Looking Back, Looking Forward

I read 51 books in 2015. Most of them I hadn’t read before, some were books I should have read ages ago, and there were only a few I didn’t like. My favorites were:

-The Slow Regard of Silent Things – Patrick Rothfuss
-Anatomy of Evil –  Will Thomas
-Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
-A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter – William Deresiewicz
-At the Water’s Edge – Sarah Gruen
-I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
-Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
-Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke
-The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

I read a lot more fiction than I usually do. Most years, there’s a lot more non-fiction on the list, but not in 2015. I don’t know why that is, but it’s not a bad thing by any means. I also don’t have a favorite book of the year. I usually don’t. I have a list of well-loved books, so if someone asks me, ‘What’s your favorite book?’ I can rattle off a list of five or ten.

Because really, who just has ONE favorite book?

Next year, I’ll be working on that stack of unread books that I already own. Colm Tóibín’s Story of the Night has been calling to me for a while, and I imagine I’ll read Dune again, as I haven’t read it for a year or two.

I also plan to read more books from other parts of the world. There is a TED talk by Ann Morgan, who made it a goal to read a story from every country in the world one year. It helped open her eyes to other people and cultures, and has helped inspire her to get more books translated into English so more people will be able to read and learn from them. I started a similar project a couple of years ago, but didn’t get very far, though it did help me discover the Icelandic writer Sjón, the works of Japan’s Natsume Soseki, and Bulgakov’s masterful Russian satire, The Master and Margarita.

There will be more than a few Star Wars books on the list, too, because after reading Kathy Tyers’s Truce at Bakura, I’ve gotten a little nostalgic for the books I read in high school. Talk about looking back.

Anyway. As crazy as 2015 was for me overall, with the car accident, a job promotion, and a trip to Scotland among other things, it was a good year for books.

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