2015 Books Recap

When I realized I hadn’t blogged my monthly book lists since last March, I was so disappointed because I need those lists to write THIS POST. I love this post. I so look forward to tallying and creating statistics about my reading habits. I mean, could I be a bigger nerd?

So, as to the winning….it was actually Elena (who is on a winning streak lately! Quick, Lane, go buy just one more PowerBall!) Who guessed 178. Everyone else was over 200. My personal goal was 175, but I can’t win my own contest, so Lane…congrats!

This year, forget it. If you’d still like to guess in the comments, just for fun, go ahead, but it’s more about the excitement, than a contest.

And….on to the tallying!

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2015 Statistics

Total number of books read in 2015: 136 (30% decrease from 2014)

Average number of books read per month: 11.3

Average number of books read per week: 2.6

Month with the most books read: This goes to July and her 29 books

Month with the least books read: Tie! February and May both with only 4 books read

Best Book I read in 2015: This was a challenge. Lots of truly great books this year. But ultimately, the winner went to a book that moved me and hasn’t left my head since I read it.

Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O’Keefe.

This book was a surprise, a delight, and just blew me away. I’m waiting for it to fade from my brain so that I can read it again.

Runners up for best book in 2015: (in no order)

The Truth About Him by M. O’Keefe – the sequel to the best book, nearly as good as the winner this year.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – this was a sweet and fantastical little tale that I did not expect to like as much as I did.

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – This one was hugely talked about after it debuted, and I had already read and loved it. Amazing dystopian story with a new twist.

Confess by Colleen Hoover – I loved this book a lot and it probably would have won except I’ve already read her new book this year and it’s so much better than this one that this one dropped a little in my estimation. Not really fair but since she may well win next year….

The Heir by Keira Cass – boy, did I not expect to like this as much as I did. Spinoff series are a tricky thing and making this about the CHILD of the couple we loved in the previous series? That’s a bold move. And yet, I liked this more than the first series.

Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole – I wonder if I year could go by that she doesn’t make this list? Her IAD books have been such a disappointment lately, I feel because she splits her focus too much, and then she smacked me with this. My second favorite in the series behind Lothaire.

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid – This won best series and deservedly so, but this was easily a contender for best book of the year.

First & Then by Emma Mills – This was not a book I expected to love, and yet, I adored it. These runners up are not in any order and truly, this might have been my second favorite book of the year.

Worst Book I read in 2015: Would you believe that there was only one contender? The dishonor goes to Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas. I mentioned in the monthly post that this is the final book in a four book series. The first three being Sugar Daddy, Blue-Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger….which are FANTASTIC stories. Then she let SIX years go by before she finished the series and somehow gave us a completely crap book. This book makes me sad to think about. I waited so long and ended up wishing she’d just left it alone and never finished it.

Runners up for worst book in 2015: None. Really. I could only come up with one truly bad book this year, which is pretty awesome, actually.

Total number of NEW books read: 101 (74.3% of the books read in 2015, 9% decrease from 2014)

Total Rereads: 35 books (25.7% of the books read in 2015, 9% increase over 2014)

Total number of standalone books (do not occur in a series): 18 (13.2% of books read in 2015, 1.2% decrease from 2014)

Best New Series: This was surprisingly challenging this year. I ended up giving the title to the Neanderthal series (Neanderthal Seeks Human and Neanderthal Marries Human, by Penny Reid). This made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Ask Kelly’s kids, I was reading it the morning they stayed over, I was laughing out loud and they kept asking me what was so funny in my book.

Runners up for best new series:

Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott. I read the fourth and final in this series and it was another stellar installment.

Original Heartbreakers by Gena Showalter, for a series where all four installments were released in the same year (YAY! LOVE that!) this was surprisingly well written and engaging. I loved them all.

Off Campus by Elle Kennedy. I loved these books and the next installment is due out this year so it could win this category in 2016.

Most surprising book: I struggled with this category. Too many surprises this year. But the final honor goes to Reflected in You by Sylvia Day, as the second in the Crossfire series. I read the first, it was fine. Then I read this one and it was about the same people! Huge surprise. I assumed the second was about a new set of characters, as is commonplace. Turns out, the whole series is about this one couple. Unfortunately, I didn’t like them enough to read more, so I stopped at two.

Biggest Disappointment: Rogue by Julie Kagawa, this was a sequel to a book I really liked from an author I really like. I hated this book. It was just awful. Huge disappointment, enough that I won’t read any further in this series.

Runners up for biggest disappointment: Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne, this was touted as a terrific love story. It was so boring, a big letdown.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, this makes the list, not because it was bad, but because it was underwhelming. The Percy Jackson series, one of my all time favorite series, and the Heroes of Olympus series, are amazing books and stories. I expected so much more from this book.

Total number of print books read in 2015: 39 (28.7% of books read in 2015, 10% decrease since 2014)

Total number of electronic books read in 2015: 97 (71.3% of books read in 2015, 10% increase over 2014)

Most surprising statistic: Runners up for Worst book. There were NONE! I only read ONE bad book in the whole year, how surprising is that!

