Charlaine Harris

Books I Read in 2015

I’ve been a bit all over the place with my reading the last two years. In 2013, I set a goal of reading 40 books and beat it, and in 2014, I seriously surpassed my goal of reading 52 books by reading 91 (my numbers have been greatly bolstered by reading plays, in case you were wondering).

Since I’m in an English Literature graduate program, I obviously do plenty of reading, but I think I went back to my goal of 50 books in 2015. Though this number might be a bit low based on 2014’s results, I stay plenty busy with my school reading and don’t always have lots of time for recreational reading. I ended up exceeding that goal by reading 69 books in 2015, an achievement I’m pretty proud of. Here’s my full list of reading from 2015–for reference, the titles listed in bold are those I particularly enjoyed.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  2. Live From New York, James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
  3. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan
  4. Looking for Alaska, John Green
  5. Sanctuary, William Faulkner
  6. It’s Only A Play, Terrence McNally
  7. Brother to Dragons, Robert Penn Warren
  8. On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
  9. Paddle Your Own Canoe, Nick Offerman
  10. The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, William Inge
  11. Come Back, Little Sheba, William Inge
  12. Bus Stop, William Inge
  13. The Basic Eight, Daniel Handler
  14. Tobacco Road, Erskine Caldwell
  15. My Ideal Bookshelf, Jane Mount and Thessaly la Force
  16. Fallen Too Far, Abbi Glines
  17. Wait for You, J. Lynn
  18. The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
  19. Dead as a Doornail, Charlaine Harris
  20. In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway
  21. Child of God, Cormac McCarthy
  22. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  23. Love, Rosie, Cecelia Ahern
  24. Airships, Barry Hannah
  25. Crimes of the Heart, Beth Henley
  26. The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
  27. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
  28. Joe, Larry Brown
  29. Wolf Whistle, Lewis Nordan
  30. Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
  31. Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
  32. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Jesse Andrews
  33. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
  34. Angels in America Part One: Millennium ApproachesTony Kushner
  35. Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika, Tony Kushner
  36. The Complete Stories, Flannery O’Connor
  37. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
  38. Quidditch Through the Ages, J.K. Rowling
  39. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  40. Paper Towns, John Green
  41. White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  42. Shame, Salman Rushdie
  43. Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee
  44. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  45. The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
  46. Vita Nuova, Dante Alighieri
  47. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  48. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  49. Dragonfly in AmberDiana Gabaldon
  50. We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  51. Season of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih
  52. Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, Aimé Césaire
  53. Divine Comedy Vol. I: Inferno, Dante Alighieri
  54. After the Fall, Arthur Miller
  55. Murder in Retrospect, Agatha Christie
  56. Divine Comedy Vol. II: Purgatorio, Dante Alighieri
  57. The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Phoebe Gloeckner
  58. Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, Doris Pilkington
  59. Divine Comedy Vol. III: Paradiso, Dante Alighieri
  60. The Grownup, Gillian Flynn
  61. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  62. The Book of Mormon, Trey Parker and Matt Stone
  63. Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
  64. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  65. Doctor Sleep, Stephen King
  66. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne
  67. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  68. The Cripple of Inishmaan, Martin McDonagh

Book #54: Club Dead, by Charlaine Harris

Book #54: Club Dead, by Charlaine Harris

It feels a little silly to go from reading a literary classic like Of Mice and Men to a campy romance novel, but I like to have some variety in my reading, so that’s exactly what I did. Club Dead is the third book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, and (though I didn’t read the first novel in the series) it seemed like the changing point where the book series and HBO’s True Blood start to really separate. Since I watched True Blood before reading the book series, I’m obviously more familiar with the screen adaptation, and sometimes readjusting to the events of the books is a bit confusing. Regardless, it was still a fun and entertaining easy read, and if I can find copies of the later books at a used book store, I’ll be happy to keep reading.

I’m a few days behind on posting this, so I’m already about one-third of the way through Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot, which I’m finding a bit exhausting. However, I’m going to force myself through it before moving on to other things. Happy reading!

Book #48: Living Dead in Dallas, by Charlaine Harris

Living Dead in Dallas

It’s nice to be blogging after a few weeks of silence. It’s safe to say, though, that my life has been anything but silent. In fact, in the past three weeks, I attended several pre-graduation banquets, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, had three visits from family and friends from out of town, had a graduation party, spent a very eventful three days in New York City, and moved out of my apartment. So yeah. Things have been busy.

In this flurry of activity, I haven’t done tons of reading, or if I have, it’s been some of the silly free e-books I occasionally download from Amazon. I’ve also been working my way through Gossip Girl, my latest TV project. So my absence has still been full of activity. And since today marks what seems like my first real day of summer vacation (I just checked out of my apartment this morning, after all), I think my pop culture life will be returning to normal, and you’ll see me again posting in a regular fashion.

So, now to my actual book review process. As a fan of HBO’s True Blood, I thought it might be fun to read the books that inspired the show when I found a few of them very cheap at a discount bookstore. I started with Living Dead in Dallas, the second book in the series, only because I couldn’t find the first book, and I figured I could navigate my way through it since I’ve seen the show.

I read the first chapter several weeks ago, and finally picked it back up again yesterday at Laguardia airport. I was already aware that the show did its own thing with Harris’s story, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that this book is fairly accurately represented on screen. It’s no great piece of literature, but it’s fun enough to read. I do appreciate that Harris isn’t nearly as vulgar as the show can be, but I guess that’s just the standard for HBO. I look forward to reading the third book in the series, Club Dead, in the near future.

Before that, I’m finishing a very different reading project, Of Mice and Men, which I started and haven’t been able to finish because of all the other activity in my life. Be on the lookout for a few blogs in the coming days about my recent personal accomplishments and my truly magical time spent in New York City.