Books I’ve Read – The 2015 Edition

Last year I was 2 months late so why break what’s clearly becoming a tradition? ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ

I did not read a lot of new books this year, in fact this was a year of rereads. Every time I’d finish a book I’d go back and reread it immediately after or if I read a series, I’d re-read the whole thing again and again. Maybe it’s because a lot of things have been up in the air this year, a lot of change was going on and I just wanted to stay in something that was comfortable and I knew the ending to.

Or maybe I just suck, who knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So, let me just get this over with…

Goal for 2015: 150 Books
Grand total: 26 (y i k e s)
2016 Goal: 52 Books 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I’d been meaning to read this for awhile. I enjoyed the movie but as always, the book delivered more. The movie left out how distraught Skeeter actually was about everything, that actually made me like her more. Movie!Skeeter was cool and all but Book!Skeeter was 394839x better. I hate how they softened up Skeeters mom in the movie. And they left out huge chunks of Minnie and Celia’s story.

Getting Off by Lawrence Block as Jill Emerson

Picked this up during one of my BMV jaunts. Despite enjoying noir fiction (and everything else of that ilk) I don’t actually own any. This one first caught my eye because of the title lol but then the back cover summary was intriguing. There’s a woman and every guy she sleeps with, she murders and robs him of any cash on hand or easy things to sell that aren’t traceable. The reason why she does this is revealed later on in the novel. I lent it to a friend who didn’t enjoy it because the ending wasn’t happy/sad/justice was served etc. That’s the beauty of hardboiled fiction though, its cynical all the way through.

The Sicilian by Mario Puzo 

love The Godfather. It’s one of my favourite books and I finally got my hands on the “sequel” as its billed. I also watched the movies before starting to read the book (except the third, I’ve never been able to finish it.) I was really surprised by the plot of it all. There was nothing about Freddie, or Cuba or anything that happened in the second movie. This novel is actually set along the timeline of movie 1, when Michael was still in Sicily but after certain…explosive events happened. (lol trying to not be spoilery is hard y’know?) This novel doesn’t focus much on Michael but rather a man named Turi, and the events that happen to Turi influence who Michael becomes.

The Last Don by Mario Puzo

Typical Puzo story that rolls along nicely. While The Godfather focused on the intricacies of the family, this one dabbles more in the actual businesses that this Don is a part of. The twist at the end is really what makes this book.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

When I first saw this book advertised all over the place, I completely wrote it off. I think it was around the time I suffered through 50 shades so I for some reason thought that Gillian was also a self published author that went viral. Lol way to judge a book on its adverts eh? So my aunt loaned us the movie and I was hooked. The movie was superbly and done and is one of my favourites of all time. So afterwards I read the book and I’m kicking myself for having ever written it off. This was a book that truly felt refreshing to me. I’m not saying Amy is an exemplary character but how utterly maniacal and clever she is… that’s what gets me every time. Plus the whole “Cool Girl” monologue. A+

As with most popular books, especially of successful book to movie adaptations, a lot of people are hoping for a sequel. I actually really loved the ending lol and imagine the Dunnes ending up like War of the Roses. (The book/movie not the dynastic wars in England lol.) If Flynn writes one I will read it but I’m really satisfied with the ending lol. I mean… she’s Amazing Amy…she’s not just going to rot in jail.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Hands down, my FAVOURITE Flynn novel of all time. There is a definite theme in her works but ugh it was so creepy, I loved it. I couldn’t believe that this was her first novel. It’s such a satisfying read, from beginning to end. Flynn’s open endings are actually my favourites.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

So I read Flynn’s oeuvre out of order but if I didn’t know I would have guessed Dark Places to be her first novel. I’m not saying it was bad, but compared to Sharp Objects and Gone Girl it is definitely the weakest of the three in my opinion. I gave up trying to find out whodunit halfway through lol. It’s a topsy turvy story and the ending felt really rushed and the killer a bit too convenient. Still dislike Ben though.

Dawnsearlylite by Arvind Kumar 

I cannot say enough terrible things about this book. I read this book so y’all wouldn’t have to. I usually keep all of my books but this one I donated. And I feel bad about donating it. Because in an ideal world, this book should not have been published. We should not have felled trees to create this book. This book makes me so mad with how shitty it is.

So how did this God awful piece of shit end up in my hands? Well my aunt went to some event where all of these self published authors were hanging out and got me a bunch of books and she got them all autographed as well. Sounds cool right?

I thought so too until I read some of them.

With ebooks and self publishing becoming a major player we get inundated with actual CRAP. And this dude had the audacity to tell me to “enjoy the thrill!” when he signed my copy.

Well Arvind, I didn’t. There was no thrill. There was no plot. There was no romance. Nothing you’ve promised in the back blurb is actually true.

Alright so the plot of this ~story~ is that there’s this school teacher named Dawn, who is an annoying Mary Sue. Everyone is so amazed by her teaching prowess she gets all these awards yadda yadda yadda but by night she’s a hooker. Then we have Sanjay this dude who gets Dawn one night and suddenly he’s in love. And there’s a lot of bad prose in between that you know Arvind wrote and was like “God damn, this is beautiful and profound.”

Hey Arvind, it wasn’t.

How can a book at times be boring and disrespectful? I swear to God there’s an actual scene where Sanjay (who’s a doctor btw) is explaining and doing some heart surgery thing and he literally gives you a text book definition of what he’s doing but he also doesn’t miss a chance to check out the thong the nurse is wearing.

I’m serious.

I don’t really know why it’s called Dawnsearlylite (literally, I know.) There was one passage where Sanjay is all “Oh my love, my angel one day I shall write a book about our forbidden, scandalous, passionate love affair.” And then Dawn just chimes in “Can it be called Dawnsearlylite?”

