The Non-Bookish Update: My 2015 in Books and Life

Hello friends! Happy New Year! I know I’m supposed to be on hiatus, buuuuut, I couldn’t help myself.

With 2015 now over, I had to write a blog post about my year in, as the title says, books, lessons and life. Without further ado, let’s look at 2015 in two (hopefully succinct) top’s. ❤️

TOP FIVE SIX BOOKS

I have read a lot of books this year – more than I’ve ever read before too! I set out to read 75 books in 2015, but managed to read 81! (New year resolutions can come true!) More, I have read a lot of books that I really enjoyed this year, so choosing a top six? All of you bookish lovelies understand how hard choosing can be! But, here are my top six books of 2015, in purely alphabetical order.

  1. non-bookish update newyears1Gambit by C.L. Denault – I had the pleasure to receive this as an ARC and I loved it. Incredible writing, unforgettable characters, a compelling plot, and a heck of a story to tell. What more could you ask for? Oh, and it’s a dystopian romance with superpowers and it’s awesome. (Also, the author Cary is such a lovely lady!)
  2. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Beautifully simple in concept but incredibly deep and profound. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel a spectrum of feelings – after all, it is a book about life and all its colours. This book stole my heart and gave me a fantastic gift that I never expected from a book: a sense of hope.
  3. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – Although it is a book that requires patience, Ishiguro became one of my favourite authors with this book alone. Wonderfully subtle and complex, this is a book about the dawn and twilight of life, about the regrets and pride we develop over our long lives; it is a book about life delivered with a whisper.
  4. non-bookish update newyears2The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski – I adored The Winner’s Curse, but this book took the story to a whole new level. More politics, more cunning characters, more at stake, more drama, more romance – it’s everything you want in a fantasy-romance and more. I’m particularly excited for The Winner’s Kiss, due to be released in March 2016! Bring it on!
  5. Unteachable by Leah Raeder – My first Raeder book and I’ve been a fan ever since. Beautifully, gorgeously, splendidly (do you get the message?) written and so deep and visceral. An astounding NA that is more than sex – it explores family, our ambitions in life, and the strangeness and beauty of love.
  6. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – All I ever wanted in a dystopian book. Excellently written with strong themes that dystopians ought to explore – oppression, war, politics, and classism. I cannot wait to read The Golden Sun; I’ve heard it is just as incredible as Red Rising!

Special mention because this book really deserves to be recognized: For Today I am a Boy by Kim Fu – perhaps one of the most powerful and shattering books I have ever read. Three words: Chinese trans protagonist. More rare, is that this book explores the complexity of the dynamics of a Chinese family without overlooking its nuances. Deep, dark, but ultimately hopeful.


TOP FIVE BOOKISH THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR 

This is about you guys and the bookish community. But I’ll save my words for the things I’m thankful for. ❤️

  1. I discovered the bookish community. I started this blog because I loved reading and wanted to take my hobby further than just pick-up-the-book-read-it-and-done. For the first year, I posted my reviews without any expectation of people interacting with me. And then Summer introduced me to the bookish community, and I have never looked back.
  2. Meeting so many new friends who shared my passion for books! Being a lonely bookworm sucks, but meeting and befriending so many of you through our blogs and love of books has brought me so much joy this year. I always loved reading, but sharing books with others is something else. And this is something I’ll always be grateful for – for new and old friends!
  3. My discovery of audiobooks! The first time I listened to an audiobook, I tuned out within three minutes and never picked it up again. And then, for the heck of it, I picked it up while doing some spring cleaning – and I haven’t been without an audiobook since! They are perfect for commute, and they bring something extra when the voice actors/actresses are amazing.
  4. Making a bookish Twitter. (Aentee was the one who encouraged me to make one, so thank you Aentee!) I’m not great with social media, but I love the awesome book chats, the friends made through mutual favourite books, and talking to authors (y’all are amazing and god-like to me).
  5. Discovering Book Depository. Enough said. Before I used an equally fantastic website, but I just love the bookmarks that come with Book Depository. And the free shipping! Happy sigh.

