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Top Ten of 2015

Top Ten of 2015

Unlike last year, when I gave you top tens for all my favourite genres, this year I’ll just give you my overall top ten of favourite books for 2015! Making this top ten was actually not that easy. Although there were a lot of 4 and 5 star books last year (44 out of 63!), I somehow feel not that many books really stood out, if that makes sense? Despite that, I read a lot of excellent books and was able to make a top ten, so here is my list of books I’d wholeheartedly recommend!

Harry Potter The Dark Forest The Letter for the King Slade House Read Real Japanese Fiction

Top Ten of Books Read In 2015

  1. Harry Potter(series) by J.K. Rowling
    This is cheating, because these books will forever by my #1, no matter how often I read them.
  2. The Dark Forest (Three-Body #2) by Cixin Liu
    This is definitely my favourite read of the year, along with The Three-Body Problem. This book is among the best science fiction I ever read and I can’t wait for the last volume.
  3. The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt
    This is one of those books that I read as a child, and then read again this year. It’s gorgeous, it’s a classic, and it’s just been translated to English in 2013 so you can all read it!
  4. Slade House by David Mitchell
    I loved this little book. Reading another Mitchell always feels like coming home (which is easy because of what Mitchell does to his characters).
  5. Read Real Japanese Fiction edited by Michael Emmerich
    Loved the way this book is set up, loved the selection of short stories. Great little book for Japanese language learners.
  6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    I read this book when I had the flu (haha). Really enjoyed this book, its pace, the way it skipped between different times, and it was completely believable. Loved it.
  7. Genocide of One by Kazuaki Takano
    This was the surprise of the year. I had no expectations and then this book blew me away.
  8. Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) by Rachel Hartman
    Ah, this book. I adored the first book, Seraphina, but the second part in the duology didn’t start out as fantastic as I had hoped and I got worried. But Hartman didn’t disappoint and oh, these books, my poor heart.
  9. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
    This book is both absolutely adorable, and has a few very unexpected aspects to it that make it interesting for adults too.
  10. The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2) by Robert Galbraith
    This is the only 4 star book on this list (despite me rating several other books with 5 stars). I guess it slipped onto the list because it’s one of the last books I read in 2015. I didn’t really like the first part in the series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, it was a disappointment. So I was bracing myself for The Silkworm, because I really want to like these books. And thankfully I really enjoyed this one (+ loved the theme).

Station Eleven Genocide of One Shadow Scale Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH The Silkworm

These Books Are Queer

These Books Are Queer

LGBT+Recently I have been thinking a lot about queer books and their visibility. Just like how I want to read as many books by women as I possibly can, just so I can put them in the spotlight, I am also doing the same with queer books.

The thing is, I sometimes wonder if I mention often enough that certain books have queer content. I feel like I mention it. I always tag my posts as LGBT+, and I regularly post for LGBT+ reading events. But I guess sometimes I don’t mention it (especially in more general posts/lists) for whatever reason. And that’s not logical. To me it matters that books have queer content, to me it is important. And I know so many people are looking for queer books and have trouble finding them, and I want my blog to be a good and safe place for anyone to find these books.

And while I know to some people it does not seem important and they will read books regardless of queer characters and content, not mentioning it just isn’t fair to these books. This actual post was triggered by a post at the Gay YA: Let’s Take Queer YA Out of the Closet. And I agree with it, I notice many readers doing this especially to mainstream books with queer content – they do not mention in any way that a book has queer content. Why? Perhaps they are afraid to scare off other readers, are ashamed, or simply do not think it is important?

So here is what I’m going to do, not just with YA books but with any queer books: I vow to never, never stick a queer book back in the closet. I hope everyone else will do the same. I want visibility for these books, I want diversity in books.

Let this post be a Queer Masterpost on this blog, a post I hope makes the road to discover more LGBT+ books an easier one. If you have any questions or want personal recommendations, don’t be afraid to ask/comment. Or use my contact form if you don’t want to post openly 🙂
And of course I am open to your recommendations too!