LIKE ACTUALLY THOUGH.

I don’t give a fuck about spoilers because I don’t want anyone else to suffer through this piece of crap but anyways Dawns parents are super old fashioned and they arrange for her to be married to this Greek dude who owns a pizza parlour so she breaks it off with Sanjay and he loses it and hires a private detective to expose her and she loses her job as a teacher, her parents disown her blah blah blah. Also Sanjay’s wife finds out she tells Dawns parents lol. So when all that happens Dawn drives her car off a bridge and then Sanjay finds out and tries to kill himself too LOL.

And YET Arvind actually expects us to find Sanjay, suave and romantic.

But don’t worry y’all they both somehow survive and Dawn’s a hooker again and Sanjay is still asking for hookers  and they both forgive each other and make love as the sun comes up.

Arvind Kumar is a pseudonym of Sanjay. LOL no, but the character of Sanjay is probably based on himself as Arvind is apparently also a doctor/professor of medicine who is highly regarded in his field nationally and internationally.

ARVIND KUMAR is the pseudonym of author, a Professor of Medicine. A specialist in Pulmonary and Critical Care, Kumar is a well-known leader in his fi eld nationally and internationally. He has published numerous articles in medical and scientifi c journals and bulletins, as well as chapters in medical textbooks. In 2003, Kumar ventured into fi ction and wrote his fi rst novel – FreckleFace, a story of romance and love in the workplace. Since then he has written fi ve novels and published three. In 2009, he completed Dawnsearlylite, in which he applies his medical knowledge and experience to the realistic portrayal of hospital life and the pressures that the character Sanjay faces. This work is a product of his extensive and meticulous research of a number of issues confronting our society. When he is not working, Kumar is a marathon runner, competitive distance cyclist and avid reader whose tastes range from ancient history to the kind of contemporary fi ction that he himself writes.

Can I get an eye roll emoji up in here? I honest to goodness would rather read Twilight and 50 shades than this again. I hope nobody ever checks it out or maybe the library workers skimmed it and said a big NOPE.

You’re welcome y’all.

As Often as Miracles and Home by Clementine von Radics

I discovered Clementine von Radics on Tumblr. (I’ve actually discovered a lot of my new favourite poets this way.) I was never really a big reader of poetry but Tumblr has certainly changed that. This is definitely an oft overused description but her writing is raw, incredibly moving and deeply personal. In both collections of poetry you are able to learn more about Clementine and see parts of yourself at the same time.

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This was a hard book for me to get into, but I did find Amory’s journey though provoking. This was Fitzgerald’s first novel and it really shows lol. But the prose was lovely and I can always appreciate that.

Love by Toni Morrison

This is such an apt title because 2015 was the year I started my love affair with Toni Morrison. This whole novel is lovely, from the non-linear ways she writes it, to the characters she crafts… ah. It’s so much more than just a novel about two women fighting over the same man. Which is honestly what it sounds like but in the end it’s about the two former friends more than anything.

Tar Baby by Toni Morrison 

I honestly can’t believe I’ve gone this long without reading any Toni Morrison. She is such a dynamically talented writer and I now see the void in my life lol. God damn. Tar Baby is as beautifully written and amazingly crafted as her other novels. Going into my second Morrison novel I did find that I had to research certain things she’s cited in the novel just to further my own understanding of what she’s trying to say. It’s a really amazing experience reading her books.

Dare Me by Megan Abbott 

So, this book was all over my Tumblr dash for ages along with the whole “there’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls” trope and the pretty edits drew me in. It’s a good read and the descriptions of the athleticism that cheerleading is are my favourite parts of the book.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This was a really fun read. Light and fluffy and it made me so hungry lol. Nick is literally the dumbest for thinking just springing all this crazy wealth on his girlfriend was going to be a-okay. This book must have inspired tons of trips to Singapore and I want to go as well, just to eat mainly lol.

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

The sequel to Crazy Rich Asians it’s more outrageous than the first. The opulence is astounding and the food sounds better than ever. Rachel is slowly starting to morph into an annoying Mary Sue for me, (If she says ‘Sweet Jesus!’ one more time…) Astrid’s outfits continue to sound fabulous and I was so happy with her ending because Michael is honestly the biggest shit. She should have understood that in book 1. I can see this series quickly spiraling down to Shopaholic level.

 Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Ahhhh another Cormoran Strike novel!!!! I love these books and I love Cormoran as a character. Every book Matthew continues to descend into the pits of Tit-dom. I enjoyed this novel but to me it kind of follows every crime show’s cookie recipe. You have the Villain who hates women and murders them, obsessed with Strike and even has a little shrine devoted to Strike. But the real treat of this book is that it delves into the characters of Robin and Strike. (I’m still not 100% here for RobinxCormoran) Robin remains a truly lovely character, she’s a little bit of a crazy head (her jumping to conclusions about Strike thinking she’s shit when he’s just like hmmmm MURDER~) but that’s also really relatable and then you find out why Robin kind of thinks like that and in terms of development of our two main characters is FANTASTIC. And that’s why I still love this book despite how I feel the book kind of rushed the capturing of the killer and stuff but THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

I think this is really just a JK Rowling thing but I will probably re-read the entire series every time she releases a new book. And this is a detective series so she could very well write 234983294 books and after the 234983295 I will probably just end up here again. Still good though.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Yooooo this whole plot though. This book is definitely the goriest of the three released so far. And it also features my favourite line: “Then cheer the fuck up and eat your burger.”

Harry Potter 1-2 by J.K Rowling

Staple of every year. Never gets old.

Today's featured image is by Paper-Cut Pages.
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