In hindsight, 2015 has been another fantastic year of reading and books!

Here’s hoping that 2016 will be an even better year and filled with new favourite books and awe. 💖 Have a fantastic year everyone, and all the best in all your endeavours! 

 

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31 thoughts on “The Non-Bookish Update: My 2015 in Books and Life

  1. After the infinite praise you and Carolyn sing about The Winner’s Curse… I’m going to have to pick it up in 2016 of sure. And aww, I’m so glad I stumbled up your blog and met you Chooi! Really. <3 :D And happy new year!

    • You have to! And then it’ll be just in time for The Winner’s Kiss and then EEPPP FANGIRL FEELS/TEARS SHALL FLOW. ❤️

      Oh gosh, rereading what I wrote, I think I left it off too terse! I meant to be more gushy. But then, I wrote this at 3am, LOL. I think I was a bit beside myself too. But yes, I’ve said it soo many times but thank you Summer! ❤️

      Happy New Year to you too! I’ve already gushed enough on your 2016 blog, but I’m wishing you all the best for this year. You’ll always have my support! I’ll be cheering you on! ❤️

  2. Happy new year, CW!
    I cannot believe it was just three months ago that I blogged for myself, not realizing there’s this wonderful community on the blogosphere. <3 I'm glad you created twitter because that was how I stumble into your blog.
    I still cannot get into audiobooks, which is weird because I really enjoy podcast. Perhaps I've been picking up the wrong audiobooks. As for book depository, I absolutely love it, but it didn't save me any money because I just use the money I saved from free shipping to buy another book. lol.

    • Happy New Year, Windie!

      Me too! I went without knowing the book community for a year! It’s crazy, haha, I wish I had found you guys sooner. ❤️ I’m thankful to have met you, Windie! You’re such a lovely person and I’ve enjoyed our talks. c:

      Audiobooks seem to be a hit or miss; some are really great but some can be a bit mediocre. I’d go for popular YA; they’re easy to listen to, particularly with the dialogue.

      Hahah! I know what you mean! It sort of hooks you in. XD I’ve been verryyyyy good and haven’t bought a book in two months. Though I think it’s time I rectify that and buy a book for myself sometime soon… :D

  3. Sounds like you had a great year CW! :)
    And omg, I constantly think about The Winner’s Kiss. March cannot come soon enough!!! Ugh!! I’m falling and can’t get up!!
    Unteachable was my favorite book of 2014 so it’s cool that you loved it as much as I did. Gambit sounds so awesome!! I’m putting it on my TBR :)

    • Thanks Carolyn! 2015 has been an interesting year life-wise, but great book-wise!

      Right?? I’m trying to get my sister to read The Winner’s Curse (and she NEVER reads… like she reads one book a year if I’m lucky, haha) so I’ll have an immediate person to fangirl and cry with. XD

      Gambit is fantastic! Pleaseeee check it out!! ❤️

      Happy New Year to you Carolyn, and all the best! Wishing you a fantastic year filled with happiness and success. ❤️ (I’m cheering you on!!)

      • I tried pushing it on my sister too but she was meh about The Winner’s Curse and she didn’t like The Winner’s Crime so she didn’t finish it -_- Such blasphemy..smh..lol
        Happy New Year to you too Chooi! I hope you have an amazing year :)

  4. AHH. So many great books here! I absolutely adored The Winner’s Crime (I still refuse to believe that ending actually happened) and Red Rising, so I am so glad to see those are some of your favorite books of the year too. Thanks for sharing, and here’s to a great 2016!

    • Happy New Year Zoe!

      AHHH I know what you mean! I was literally sobbing and had these tears streaming down my eyes after reading The Winner’s Crime. I muuuuuust read the third book! ❤️

      Ah yay! Another Red Rising fan! Have you read Golden Son? I heard it’s super good but I haven’t quite got around to reading it yet!

