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BEST & WORST BOOKS OF... > Best of the Winter 2015 Challenge

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message 1: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 17877 comments Mod
What were your favorite books of the Winter 2015 Challenge?


message 2: by Maya (new)

Maya (ferafaces) | 357 comments I work on a very serious 6-star system, so bear with me. :)



6 STARS

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman :: Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

The Ocean at the End of the Lane :: I feel myself getting excited just thinking about re-reading this - and that's how I think reading something that is an all-time favorite should be. This was magical, and beautiful, and will be passed on to many, many people so they can experience how fantastic this was to me. Neil Gaiman is always an amazing read.

Alice, I Have Been :: This book has been a favorite of mine for a very, very long time. I'm not usually a huge historical fiction fan - and I'm definitely not a fan of Alice in Wonderland (sorry) - but for some reason, I absolutely love what Melanie Benjamin has done with Alice Luttrell. The world that has been created in this novel is a work of art, and I seriously recommend it to anyone who has even a slight interest in historical fiction.



5 STARS

A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs :: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer

A Wolf at the Table :: I discovered Augusten Burroughs last year when I read his new release (I think it finally came out this month?), Lust and Wonder. I was immediately captivated by his writing and set out to purchase all the books he's written. A WOLF AT THE TABLE is no exception to how much I love this man. Reading this book made my message my mother, just to tell her "I might not have had a father, but at least I didn't have a father like Augusten Burroughs did!". Fantastic, riveting, and definitely a future re-read.

Winter :: I wanted to cry because this series is finally over. Marissa Meyer has cemented herself in my heart as one of my favorite new authors. Winter was probably my third favorite of the series, right behind Cinder - but trailing far behind of Fairest. I'm so glad I've got Fairest coming up in re-reads. :D Anyways. Yes. WINTER capped out the series brilliantly and I'm glad that I got a real chance to read this.


message 3: by Andrea (new)

Andrea I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane during the last challenge and it also remains a favorite - I listened to the audio read by Gaiman himself and it was magical so if you reread, consider that version


message 4: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 3000 comments "The Christmas Joy Ride"
"Tricky Twenty-Two"
"The Fairy Godmother"


message 5: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1175 comments I had 3 5-star reads and many 4-star reads.

Some of my 4 stars were:
Of Mice and Men
Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo
A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character ( I bought 5 copies of this book for my children for Christmas.)
The Thicket (I don't read a lot of westerns, but l really enjoyed this one.)
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail


Here are my 3 5-star reads: I would read each of these again.
The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog
The Kind Worth Killing
Sleeping Lady


message 6: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1175 comments Jayme(the ghost reader) wrote: ""The Christmas Joy Ride"
"Tricky Twenty-Two"
"The Fairy Godmother""


I just read Tricky Twenty-Two last week and loved it.


message 7: by Maya (new)

Maya (ferafaces) | 357 comments Andrea wrote: "I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane during the last challenge and it also remains a favorite - I listened to the audio read by Gaiman himself and it was magical so if you reread, consider that ..."

Oh. My. God. THAT'S A THING? *buys immediately*


message 8: by Teodora (new)

Teodora Paslaru | 76 comments I had no book I disliked this season, which is so rare and made me so happy. I read to books I absolutely loved:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

I would recommend this two books to anyone!

I also read and enjoyed all three published books from the Cormoran Strike series, and I loved them, my favorite being The Silkworm....


message 9: by Trish (last edited Feb 29, 2016 03:07AM) (new)

Trish (trishhartuk) | 2545 comments Maya wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane during the last challenge and it also remains a favorite - I listened to the audio read by Gaiman himself..."

Maya wrote: "Oh. My. God. THAT'S A THING? *buys immediately*"


He has an excellent reading voice. I was lucky enough to see him do a live reading of The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains a couple of years ago.

Teodora wrote: "I had no book I disliked this season, which is so rare and made me so happy. "

I was lucky this challenge as well. No absolute stinkers (aka one-stars), although there were some "Meh"s (aka two-stars).

