I also heard they are turning this book into a movie in the near future, and possibly with Jennifer Lawrence.

18. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

can-you-keep-a-secret-sophie-kinsella-book-review-e1397764807140This is a tame version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Basically, this girl spills out all of her secrets to a complete stranger on an airplane only to find out he’s the owner of the company she works for. I don’t know about you, but I slip on my headphones and stare straight ahead when on an airplane before anyone can attempt to suck me into a conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

19. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

51vPf2CfSEL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I actually started this book in November 2014 and it took me almost a year to finish it. It’s definitely a tough read but it’s been on my bucket list of things to achieve. I had no idea that one Russian could have so many versions of the same name. Mind blown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

33722The title speaks for itself. The main character doesn’t know how to work an oven, vacuum, or make a bed. It’s quite entertaining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

51737Typical Sarah Dessen book based around a teenage girl in the summer. Blah blah blah. (Still gave it a 4 out of 5 stars, though.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

51o-skHMpuL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_So I know a lot of people read this book in high school, but I can’t remember it ever falling into my hands. I feel weird saying this, but I wasn’t a fan. I might just stick with Maya’s poetry instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

23. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

1091675Hands down, favorite book I read in 2015. Thomas Hardy is my new literary beau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

81W-7RMk+8LI read a review of this book a while ago before I even picked it up. The review complained about Joan Didion’s entitled personality and privileged lifestyle, taking trips to The Hamptons, and flying to dinner in San Francisco from Los Angeles. I’m really mad that I read that review because that was the only thing on my mind when reading this book. And now I’ve probably just done the same to you. Sahry.

 

 

 

 

25. Carry-On by Chris Belden

51ODq0ftgnL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_-2Chris Belden graduated from my master’s program a few years before me, and now he has this book published. Once you read it, tell me what you think is in his carry-on bag. You’ll know what I mean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

26. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

51CIO7mg5sL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Lexi Smart gets into a car accident and she can’t remember the last three years of her life. What grinds my gears is the fact that every person in Lexi’s life seem to forget that she has amnesia, including her mom. It really infuriates me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to suggest any books you’ve read recently so I can just add it to my never ending list on Goodreads.