My Top 5 Books of 2015

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Another wonderful year has ended, and it’s time to recap all the books that I have read! According to Goodreads, I have completed 23 books in 2015, totaling 7,364 pages! This year was above average in quality, considering that I rated over half of these books at least a 4 out of 5.

This, of course, made it very difficult to select my top five books of 2015, but I managed it! Click on my vlog above to hear my thoughts on my favorite books of the year in detail, and see below for the full list from best to worst. (Big shout-out to my awesome brother Nick Jarrett for producing this video; feel free to reach out to him for stellar work in graphic and web design!) As noted, be on the lookout next week for my rant on my least favorite book of 2015, Chuck Palahniuk’s Beautiful You.

I already have 11 more books waiting for me on my desk, so it’s time to ring in 2016 with lots and lots of reading! Thank you so much to all of you who read my blog; these past four years of blogging have been an amazing journey, and I look forward to sharing many more with you!

XOXO Book Club Babe

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro
Uganda Be Kidding Me – Chelsea Handler
Bet Me – Jennifer Crusie
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Library of Souls – Ransom Riggs
The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
China Rich Girlfriend – Kevin Kwan
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: 16 Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids – Meghan Daum
It Happened One Wedding – Julie James
Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling
Texts From Jane Eyre – Mallory Ortberg

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Gendarme – Mark T. Mustian
P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han
Royal Wedding – Meg Cabot

Rating: 3 out of 5

Invisibility – Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Sisterhood Everlasting – Ann Brashares
Popular – Lauren Urasek
When in Doubt, Add Butter – Beth Harbison
Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
God’s Debris – Scott Adams

Rating: 2 out of 5

Beautiful You – Chuck Palahniuk (book review coming soon!)

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My 2014 Reading Recap!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

2014 has finally come to an end, and I’ve read some great books in the process! To recap, I have completed 20 books, totaling over 6,877 pages! Eight of these were audiobooks, which goes to show how valuable my commute is in staying on track to meet my quota.

The video above discusses my top five books in detail, but below is the full list from best to worst. 2014 was all about comedic memoirs and chick-lit, with a few YA fantasies and works of literary fiction in the mix. I’m excited to see what’s in store for the new year!

Rating: 5 out of 5
1. Yes Please – Amy Poehler (2014)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
2. Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan (2014)
3. Hollow City – Ransom Riggs (2014)

Rating: 4 out of 5
4. The Engagements – J. Courtney Sullivan (2013)
5. Wedding Night – Sophie Kinsella (2013)
6. Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld (2014)
7. When We Were Orphans – Kazuo Ishiguro (2000)
8. A Well-Tempered Heart – Jan-Philipp Sendker (2014)
9. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson (2012)
10. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han (2014)
11. My Horizontal Life – Chelsea Handler (2004)
12. A Lot Like Love – Julie James (2011)
13. About That Night – Julie James (2012)
14. Love Irresistibly – Julie James (2013)

Rating: 3 out of 5
15. I Know I Am, But What Are You? – Samantha Bee (2011)
16. The Bedwetter – Sarah Silverman (2010)
17. Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham (2014)
18. Deeply, Desperately – Heather Webber (2010)
19. Absolutely, Positively – Heather Webber (2011)

Rating: 2 out of 5
20. Reached – Ally Condie (2012)

So have you read any of these books, and if so, what did you think? And what were your top five books of 2014?

My 2013 Recap!

Well, another year has ended, and I’m always amazed by just how fast time flies by. Although working full-time has slowed my ability to post as regularly as I did when I first started this blog, I’m still proud of what I’ve accomplished. I even made the decision to read less books so that I could be involved in NaNoWriMo for the first time, which was a great experience that has encouraged me to devote more time to my writing.

All in all, I read 15 novels, totaling 4,635 pages, ranging from young adult romance to WWII satire to mythological comedy. I’ve ordered them from best to worst, so click on the links for my reviews and add some to your 2014 reading list!

