Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Reading Year in Review

Last year I read 14 Quest novels, and hoped to double that number in 2015. I didn’t quite make it, reading 27 this year. I’m about half-way done with Money though, so I only missed by ½ book. Not really loving it by the way.

I completed the 2015 Classics BINGO Challenge, filling in the entire BINGO card. That was fun, but I won’t take up that challenge again this year. I was able to make the BINGO challenge coincide pretty well with my quest. This year it just doesn’t fit. Plus, I have some BIG thousand page novels this year, and I am quite certain I will not complete 24 novels, let alone 24 that specifically fit all the BINGO categories. But, if you are not on a strict, self-imposed schedule as I am, I highly recommend the Classic BINGO Challenge 2016, hosted by Catching up on Classics (and lots more!) at GoodReads.

Literary Bucket List:

I read The Call of the Wild in entirety at the Library of Congress. Click here to read about that adventure.

I read Gadsby, a 50,000+ word novel without the letter "E".

AND ***drum roll please*** I was honorable mention, or dishonorable mention on the prestigious Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. It's sort of like a Pulitzer, but WAY more exclusive. For more on that distinction, click here.

Quest novels completed in 2015:

38. ★★★½ One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez (1970)
39. ★★★½ Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner (1936)
40. ★★★The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (1969)
41. ★★★½ Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
42. ★★★½ I, Claudius by Robert Graves (1934)
43. ★★★Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (1962)
44. ★★★Nostromo by Joseph Conrad (1904)
45. ★★★Emma by Jane Austen (1816)
46. ★★★½ The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)
47. ★★★½ The Moviegoer by Walker Percy (1961)
48. ★★★★½ Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)
49. ★★★The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow (1953)
50. ★★★★★ David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)
51. ★★★ The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)
52. ★★★½ Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (1915)
53. ★★★Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (1927)
54. ★★★Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)
55. ★★★ The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West (1939)
56. ★★★½ Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (1954)
57. ★★★The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)
58. ★★★The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)
59. ★★★ Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925)
60. ★★★½ Light in August by William Faulkner (1932)
61. ★★★½ The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (1961)
62. ★★★½ A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (1929)
63. ★★★American Pastoral by Philip Roth (1997)
64. ★★★ A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul (1979)

Favorite: David Copperfield  Honorable mention: Dune

Least Favorite: Mrs. Dalloway

Best hero/heroine: Denver from Beloved  Honorable mention: Jessica from Dune
**NO WAIT…my apologies, that should actually be Best heroine: Jessica first runner up: Denver

Most Villainous: Caligula from I, Claudius, no contest.

Most interesting/complex character: The Creature from Frankenstein  Honorable mention: Hester from The Scarlet Letter

Best film adaptation: TIE – Beloved and I, Claudius (1976 BBC miniseries)

Worst film adaptation: Dune, no contest…it was awful

Best Quotation: A World is supported by four things…the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these are as nothing…without a ruler who knows the art of ruling ~ from Dune

Best Subtitle: Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus


  1. I've never read Dune, but I love that quote. You read such great books this year. Best wishes for 2016!

    1. Yes, it's a marvelous thought isn't it. There is truth, beauty, and wisdom even in genres such as SciFi and fantasy. Thanks Jillian.

  2. Mrs. Dalloway was "least favorite"? I guess I'll have to look for your review to find out why.
    (It has always been one of my favorites.)
    r/ Charles @

    1. Keep in mind I didn't say I disliked it, it was just my least favorite amongst a very good group. BTW...the reviews are all hyperlinked in the orange font.

  3. What a year of memorable sort of reads. There are several here that I have either read or plan to read.

  4. You've read some great books in 2015! I'm glad to see David Copperfield got five stars. I'm hoping to read I, Claudius and Death Comes for the Archbishop in 2016.

    1. Good, I'll watch for your review and hope to compare notes. Thanks.

  5. Enjoyed your Bulwer-Lytton entries, the dishonorables and the missing--all were great!

    I'm a big fan of David Copperfield too, but Dune is one of the few books I abandoned as a teen and have never tried to read again. I also really enjoyed I, Claudius and want to read the next in the series. I think it is due for a new BBC series--just as Poldark has been revisited, Claudius could use a makeover too.

    1. I've loved everything I've ever read by Dickens. Thanks for the feedback Jane.

  6. nicely done! I see here titles I loved I, Claudius (the book) and some I hated so much I DNFed, like Mrs Dalloway...


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