January 2, 2016

Books I read in 2015

2015 was not a banner year for reading for me. In retrospect, I should have embraced the way my reading patterns were looking early on (e-books versus paper) and adjusted accordingly. I didn't, and I ended up just reading a lot of mystery novels I'd already downloaded to my phone and not making much of a dent in my physical TBR pile. Oh well. Here is what I read by the numbers, following how I broke it down in 2014 and 2013. Not much comparative analysis is needed except to say that I read a lot less of everything. You can see what I read here on the 50 Book pledge page.

40 books

By genre

32 novels*
3 young adult
1 graphic novel
1 how-to guide
1 short-story collection
1 memoir
1 poetry collection

* 26 of the novels were straight-up mystery novels or thrillers....only six were what would usually be called literary novels.

By nation

7 Canada
2 Canada/U.S. (i.e. Canadians who live in the States, otherwise known as a distinction probably not worth making)
4 United States
3 U.K.
1 Japan

By gender

37 books by 14 women
3 books by 3 men

It turns out that almost all the books I read this year were in e-book format, either on my phone or on my Kobo. Only five of them were read on paper. This has got to be a new record for me in and of itself. But then again, this is the first year I've had an actual e-reader.

The books I flat-out enjoyed the most? Purity by Jonathan Franzen and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The latter I picked up with some trepidation as for a number of years I've been working on a project prominently featuring a modern-day plague, and it is always nerve-wracking when another writer publishes something that seems as though it might be similar to your own work-in-progress. But apart from featuring a plague, the works are (of course) totally different and Station Eleven is a brilliant novel you should definitely pick up if you haven't already. (It is also on the Canada Reads longlist alongside Bone and Bread...cue squee. Station Eleven is so well imagined and the writing is so clean and the book just seems to contain so much in all the best ways. Purity by Franzen also shares all those qualities.)

But the book that had the greatest (in every sense) impact on my life? The wildly popular decluttering book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Really, I cannot say enough about this book. It has helped me get rid of bags and bags of stuff, and though I am still not anywhere close to finished, given how much stuff I started out with, it has helped me enormously and put me on the right path (I hope) to managing all the material goods that share my space.

Here's to a book-filled and even more decluttered 2016!

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