Books I Recommend

Classics

  • Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Forbidden Colours by Yukio Mishima
  • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  • Maurice by E.M. Forster
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Contemporary

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (YA)
  • Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (YA)
  • Hardboiled & Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto
  • How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis (YA)
  • Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (YA)
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (YA)
  • Stir Fry by Emma Donoghue (YA)
  • Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat, #1) by Francesca Lia Block (YA)
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan (YA)

Fantasy

  • Love in the Time of Global Warming (Love in the Time of Global Warming, #1) by Francesca Lia Block
  • Huntress by Malinda Lo (YA)
  • Pantomime (Micah Grey, #1) by Laura Lam (YA)
  • Princess Princess by Katie O’Neill (YA, graphic novel)
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Historical fiction

  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (YA)
  • Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin (YA)
  • Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
  • Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja
  • We, Two Boys by Aline Sax (YA)

Science fiction & dystopia

  • Adaptation by Malinda Lo (YA)
  • China Mountain Zhang: A Novel by Maureen F. McHugh
  • More Than This by Patrick Ness (YA)
  • Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis (YA)
  • The Vintner’s Luck (Vintner’s Luck, #1) by Elizabeth Knox
  • The Angel’s Cut (Vintner’s Luck, #2) by Elizabeth Knox

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS

Top Ten Tuesday So this week’s TTT prompt is Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to). I haven’t been an active reader for a long time (approximately 5 years), so I can safely make it all time favourite books ever.

On Goodreads, I have a shelf of favourite books. I have to really really love a book in order for it to end up on that shelf, and as a result the shelf contains just twenty books. At the same time, since I absolutely adore all twenty of these books, making a top ten was really hard! For whoever’s interested, my complete favourites shelf can be found here!

It’s hard to say much about my favourite books, because most of the time it’s just a case of feelings. But I’ve given it a try, sort of.

Ten ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS

Harry Potter Kafka on the Shore The Vintner's Luck China Mountain Zhang The Count of Monte Cristo

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
    The one series I grew up with. I got The Goblet of Fire for Christmas when I was eleven, and promptly went out with my mom to buy the first three books too. I read them all in one go and from there on closely followed the series. Ah, and what a series. I still get super sentimental about everything related to Harry Potter. I am now rereading the whole series (currently finished books 1-5) and I still love everything about it.
  2. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
    My favourite Murakami book! Hard to describe (like all of them)…
  3. The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox
    I love love love this book. I wrote a review on it here.
  4. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
    This book is made up of fragments taken from the characters’ lives. It’s touching and the ending couldn’t be more perfect.
  5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    Ultimate revenge story? Hell yes!
  6. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
    ~*~feelings~*~
  7. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
    I demand you to read this, is all.
  8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    I knew nothing about this book when I started reading it, not even its genre. Which in retrospect was the best way to read this book!
  9. Vaslav by Arthur Japin
    I am sad there is no English translation for this book yet. It tells the story of Vaslav Nijinsky and well, Japin is a master with words and his historical fiction is amazing.
  10. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Seraphina The Song of Achilles Never Let Me Go Vaslav The Scarlet Pimpernel

2014 Top Ten

2014 Top Ten

So after last week’s Top Ten Tuesday, where I featured my favourite science fiction books of 2014, my initial idea was to make separate Top Ten lists featuring my go-to genres. And then I figured that would just get tiresome for you all to read, so change of plans!

Here is first of all my overall top 10 for 2014. It was incredibly hard to put together, as I read so many amazing books this year. Many more 4 and 5 stars than last year (in 2013, when 3-star-average books seemed to reign…). I can recommend all these books wholeheartedly!

Harry Potter China Mountain Zhang Daughter of Smoke & Bone The Bone Clocks Rebecca

Top Ten of Books Read In 2014

  1. Harry Potter(series) by J.K. Rowling
  2. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
  3. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
  4. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  5. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  6. Krabat by Otfried Preussler
  7. More Than This by Patrick Ness
  8. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
  9. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
  10. Revenge by Yoko Ogawa

Krabat More Than This The Miseducation of Cameron Post Hogfather Revenge

And now, here are all my genre Top Tens for 2014 together.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is fun! And kind of hard for me since I don’t really do beach holidays haha. The last(only) time I did, I ended up sleeping on the beach all day (only waking up to move along with the shade of the parasol)…

I’ll give it a try though 😉 These are books I’d recommend to bring to the beach, but forgive me if they aren’t too beachy…

Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag

  1. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer (historical fiction/romance)
  2. The Restaurant of Love Regained by Ito Ogawa (Japanese literature)
  3. Paper Towns by John Green (YA)
  4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (historical fiction/chicklit)
  5. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (YA/LGBT)
  6. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (fantasy)
  7. The Housekeeper + The Professor by Yoko Ogawa (contemporary/Japanese literature)
  8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (detective)
  9. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (Japanese literature)
  10. Rashomon: And Other Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (classic/Japanese literature)