The Last 2015 Reading Update

13 January 2016

I hope everyone has had an amazing holiday season! I know, I know. This post is LONG overdue. After my much needed Christmas break, I'm back into the blogging spirit! It's amazing what a month off from blogging can do to your overall well being! Not that I have ever thought blogging was necessarily bad… Just occasionally there are times when you need to disconnect and enjoy the world around you.

I know everyone is summing up their 2015, but for me I really just wanted to share the last 10 books I read before I met my one and only 2015 New Years Resolution! As many of you know, this past year I challenged myself to read 50 books. There were some times I questioned whether or not I would be able to finish my challenge. In the end, my goal of 50 books was met with a few weeks to spare! I am so proud of myself for finishing this challenge. Reading is priceless, and I loved excessing my mind and expanding my knowledge of the world. 

Throughout the year I have given y'all quick reviews of the books I have been reading. If you missed any of those updates, catch up here! But for now, let's jump right into the last 10 books I read of 2015!

THE NIGHTINGALE | Kristin Hannah
After reading All the Light We Cannot See, I knew it would be hard for another Second World War novel to my capture my interest the way Doerr did. Kristin Hannah presents a fascinating story of two sisters who, although different in every way possible, did their part in fighting for the freedom of their country. There aren't many books that focus on the involvement of women in WWII, and I found the story fascinating, beautiful, and incredibly sad. This year, The Nightingale was voted best in historical fiction by Goodreads.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE | JK Rowling, Illustrations by Jim Kay
I was ecstatic to finally get my hands on Jim Kay's illustrated Harry Potter. It had been a few years since I had last read the series, and I found myself as easily hooked as I was when I first read the books. Not only is JK Rowling a literally GENIUS, having Jim Kay's beautiful illustrations throughout the novel added to the magic. Focusing on the descriptions from the book rather than the depictions from the movies, Jim Kay's work absolutely stunning. 

THE WOODVILLES | Susan Higginbotham 
Goodreads | Amazon
I have read many books on the Woodvilles and the Yorks in my time. However, I enjoyed how comprehensive Higginbotham's work was. It is hard to encompass the history of the Woodville family in less than 300 hundred pages, and I do admit Higginbotham took liberties in the overall history to do so. However, as introduction to a very complicated and powerful family, The Woodvilles is a great read.

Unless you have a fascination in fires, history, or 17th century London, I don't think this book will be everyone's cup of tea. However, this primary source documents life in London both before and after the great fire of 1666. Getting your hands on a copy can be difficult, however I managed to find one in Waterstone'f for less than 1 pound during my last visit to England. 

CAREER OF EVIL | Robert Galbraith
Goodreads | Amazon
The third installment of Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike series was no disappointment. As we all know, Galbraith was the brainchild of JK Rowling, and her writing has always been and will always be fascinating. These novels keep me on the edge of my seat always!

THE DANISH GIRL | David Ebershoff
Goodreads | Amazon
I'm a sucker for reading books before seeing the movie. As soon as I saw the trailer for The Danish Girl I immediately picked up the book. I have to admit, I would have liked to have a better understanding of what Lilli was thinking. The process of her transition, while not smooth, flowed easily in Ebershoff's writing. I found myself wanting to know more of her thoughts, but not getting enough. However, Ebershoff's thorough research is clearly proven by the presentation of a world so few truly understand. I DO recommend this book to anyone who loves history or wants a better understanding of transgender people and the hardships they face in everyday life. 

After reading the illustrated version of 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone', I was once again drawn into the magical world JK Rowling has created. Although I have read these books countless amounts of time, I feel I may be reading the entire series again this upcoming year. I would provide some sort of review for this book, but let's face it, the Harry Potter series speaks for itself.

Goodreads | Amazon 
Where do I even begin? I really knew nothing of Leah Remini's personal life until her famous public split with the Church of Scientology. While I love her as an actress, I admit I picked this book up out of curiosity. Scientology… what do the people of this religion believe? All you ever hear are ridiculous accusations and over exaggerations. As I read Troublemaker, I found myself grasping a better understanding of why this religion has a hold on so many people. Remini's depiction was accusatory, but funny, sad, and rather eye opening. 

A WEEK IN DECEMBER | Sebastian Faulks 
Goodreads | Amazon
Sebastian Faulks was an author highly recommended to me by a good friend. I feel like I must have picked the wrong book because I just did not click with A Week In December. Although each character is painfully developed, the story lacks in steady flow. You are forced to read each characters thoughts on irrelevant subjects for pages, with no idea how those particular details will tie into the overall plot. In the end, I think I'll give Faulks another chancer Dies anyone have a suggestion as to which one I should try next?

Goodreads | Amazon 
A book about identity, culture, and inner nature, Everything I Never Told You turned out to not be what I was expecting. Instead of a mystery, the story was based around a family and their individual reactions to a tragedy. I found each character to be very developed in a way that made you understand their thoughts and actions. Yes, the story is incredibly sad, but it paints a true picture of the world we live in.


Personally, reading wasn't the hardest part of this challenge. Finding 50 books that actually appealed to me was very difficult! I spent countless hours in bookshops reading synopsis after synopsis. There are so many books to chose from, but finding a book that your thoroughly want to read can sometimes be really challenging! That's why this year I have decided to set my goal to 40 books. I'm encouraging everyone I know to set some sort of reading goal, even if it is only a few books here or there.

If you participated in the 2015 reading challenge, what was the most difficult aspect of the challenge for you? Have you already set a 2016 reading goal? And what were some of your favorite books?