A Year in Books and End of Year Survey

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2015 was a really good reading year for me. I read more this year than I ever have by a long shot. I’ve always considered myself a reader, but the amount I read this year, man. Wow. I read 110 books. I usually read around 20. Improvements!

To close this year out, I’m going to go through my year in books according to goodreads, some blog stats, and complete Perpetualpageturner’s end of year survey. I feel like it’ll be a good combination to really wrap-up everything I’ve done this year. Since this is closing on all the books I’ve read, consider this my December Wrap-up as well.

My Year in Books

Total Books DNFd this year: 5

For the sake of keeping this as non-repetitive as possible, I’m not going to go through the individual books as a lot will likely be named in the stats and survey.

Stats for the Embuhleeliest blog

Total posts published: 155
Reviews: 18
Tags: 25
Blog Award Nominations: 9
Top 5 Wednesdays: 24
Most Popular Post of 2015: Pixar Book Tag (Original)

Wrap-Ups:

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November

December:

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park: 5/5 stars
Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch: 4.5/5 stars
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas: 4.5/5 stars
My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins: 3/5 stars
The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories by Rae Carson: 4/5 stars

Results of 2015 Reading Resolutions and Challenges

Towards the end of 2014, I made three posts about things I wanted to do book-wise in 2015. They were my 2015 Reading Resolutions, 15 in 2015 and my TBR Jar Challenge. These are the results of all that.

Reading Resolutions:
Read 30 books: Success
Focus on sequels and stand-alones: Unsure
Buy 1 book for 5 read: Fail
Write reviews for at least 50% of the books read: Fail
Separate ‘to-be-read’ books onto their own bookcase: Success
Go through ‘to-be-read’ books and decide whether or not I’ll actually ever feel like reading them. If not, give away or donate them: Success

About 50-50 here.

15 in 2015:
1. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #2): Read
2. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #3): Read
3. Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik (Temeraire #5): Not Read
4. Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik (Temeraire #6): Not Read
5. The Scar by China Mieville (Bas Lag/New Crobuzon #2): Not Read
6. Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey (Monstrumologist #2): Not Read
7. The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey (Monstromologist #3): Not Read
8. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2): Not Read
9. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See (Shanghai Girls #2): Not Read
10. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: Not Read
11. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: Not Read
12. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous: Not Read
13. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: Not Read
14. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Read
15. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku: Not Read

Guys, I read three of them. I’m totally awesome.

TBR Jar Challenge:
Read a book with 500+ pages: Success
Reread a favorite book: Success
Read a 2015 debut novel: Success
Read a book that someone else picks: Success
Read a book that you’ve never heard of before: Fail
Begin reading a new graphic novel/graphic novel series: Success
Read a new-to-you author: Success
Read a book that is not a novel: Fail
Read/watch a book and its adaptation: Fail
Read an award winning novel: Fail
Read a classic novel: Fail
Read a series finale: Success

A bit more than 50-50 here.

End of Year Book Survey

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 110
Number of Re-Reads: 30
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

Best in Books

Best Book You Read In 2015?
The Martian by Andy Weir
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love But Didn’t
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Most Surprising (in a good way) book you read?
Easy by Tammara Webber
Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read (And they Did)?
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Best series you started in 2015? Sequel? Ender?
Starter: An Ember in the Ashes by Tabaa Tahir
Sequel: A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
Ender: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Rae Carson
Best books from a genre you don’t typically read/out of comfort zone
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Book you read in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
Saga volume 5 by Brian K Vaughan
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Most memorable character of 2015?
Mark Watney from The Martian
Most beautifully written book read in 2015
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2015?
In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Favorite Passage/Quote from a book read in 2015?
“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say” – A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
Longest and Shortest books read in 2015?
Longest: A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
Shortest: A New World by Patrick Ness
Book that shocked you the most
In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
OTP of the Year
MarkoxAlana 4eva
Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year
Hakkai and Gojyo from Saiyuki (though some beg to differ)
Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously
Saga volume 4 by Brian K Vaughan (I know it’s #6 on my top 15 list, but it’s the first author on there that I had also read in 2014)
Favorite book of 2015 read based soley on a recommendation from another
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Newest fictional crush of 2015
Chaol from Throne of Glass
Best 2015 debut
An Ember in the Ashes by Tabaa Tahir
Best Worldbuilding/vivid setting of the year
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Book that put a smile on your face/most fun to read
Trigun by Yasuhiro Nightow
Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Hidden Gem of the year
Priest by Min-Woo Hyung
Book that crushed your soul
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Most Unique Book Read in 2015
The History of the World Through Twitter by Jon Holmes
Book that made you the most mad
Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Blogging/Bookish Life

