Top Ten Books in 2015

So guys, here we are, at the end of the year – can’t believe it, to be honest. The older I am, the quicker the time passes by. Nevertheless, what a year it was, with its ups and downs, but let’s concentrate on the books. I read 211 books in 2015, most of them I rated with 5 stars, because… well, because they were absolutely brilliant novels! I discovered new authors to me, fell more in love with „old” authors, was part of many wonderful Blog Tours, interviewed many great people, was honoured to post many fantastic Guest Posts… And today I am going to tell you about my top reads in 2015 – and believe me, it was a very tough choice! The books haven’t been put into order – it would be impossible!

 

I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran – a book that took my breath away. A bitter – sweet, true to life story exploring family life – fantastic!

 

My Everything by Katie Marsh – one of the best debut novels I have EVER read – so very maturely written cracker of a book about journey through life, about developing , about getting to know each other again, about following your dreams, compromises and backing down in the name of love.

 

The Silent Hours by Cesca Major – another incredible debut. After reading this book I couldn’t settle for another novel for a long time, as it left me with a major bookish hangover. This rare gem of a book that you are going to lose yourself in and forget about everything that’s surrounding you. It’s going to leave a large impact on you and your feelings.

 

The Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts – I love good historical fiction, and this book is for sure a VERY good historical fiction. It’s a perfect mix of history, romance and drama. The writing style is hooking, realistic and so very vivid and the story was, in fact, unputdownable. I’d recommend it to all, no matter if you like historical fiction or not, because it’s one helluva novel!

 

Amy Snow by Tracy Rees – this book was one of the biggest surprises this year, I really haven’t expected it to be SO good! A brilliant, compelling story that takes us on a journey through early Victorian England and gives us a bunch of strong female characters, some male characters that look so weak in comparison to our girls, but also some that are really worth to make acquaintance with, and of course give us a look at the society, with all its stereotypes, as well as intriguing mystery.

 

The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson – a year without Lucy’s book is a lost year. I can’t imagine not having Lucy in my life and all her novels were rated by me with 5 stars. „The Day We Disappeared” is an incredible story of secrets, friends, family and honesty. I can only say, drop everything you do and go and buy this book – and you don’t have to thank me for recommendation this time.

 

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor – it was my first book by Hazel Gaynor and it left me speechless. It was a wonderful, beautifully written novel that is going to stay with you for a very long time, a book that comes upon once in a while and a book that you don’t want to leave, to depart with.

 

Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley – though I think I should put here all books by Cathy Bramley, as they all deserve to be mentioned! There is everything you could wish for in a book, humour, sadness, love, friendship, hope, together with fantastic writing and brilliant characters. And who knows, maybe you’re going to discover that you do have green fingers after reading the book? Highly recommended, this book for sure is going to lift your mood up and it could be a perfect escape for some time! I have read it twice already!

 

The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester – another fantastic debut this year, I couldn’t stop thinking about this book for a long time! There was everything that I could wish for in a book: brilliantly created atmosphere, fantastic times, vivid characters, mystery, drama but also a lot of dark and sharp humour. Full of twist and turns, surprises and gasps from me.

 

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin – last but not least, and I think this book has the biggest impact on me, and if I were forced to choose my absolute winner I guess this would be THE ONE.  Be prepared that when you start reading the book, you won’t be able to put it down. I have found myself reading it and reading, thinking only one more page. You know what’s going to happen, you know there is no hope, but nevertheless, you keep reading because you just want to know. After I finished this book I couldn’t move for some time, and it’s good that I was home alone, that nobody’s seen the tears pouring down my face. I knew how it’s going to end, but nevertheless, it didn’t make it easier for me. But it was without a doubt one of the most stunning, moving, beautiful books that I have come across.

 

 

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Reading Challenge 2015

Hello, hello, welcome to the blog and to my last but one post this year. And what a year it was…

I’ve challenged myself to two challenges in 2015 – Goodreads Challenge (easy – peasy :) I’ve already read 211 books out of planned 200. Some of them were shorter, some of them were longer, the main point is, I was reading like crazy :) ). The second challenge was a little different, and here is what is was about: Reading Challenge 2015.

 

1. A Book with more then 500 pages

Here we are: „The Hourglass Factory” by Lucy Ribchester.

2. A classic romance

I am guessing that a classic romance is „Jane Eyre” for example, so no, this year I didn’t have a chance to read such a book. But I’ve read many other, „not classic” romances.

3. A book that became a movie.

„The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks.

4. A book published this year.

Haha! Plenty of them! For example, „High Tide” by Veronica Henry. And alsmot 200 others :)

5. A book with a number in the title.

And very funny was it, too! „7 Years Bad Sex” by Nicky Wells.

6. A book written by someone under 30.

Thought it’s going to be a tricky one, but in the end it turned out there are a lot of authors under 30. For example Elle Field and her novel „Kept”.

7. A book with nonhuman characters.

At the beginning I was thinking I must read a book about aliens or something like thiat, but hello – the dogs are also nonhuman characters, right? So here we have for example „Waiting for Doggo” :)

8. A funny book.

There were many funny books. One of them was „Snowflakes on Silver Cove” by Holly Martin – I snorted my way through this story.

