This year is another great year from my 4 years of book blogging life. I discover new books, new authors, new point of view, and most of all, I enjoy my reading and blogging experiences. In my goodreads record, I have read 91 books this year (includes comic and picture books), more than my target of reading 60 books. And this tag records that I have made 56 book reviews in this blog, a little more than last year.
So, in order to preserve the best things in my readings this year, I want to compile some best things in this post. Here we go:
~The Right Books in the Right Time~
There were some time in this year when I was down and didn’t know what to do and where to go. There were also the time when I wanted to read so badly, but couldn’t find the book that suit me until certain book came up.
3. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
This book literally saved me from blogger’s block. After reading this fun story, I felt I’d love to make the review instantly.
2. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
I don’t read many Japanese literature, but from few I’ve read, I always feel the calmness of Japanese country, as I saw in the movie or anime. Although some of them don’t make any sense, I enjoy the journey the books take me, through their beautiful words and scenery. I read this book when I couldn’t find any books that I could finish. I left some books unfinished, not because they’re bad, but just my brain couldn’t cooperate with stories and plot and tense. This book was a perfect answer.
1. Adultery by Paulo Coelho
This is the book I found to read at the best moment. I was really down at that time, I discover a thing about myself that change my whole life forever. I didn’t expect anything from this book because I didn’t feel relate to the topic. But soon I found out that this book was really for me, this book encourage me to face the day and night, to accept that the problems are made for something bigger that we need not to always understand.
~Leave You Dying~
There are books that do not show you anything special until the last pages, and heartlessly, unresponsibly, leave you dying. Okay, it’s a hyperbole, but true, these are 3 books with shocking ending that stupefied me, and had me a little book-hangover, and maybe a tear or two:
3. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
This book was really annoyed me from the beginning, the side characters are apathetic, and the plot is predictable. But I was wrong, I didn’t anticipate that kind of ending. It was hurting.
2. The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
A friend (Opat @casualreader4) recommend this book, her favourite one, so she lent me this simple picture book. It turned out that the content doesn’t as simple as the appearance. It is a collection of bad things that haunted you along the day, ordinary events, and then, BOOM, the last picture destroyed them all. It’s so beautiful, really, really, beautiful that I can’t hold my tears.
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I don’t know what to say, I’ve said enough on my review.
3. Cormoran Strike from The Silkworm
I love his characterization in this book, as it grows stronger. Although he isn’t the loveliest character, he is definitely my favourite one.
2. Mark Watney from The Martian
Well, I can say Watney is a master of survival, a survival guru, as he was left alone in an empty planet. All we need to survive, as he showed us, is a sense of humour. It’s serious.
1. Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby
Okay, he’s annoying, actually, but he is also curious. You’ve seen my review, haven’t you?
~Great Authors Discovery~
3. Patrick Ness
I ‘borrowed’ a non-illustrated version of A Monster Call and fascinated to read more. Actually, he has been on my radar since long time ago, but I hadn’t had any opportunity until then.
2. Carl Sagan
I was interested in astronomy, and still I am. So when I found this book on my local library, I couldn’t help to abandon other books for this one. Apparently, this book isn’t specifically talking about astronomy, but I discover that Sagan’s writing style is enjoyable. It’s easy to follow his ideas, and now I want to collect his books.
1. Shaun Tan
Obviously, after The Red Tree, I put this Australian author and illustrator into one that I am curious about. Fortunately, Opat has 6 of Tan’s book that I read immediately in front of her bookshelf. All of them become my favourites.
~Great Illustrators Discovery~
As I read a great amount of pictured books this year, it’s impossible to not mention some of those great people behind those stunning pictures.
3. Gris Grimly
He’s not my favourite Gaiman’s book’s illustrator, but his drawings give a unique impression. I like the dark atmosphere, especially if it suits the story. I became more impressed after seeing his Instagram account @grisgrimly.
2. Brian Selznick
I have encountered him last year, but I haven’t mentioned anywhere that he’s become one of my favourite illustrator. So, here I say that he is great because he can tell stories by pictures only. His pictures speak way much better than his words.
1. Shaun Tan
I have read enough of his books to say that Tan doesn’t only speak with pictures. He tells stories with lines, shapes, and colours. He can make emotional scenes with a splash of colours. And I am now a fan of his picture books, his deep writings, and meaningful arts. Again, I have to thank Opat for introducing me with this great author AND illustrator.
~Great Series Discovery~
3. Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
I accidently saw book no.8 of this series in a secondhand bookshop. As you might guess, I was interested in the ‘moon’ theme, and there was no harm to buy this book, it was relatively cheap. Unexpectedly, I love this book so much, it’s fun and delightful. The problem is, this series is still on going and has reached fifty-something, definitely not a choice to be collected. Fortunately, I found this on my local library, so yeay! I can read it for free. I’ve read five, so far.
2. Kosmik Mook
One day in a group chat, a friend (Steven @h23bc) recommend this Indonesian ‘comic magazine’ to us. It’s been a long time I didn’t read local comic books, and the first story is about an Indonesian female astronout fascinated me. It’s been my intention since last year to support local publication, if I found a book is good, I would gladly buy it. And I was in awe reading the first volume of this comic magazine. Just the same, the second volume gave something as interesting, so I decided to keep buying it every month.
1. Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones
My first encounter with Jones was Howl’s Moving Castle, and I love it. I’ve bought this series long time ago, but I didn’t think it would be as good as Howl. However, as I read it this year, it’s proven that I was wrong. This series is more interesting than Howl’s, so far.
~Favourite Books of 2015~
5. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
This series definitely become more interesting. I don’t usually like romance between partners, but I just like the relationship that grows between Cormoran and Robin. Besides, it’s Rowling, eh, Galbraith, he’s a genius writer.
4. InterWorld by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves
Neil Gaiman and science, what not to love. I wasn’t really sure about this book, because of some negative reviews. But it turns out that this book is definitely for me.
3. The Martian by Andy Weir
Science fiction, astronout, Mars, oh how I love this outer space thing. And, most of all, Weir has done his job very well.
2. Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This book had been on my wishlist for a very long time. It was the first time I read Exupery in English translation, it’s so beautiful.
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
What should I say about this book. Well, in short, this kind of book is a reason why I love classic literature.
Thank you, 2015, for giving me chances to meet all these splendors. Wish me luck with 2016. 🙂