New favorite book blog of 2015
Orangutan Librarian’s :”D
Favorite review written this year
The one for The Night Circus
Best discussion/non-review post this year
Pixar book tag (original)
Best event participated in
All the different readathons
Best moment of the year
Reading my 110 book goal
Most challenging this about this past year
Keeping consistency when posting
Most popular post this year
Pixar book tag (original)
Post you wished got a little more love
Holiday recipes – Nacho Dip
Best bookish discovery of 2015
All the new bloggers I follow here 😀
Challenges or goals completed?
See above

Looking Ahead

Book you didn’t get to in 2015 but will be a 2016 priority?
Weave World by Clive Barker
Most anticipated non-debut 2016 release?
A Torch Against the Night by Tabaa Tahir
Most anticipated 2016 debut?
Not sure, haven’t been paying attention
Most anticipated 2016 series ender/sequel release?
See ‘Most anticipated non-debut 2016 release’. :”D
One thing you hope to accomplish in your 2016 reading/blogging life
Cut down on impulse purchased of books that sound good because of the hype instead of because the plot appeals to me
A 2016 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone
Guys, I’m a little blog and it’s still 2015. You silly.


And that’s it. Big, honking New Year’s Eve post up and ready. I hope you all have a fantastic new year. I’ll be over here, eating mac and cheese and drinking champagne until the ball drops. PEACE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 15 Books of 2015

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Last year I did a Top 8 books of 2014. This year, I’m doing a Top 15 of 2015! I read a lot more this year thanks a lot to this blog, so I had a lot more to pick from. 😀 I’ve decided to group favorite books that belong to the same series together, so these are my top books/series I’ve read this year.

15. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

4.25/5 stars

This was the first novel I finished in 2015, back in January. It was also my first taste of Mieville’s brand of fantasy. It’s intoxicating to say the least. Mieville is able to carve the city in which this book takes place into your mind to the point where you think about wandering its streets long after you finish the book. I look forward to reading more from this author for sure. I wrote a review on this one, if you’re interested in reading more.

14. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

4.5/5 stars

This one surprised me in how much I liked it. When I first started it, I couldn’t stand the main character. By the end, I loved her. So this book got a lot of points in the character development area for me.

Also wrote a review on this one and have since read the second book, Ice Like Fire, which was also really good.

13. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

4.5/5 stars

I’m starting to notice a pattern of books I really liked and books I’ve written reviews about. It’s not 100% but it’s there. This is another that fits the bill. I loved this book. It was so magical and fantastical. I was lost in the story for a long time after it was over.

12. Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura

4.83/5 stars

This is a nine book long manga series that I kinda fell in love with. I wrote a series review on the thing if you’re interested. If you’re looking for a fantastical series with more serious and at the same time funny tones, this would be a good place to look.

This series for me was nostalgic as well. I read about half of it back in high school, and this past year I reread the whole thing. It was a really nice experience. I remember liking it when I was 15 and this time around I loved it. I think I understood the humor a bit more. It was good.