      Thank you Zoe – and I wish you a happy and successful 2016! All the best! ❤️

    • Happy New Year Poulami! Thank you! Oooh you absolutely must! I really recommend Gambit and The Winner’s Trilogy! Can’t go wrong with those. ❤️

      All the best for your 2016, Poulami! I hope you have a happy and fulfilling year. ❤️ I’ll be cheering you on!!

    • Happy New Year, Marie! ❤️

      Thank you; I wish the same to you for this year too! Hehe I’m super grateful; I don’t think my words are adequate to really express how I feel!

      Meeting you was one of my highlights too, Marie! And I mean it! I am so thankful to have found your blog and met you. ❤️ All the best for this year Marie! I’ll be here all the way in NZ supporting you in all your endeavours and goals!! ❤️❤️

  5. I just ordered Red Rising with my Christmas money because of the talk we had on your discussion post about dystopian fiction and some interviews I saw with Pierce Brown :) I am really looking forward to reading it!

  6. GAMBIT GAMBIT GAMBIT!!!!!!! *hardcore fangirls* AH! I love this book SOOO much! *USES MORE EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY CAPS* (Because you know I didn’t fangirl enough on your review :p)

    Anyway! I don’t know how you manage to do audiobooks. My brain doesn’t focus long enough on auditory alone to be able to actually know what’s going on. I’d be that person to miss an entire chapter or something! Though, I have been attempting to listen to the ‘Writing Excuses’ podcast on my way to work. Missing parts of that isn’t nearly as important as missing scenes from a good book. ^.^

    I look forward to supporting you in all things bookish and lifeish(??) in 2016! ^.^

    • RIGHT? RIGHT?? Gambit BLEW my mind. HAHAH I’ll ALWAYS fangirl over Gambit! FANGIRL AWAY! XD

      Tbh neither! I’m not an auditory learner at all, but it’s sort of like listening to someone talking sometimes? I find that you don’t need to give 100% of your attention; only some of it, and you manage to pick up on the gist and details. c:

      Thanks Melanie!! I’m thankful to have found you through Nicolette. I look forward to supporting you in EVRRRYYYTHANG! :D
      Fingers crossed for Gambit #2!! EEEEEP

      • Haha! Gambit #2! *goes to ask CLDenault about release on Twitter* :p

        Hmm… Perhaps that’s why I don’t like audio books because I prefer to get more than the gist and the details. I want to understand the whole thing. Additionally, as an aspiring novelist, I like to look at writing style. So… I’m a geek and like tangible books. :p

        You found me through Nicolette? Well that explains everything! :p No wonder we get along so well. Hee hee!

  7. Yippee, I am so glad that you have joined the bookish community CW! We’ve had so many great chats on Twitter! I absolutely LOVED Red Rising as well, it’s one of my all time favourites. There was so much yearning in the Winner’s Crime! I’m looking forward to the sequel. Lovely wrap up!

  8. Congrats on not only meeting, but exceeding your goals in 2015! Don’t you love that nice, accomplished feeling? How many are you trying to read this year?

    Furthermore, THANK YOU SO MUCH for mentioning For Today I Am a Boy; trans characters are grossly, grossly underrepresented in YA literature, and I’m always dying to read more books featuring their stories. It’s definitely now on my To Read list. I’ll let you know what happens when I eventually get my hands on it!

  9. OMG Summer’s winning the Ms. Congeniality award! Can’t remember exactly, but she’s also one of the first blogging friends I had and the first (I think) to comment on my blog. Hahaha!

    I need to re-try audiobooks. The first time I did, 1984 was playing, and I fell asleep. Haha!

    Here’s to more reading adventures and book discussions! Speaking of which, I don’t know if I missed it but I’m really looking forward to your Utopian discussion thing. ;)

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