2015, in Books

After a HUGE blogging drought, I am here with a book wrap up. I just barely hit my 100 books, and YES I think there is a Gillian Flynn short story in there that doesn’t really count, but I AM TRYING PEOPLE! May eek in Carrie Brownstein’s memoir today.

Favorite book of 2015: Either “Modern Love” by Aziz Ansari (y’all – I LOVE Aziz!) or “The Royal We” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, aka the Fug Girls it’s fluffy and not deep but I loved it.
In a similar vein – not my fave but deserves a shoutout – I think “Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper” by Hillary Liftin should have gotten more acclaim (great TomKat roman à clef. I really dig a roman à clef).
 
I read some AMAZING YA this year too (Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Carry On were probably my faves). Yes, there is a theme there, not even sure what that says about me. Perhaps I’m pre-reading for Ursula?
Underwhelmed by most Gone Girl inspired books, though looking over my list I guess I hit most of those in 2014. (At the time the Mary Kubica one was my favorite, but her newer boo, “Pretty Baby” was the dumb.) In 2015, I did like “Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll.
Lots of feels about JK Rowling’s Cormoran Strike books – I like the characters but the mysteries seem muddy and plodding. Are they 10000000 pages? Or do they just feel that way. I am sad I don’t like them more, but now I am invested in what happens next.
Under appreciate author who I really enjoy – T. Greenwood. I love her slightly interlocking universe; her books are all lovely.
Overrated book that makes me stabby: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Ugh – I am not the dumb and I have read and enjoyed plenty of WWII books (random underrated fave – “Skeletons at the Feast” by Chris Bohjalian). But this – ugh. It just felt like “hey! WWII! Blindness! IMPORTANT! Give me a Pulitzer!” – which, to be fair, apparently is an effective strategy. Now that you think I am heartless, I will also mention that I HATED “Sarah’s Key” with a passion. (Even too much to look up the stupid author’s name. Tatiana DeRosay? I think?)
Worst book is ALSO a tie. Now – to be clear, for me “worst” is more about expectations. So, while “The Virgin Cowboy Billionaire’s Secret Baby” was not good, it didn’t actually disappoint (and yes, of course I had to read it for the name!). The point was to be ridiculous and mindless and it delivered. Therefore, not even in the running. What I really really hate is stupidity. And as I am typing this out, I am realizing it’s NOWHERE near a tie. Because one book is so much stupider than the other. SO SO SO much.

Runner up worst book – “Shipwrecked” by Emily Bleeker. It was a Kindle First book, so low expectations, which means it was hard to even get a worst book consideration. But omg. This book. There is a plane crash and the survivors try to cover up one of the plane crash deaths because of guilt? It was a plane crash. And then after being stranded for over a year the man and lady survivor hook up and then try to cover this up because Lord knows why. (Melissa’s moral compass: it’s not cheating if you have been stranded and aren’t being rescued.)

But the WORST WORST WORST book of the year (and honestly, it’s very possibly my worst book ever) is “The Hand that Feed You” by A.J. Rich. It ranks very high on the disappointment scale – this book was blurbed by freaking Joyce Carol Oates (granted she is old and dumb and says dumb things – but she is JCO!). And Chelsea Cain, who while hardly a literary genius can write a decent thriller! But even without that – omg, the stupidity. Instead of going on for days, I’ll just say this – the protagonist a) doesn’t know how to use a Swiffer and b) feels the need to mention this, apropos of nothing, for an ENTIRE PARAGRAPH. And finally, if someone opens a cupholder for you because you are holding coffee – that doesn’t make them a mind reader. It makes them a person with functioning eyeballs who doesn’t want coffee spilled in their car.

You can see my full GoodReads list here: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/1912286

Christmas 2015

Christmas Eve

Logan (2.5), Ursula and Will (7 next week!)

Christmas with the Andersons.

They are ready!

Yes, I’m shorter now (on 12/18 we were both measured at 5’4″. Then she grew MORE!)

Literally can't even handle Christmas. And being shorter than @ballet_wolf

But sometimes I make her scrunch down!

Merry Christmas!

Cousin love – Ursula and Emily (4)

Cousin love

Last Nutcracker!

This year…

19 total shows, 17 Nutcracker boutiques, and 10 shows Ursula was in. Kill me now.

Spending ~11 hours Nutcrackering on my birthday was NOT the best, but at least I had April!

Last Nutcracker!

We are ready!

Day off Nut = STAR WARS! (perhaps the week before was not the best time to hack my hair…)

We are ready!

Sisters

I can’t even explain how this is happening. I made a grown up.

Sisters