I must note that after this point, all the books I will name got a five star rating from me, so ordering them was super hard. I hope you feel my pain. 😛


 11. The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy (and novellas) by Rae Carson

5/5 stars

This is one of those series where each book may have an issue or two (I only rated book 2 five stars I believe) but as a whole, this series is wonderful. I wish that in goodreads, you could rate each book individually and then a series as a whole. It would be so much better. Currently, I’m reading the novellas, which I’ll finish up today, so I’m adding them in here too. I wrote a review on the first one if you’re interested.

10. In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

5/5 stars

This is probably one of the most fascinating books I’ve read this year. It’s a memoir written by a young woman who has defected from North Korea. It gives an insight on the daily lives and psyches of those who live in that country (and since she’s written this, North Korea has declared her a ‘democratic puppet’ and has denied all claims in the book (shocker)). This was seriously good and I still think about it.

9. Saga volumes 4 and 5 by Brian K Vaughan

5/5 stars

The first three I read last year. But this series guys, wow. It just keeps getting better and better with each volume. It’s only 5 volumes long right now, so it’s easy to catch up – go read it!

 

8. Easy by Tammara Webber

5/5 stars

I tried my hand at the new adult genre this year and this was the first one I read. Needless to say I loved it. I liked the love interest, I liked the themes, I liked that the main character wasn’t irritating. This book was great. The sequel is on my 16 in 2016 list, so hopefully I’ll get to it soon. I wrote a review if you’re interested

7. A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)5/5 stars

I jumped into the A Song of Ice and Fire series this year, and now I’m knee deep in action and treachery. I love this series so far, both of the books I’ve read this year I rated 5 stars. Currently trying to get myself to read the third (It’s just sooo biiiig) and I know I’ll love it when I do. So wish me luck. I wrote a review on the second one if you’re interested.

6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

5/5 stars

This book was a pleasant surprise. I expected a generic ya fantasy when reading this one, but it turned out to be a really cool world with some really neat lore. And I loved both the main characters, so hey, super good book by my standards.

5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

5/5 stars

These are books one and two in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, which has been floating in my life for about ten years. My cousin has tried to get to me to read this series for ages and I finally picked it up this past year. The first thing I realized is that the humor in this series is hit or miss for people. For me, it was a hit. Definitely a hit.

4. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

5/5 stars

Guys, this has become one of my favorite series ever. Ever. It’s just so damn good and you need to read it. I wrote a series review* (see ‘gush’) on it. I’m still blabbering about this series months later.

3. The Fold by Peter Clines

5/5 stars

I feel I really loved this book for how nerdy it was. Made repeated references to Stargate, Harry Potter and other things. The concept in my opinion was really neat. And apparently, it has a companion novel, 14, which I was supposed to read first and didn’t. Oops. Well, still loved this one, will read 14 soon and hopefully love it as well. Here’s my review.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

5/5 stars

Hey, this author got on my list twice. In the previous entry, he had my heart racing and had me screaming at the book. In this one, he ripped my soul. This book ripped my soul, guys.

 

 

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

5/5 stars

This is hands down my favorite book of the year. I’ve seen it on top of a few other lists as well. It’s well deserved. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it and I really suggest you listen to the audiobook, which is just perfect. I love this book. I love it. I love it. IloveitIloveitIloveit. I want to reread it a million times and get 5000 copies so I can lend them all out and make other people read it and then we can goo over it together and live happily ever after til the end of our days and it will be wonderful because The Martian exists. My review

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And that’s it! I hope you guys all had a wonderful reading year and found as many new loves in books as I did. 🙂 Happy reading!

Wine Book Tag – Blogmas 12/7

Guys, wine.

This tag was created by this person and I’m doing it because I need a post for today.

The Questions:

1. Box Wine – a book that people will judge you for liking but you like it anyway!

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B Cooney. And I pick this one because I have been judged on it. Read it in 7th grade in homeroom, and a couple of my classmates were like ‘Eewwww booooooks’. Well sucks to be them.

2. Organic Wine – a book that doesn’t have any added crap in it and is just written perfectly.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. This book is wonderful. It’s short, sweet and to the point. It’ll even rip your soul a bit.

