28 December 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

I wanted to read more in 2015, so I challenged myself to read 25 books by the end of the year. (50 seemed too lofty of a number because I would need to read at least a book every week.) After reading 25 books in less than six months, I upped the ante to 50. By October, I reached my goal and kept right on reading.
I’ve learned a lot this year. In fact, I’ve probably learned more this year than I have in any other year of my life. I don’t have plans to read a specific number of books in 2016, but I do plan to read with the same intensity that I have this year. It’s almost as if I’ve found a long lost love, and you’d be crazy to think I’d let that love go now.
Here is a list of the 72.
bold = favorite
  1. She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish
  2. The Big Bloody Book of Violence: The Smart Person’s Guide for Surviving Dangerous Times: What Every Person Must Know About Self-Defense by Kris Wilder & Lawrence Kane
  3. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
  4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  5. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
  6. The Trials of White Boy Rick by Evan Hughes
  7. You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney
  8. The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us by James W. Pennebaker
  9. Liespotting by Pamela Meyer
  10. Columbine by Dave Cullen
  11. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
  12. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  13. Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
  14. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
  15. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
  16. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
  17. The Murder House by James Patterson
  18. The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman
  19. I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain by Courtney Robertson
  20. The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story by Ann Rule
  21. The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm
  22. My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni
  23. After the First Death by Robert Cormier
  24. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  25. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
  26. The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich
  27. You Can’t Lie to Me by Janine Driver
  28. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  29. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  30. You Can Read Anyone by David J. Lieberman
  31. That Night by Chevy Stevens
  32. Breathing Black by Piper Payne
  33. Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff
  34. The Stranger by Harlan Coben
  35. Never, Never: Part Two by Collen Hoover
  36. The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker
  37. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  38. The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us by Martha Stout
  39. Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
  40. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
  41. Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony by Jeff Ashton
  42. Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon
  43. The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
  44. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
  45. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill
  46. You by Caroline Kepnes
  47. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  48. My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
  49. The Devil You Know by Elisabeth de Mariaffi
  50. Paper Towns by John Green
  51. Champion by Marie Lu
  52. Prodigy by Marie Lu
  53. Legend by Marie Lu
  54. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  55. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  56. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  57. Spy the Lie by Philip Houston
  58. Always Watching by Chevy Stevens
  59. Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly
  60. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  61. Eden Close by Anita Shreve
  62. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  63. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  64. Defending Jacob by William Landay
  65. Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
  66. Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell
  67. The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank
  68. Never, Never by Colleen Hoover
  69. American Sniper by Chris Kyle
  70. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
  71. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
  72. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
A few notes about some of my favorites...
You by Caroline Kepnes
This was my absolute favorite of the 72. It’s written from a second person point of view---which sounds incredibly strange but worked well for this particular storyline. A word of caution: This book will NOT be for everyone. The language is vile and the protagonist is a creepy, unsettling, and disturbing human being. In other words, it’s dark and twisty. If you don’t like dark and twisty, you definitely won’t like this book.
“Before you, there was Candace. She was stubborn too, so I’m gonna be patient with you, same way I was patient with her. I am not gonna hold it against you that in that old, bulky laptop computer of yours you write about every thing in the world except me. I am no idiot, Beck. I know how to search a hard drive and I know I’m not in there and I know you don’t even own anything resembling a notebook or a diary. One possible theory: You write about me in the notepad on your phone. Hope remains.”
The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
I read all 352 pages in one day; I couldn’t put it down.
The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
This book gave me alllll the feels..... loved it!
The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
I strongly believe that every person on this planet should read this book... but especially women. It’s packed with insightful and life-saving information about predicting violent behavior, trusting your intuition, recognizing the warning signs, reading body language, and the methods that criminals use to make us vulnerable and/or easier to attack.
Other Notes:
I recommend every book written by Liane Moriarty or John Green.
Columbine was truly eye-opening. I’ve read a lot about (& thus, know a lot about) the details surrounding a number of mass murders. I was surprised to learn that much of what (I thought) I knew about Columbine was actually inaccurate information misreported by the media.
Beyond Belief will make you lose any respect you might still have for Tom Cruise. How anyone on this planet with half a brain can believe one iota of that Scientology crap is beyond my comprehension. SERIOUSLY.
You may have noticed that several books on my list are about lie detection (4, to be exact---it’s incredibly fascinating to me). So, don’t even think about pulling a fast one over on me, buddy... I’ll see right through you.

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