At the beginning of this year I set myself 10 resolutions – one of them was to read 50 books in a year. I have failed. Or I will fail. I’m on 31 with just a couple weeks left of 2015 BUT this is the most I’ve ever read in a year EVER. Also, I read A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons in 2015 which have A LOT of pages. Like a lot a lot. After spending three years at university only ever reading books for my course and not having any time to read for pleasure I have been in my element this year. Moving to London was a brilliant decision just because of the amount of time I spend on public transport and therefore the amount of time I spend reading.
I am going to set myself the 50 book reading challenge again next year and hopefully I will improve on my number from this year! In the mean time I wanted to share with you my top 5 favourite books that I read this year. This is definitely not books published this year but ones I read so sorry if this isn’t relevant!
I am finally caught up with A Song of Ice and Fire! I love fantasy worlds and I got so addicted to Game of Thrones that I knew I had to read the books to fill the void between series. But now I’ve finished the (published) books too and so there is a big big void. Everyone always asks which is better: books or series, but I hate comparing. I love them both so much, they’re just different. The things I love about the books are all the extra detail and backstories. I have learnt a lot about the history of Westeros and Essos but what I really want to know is about The Doom of Valyria. Some natural disaster happened and destroyed Valyria and all their knowledge, recorded history and spells including how to make Valyrian steel. And as a history student it makes me so sad that a whole people’s history has just vanished!
This book was unlike anything I’d ever read before. I knew very little about North Korea other than scary stuff you hear in the news, one TED talk and studying the Cold War when I was 17 years old. This book was a real eye-opener into the reality of the situation in North Korea. Yeonmi describes her life there and her escape – sometimes I thought what I was reading was a really traumatic novel but then I’d snap back and remember that this was real. It really happened to her and to so many other North Koreans. It’s a heavy read but so important and Yeonmi is such an inspiration – I was lucky enough to meet her at a Penguin vlogger event and she was so funny and sweet. I hope everyone reads her book and hears her story.
If you read my last blog post you’ll know that I’ve been obsessing over the meaning of love recently and this book is definitely one of the causes of my obsession. It’s a novel combined with the philosophy of love and it’s absolutely gripping and fascinating. You follow the story of a man who falls in love with a woman but as the reader you’re not invested in either person or the relationship so you can objectively see the crazy things that being in love can make a person do/think. It’s brutally honest and many times I felt like I was being punched in the stomach with words – which sounds horrible but it was in a good way.
Definitely my favourite YA novel I read this year. I met E. Lockhart and she signed my copy but that’s not the only reason why it’s one of my favourites. It’s basically a feminist book but without screaming FEMINISM. It’s accessible and funny and there were so many moments whilst reading it when I’d be clutching the book and yelling “YES YES YES!” and then doing a mini-fist bump in the air. People on the tube must have thought I was nuts. The dialogue between Frankie and other characters but especially her boyfriend is just so beautifully accurate and relatable but when you’re reading it as an outsider you pick up on the subtle things that are so messed up in relationships. This book just made me very excited and I want every teenager to read it. Also, everyone else. Why not.
This wasn’t even a hard decision. The Martian was absolutely my favourite book I read this year. I am obsessed. I speed read it because I wanted to see the film and it was the most gripping and tense but also lovable thing I’ve ever read. Mark Watney is such a great main character and thank god because you spend a lot of time with just him and his thoughts seeing as he’s stuck on Mars alone. It’s so funny, I actually laughed out loud whilst reading many times – “Gay probe coming to save me. Got it.” is a personal favourite of mine. Also, the science stuff in it was really cool! It was so well written that it was pretty easy to follow along even if you’re like me and know nothing about chemistry and physics. I love this book so much, when I was reading the final chapter I was so nervous and my heart was racing that I had to put it down for a few seconds to catch my breath and then carry on. READ IT. And then see the film.
And that is my top 5 books of 2015! Have you read any of them? What did you think of them? What were your favourites? Let me know in the comments! If you want to keep up to date on what I’m reading I have a Goodreads page and you can add me there. Happy reading for 2016!
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