3. Gluehwein – a really spicy, wintry read.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville I read this last year around this time while the book doesn’t take place in winter, it definitely has a bit of spice to it and it has that nice ‘dense fantasy’ feel I associate with December. I dig it.

4. Sauvignon Blanc – a really sharp and aggressive read that you couldn’t put down!

Saga volume 1 by Brian K Vaughan. I know everyone and their mother is talking about this series, but it’s seriously intense. Go read it.

5. Pinot Noir – a book you didn’t expect much from but ended up getting blown away!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. When I first read this, it was before I had even heard of the term ‘book blog’. It was years ago. Randomly grabbed it from the library, ended up looooving it. It’s so fantastic!

6. Chardonnay – a good summer read that was super-zesty.

Losing It by Cora Carmack. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

It’s super cute and super fast and super… zesty. :”D

7. Rose – a book that has a little bit of everything in it.

Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. This is my favorite manga ever for just this reason. It has action, comedy, suspense, tragedy, hints of romance… I love it. 😀

8. Shiraz – A full-bodied book that is dark and juicy

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. This book is rich and wonderful. Read.

9. Merlot – a smooth easy read with a soft finish.

I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano. Nice and easy. Ten minute read and very funny. 😀

10. Champagne – Your Favorite Book

I can’t pick! Here is my goodreads favorite shelf!


That’s it! I tag Ace, Orang-utan Librarian, Analee, Panda LadyCorvinous and Shiivi

 

July Favorites ’15

Today’s post is my second favorites post ever. Here is where you can find the first one (which probably is a lot longer than this one).

Book Stuff

Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)The books that have hovered in my head the most this month are both ones I’m currently reading and ones I’ve finished. First off, and I know I’ve mentioned this a billion times now, but Easy by Tammara Weber tops my list. I read this back at the beginning of July and I already want to re-read it. Other than that, I picked up His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik again. This is one of my alltime favorite books ever, and I decided that I wanted to zoom through it His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1)and books 2-4 in the series again before picking up books 5 and 6. This is my favorite series and I haven’t caught up on it yet. I’M A BAD FAN. There are I think 8 books total in the series and I’ve only read four. I’m bad. 😦 I don’t even know if the series is finished being written or not. I’m really bad.

And finally, I went to the library this month for the first time in a long time. When I went it, I had to renew my card since it had expired… in November of 2013. Yeah, it had been a while. But holy cow! The library was so nice inside! They had soo many books that were on my list, all the rooms were decked out with reading nooks and awesomely shaped bookcases and wow, it had changed a lot since the last time I had been there. So it makes it to my favorites list. My library rocks my socks.

Other Stuff

Foods

I really only have two food things this month. The other stuff I’ve been digging was mentioned on last month’s post. This month I’m gonna highlight Coney Island’s Hard Root Beer and Pepperidge Farms Cinammon Swirl bread. Both of these are delicious and I’m consuming way too much of each one. :”D Go try them.

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Music

Did you see the video that city in Italy made of 1000 people playing a Foo Fighters song to get the band to come play with them?! YOU DIDN’T?! WATCH IT NOW THEN!

My favorites post this month is rather short, I’m afraid. A lot of stuff I’ve been enjoying as I’ve mentioned above is the same as the stuff from last month. I’m a creature of habit, what can I say. :”D Also, watch that Foo Fighters video. Seriously, I’m serious.

My classes resume at the end of the month, so I have a feeling I’ll be forced to change my habits by then, so hopefully next month’s favorite post will have a bit more content. Okay bye!

June Favorites ’15

New kind of post for me. I’ve seen a few of these posts on various blogs and youtubes, and I decided that I like them. These will be book and not book related things – I want to branch out a bit, I think. This is my way of doing it. I noticed a lot of favorites posts have a bunch of cosmetics and stuff in them. I’m not a make-up person, so that will be minimal on mine. There will be some skin-care stuff, but that’s about it. Oh, and nail polish. There will be that. But mostly, in these posts, you can expect from me things to do with books, movies, music, video games, skin care, nail polish, food, and anything else random I decide is worthy of mentioning. I’ll have the book stuff in its own section so if that’s all you’re interested in reading about, you’ll easily be able to find it all and skip over the rest.

