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The Good, the Bad and the Unfinished of 2015

Hello everyone! 🙂

I had originally started writing this post on January 12th, which was pretty late already, but this and that happened and the post was left unfinished even though we reached mid-February.. I feel rather embarrassed about this, but I decided to finish this post anyway.

2015 started out really badly for me, with the loss of a very dear friend, but it contained some happy moments, like my university graduation, and, luckily, it continued rather quietly. Despite all that, I read 132 books in 2015, which is the most I’ve read in the last 4 years. Last year, I had written a post about The Most Disappointing Books of 2014, so for this year, I decided to include a little bit of everything.

The Good

When browsing through my list of the books I read in 2015, I never expected to meet so many great ones I really enjoyed and loved. Thus, instead of making a numbered list, I’ll just briefly talk about some of my most distinguished books of last year (I couldn’t possibly include them all, as they are way more than I thought..).

In 2015, I read some spectacular poetry, such as Study for Necessity by Joellen Kwiatek, Les Pensées by Lucienne Hollard McKay, Felicity by Mary Oliver and my absolute favourite, Salad Anniversary by Machi Tawara. I also read some stunning classic literature, such as Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier, Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. The Book of Yokai by Michael Dylan Foster was my favourite non-fiction book of 2015, along with Jane Austen by Carol Shields, The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell and Writers & Society of Modern Japan by Irena Powell.

I could not fail to mention the writings of Petya Dubarova, a 17-year-old Bulgarian girl, who wrote magnificently but took her life way too soon. Only two collections of her poetry, short stories and prose have been published, and the edition I came across was a Greek translation of various writings of hers which were probably taken from both her collections.

Other wonderful reads were Confusion by Stefan Zweig, Silk by Alessandro Baricco, The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison, Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn. The first volume of Descender by Jeff Lemire was one of the best graphic novels I read in 2015 and In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’mor, even though not a graphic novel per se, was definitely one of the most impressive books I’ve encountered. Lastly, I ventured in the realm of audiobooks and I declare The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer one of the most comforting and most empowering books I listened to. I’m glad I listened to it first, because Amanda narrates it herself and there are also some songs incorporated here and there, so the experience of this audiobook was very fascinating.

The Bad

Compared to other years, 2015 was a very lucky reading year, since there aren’t but a few disappointing reads. Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara was the greatest disappointment of the year. Night Train to the Stars by Miyazawa Kenji and Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot were also not as impressive as I expected them to be, but they were not at all bad.

The Unfinished

I dreaded reaching this category. Sadly, I never managed to finish The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, a challenge I undertook along with Marina Sofia and Rowena. It was a rather daunting read and even though it was enjoyable in its own way, it just got left aside and forgotten over other reads.. I do plan on continuing it this year, and I hope to have finished it by summer at least.

That was my insanely belated 2015 wrap-up. Overall, I had one of the best and most exciting reading years. I don’t want to make any commitments for 2016, since I know I may not fulfil them, but I definitely want to attempt finishing Tale of Genji and, of course, I also plan on participating in Reading Ireland Month again this year.

I hope you all have a brilliant reading year in 2016 🙂