Sunday, 3 January 2016

My 5 Favourite Books of 2015.

New Year's Day 2015 found me downloading the Goodreads app and setting myself a reading challenge of 25 books through the year, I also wanted to read more books written by women and more non-fiction books. I managed 26 books in the year (although one was only 80 pages I still counted it) and I think I managed the other 2 as well.
Here are my 5 favourite books I read this year, not necessarily published this year and in no particular order. I noticed after I photographed them that I didn't actually include any non-fiction books that I read so I'll do a little mention of those at the end.

1:: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. 
I read this at the very beginning of the year so I'm searching my memory for the reasons I enjoyed this, I must start writing reviews on Goodreads instead of just rating! Station Eleven is set after a virus wipes out a lot of the world's population, it follows various survivors living their lives in what would have been the USA all of them connected by one actor who died the night the 'plague' broke out. It's a real page turner, jumping back and forth between the past and present constantly finding more and more links between the characters and showing that survival in this world isn't enough, living has to happen as well. I found it so interesting because of how this world works post apocalyptic event, something I've spent too much time thinking about! 

2:: The Hourglass Factor by Lucy Ribchester. 
Another one I read earlier on in the year, I picked this up purely because of the beautiful artwork on the cover, so glad I did! This book is set in the early 1900s surrounding the Suffragette movement and a girl trying to make her way in the newspaper industry. I found this book so wonderful to read because it is completely immersive, sometimes overly descriptive writing makes it hard for me to focus on the story (Hello George RR Martin!) but this book did that without me losing track of the story that was going on within the lovely descriptions. It feels well researched and although obviously some artistic licence has been used it's so interesting to read of an England in this time. 

3:: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Scheider. 
This is the second of Robyn's books that I've read and I find her writing so easy to read that I consumed this book within a day, something i haven't really done since I finished uni. It's about teenagers with life-limiting and potentially terminal illness living together in a modern version of the once common sanatoriums. Unlike some other books about sickly teenagers who speak like adults and are about as deep as the pacific ocean this feels believable, teenagers who sneak off to get drunk and try figure out how to have sexual encounters without setting off the health monitors that track every anomaly in their vital signs. I really loved this book, and yes, it did make me cry. 

4:: The Bees by Laline Paull. 
A surprising favourite for me, this was probably the strangest book I read this year. It's a book, as the title suggests, about bees! It seems to me (a Sociology A level student who peaked at a C) to be a narrative on society based around a beehive. It's so interesting to see how beehives work as it really seems to have been researched fully into the workings of honey bees with some added sentiency and emotion thrown in there. Another page turner for me, I became so involved in the main characters life that i couldn't wait to see what would happen to her as she challenges the norms of the beehive and faces some great enemies in the form of wasps and weather. I would really recommend this book however definitely go in there with an open mind, its a weird one! 

5:: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. 
If I had to pick I would probably say this was my favourite book of the year. This book hits all the spots for me: it's funny, sad at times, compelling and beautifully written. The structure of the book follows twins Noah and Jude however in different times in their lives, so at any given time you're only seeing one character through the others' eyes. So much has changed in the years between the 2 stories that it only makes it more necessary to just keep reading, just one more chapter before you sleep in order to find out how these changes came to be and whether any of the issues or conflict could ever be resolved. The imagery used in this book is so unique and every metaphor used seems just completely purposeful and perfect. Brilliant. 

Special mention non-fiction favourites of the year. 
Yes Please by Amy Poehler. 
Grace's Guide by Grace Helbig. 
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. 

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