Also, this first favorites post will probably be a lot, lot longer than the future ones. Consider it a back log, I suppose.
Thanks for reading!

Book Stuff

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)My first current obsession is still Clash of Kings by George RR Martin. Yes, I’m still reading it. Shit’s dense, man. This book I think I’m liking a lot more than the first one, and I rated that one 5 stars, so… needless to say I’m loving this one. I’m already on the look out for obtaining the third book. Want it. Want.The Martian

The other is The Martian by Andy Weir. I’m actually listening to this one on audiobook, and it is fantastic. I looove it. Aside from the humor, my favorite part I feel is the amount of research that Andy Weir put into the book – the chemistry and physics and all of that. He goes into detail about how every little thing works, but it does so in an entertaining and humorous way. So if you haven’t read or listened to this yet, do so.

No. 6: The Manga, Volume 01 (No. 6: The Manga, #1)The other other obsession is No. 6 by Atsuko Asano. This one I would not have picked up at all had it not been lent to my by a friend. It’s a manga about a boy who grows up in a futuristic ‘perfect city’ that in reality is anything but. It’s a story about lies brought to light. I’m two volumes in, I believe it’s nine volumes long. I have 3 and 4 sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, so I’ll be jumping into those pretty quickly. The art for one is beautiful, and the characters I feel are likable even though they’ve only had two volumes so far to develop.
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Other Stuff

Foods

There are a few foods/drinks/etc I’ve been obsessing over this month. Some of them are gonna be silly. :”D They are:

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Bailey’s Chocolatini Coffee Creamer and Roaster’s Alley Coffee: Kona Blend – particularly these two things together, but they’re also super good when with other coffees/creamers, too.

Pure Main Maple Syrup straight from Maine. A friend went there on vacation and brought me back this stuff. Normally I despise maple syrup – I’m much more of a jelly on pancakes person, but uuugh this stuff is fantastic. I looove it.

Yoohoo Candy Bars – another gift from friendy from Maine. I had no idea these exist and I neeeed to find where I can get more – mine is almost gone. 😦 It’s so delicious. I want more.

Games

This is the section I’m most looking forward to 😀

I play a good bit of video games, but the two I’ve been hooked on this month are Cook, Serve Delicious and Europa Universalis IV. They’re kinda polar opposites as far as complexity gameplay and plot go, but they’re both oodles of fun!

Europa Universalis IV is a strategy simulation game where you create an empire and essentially try to dominate by various means – diplomatic, war, trade, so on. It’s a very, very involved game with a steep learning curve, but it’s so much fun once you’re used to it. If you’re a fan of Sid Meier’s Civilization series, I’d say try this one out too.

Cook, Serve, Delicious is essentially a restaurant game. You’re a chef trying to improve your restaurant through serving better foods, completing catering events, passing safety inspections – this one is a much more casual playing game and can be picked up quickly and easily. It starts you off slow and it gets harder as you progress. My restaurant is currently 2 stars, and I think I’m only a day or so away from earning my third.

Movies

I watched two movies in theaters this month and fell in love with one additional one from Netflix. So I’m just gonna link their trailers. You’ll have heard of most of them I’m sure.

Music

The genre I listen to the most is symphonic metal. Do you listen to it? Recommend me some bands! Do you not listen to it? Try it, maybe you’ll like it! These are a couple of the songs I’ve been listening to a lot this month:

Television

There have been four shows I’ve been watching this month. Inuyasha, which has shown up on Netflix for the first time, which is GREAT :D, Orange is the New Black, X-Files in prep for the new season coming out, and Archer. Trailers for all follow:


Aaaand that’s all she wrote! For this month, anyways. Next month’s post will be shorter. Monthly reading wrap-up will be posted within the next couple days or so. Happy reading!