9. A book by a female author.

I read books mostly by female authors. For example „The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas” by Carole Matthews.

10. A mystery or thriller.

I wasn’t a fan of mysteries r thrilles, but the older I am the more I appreciate this genre. This year I read for example „The Life I Left Behind” by Colette McBeth.

11. A book with a one – word title.

Ha! Not so easy, as the titles are getting longer and longer! But no worries, there was „Disclaimer” among them :)

12. A book of short stories

There are few of them on my TBR. Unfortunately, didn’t have enough time this year :(

13. A book set in a different country.

A different country to what? Probably to where I’m living? No problems here, for example „The Love Detective” – set mostly in India.

14. A nonfiction book.

Thought am not going to make this one, but ha! We’re talking about me, right? So I’ve read „I Call Myself a Femisnist” – brilliant book!

15. A popular author’s first book.

Reading a popular author’s first book means going back through my bookshelf with all the books that I’ve read – and loved, and searching for for example Jill Mansell, Marian keyes or Carole Matthews’ first novels. Maybe when a day has 48 hours :)

16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read.

This is tricky. How can I love author if I haven’t read their books? But I understood it like this: a book by the author that I haven’t read yet and that I loved. In this case, it’s „The Dandelion Years” by Erica James.

17. A book a friend recommended.

There are many of them, but lately I was recommended to read „The Secret by the Lake” by Louise Douglas.

18. A Pulitzer Prize – winning book.

Nope. Sorry.

19. A book based on true story.

„The Silent Hours” by Cesca Major. It took my breath away and I couldn’t settle for other book for a long time.

20. A book at the bottom of your to – read list.

I tried. I started to read 3 such books but haven’t finished any of them.

21. A book your mum loves.

My mum loves lots of books, and she sent me one for this Christmas even, but haven’t read it. Yet.

22. A book that scares you.

Firstly I thought it must be a horror or something like this. But then I’ve read „Asking for It” by Louise O’Neill – and this book scared me. I can’t believe the world I’m living in.

23. A book more than 100 years old.

The closest I was with „Jamaica Inn”, that was published in 1936 first, but it’s not 100 years old. Not yet.

24. A book based entirely on its cover.

Not sure how to understand this one – that there is the whole story on the cover? Or that I loved the cover with all my heart? In this case, there were many such books, and one of them was „A Parcel for Anna Browne” for example.

25. A book you were supposed to read in school and didn’t.

Eeeek, no way. I’ve read all the book that I had to in school, even the most boring ones (was really scared with my professor – though loved him, too :D).

26. A memoir.

Nope. Not my kind of read.

27. A book you can finish in a day.

Haha, „Polly and the Puffin” by Jenny Colgan. Lovely read, for the adults as well.

28. A book with anytonyms in the title.

Ah, I have „Lost and Found” on my TBR pile for example, but haven’t managed to read it yet :(

29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.

Oh, that’s easy, as I’d love to visit almost the whole world :) For example, „One Wish in Manhattan” by Mandy Baggot.

30. A book that came out the year you were born.

No idea which book should that be. I was looking, but haven’t found any.

31. A book with bad reviews.

For example, „Girl in the Road”. Some bad reviews – with my among them (if I have written it…)

32. A trilogy.

Nope. And it’s Elle Field’s fault :) I’ve read „Kept”, I’ve read „Lost”, and was waiting for „Found”.

33. A book from your childhood.

Sure. Together with my daughter we’ve read a „Snow White”.

34. A book with love triangle.

There were some of them. For example „Thoughtful”

35. A book set in the future.

Yep. „A Girl in the Road”.

36. A book set in high school.

The above mentioned „Asking for It”.

37. A book with a colour in the title.

The fantastic, beautiful „A Memory of Violets”.

38. A book that made you cry.

Oh, there were some of them this year! For example, „The Things We Do for Love” by Alice Peterson.

39. A book with magic.

No problem – „Put a Spell on You” by Karen Clarke.

40. A graphic novel.

I’ve tried, really tried, but couldn’t see a single word on my kindle.

41. A book by the author you’ve never read before.

Sure – „The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy” by Julia Quinn for example.

42. A book you own but have never read.

Of course. I own tons of books that I haven’t read yet. For example „A Mother’s Story” by Amanda Prowse.

43. A book that takes place in your hometown.

No. There are not many books that I read taking place in Poland :)

44. A book that was originally written in a different language.

„The Hunter of the Dark” by Donato Carrisi.

45. A book set during Christmas.

But of course! „Bella’s Christmas Bake – Off” by Sue Watson.

46. A book written by an author with your same initials.

Tadah! „Letting You Go” by Anouska Knight. AK :)

47. A play.

Nope. At school, yes, but not in 2015 :)

48. A banned book.

Also not.

49. A book based on or turned into a TV show.

Oh yes. „How to Get Ahead in Television” :)

50. A book you started but never finished.

yes. And I’m very surprsied because I’ve never had problems with this author before – „What a Girl Wantes” by Lindsay Kelk.

Ha! Not bad, no?