Welcome to the 2015 book survey, designed and hosted by Perpetual Page-Turner! It was super fun last year and allows me to recall the books I read in a more meaningful way, so I’m doing it again. The survey is open to everyone, and there’s a linky in her post. (The graphics also come from that post.)
Links go to my reviews here — brief reviews of most other books on Goodreads.
Number Of Books You Read: 319 (which is DOUBLE LAST YEAR OMG HOW DID THAT HAPPEN)
Number of Re-Reads: 22
Genre You Read The Most From: Graphic novels and picture books, with 119 and 113, respectively. I guess that’s how I doubled last year’s count… Heh. Nonfiction came a distant third, with 32.
- Best Book You Read In 2015?
We have official permission to break this down by genre. (We don’t have official permission to pick two in a category, but come on, MORE THAN A HUNDRED EACH FOR THE TOP TWO GENRES…)
- Graphic novel: The Wicked & The Divine Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen ANNNNNND Young Avengers Omnibus also by Kieron Gillen.
- Picture book: Hug Machine by Scott Campbell AAAAND Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
- Children’s/Middle Grade/YA: Artemis Fowl books 3-6 by Eoin Colfer AAANNNNDDDD the Keepers series by Lian Tanner
- Adult fiction: Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig.
- Nonfiction: Men Like That: A Southern Queer History by John Howard
There’s no “worst book” slot in the survey, but I feel it should be there for completeness. There were only two books I rated one star this year: In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce and Justice League Dark Vol. 4 by J.M DeMatteis.
- Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines. I’d heard such awesome things, it’s an urban fantasy about a guy who can pull stuff from books, but in execution it was a bit boring, the female character’s treatment made me very uncomfortable, and I DNFed halfway through.
- Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner, the first of the Keepers trilogy. I literally typed the word “museum” into my library’s e-book catalog, and this was the only book to come up: an e-audio of a middle-grade fantasy. That looked interesting, but I saw it was read by the amazing Claudia Black, so that sealed the deal. I listened to it, and it was amazing, and I’m almost done with the trilogy now. Looong review of the series coming after that.
- Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I don’t think anybody’s actually read it yet, but a lot of people promised to put the Young Avengers Omnibus on their TBR…
- Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
- Best series: In the interest of not repeating myself TOO many times, I’ll go with Rat Queens Vol. 1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe. I haven’t read Vol. 2 yet, but it’s one I’m looking forward to as a series more than volumes.
- Best sequel: Artemis Fowl #5: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer. Succeeded in expanding the worldbuilding and characters in a huge way without ruining anything!
- Best series ender: Sandman Vol. 10: The Wake by Neil Gaiman. A worthy, tear-wrenching conclusion to a staggeringly complex and emotional series.
- Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Stjepan Sejic, author of Sunstone, delightful lesbian BDSM romance comic! That book was a contender in a lot of categories, but ended up here because his art is gorgeous, the writing is fantastic, and it’s not just a book I happen to like but an author I’ll follow.
- Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I confess, I didn’t get far from my comfort zone this year. These were the only two I could really find in my list, but they were both good:
- His Road Home by Anna Richland, a contemporary romance novella. I do read romance, but I generally can’t stand contemporaries. This one was great.
- The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick. A self-help book, read largely out of curiosity, but it turned out to be good. Basic “Get yourself together” stuff, but in a language nerds and geeks can actually understand.
- Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, which would’ve been #3 best graphic novel! A kind of fantasy comic with superhero elements. You know that feeling when you’re seriously considering cancelling plans just so you can finish reading a book and you keep glancing at the clock worrying your friends are going to show up before you’re done? This was the only book that gave me that this year, and it was awesome.
- Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Possibly Men Like That: A Southern Queer History by John Howard, as it (hopefully) relates to my thesis.
- Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
- Most memorable character of 2015?
My historian flag is peeking out here… The most memorable were definitely real people. Carl Corley is a gay pulp writer from Men Like That, who (hopefully) will be my thesis project. Runner-up is Martin Guerre aka Arnaud du Tilh, the 16th-century con artist profiled in The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemon Davis.
- Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
Last year I couldn’t decide and just gave it to the only novel in verse I’d read, so I’m doing the same thing here with Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doerscher. It is indeed Shakespearian Star Wars, and surprisingly fantastic – full-on iambic pentameter and Shakespearian monologues, and while it makes jokes about both, it actually manages to translate Star Wars into something Shakespearian, not just a parody.
- Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
I’d generally give this to a religious book, or some other nonfiction. This year it’s going to the Sandman series and The Planiverse by A.K. Dewdney, a descendant of Flatland that describes another 2-dimensional universe.
- Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
The remainder of the Artemis Fowl series. I started that when I was like… a CHILD, and adored it, but only read the first three or four. I’ve got a few left for next year.
- Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
I saved at least a few this time…
“I think I figured it out.” She sniffed, looking up at the stars. “Hester asked me what the difference between a story and a lie was. At the time, I told her that a story helps folks. ‘Helps ‘em do what? She asked. Well, I think I know the answer. A story helps folks face the world, even when it frightens ‘em. And a lie does the opposite. It helps you hide.”
–from The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, an excellent middle-grade horror.
- Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
- Shortest: The board book That’s Not My Fox by Fiona Watts at 10 pages.
- Longest: The Avengers vs. X-Men Companion, collecting all the AvX tie-in comics, at 1,112 pages. Yes, I read all of it.
- Book That Shocked You The Most
The Wicked & The Divine Vol. 1. I won’t spoil it for you.
- OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing)
BALLISTER AND GOLDENLOIN FROM NIMONA. I’m slowly dying inside because I don’t know if they’re “queerbaiting” or “implied couple,” and if it’s queerbaiting I may have to hate it and I caaaaan’t…
- Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
I don’t really have a major one. I’ll say Fergus, Dink, and “Dave” from Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Sattler.
- Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig. I’ve loved every book I’ve read from her, and this was the best yet!
- Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
There were a lot of books I read just because they came recommended or because of the buzz, but I’ll say Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Not only did I start it because of peer pressure, that’s the only reason I FINISHED it, but it turned out to be really good.
- Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
I’m here as living proof that a person can have a crush on a whole series. It’s not Artemis Fowl the CHARACTER, it’s every last bit of that series, from the characters to the settings to the jokes and the magic. Every time I start a new one I think “Okay, this is the weirdest crush I’ve ever had, and I’m totally fine with that…”
- Best 2015 debut you read?
I didn’t read many new releases, so I’m stretching a bit to say Nimona. A 2015 release, and Noelle Stevenson’s other (also popular) comic Lumberjanes also came out in collected form earlier in 2015, so she’s sort of debuting? Anyway, Nimona was amazing, and I can’t wait for more from Stevenson… Especially if it’s a sequel, and especially if it involves Ballister and Goldenloin kissing.
- Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Lots of contenders, but the award goes to The Planiverse by A.K. Dewdney, because it’s ALL worldbuilding. He describes the 2D world in excruciating detail, as the whole point is to consider what such a thing might be like.
- Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony. Hehehehe…
- Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I’m usually quite a crier, but this year there were just three: Sandman Vol. 10, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and City of Lies (book 2 of the Keepers trilogy).
- Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Again, Museum of Thieves and the Keepers trilogy, because I haven’t seen them talked about ANYWHERE but they’re amazing!
- Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Not a lot of soul-crushing this year, but I’ll say the whole Sandman series.
- Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage by Sydney Padua. I’ve got a review coming about this (now posted), but it’s a graphic novel about Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, would-be inventors of the computer in the 1800s. It is, I believe, a new breed of public history, and it also holds my record for “most tags/categories assigned to a single book.”
- Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce. Maybe not “mad,” but “incredibly irritated.”
- One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Nightborn by Lou Anders. I loved Frostborn and I was so excited about the sequel and I feel really bad that I still haven’t read it.
- Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
Wonder Woman: Earth One by Grant Morrison! Not a big Morrison fan, but I love the Earth One books. Also Pax by Sara Pennypacker – a new foxy middle-grade book illustrated by Jon Klassen, one of my very favorite picture book artists! (He did I Want My Hat Back, among others.)
- 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
No idea, I’m not up on these things.
- Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
I just heard there’s a third volume of Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way coming next year!!
- One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
“Continue to read and blog during grad school” is about all I can manage, really.
- A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I don’t do enough book-blogging to get ARCs. 🙂
I omitted the section on blogging, because I did so little book-blogging this year. Hoping to rectify that in 2016!