Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Reading Round-Up

In 2015, I finished 20 out of the 28 of the books on my to-read list, as well as four other books that weren't on the list. I also DNFed two books that weren't on the list (Gone Girl and The Casual Vacancy (audio)) and started another book that was on the list (Black Dove, White Raven) but didn't manage to finish it in time.

Here is the final list of all the books I finished. The books I loved or really liked are in bold.

1. Dark Places -- Gillian Flynn
2. Blue Lily, Lily Blue -- Maggie Stiefvater
3. Some Girls Are -- Courtney Summers
4. The Lowlands -- Jhumpa Lahiri (audio)
5. Charm and Strange -- Stephanie Kuehn
6. Otherbound -- Corinne Duyvis
7. The Martian Chronicles -- Ray Bradbury
8. Red Queen -- Victoria Aveyard
9. Pointe -- Brandy Colbert
10. A Picture of Dorian Gray -- Oscar Wilde (audio)
11. We Were Liars -- E. Lockhart
12. A Darker Shade of Magic -- V.E. Schwab
13. An Ember in the Ashes -- Sabaa Tahir
14. Under a Painted Sky -- Stacey Lee
15. The Dirty Streets of Heaven -- Tad Williams
16. Pantomime -- Laura Lam
17. Wild Awake -- Hilary T. Smith
18. Made You Up -- Francesca Zappia
19. In the Shadow of Blackbirds -- Cat Winters (audio)
20. Star Cursed -- Jessica Spotswood
21. Seraphina -- Rachel Hartman
22. The Second Mango -- Shira Glassman (ebook)
23. Sorrow’s Knot -- Erin Bow
24. The Ocean at the End of the Lane -- Neil Gaiman (audio)

24 books isn't a lot, but it's also been a really busy year.

I made a good choice in prioritizing books I was excited about. The fact that 15/24 of these are bolded is really new for me.

Genre breakdown:

9 YA fantasy/supernatural
6 YA contemporary
3 adult fantasy
2 literary
1 historical YA
1 adult suspense
1 adult SF
1 NA fantasy

Gender breakdown:

20 books by female authors, 4 books by male authors

12 cis female POVs, 5 cis male POVs, 1 intersex POV, 6 male and female POVs

Diversity (books in bold are "own voices*"):

5/24 by authors of color:
-Sabaa Tahir (South Asian American)
-Jhumpa Lahiri (Indian Begali American)
-Brandy Colbert (black American)
-Stephanie Kuehn (black American (also Polynesian, I think, though I couldn’t find the post where she mentioned that))
-Stacey Lee (Chinese American)

8/24 with POV characters of color**:
-Otherbound (one Hispanic American, another from a fictional race)
-An Ember in the Ashes (unsure about this one, as these are fictional races, but people often include it in POC lists)
-The Lowlands (Indian and Indian-American characters)
-Sorrow’s Knot (based on Native Americans)
-Pointe (black American)
-Under A Painted Sky (Chinese American)
-The Second Mango (based on Jews of different ethnicities)
-Red Queen (Word of God says the protagonist is mixed race, but let’s be real, the actress that plays her in the movie adaptation probably won’t be)

7/24 with a queer POV character:
-Blue Lily, Lily Blue (strongly hinted as bisexual)
-Otherbound (bisexual)
-The Lowlands (bisexual)
-A Darker Shade of Magic (confirmed as bisexual by Word of God)
-The Second Mango (lesbian)
-Pantomime (bisexual)
-A Picture of Dorian Gray (first chapter from the POV of a man attracted to another man)

10/24 with POV characters dealing with disabilities and/or mental illness**:
-Dark Places (debilitating depression/PTSD, digits amputated)
-Otherbound (one character with an amputated leg, another with an amputated tongue)
-The Lowlands (one character in therapy, another with strong hints of depression)
-Some Girls Are (character previously in therapy, with continuing psychosomatic illness)
-Pointe (anorexia nervosa)
-We Were Liars (debilitating migraines and drug addiction)
-Wild Awake (bipolar disorder)
-Made You Up (schizophrenia)
-The Second Mango (food allergies)
-Charm and Strange (trauma-induced delusions)

*In the case of "own voices," I only counted authors who were open about their sexuality and mental illness.

**I counted whether a certain demographic was represented, not whether that demographic was portrayed well or even accurately.

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