My final thoughts? I think it is super rare that I like so many books and dislike so few in a year, that’s usually a more balanced stat, but perhaps because I read so much less this year I was more selective? I don’t know, but it’s nice to look back on a year with so many books that I loved and would like to read again.

Monthly lists:

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Annual recaps:

2014 Recap

2013 Recap

December Books 15

And here we go, the final monthly wrap up of 2015.

December (10 books)

  1. Maybe Matt’s Miracle – Tammy Falkner^
  2. Proving Paul’s Promise – Tammy Falkner^
  3. Sweet Ruin – Kresley Cole
  4. The Harder You Fall – Gena Showalter^
  5. Phoenix Island – John Dixon^
  6. Devil’s Pocket – John Dixon^
  7. Allegiance – Cayla Kluver^
  8. Indecent Proposal – Molly O’Keefe
  9. Neanderthal Seeks Human – Penny Reid^
  10. Neanderthal Marries Human – Penny Reid^

This month I read the two John Dixon books, outside of my normal range and loved them. I delved into the newest Kresley Cole from her Immortals After Dark series, which I have read all of, and the last few have been severe disappointments, so I did not have high hopes for Sweet Ruin, where she was introducing new characters instead of giving stories to long awaited beloved ones.

And I loved it. LOVED IT. One of my all time favorites of that series. Maybe even my second favorite out of 16 books. That’s amazing.

Also the Neanderthal duology, lovelovelove. An amazing romance novel, billed as “a smart romance” and that was not an overstatement.

I also decided to give Molly O’Keefe another try, because I like her M. O’Keefe stuff so much. This was okay, but there’s some sort of magic she has under a different name.

And there you go. My total on the year was…..drumroll….nah, this isn’t really worth a drumroll…but you’ve probably already started….so, fine, keep the drumroll going…..

 

136 books.  My personal goal was 175, so I came up 39 books short, but I’m fine with it. I read what I read and only keep track to remember, it’s not [really] a contest. I’m still happy with my total.

Stay tuned for the year end wrap up!

November Books 15

We are inching slowly closer to finishing out last year’s books.

This month I took a sharp turn into New Adult fiction, which I do enjoy and read the heck out of several new authors.

November (15 books)

  1. I’ll Stand By You – Sharon Sala
  2. The Curl Up & Dye – Sharon Sala^
  3. Legacy – Cayla Kluver^
  4. The Hotter You Burn – Gena Showalter^
  5. First & Then – Emma Mills^
  6. Easy – Tammara Webber^
  7. On Dublin Street – Samantha Young^
  8. The Truth About Him – M. O’Keefe^
  9. Fallen Too Far – Abbi Glines^
  10. Never Too Far – Abbi Glines^
  11. Forever Too Far – Abbi Glines^
  12. Twisted Perfection – Abbi Glines^
  13. Tall, Tatted and Tempting – Tammy Falkner^
  14. Smart, Sexy, and Secretive – Tammy Falkner^
  15. Calmly, Carefully, Completely – Tammy Falkner^

There you go. Only six books that aren’t new adult. M. O’Keefe published the spectacular sequel to Everything I Left Unsaid and it was worth the wait (a whole month!)

My surprise read of the month was First & Then, which is a book I would normally never read, but I opened it and got sucked in….to one of my favorite books of the year. Teen fiction and amazing. Loved every bit of it.

October Books 15

October was an interesting month. I read my only non-fiction book on the year and it was not good. I read some interesting new stuff, and I reread my all time favorite trilogy. All in only 8 books.

October (8 books)

  1. Win Me Over – Nicole Michaels
  2. Living Well, Spending Less – Ruth Soukup^
  3. Poison Princess – Kresley Cole*
  4. Endless Knight – Kresley Cole*
  5. Dead of Winter – Kresley Cole*
  6. The Truths about Dating and Mating – Jaycee Delorenzo^
  7. Everything I Left Unsaid – M. O’Keefe^
  8. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan

If you recall, Kresley Cole has won best book with Endless Knight, for the past two years. Yes, I read it again. I’ve read it (the whole series) many, many times over. I love them so much. But, they will not win best books again, I promise you that. It’s time for new blood.

Clearly Rick Riordan, who I read like crazy the month before, started a new series. It was fine, but somewhat without the charm of Percy Jackson. I’ll read them all, but I’m a little skeptical still.

M. O’Keefe, whose given name is Molly, is a romance author I had read before and NOT LIKED AT ALL. Then this book, Everything I Left Unsaid, came out and I didn’t know it was the same person, because she wrote this under M. O’Keefe. If I had known I might not have read it and what a mistake that would have been. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time.

Great month for books, even though it was pretty slight.

September Books 15

September rolled around and I managed a measly 13 books, and that is really all I can think to say about that.

