Favorite Books of 2015

1 year ago | Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

To celebrate the New Year, I figured it'd be nice to look back and talk about some of our favorite books we read in 2015. I'll start.

- Peter Milligan's "Enigma": Back in the 80's and 90's, a bunch of British comics writers came to America, blowing the minds of readers by writing some of the best, trippiest comics the industry had ever seen. Milligan was one of those writers, and he totally delivered with this graphic novel. It's essentially about a closeted gay man whose favorite superhero comes to life. He deals with his sexual identity while also trying to figure out what the deal is with this violent, beautiful impossibility. The book is gay, it's existential. It's great.

- Miles Corwin's "A Killing Season": In the past 30-ish years, LA has had a lot of trouble with its legal system. Robert Durst's trial, OJ's trial, the Rodney King riots. The Killing Season sheds a light on what exactly is wrong with the system the LAPD have to work under, while also showing what the day in a life of a homicide detective looks like. It follows two detectives as they juggle their overloaded case files. Some of the cases covered in the book really stuck with me. In particular, I was struck by how stupid most of them are. People just murder for the dumbest reasons. Oftentimes it's like they're too young to know better.

- Ed Rollins's "Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms": A boxer turned political campaign manager? I might disagree with Rollins politically (he's Republican), but the guy's story was irresistible. The book gets into the nitty-gritty of what it was like to run a campaign. He ran one of the best presidential campaigns the US has ever seen (winning 49/50 states for Reagan in the '84 election), and talked to some of the most interesting people in politics (Richard Nixon, Ross Perot, and of course Ronald Reagan are the highlights). I have the feeling he's abrasive in his day-to-day life, but boy has this guy lived.

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  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I've only managed to read a handful of books in 2015... time is such a scarce commodity these days.

    My personal highlight was a YA Fantasy novel that I bought based on friend recommendations: A Girl of Fire and Thorns. The main character starts out as someone who is very flawed, but throughout the first book, she learns and develops so much, and it all feels natural. Despite being a 'chosen one' from prophecy, she is far from powerful. She makes mistakes and loses several of her companions along the way.

    The second book in the series disappointed me, however. It gave the main character (and her friends) inch thick plot armor (that really felt like plot armor), which made me lose interest in the series. It's such a shame, too. The first book was so good.

    I've also revisited a few of Stephen King's older classics that I read way back in my teenage days. I still enjoy the books, but I don't voraciously devour them anymore. The quality of the writing is amazing, but I now realize that the pace is glacial - especially for horror. Maybe I'm just getting old. :(

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  2. Tintenteufel (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Hm. Now I remember that I haven't read an awful lot this last year and that makes me sad a bit.
    I've also recently read Salems Lot and don't think you're getting old, Chrysalis. He really is slow. So slow. I don't recall much happening for the first 250 or so pages except for setup. Slow, glacial, sluggish setup.
    Funny though that the build up is so much better than the payoff most of the time.

    My favorite book that I remember is "Invisible Cities" by Italo Calvino. I've read it in italian but regardless of language it is a beauty to behold. No real plot but a whole lot of story. Seventyseven cities described by Marco Polo to the Great Khan, a page or two each. Cities made of memories and lost lovers, defined by nevercoming future or neverending past. Cities that could never die because they are not finished, cities made up of your own desire for things unreachable, cities that are each and every city in the world and none. Each a marvel in it's own right. Poetry in prose. Really quite good, loved every word of it.

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  3. Whyknotzoidberg (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    It's either the zombie knight, or the Dresden files. I just started them in December, and I've already gotten to book fourZ

  4. Dennis N. Santana (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I didn't read any fiction this year, which makes me sad, but I'm also really picky and lately I don't have as much reading time, which makes me even pickier and pretty much paralyzes me from picking up fiction books. I read a bunch of nonfiction/history stuff. Out of those Young Stalin was pretty interesting and probably the standout, about the man's childhood and pre-Revolution years; followed by Life And Terror In Stalin's Russia, which presents some different and interesting perspectives on the Soviet system during the Terror; and "Fighter" about the development of the fighter plane from biplane to monoplane and to jets, with a look at a lot of different weapon systems from different countries across various wars.

  5. Emma (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Since I was so busy with school I only got to read 2 books fully this year. The first was one Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb and the other was The Last Hour of Gaan by R. Lee Smith. To be fair, the latter was almost 1,000 pages. I liked both books well enough to get through them, and I'll definitely read the rest of the Farseer Trilogy, but they didn't exactly sing to me like some books do.

    Since I'm taking a break until the fall semester, I'm getting all the reading I can this year. Hopefully, I can find the book that I absolutely love.

  6. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin. Actually, the whole trilogy that it starts. IT WAS AMAZING! A kick in the gut in the way that no book has been since I was a teenager.

  7. zephy669 (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I read tons of different books, some of which I loved some of which were meh. Here's a few:

    Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis (the original Zoolander story!)
    Trail of Broken Wings (great literary novel)
    Wizard's First Rule (just started this epic..liked it all the way through and looking forward to starting book 2)
    Strictly Business (romance novel by an instructor of mine, Leigh Michaels, great novel)
    Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahiuk (great stuff--so twisted and dark)
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman (Neil's stuff is usually hit or miss with me, but this one was a definite hit)
    Lost Boys Symphony (modern day Catcher in the Rye--loved it)

  8. FrustratedEgo (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Just as a warning, the Wizards First Rule totally had me suckered until the end - at which point I wanted to gouge out the authors eyes. The last book....ggrrr...

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane was really good, I'll agree. It's got his standard kind of edge of fantasy feeling where things make sense and seem kind of murky. There were a few good twists to it as well near the end.

    Most of this year was me reading far too many translated works. Most of which I would never recommend to another human being. It's always nice to see people reading real books and recommending them.

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