An annotated list of the books I read in 2015, including the novels I read with my 5-yr-old.

The year is up! And I’m happy to report that I finally got back into my reading groove in 2015 – due in no small part to my kid’s love of reading novels together. I’m going to guess that half of the 33 books I read this year were with him (not counting picture books). Let’s find out (he just turned five, FYI). Here are the books I read in 2015, in chronological order:

  1. Castle, by J. Robert Lennon
  2. Switched, by Amanda Hocking
  3. Torn, by Amanda Hocking
  4. Ascend, by Amanda Hocking (I think it was Kobo’s annual Boxing Week sale that lead me to buy this trilogy – also, I was interested in reading some self-published fiction. The books were okay. I don’t remember much about them at this point, but I read them all, which means they didn’t suck. [Check out the Kobo sale – it’s a great way to discover new authors and books, at a huge discount. Come to think of it, I also bought Castle during the sale last year.])
  5. The Inner Circle, by Brad Meltzer (meh)
  6. The Fifth Assassin, by Brad Meltzer (I tried, and I finished it, but I’m just not a fan)
  7. Wool (Omnibus), by Hugh Howey (I’d heard the hype, ignored it, then gave it a shot and freaking loved it)
  8. Shift, by Hugh Howey (very, very long, but worth the slog, because it pays off in the third book)
  9. Dust, by Hugh Howey (a great conclusion to an outstanding trilogy)
  10. Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl
  11. The Firebird, by Susanna Kearsley (if you’re a romance skeptic like I am, I highly recommend it; the writing is outstanding and the characters are fabulous)
  12. The Sasquatch Escape, by Suzanne Selfors (if you get my weekly newsletter, you’ll perhaps recall that I raved about this series – if you have a middle-grade reader in your family, or if you enjoy reading novels aloud with your kids, I can’t recommend this whole six-book Imaginary Veterinary series highly enough)
  13. The Lonely Lake Monster, by Suzanne Selfors
  14. The Rain Dragon Rescue, by Suzanne Selfors
  15. The Order of the Unicorn, by Suzanne Selfors
  16. The Highway, by C.J. Box (I picked this up at Yellowstone National Park during our road trip, when the author was doing a signing in the totally epic Old Faithful Inn; super souvenir; mediocre book)
  17. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (superduper fun; ham-fisted)
  18. The Griffin’s Riddle, by Suzanne Selfors
  19. Smells Like Dog, by Suzanne Selfors (this series is more sophisticated than the Imaginary Veterinary series, and though we made it through this book, the kid didn’t get as much from it, and we stopped halfway through the sequel; we’ll pick it all back up when he’s older)
  20. The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (not nearly as good as the first in this crime series, written by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym; in fact, this book was kind of tedious, and I nailed the whodunit barely a quarter of the way into the book, which was a big disappointment)
  21. The Martian, by Andy Weir (one of my reading highlights of the year; total page-turner and well written to boot; the characters are outstanding; the movie – if for no other reason than its gutting of an outstanding female character, and frankly there’s more reason than that – hardly does the book justice)
  22. Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo (outstanding start to a through-and-through fabulous YA fantasy trilogy)
  23. Frozen: The Junior Novelization, by Walt Disney Company (yup, we read this, and it totally didn’t suck, so)
  24. Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo
  25. The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party, by Shannon Hale
  26. Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo
  27. Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne (I thought the kid would really love the Magic Treehouse books, but he doesn’t; curious)
  28. The Fairy Swarm, by Suzanne Selfors
  29. The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, by Charles de Lint (probably for kids older than mine, but he seemed to enjoy it; it’s a great book that’s different in tone and pacing than anything we’d read together before or since)
  30. Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith (unlike The Silkworm, this book was a delight to read; loads of character development, and gruesome crimes and criminals)
  31. Beezus and Ramona, by Beverly Cleary (a classic, for good reason)
  32. The Princess in Black, by Shannon Hale (we read this one before its sequel [see #24], but I can’t remember when, and anyway we recently reread it so here it is toward the end of the list)
  33. My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Hm. Seems I didn’t start tracking the novels the kid and I read until the middle of the year. I imagine my total is closer to forty books, then. As planned, the kid and I started reading the new, gorgeously illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on his birthday this past weekend. He’s loving it, and so am I. I’m also back to reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, which I put down ages ago because it’s so gorgeous I couldn’t bear to finish it, and I’m also reading Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray, the second in a trilogy that’s not finished yet.

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