September (13 books)

  1. And I Love Her – Marie Force^
  2. A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin – Sophie Jordan^
  3. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell – Chris Colfer
  4. Sleeper – Eric Walters^
  5. The Lightning Thief  – Rick Riordan*
  6. The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan*
  7. The Titan’s Curse – Rick Riordan*
  8. The Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan*
  9. The Last Olympian – Rick Riordan*
  10. The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan*
  11. The Son of Neptune – Rick Riordan*
  12. All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue – Sophie Jordan^
  13. Start Me Up – Nicole Michaels

And there you have it. One of my favorite books on the year is The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer, who starred as Kurt on Glee. It’s a terrific little story, but my favorite thing about it is that it was recommended to me by my favorite little reading buddy (who happened to be 9-years-old at the time of recommendation) Victoria. I have the rest of the series to read that she also loaned me, so be looking for those this year!

August Books 15

And continuing my “I love to read outside” testimonials…

August (24 books)

  1. Too Good to be True – Kristan Higgins*^
  2. Just One of the Guys – Kristan Higgins*^
  3. Taken with You – Shannon Stacey^
  4. Under the Lights – Shannon Stacey^
  5. Falling for Max – Shannon Stacey^
  6. Exclusively Yours – Shannon Stacey^
  7. Slow Summer Kisses – Shannon Stacey^
  8. The Deal – Elle Kennedy^
  9. Not Quite Dating – Catherine Bybee^
  10. The Mistake – Elle Kennedy^
  11. Light My Fire – Christie Ridgway^
  12. True Confessions – Rachel Gibson^
  13. Reflected in You – Sylvia Day^
  14. What I Love About You – Rachel Gibson*^
  15. The Look of Love – Bella Andre^
  16. From This Moment On – Bella Andre^
  17. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Bella Andre^
  18. I Only Have Eyes for You – Bella Andre^
  19. If You Were Mine – Bella Andre^
  20. Brown-Eyed Girl – Lisa Kleypas^
  21. All You Need is Love – Marie Force^
  22. I Want to Hold Your Hand – Marie Force^
  23. I Saw Her Standing There – Marie Force^
  24. All I Ever Wanted – Kristan Higgins^

I think this may be the first month ever where I did not read an actual book. I’m not going back to check, but I don’t recall it happening before. Every single book was digital. Shock. Gasp.

Brown-Eyed Girl, I don’t see how you don’t take the losers crown this year. The final chapter in a series I ADORE, and it took her SIX YEARS between the third and this one. Six years I’ve patiently been waiting for the conclusion. And.it.was.horrible. What an absolute letdown. After that much time, if that’s the shit she’s serving, I wish she had just never written it at all, rather than conclude it like this. Whew, apparently I’m still bitter and it’s been months since I read this book.

 

Also, I’ve discovered I really love the New Adult genre, and The Deal (and The Mistake) by Elle Kennedy are some of the best I’ve read. Can’t wait for the third, due out this year.

July Books 15

And finally, I get myself back to “normal”.

July (29 books)

  1. Suddenly One Summer – Julie James
  2. Ravished – Amanda Quick*
  3. Heather and Velvet – Teresa Medeiros*
  4. Nobody’s Darling – Teresa Medeiros*
  5. One Perfect Rose – Mary Jo Putney*
  6. The Diabolical Baron – Mary Jo Putney*
  7. The Bargain – Mary Jo Putney*
  8. The Lost Duke of Wyndham – Julia Quinn*
  9. The One You Want – Gena Showalter^
  10. Mr. Cavendish, I Presume – Julia Quinn*
  11. The Secret – Julie Garwood*
  12. The Gift – Julie Garwood*
  13. Wickedly Charming – Kristine Grayson
  14. Someone to Watch Over Me – Judith McNaught*
  15. Night Whispers – Judith McNaught*
  16. Double Standards – Judith McNaught*
  17. Bared to You – Sylvia Day^
  18. Until There was You – Kristan Higgins^
  19. What I Love About You – Rachel Gibson^
  20. It Must Be Love – Rachel Gibson^
  21. Daisy’s Back in Town – Rachel Gibson^
  22. Crazy On You – Rachel Gibson^
  23. Any Man of Mine – Rachel Gibson^
  24. I Do – Rachel Gibson^
  25. The Next Best Thing – Kristan Higgins^
  26. Nothing But Trouble – Rachel Gibson^
  27. Catch of the Day – Kristan Higgins^
  28. Somebody to Love – Kristan Higgins^
  29. My One and Only – Kristan Higgins^

This was a weird month. I remember discussing historical romance with my mom and telling her one of my all time favorites was Ravished. That apparently started me rereading all the historicals I love (everything with a * symbol) and then I decided to read the back catalogs of Rachel Gibson and Kristan Higgins, evidently. But hey, at nearly 30 books, apparently I was enjoying myself outside in my swing. This month brought me up to 66 books on the year. Nearly half of which were this month alone…