2015 in Books


My year in books:

Book Goal: 25
Books Read: 32 (well, 31, but I’ll finish “The Woman in the Photograph” by Thursday)
Books Set in/About Paris: 16 (one more than last year!)
Books Borrowed from the Library: 14!
Favorite Book(s): “The President’s Hat” by Antoine Laurain, and “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery
Least Favorite(s): “Headhunters” by Jo Nesbø was just terrible. I borrowed it from the library because it involves a series of art heists, but what a disappointment. It read like a shorthand synopsis of a film script Nesbø was pitching to someone else to write in full. At one point, the protagonist hid in an outhouse toilet. Also “My Paris Dream” by Kate Betts. I didn’t think it was possible to write a bad memoir about Paris, but boy was I wrong. Entitled, miserable drivel.
Longest Book: “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, 784 pages (again.) Having now read this twice, I can safely say I won’t read it a third time.
Shortest Book: “Flore: A Short Story” at 27 pages. I received this as a free download from the author (who also wrote “Paris, Rue des Martyrs,” Adria Cimino).
Funniest: “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster, though perhaps it’s more clever than laugh-out-loud funny
Saddest: “Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Susan Vreeland, a touching (fictionalized) account of Renoir’s famous painting and the stories of each of the models. For non-fiction: “The Hotel on Place Vendôme” and “In The Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson, both of which focus on Nazi Germany’s rise to power and are just seriously depressing.
Books Bought in European bookshops: Just 1 :(
Prettiest Covers: Hard to pick, as none of them are knock-outs, but I know for sure it wasn’t “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier. It may look like a cheesy grocery store checkout romance paperback, but I promise it wasn’t!
Most Overrated: “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Guys, did you know we like, shouldn’t be afraid of our creativity? Groundbreaking stuff here. And “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George. To summarize my Goodreads review: “The Little Paris Bookshop” was neither little, in Paris, nor a bookshop, DISCUSS.”

What did you guys read this year that stood out for you? I’m always taking suggestions for next year!

11 thoughts on “2015 in Books

  1. Stayed up late on a work night to finish The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi, about a young woman and her great-great-grandmother in modern and turn-of-the-century Afghanistan. Both spend part of their lives dressed as males.

    1. That sounds really fascinating and unlike my usual go-to genres. I might have to put it on my hold list at the library! Thank you! xo

  2. I see a trend… Paris, trains, vacation, hotels!? I read Girl on the Train this year and really loved it. I’ve read some older mystery novels, but I really enjoyed this one and couldn’t put it down. I don’t tend to gravitate toward modern mysteries, but this changed my mind.

    So, I started reading A Paris Apartment and really started disliking the main character. I inevitably stopped reading it and started Devil in the White city instead. Did you feel that way?

    1. Haha, I do have a type ;) I read “Girl on the Train” in a weekend and, like you, couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it, and I figured out whodunit halfway through but kept reading in the hopes that I would be wrong, but, nope. It felt to me like the author just wanted to piggyback on the success of “Gone Girl” and figured she could write something just like it, only involving a train.

      I HATED “A Paris Apartment.” The main character was insufferable, and it doesn’t get better. And my biggest beef was that it was clear the author had never set foot inside Sotheby’s Paris, because none of the descriptions were even remotely accurate. It doesn’t take that much to do a little research. But yeah, not one of my favorites by a long shot.

      I haven’t read “Devil in the White City” yet but after reading Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts” I really want to. I love his writing style! xo

  3. Oh my goodness, I did not keep up with my reading goals AT ALL this year. Also didn’t keep up with Goodreads, so I will have to go back and think about what’s missing from my ‘read’ list…. I am currently halfway through the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and loving it.

    1. Ha, oh no! I’ve found that Goodreads keeps me most accountable with my reading goal, but obviously it won’t work for everyone. And I didn’t know that Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a series! The more you know. xo

  4. Phantom Tollbooth is one of my all-time favourites for sure. This was a really good list for 2015. I’m jumping into all the reading for 2016

  5. I love this idea – do you mind if I use the same survey on my blog (with a link back here, of course)? Also, I hope you don’t mind, but I’m adding you on Goodreads – I don’t have a lot of active friends and I love using it.

    1. By all means! I don’t even think I can take credit for it, but you’re more than welcome to use the same questionnaire. And hooray, we’re friends on Goodreads! xoxo

  6. I just finished “Winter Season” by Toni Bentley and have a feeling you would enjoy it…
    Without revealing too much and, although it has a tendency to leave you feeling upbeat the one moment, a little down the next, I get the distinct impression it is an accurate portrayal of the life of a NYCB ballerina and I must confess; it was a joy gaining a little more of an understanding of the unique and captivating character that is the one-and-only “Mr. B”.

    Perhaps the “The Painted Girls” would be an appropriate title to explore next..? ;)

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