2015/12/30

2015

2015 is almost at an end, and it's time for this years wrap up!

This year has been great for the blog, and I've also started up a YouTube channel, and it's so much fun! I want to thank you all for your support and for coming by the blog and my channel.

As I did last year, I have made a list of the Top 10 books of the year, which you can check out here (though I cheated, there are actually 11).

How Many Books I Read:
I set a goal of reading 100 books this year, and it was a lot of fun. I think I hit 100 sometime during autumn, and ended up reading 138 in total!


Books Per Month:
January: 11
February: 9
March: 13
April: 15
May: 12
July: 18
July: 9
August: 13
September: 11
October: 10
November: 11
December: 5

The Books I Read:
(I stole this thingy from Goodreads, hehe)
 
 
Challenges:

Around the World (hosted by It's All About Books)
Mark all the places you visit through reading.



Personal challenges:

5 classics: 25
5 graphic novels: 10
5 poetry books: 20
5 books in Norwegian: 1
5 non-fiction books: 5
5 books I knew nothing about going in: 6
5 translated books (not from English or Norwegian): 6
5 books from other continents: 4

(to see which books I read for what challenge, click here)

Other Stats:






How was your reading year?
PS: You guys really need to read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
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2015/12/28

TOP 10: BEST BOOKS OF 2015

Another year is coming to an end, and as I've discovered several new favorites this year, I thought I would share them with you.

I've compiled a list of 10 books, though as I have a hard time ranking them from 1 to 10, they will be in no particular order.



This is probably not a surprise to you if you've been around for a while, as I keep raving about this book. When I think about it, this is my favorite book of the year, perhaps even of all time.

I still carry the characters from this book with me, every day, somehow. I will give this book to all the people in my life that love to read and probably everyone else too.



This book is magical and lyrical and rather different from a lot of the other books I've read this year. It is melancholy and whimsical and definitely worth the read.



A classic I FINALLY got to reading this year and it took me completely off guard. The best way to describe this book is that it's like an onion; there are so many layers to this story and it's all so very fascinating.



A stunning and raw poetry collection about survival. This is a book every single woman on earth should read.



Another poetry collection that took my breath away. This is only 34 pages but it's one of the best books I have ever read. Each and every one should read this.



Another sort of odd and magical story. This book has everything one could want: a floating circus, a graveyard keeper and a bear. Absolutely fantastic.



This book was a bit of a surprise to me. There's just something in the main character that really speaks to me, and I thought the story was wonderful. This is one of the reasons I keep trudging my way through the classics department, because even though it takes extra effort, sometimes you find something like this.



This book is a beast but what a lovely one. This is another book in which the characters made a huge impact on me. I think it's one of the great contemporary novels out there.



Whoever says young adult is bullshit, this book proves them all wrong. This is a stunning tale of friendship and love, and it almost makes me cry just thinking about it.

What were some of your favorite books this year?







PS: I wrote this list a bit prematurely, and have now finished another book I think deserves a spot:



This book was strange and beautiful, and the kind of love story I can fall in love with. Absolutely beautiful.
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2015/12/27

BOOK REVIEW:
STRANGE WEATHER IN TOKYO BY HIROMI KAWAKAMI

Title: Strange Weather in Tokyo
Author: Hiromi Kawakami, Allison Markin Powell (translator)
Published: 2001
Language: English (Original: Japanese)
Pages: 192
Rating: 5/5


Summary:
Tsukiko is in her late thirties, unmarried and living alone. One day, she meets her former teacher in a bar, and a hesitant intimacy develops.


Review:
Before starting this book, I was in a heading for a bit of a reading slump, but this wonderful little book pulled me right out of it.

This is quite unlike anything I've read in a good while, but I loved it. It's strange and melancholy and sad, but wonderful. It deals with issues of loneliness and love in a realistic and lyrical way, without ever being over the top. It's simple, but strong.

I love the setting of Japan and the cultural aspect of this book. Also, on a side note, this book made me so hungry. It's as much about food as friendship and love, and it sort of binds everything together.

This is the perfect example of a love story I can fall in love with, and I would highly recommend it. I do think it's a bit of a weird one and maybe not for everyone, but I'd give it a go if it sounds interesting.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2015/12/23

BOOKMAS DAY 23:
BOOK REVIEW:
SILENT NIGHTS: CHRISTMAS MYSTERIES

Title: Silent Night: Christmas Mysteries
Editor: Martin Edwards
Published: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 256
Rating: 3/5



Summary:
A collection of Christmas mysteries from the Golden Age of Crime Fiction.


Review:
This was quite a lovely and festive little collection.

As a mystery lover, this was kind of perfect for me. I actually quite love mystery in short story form, as I think it's kind of fun when it isn't always about murder.

As there are so many different authors, there were some stories I loved and some I didn't. I was also happily surprised to see a Sherlock Holmes mystery in there. I also really appreciated that there's a little author bio in the beginning of each story, as it's always nice to read a little about the person who wrote the story.

Overall, a wonderful collection to read for the Christmas holiday.





You can get this book at The Book Depository.
You can read more about it on Goodreads.
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2015/12/22

BOOKMAS DAY 22:
TOP 5: BOOKS I'D LIKE TO SEE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE II

My wishlist is always miles long, but here are five of the books on my wish list this Christmas! You can check out Part I from last year here.

In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park and Maryanne Vollers


This is a non-fiction memoir about a woman who grew up in North Korea.

Don't Try This At home by Angela Readman


This is a short story collection and I have no idea what it's about, just that it's supposed to be amazing!

The Children's Crusade by Ann Packer


This is a historical fiction family story, and all I know is that the cover is loooovely.

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh


Because everyone is reading it and I want to know what the fuss is about.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith


This is the third book in the crime series about Cormorran Strike. As I loved the first two, I really want this one!

What books are on your list this year?

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2015/12/21

BOOKMAS DAY 21:
BOOK REVIEW:
THE SANTA KLAUS MURDER BY MAVIS DORIEL HAY

Title: The Santa Klaus Murder
Author: Mavis Doriel Hay
Published: 1936
Language: English
Pages: 252
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
A classic country-house murder, everyone in the family seems to benefit from Sir Osmond's death, everyone except the man who seems to have had every opportunity.


Review:
This really was a classic good old fashioned mystery.

I love the setting of the English Manor and the English countryside. There's something about the glamour of that time that really appeals to me. I thought the characters were were great, though it took me some effort to keep everyone in order.

I really enjoyed the Christmas aspect of this, as it really creates a wonderful setting. I did, however, find myself a bit disappointed with the ending. It was just like "oh... okay."

I would really recommend this book though, for the festive season, if you enjoy classic murder mysteries.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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