Posts Tagged city of glass

Best Books of 2015

As I have mentioned in my previous post about reading in 2015, it wasn’t the best reading year. The best moments I had, related to reading of course, (the best moment ever was having my daughter, which wasn’t in the least comparable to reading) was rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I have talked more about this previously.

Still, it wasn’t  a year of reading bad books. I have read quite a few good ones. Today, I’ll talk about my top books. They didn’t make it to my Favorites shelf on Goodreads, unfortunately, but they were the best of the lot I read in 2015. They all got 5 stars on Goodreads from me. I’ll say a few words about each, and might talk about them more later, in another post.

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Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I have read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins the year before. I enjoyed it, as far as young adults books go. I tend to dislike young adult books more often than not (though I keep reading them), but that one was really good. I didn’t rush to read the other books she wrote, though.

I started reading this on a long car ride to Istanbul. I was hooked. It’s about a girl named Lola, who loves wearing costumes. She has two gay fathers, and a rocker boyfriend. One day, the family who used to live next door moves back in. She’s devastated because Cricket (the name though) has done something before he moved out the last time and she’s not really over that yet.

This is a really entertaining read, with vibrant characters. I enjoyed it more than Anna and the French Kiss, even though popular opinion is to the contrary. I also think this would make a good gift, since it’s really easy to love.

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How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

This is the only short story collection I read in 2015. It was highly recommended by Mercedes, from Mercy’s Bookish Musings in YouTube. I decided to give it a read as well.

This collection includes 9 stories that all star young girls of varying ages. They are all very different, and it deals with a wide variety of serious issues including drug use, obesity, cancer, bullying and death. I think it is a very powerful and beautifully written book. It’s not for everyone, but I think most people would think it’s pretty good.

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I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I am by no means alone when I say this is a wonderful book. It is about a girl Cassandra who lives in an old castle with her eccentric family on the brink of poverty. One day their new landlords drop by to change their lives forever.

This is a beloved book of many, so I think it suffices to say that I think it’s worth the hype. Lovable and quirky characters, beautiful writing, quite decent plot. Really enjoyable to read. I think this would also make a safe gift.

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A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

The latest book by Orhan Pamuk, also considered one of his most approachable, is about a boza seller called Mevlut who witnesses the changes in the city of Istanbul through four decades. It seems like a simple story about the life and loves of a street vendor, but it’s actually the story of Istanbul as it changes through the years.

This is the only book I have read by Orhan Pamuk. I have included the picture of the Turkish version, which is the one I read. It is translated to English now. I don’t know how good the translation is, but since he’s a Nobel Prize winner, I’d think it would be well done. I happen to think it’s excellent, though a lot of people beg to differ. It’s quite an easy read, unlike the other works by the same author.

I’ll probably do separate reviews for these books at some point. They all warrant their own blog posts with in-depth discussion. But for now, here are the other books I gave 5 stars to on Goodreads. Here they are:

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: Franky, I was embarrassed to include this in my top books. But I found it fascinating, young adult at its best. It’s about a girl called Lara Jean who writes love letters to her crushes as closure, and one day they get sent out. It’s very well written, and Lara Jean is such a sweet character, though you can’t help getting annoyed with her at some points. You’ll love the love interest. It’s quite surprising, which is something quite rare in young adult books. I can’t wait to read the sequel, and I hate that it left on a cliffhanger.
  • Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson: I do love a good road trip book. This is such. Amy has recently lost her father and she’s also moving across the country. Her mother arranges for a family friend’s son, Roger, to drive with her. It’s really entertaining, like most road trip books are. I don’t think it’s as good as Saving June by Hannah Harrington but I quite enjoyed it.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg: I really like books that are set in the South. It is told by Evelyn, who’s in a nursing home. She talks about the people who run the Whistle Stop Cafe, and people who are somehow tied there. The plot is thick, and there are secrets abound. It’s very good. I’ve seen the movie years ago, and I remember liking that as well.
  • City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments 3) by Cassandra Clare: I loved how things got solved. This was written as the conclusion, however things somehow continued on to three more books. It reads like a final book of a trilogy, and a very well written one. I like this world by Cassandra Clare, the Shadowhunters and their Voldemort-like bad guy, Valentine. I think the TV series is coming this month, so I really have to hurry up and finish the whole series.

This is it for my 2015 favorite reads. An honorable mention goes to Cross Stitch (Outlander 1) by Diana Gabaldon. I really enjoyed it, but I had to give it 4 stars because it was so thick.

 

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