Reading Round Up 2015 - Part 2

I did it! I reached my target of 25 books in 2015! I posted Part 1 of my 'books read' back in July, so here's Part 2.

As ever, feel free to add me on Goodreads!

A Court of Thorns and Roses
This was a book that I bought on a whim because I fancied a nice easy read. I didn't have high expectations for this one and, to be honest, didn't whilst reading the first half of the book. It seemed a bit too 'fanfiction' for me. But then the plot got interesting. I remember staying up for hours one night and reading the second half in one sitting! It just captivated my attention; it suddenly went from mystery and sexual tension to a hunger games style finale. I like how Maas' books start slow and have these big dramatic climaxes. I can definitely say that I'll be reading the sequel in 2016!

I was quite tentative about this book before I bought it. I had it hanging around in my wish list for months but something about the premise put me off. Two girls emailing back and forth whilst guy in IT read their conversations? Seems a bit creepy to me. But in a strange way, it's not. And I couldn't resist the pop culture references. Love a good pop culture reference...

Wuthering Heights
I was an English Literature graduate who hadn't read Wuthering Heights. After my boyfriend and his housemate both studied it, I became more intrigued. So he bought me a lovely Penguin clothbound copy. It is a really good book (why anyone would find it romantic though beats me), but I think Jane Eyre is still my favourite. A classic is a classic, however, and I can see myself reading and enjoying this again.

Northern Lights
I picked up the first two books from the His Dark Material's trilogy from the honesty bookshop thing at my local Co-op. Found the third in a charity shop and violà, the whole series complete! I can't actually remember if I read these as a kid, but thought I'd give them a try. Reading children's books as an adult can be tricky, but I really enjoyed the story (even though I knew what happened). Can't wait for the new TV adaptation!

The Selection
This one kept cropping up on my Goodreads/Amazon suggestions. It was £1.49 in the Kindle store so I thought I'd give it a try. Cringe! This book was easy reading and enjoyable to get through, but argh the story is just so bad! I couldn't get around the protagonist's name either, America Singer. Why? The futuristic dystopian idea was interesting enough, as was the caste system, but everything else is just a bit contrived.

When I bought this, I wasn't expecting it to fix all of my anxiety problems. However, there are some gorgeous photographs and illustrations, and the book includes activities to help de-stress. This isn't about calming yourself if you're anxious, this is about having a calmer attitude towards life. Nothing groundbreaking, but truly a pretty book that's interesting to read.

Overcoming Chronic Fatigue
Overcoming Anxiety
These two books were prescribed to me when I was discharged from CBT therapy. There's not much to say about them if I'm quite honest, they simply cement what you learn in the sessions. Although I am not diagnosed with chronic fatigue, I found it useful simply because it helped me to find ways to keep myself going when I feel unwell or tired (sometimes I panic, feeling like I'll never make it to my destination). Not particularly thrilling, but definitely informative.

Throne of Glass
I don't know why I put off reading this for so long; I think I was nervous that I wouldn't like it. There are two tropes in YA Lit that irritate me - Mary-Sue characters and love triangles. Arguably, this has both. But I couldn't put it off any longer, everyone seems to love this series! (also, it was on offer in the Kindle store)
As with Thorns and Roses, the thing I love most about Maas' books is that there's a lot of action and intrigue. The romance is luckily not too 'in your face' in this book, which was a relief. I'm definitely continuing with this series - female-led fantasy seems to be my new favourite genre!

The Yellow Wall-Paper
I did actually read this in my first year of university, but at the time didn't appreciate its sheer brilliance. I sold my old American lit anthology text book, so was happy to see this available in the Penguin Little Black Classics collection. 80p? Not bad! I definitely recommend that you all read this, it's a great example of early feminist literature.

The Worry Cure
Another book prescribed to me by my therapist. This one seems a bit less "state the facts" than the other two. I like to dip in and out of it so that it's more light reading than heavy duty 'self help'. It seems like such a strange concept - harnessing your worries in order to identify which are productive and which are unproductive. I'm still not at the stage where I can embrace my worries, but this book is helping me to start.

The Queen of the Tearling
I really enjoyed this book; it was so immersive. It actually took me ages to read this even though it reads quite quickly. It's probably because the chapters were so long (my big pet peeve from books). I want to read the sequel, but for some reason I'm not super eager to read it right away. Maybe when I've thinned out my TBR...

Back Story
I got David Mitchell's 2012 book for my first month of Audible. After listening to Amy Poehler's memoir earlier in the year, I think audiobook is the best way to read a memoir. It's just like you're sat there with them, listening to them talk about their life.
I think the part of the book that really sealed the deal for me and made me love it was the penultimate chapter. His chapter about Victoria Coren. Oh man, it was the most adorable thing to listen to! I listened to it after work one day whilst I was waiting for my boyfriend to meet me in Manchester. On our way home after tea, I played it again for him. I want to show this chapter to everyone, it's the romantic side of David that I never knew existed. So cute! I obviously enjoyed the rest, as any David Mitchell fan would - I didn't really know much about his life pre-Peep Show so it was interesting to find out more.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Another Audible purchase, because I couldn't resist. I've only really listened to the audiobooks for Books 3, 4 and 6 before this, but now I think I might listen through them all again. They're just perfect when read by Stephen Fry. I want my Harry Potter fix without rereading the books for the millionth time (far too much on my TBR list). I did get Audible as a way to try new things, but when they annouced that they were making the Harry Potter books available, I was on it like a car bonnet!

So that's the conclusion for books read in 2015! I think I might aim for 25 again in 2016! What books do you want to read next year?

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