Image via Goodreads

5 out of 5
1. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman (2011)
2. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker (2012)

4.5 out of 5
3. Every Day by David Levithan (2013)
4. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (2003)
5. Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent (2013)

4 out of 5
6. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (2005)

3.5 out of 5
7. Awaken by Meg Cabot (2013)
8. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself by Jen Kirkman (2013)
9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
10. Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes by Cory O’Brien (2013)

3 out of 5
11. Gilded Age by Claire McMillan (2012)
12. My Nerdy Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson (2007)

2 out of 5
13. Jinx by Meg Cabot (2007)
14. Nerds Like It Hot by Vicki Lewis Thompson (2006)
15. Pop Kids by Davey Havok (2013)

I also watched four movies related to books in some way, whether the film adapted the novel or vice versa. There’s many others I missed out on this year, so I foresee a few much-needed movie nights in the new year!

Image via Geek Tyrant

4.5 out of 5
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

4 out of 5
3. The Great Gatsby (2013)
4. Some Like It Hot (1959)

So what were your favorite novels and movies of 2013? And how will you be celebrating NYE…with a bang or just a good book?

My 2012 Recap!

2012 has been one of the most fantastically significant years of my life yet: I graduated with my Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism, nailed a full-time marketing job at a super-computing company in the Bay Area, settled into my own apartment (twice!), and met more people and explored more places than ever before (including three getaways to Vegas and a two-week vacation in Tokyo). I feel like all my hard work and determination is paying off, as I’m adjusting to life as an independent adult with a flourishing career and a bright future ahead. I’m so excited to see what 2013 will hold!

This year I also upped the ante on my reading goal, from 20 to 25 books. With everyone going on that I listed above, it was a struggle to keep up, but I managed to finish in the nick of time. According to Goodreads, I read over 7,500 pages in 2012, the longest novel of which being I, Claudius at 468 pages. (Although, to be honest, “read” is defined loosely, since four were audiobooks). Most were contemporary fiction, but I also made room for a handful of classics.

To recap, here’s the list of the 25 books I read this year, sorted from highest to lowest rated:

A heartbreaking must-read

5 out of 5
1.  The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2011)
2.  I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (2012)
3.  Bossypants by Tina Fey (2011)
4.  The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (2011)

4.5 out of 5
5.  Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)
6.  The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian (2012)

4 out of 5
7.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2011)
8.  Underworld by Meg Cabot (2012)
9.  Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer (2012)
10.  The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss (2012)
11.   Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (2011)
12.  Something About You by Julie James (2010)
13.  The Innocents by Francesca Segal (2012)
14.  Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (2010)
15.  Secrets of a Shoe Addict by Beth Harbison (2008)

3.5 out of 5
16.  Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (2012)
17.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)
18.  Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (2007)

3 out of 5
19.  The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905)
20.  My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark (Published in 2000, Based on events in 1956)
21.  I, Claudius by Robert Graves (1934)

2.5 out of 5
22.  Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell (2011)

2 out of 5
23.  Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1933)
24.  Crossed by Ally Condie (2011)
25.  The Trial by Franz Kafka (1924)

I also watched seven movies based off books or literary themes, five of which I personally read before seeing either in theaters or on DVD.

Again, they’re listed from highest to lowest rated:

Worth the wait!

4.5 out of 5
1.  “The Hobbit” (2012)
2.  “The Secret World of Arrietty” (2010 Japan, 2012 USA)
3.  “The Hunger Games” (2012)

4 out of 5
4.  “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012)
5.  “My Week with Marilyn” (2011)

3 out of 5
6.  “Midnight in Paris” (2011)

1 out of 5
7.  “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1” (2011)

Although I didn’t accomplish as much as some book bloggers, I’m proud of this list because its diversity. I’ve experienced stories about everything from Roman emperors to famous celebrities, from corrupt farm animals to kids with special powers, from the Armenian genocide to the ancient Greek underworld. Sure, there were a few duds, but I also found tales that will remain at the top of my recommendations.

I hope my recap gives you some ideas for what to add to your own lists in 2013, and I wish you all a very happy new year! Here’s to 365 more days of books and blogging!

Love, Book Club Babe