However, early in the challenge I actually had a block of three five-stars, which is really unusual for me (I usually work on a 1-4 system, unless the book is something really different or really awesome). Plus another one later. So my five-stars for Winter:

The Elements of Style, Strunk-White. As an editor I really should have read this before, but thankfully I didn't find that many things I did wrong.

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, ed John Joseph Adams. This was a totally unexpected joy - something very different, and all of the "Projects" were presented really well.

Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams. This was both funny in places and deeply poignant in others. But it was well written, and very enjoyable.

Murder Fir Christmas, Joyce and Jim Lavene. I read a lot of cozy mysteries, but for some reason this one grabbed me more than many. Maybe it was the combination of setting and characters.


message 10: by Maya (new)

Maya (ferafaces) | 357 comments Trish wrote: "Maya wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane during the last challenge and it also remains a favorite - I listened to the audio read by Gaiman himself..."

Maya wrote: "Oh. M..."


I was lucky enough to listen to him read both A Christmas Carol & The Graveyard Book online. The Graveyard Book is free on Youtube, if you're interested. I can't remember where I found him read A Christmas Carol, but it was a delight and I'm so happy I found it.


message 11: by Trish (new)

Trish (trishhartuk) | 2545 comments Maya wrote: "I was lucky enough to listen to him read both A Christmas Carol & The Graveyard Book online. The Graveyard Book is free on Youtube, if you're interested. I can't remember where I found him read A Christmas Carol, but it was a delight and I'm so happy I found it."

Cool. Thank you.


message 12: by Kaity (new)

Kaity | 375 comments I had 8 five star reads :)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Probably my millionth re-read of HP1 but <3333!!! Another wonderful way to experience my favorite story. The illustrations were amazing. I tried so hard to savor this and made it last about 1.5 weeks. Guess I'll just have to give it another re-read!

Magic Stars (Kate Daniels, #8.5, Grey Wolf, #1) by Ilona Andrews Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3) by Jennifer Estep The Walking Dead, Compendium 1 by Robert Kirkman Holiday in Death (In Death, #7) by J.D. Robb Hard Evidence (I-Team, #2) by Pamela Clare Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7) by Darynda Jones On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1) by Samantha Young


message 13: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1175 comments Kait wrote: "I had 8 five star reads :) "

Wow, Kait, that is wonderful. Isn't that like 10%?


message 14: by Jasmiina (new)

Jasmiina F (slipperbunny) | 416 comments I had only four books that I absolutely loved this time.

I read rest of the books I haven't read from John Green and Paper Towns was really good.

Jasper Fforde is coming to Finland next summer so I'm slowly reading his very excellent books. Lost in a Good Book was even better than the first book in this series. I truly recommend this series to everyone.

The Dark Tower was a re-read, because it's one of my favorite books.

I, Phoolan Devi was a nice surprise. I rarely read nonfiction so I'm glad when I find really good ones.


message 15: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1388 comments I had a lot of good reads this season:

5 stars

Follow You Home by Mark Edwards Wit'ch Storm (The Banned and the Banished, #2) by James Clemens The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

4 stars:
The Sixth Extinction An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh Stay Awake by Dan Chaon When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3) by Tessa Dare The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1) by Liu Cixin Dracula by Bram Stoker The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards Bird Box by Josh Malerman


message 16: by Kaity (new)

Kaity | 375 comments Donna wrote: "Kait wrote: "I had 8 five star reads :) "

Wow, Kait, that is wonderful. Isn't that like 10%?"


:P I only had a chance to read about 30 books so it's actually closer to 25%. I did stack the deck heavily in my favor though and read many books in series where I'd previous rated books 4 or 5 stars. Only one of my 8 five star reads was a surprise.


message 17: by Janice (new)

Janice  | 662 comments No five star reads for me during the winter challenge, but I really liked
A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard. I never grow tired of gritty EMS stories.


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