Reading 2015: A Year in Review

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Books read: 17

That seems like such a paltry number compared to all the other book bloggers, bookstagrammers, forum reviewers… One small point in my defense is that I didn’t count books I re-read, like These Three Remainwhich I may have read twice this year because there were two distinct slumps in my reading year. More on that in a moment…

Favourite reads: The Fionavar Tapestry (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road) by Guy Gavriel Kay and The Powder Mage Trilogy (Promise of Blood, The Crimson Campaign, The Autumn Republic) by Brian McClellan

Not only two books, but two trilogies that had a huge impact on my reading year and probably my life. The Powder Mage Trilogy was my first experience in flintlock fantasy, and boy did it change my view on fantasy as a whole. I don’t know if it was just the introduction of guns that made the story so much more fast-paced than most of the swords-and-sorcery fare I’ve read–I do know that I will never underestimate the pistol as a fantastical weapon of choice ever again. After I finished The Powder Mage Trilogy it seemed there were few things that could capture my attention until I picked up Clariel, which I neglected to review, but I came to it with a longtime love of the original Abhorsen series by Garth Nix.

A second reading slump followed The Fionavar Tapestry, which hit me on emotional, creative, spiritual, and generally awe-struck levels in a way I haven’t know probably since I read Lord of the Rings the first time. And while I was still in my fragile post-Fionavar state, my review was shared across social media and even to Guy Gavriel Kay’s Facebook fanpage. Guy Gavriel Kay shared my review on his Twitter. I walked around as a hyperventilating mess for a couple of days after that. So you’ll understand that it was a while before anything could impact me after my whole Fionavar experience.

Lowest rated: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Another book I failed to review, probably due to how underwhelmed it left me. Unlike my experiences with my favourite reads, I wanted to dash on to the next conquest to leave The Queen of the Tearling behind me. I know a lot of people hail it as one of this year’s new fantasy darlings, but I never really bought into Kelsea as a character, and the amount of peril she was constantly in only lessened the urgency incident after incident. Carry on without me, Tearling saga.

This year’s Halloween read: The Shining by Stephen King

Yet another un-reviewed book… I was a bad book blogger this year. This year I was up in the air between reading quintessential horror favourites The Shining (my dad’s vote) and The Exorcist (my mom’s vote). I landed on The Shining because it was the first one I was able to find at The Wee Book Inn. And the thing is, I thought I knew what The Shining was about just from having general pop culture. Redrum and all that. But it turns out I knew nothing about what The Shining was about. This was my first-ever Stephen King read and I can absolutely say that it scared the hell out of me. I was reading at the kitchen table one night and when Chris sneezed downstairs I almost had a cardiac incident. What probably surprised me about The Shining the most, though, were the non-scary parts. The parts where the Torrances were actually a sweet little family, and Jack a man just trying to do his best. Those moments made The Shining not only terrifying, but tragic.

I suppose I can only end a “year in review” post full of apologies with a resolution to be a better blogger in the New Year. This year got away on my in strange ways–some enjoyable, some less so, such is life. But my social media classes are over, proper employment has been acquired, and 2016 is looking like a pretty neat dive while I only stand on the edge of it.

Happy reading in the New Year! Now where to start…

 

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