6 January 2016

December Reads 2015


So here we are, the last installment of my monthly reads for this year.  I know a lot of the more 'on it' bloggers get these things wrapped up and published in December, but I was reading right up to New Years Eve to meet my yearly goal!  After a reading wash-out in November where I finished a grand total of zero books, I managed to catch up and finish five this month.  One was a gift (shh) and the other I can't find in amongst my packing (moving day is getting close!) so that's why there's only three pictured.

So here's what I read:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth

When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship — one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to ‘fix’ her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self — even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.

This was the November Sassy Books read that took me longer to get through than I had originally planned. Read my full review here.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

I put off reading this for so long and I'm not sure why.  I did have a big break in the middle of reading it, but it really picked up pace towards the end.  I loved the twists and turns as the story developed.  I will definitely be continuing with the trilogy.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

An all-new edition of the tragicomic smash hit which stormed the New York Times bestseller charts, now featuring an introduction from Markus Zusak.

In his first book for young adults, Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, featuring poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, is based on the author's own experiences. It chronicles contemporary adolescence as seen through the eyes of one Native American boy.


This is one of those modern, young-adult classics I've wanted to read for a long time, and I'm glad I finally did.  It's really interesting, well paced and quirky.  I loved the characters and the integrated artwork; a very cute story.

The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness by Jason Hazel and Joel Morris

This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.
The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. The subject of the book will greatly appeal to grown-ups.
Not much you can say abut these books other then they are short and fun to read, perfect stocking stuffers!
The History Boys by Alan Bennett 
An unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form (or senior) boys in a British boys’ school are, as such boys will be, in pursuit of sex, sport, and a place at a good university, generally in that order. In all their efforts, they are helped and hindered, enlightened and bemused, by a maverick English teacher who seeks to broaden their horizons in sometimes undefined ways, and a young history teacher who questions the methods, as well as the aim, of their schooling. In The History Boys, Alan Bennett evokes the special period and place that the sixth form represents in an English boy’s life. In doing so, he raises—with gentle wit and pitch-perfect command of character—not only universal questions about the nature of history and how it is taught but also questions about the purpose of education today.
Lastly, to end the year: some Bennett.  To be honest, I expected to love this a lot more than I did. In order to fully appreciate the references, it felt as though you had to have some specific experiences during the time period. Either that or first-hand knowledge of the Oxbridge application process.  In fact, if it wasn't for the lengthy forward, I am not sure I would have understood most of it.  It does have it's funny moments but I feel like this would be better staged then read in order to really get a feel for it.
So that's it for 2015! I hit my target of 40 (just) with an overall total of 41.  I also hit my personal page goal of 10,000 pages reaching over 11,000 this year.  This is the fourth year now where I have hit my goal, so even though I've read fewer books than I have over the last two years, my page number has still stayed over the limit.
So on to 2016.  Let me know what your favorite book of 2016 so I can add them to my list, or add me on Goodreads so I can have a good nosey!

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