Murder, Magic, & Marriage: Best Books of 2015 (Part 1)

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You might remember that back in December I said I was going to read 40 books in 2015. Well, it’s going okay. I’m a couple of books behind schedule, but some of the books I read were huge monsters so I’m not being too hard on myself. I’m really happy that I decided to push myself with this challenge (last year I only read a measly nineteen, but like, I did have the whole stress of moving countries and getting a TEFL and everything), because it’s really pushed me to read not only often, but also diversely. I got into a bad habit of reading fantasy novel after fantasy novel, and although a few of the books I’ve read this year have been fantasy, I’ve picked up a lot of other books that I wouldn’t have otherwise. So, almost halfway through the year, here are my favourite books of 2015 so far. You’re welcome.

4) Gone Girl– Gillian Flynn:

I know, I know. Everyone and their mother has read this book. Especially their mothers, this is a total mum at the beach book (and one of the only books my mum and I both agree is good). So I was totally late to the party with this book, I was putting it off for so long because I thought it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I will say that part of the push for me to finally read this book was equal parts not wanting the twist ruined for me and also really wanting to watch Neil Patrick Harris shirtless in the movie. No shame in admitting that, he’s a babe. But the book was great, and it almost makes me want to take more recommendations from my mother. Almost.

3) Yes Please– Amy Poehler:

So I never really liked non-fiction books up until last year, but since I made a conscious decision to read more books by funny women I admire, I’ve been on a roll. I love memoirs because it’s just like reading a really long Wikipedia page about someone I’m interested in… which is something I do frequently. Yes Please was super interesting and had a great mix of Poehler’s own anecdotes about life and actual useful advice. If Mindy Kaling’s memoir is my book best friend, Amy Poehler’s is my book cool aunt (not a regular aunt, a cool aunt). Who needs humans when you have books, right?

2) Rivers of London, Moon Over Soho, and Whispers Under Ground– Ben Aaronovitch:

Is it cheating to include three books in one? Probably, but I really love this series. It’s been sitting in my to read pile for years, but for some reason I kept putting it off. Big mistake. Peter Grant is such a hilarious and believable narrator. And like myself, if I suddenly discovered I was magical, he makes a lot of LotR and Harry Potter references. I can’t decide which of the books so far has been my favourite (I loved the Rivers subplot from the first book, but I was a lot more invested in the mystery of the third) and I’m super excited to read the next two books in the series. Beverley Brook better make another appearance soon. I’m also strangely now interested in a career in the police force. Weird.

1) The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear– Patrick Rothfuss:

Ooops, I did it again. More books by one author. But omg. These books. Yet another one I’ve been meaning to read for years, but it was so big and daunting and scary I just pretended it didn’t exist. With a long stint at an airport looming before me, I finally bit the bullet and downloaded the first book of the series. I devoured this book. The fantasy world is so complex and I love how Rothfuss really makes the characters come to life. My favourite part of this series is how he really tips the fantasy genre upside down… whilst still writing an amazing fantasy book. But I loved the second book even more. I read it in February and I still think about it on an almost daily basis. And now I am one with the rest of the fans of the series… waiting patiently for the final installment. And by patiently, I mean the complete opposite. COME TO ME, KVOTHE.

So… so what if I’ve only read thirteen books this year? I’m only three books behind schedule and I’m determined to catch up in the next few weeks. I feel a renewed love of reading that I hadn’t felt since before I studied literature at university. I read in bed before sleeping, I read in my breaks at work, I read on the metro and the bus. I LOVE READING. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

… Maybe I’ll go read some more. Y’know, just ‘til I figure that out.