2015: A Year in Review


2015


| Books by Proxy – A Year in Review |

Welcome to my first end of year post – and what a year it has been! I started this blog on the last day of July and, over the last half of 2015, have found myself as part of a wonderful community of readers and bloggers. In my albeit limited experience, we book bloggers are lucky to enjoy a very friendly and supportive community, where sharing our books, our reviews and our experiences is all done for a love of reading and can be enjoyed by many. So thank you readers and thank you bloggers for making 2015 such an enjoyable year. I hope you all have a fantastic 2016!heart


| A Year in Books |
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I think we can all agree these two very similar and equally profound books, Blood Song by Anthony Ryan and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, deservedly made it into my longest and shortest book categories.heart


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Donna Leon

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Leon 10

with ten books in her Commissario Brunetti series

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2015 - 6

P.G. Wodehouse

with nine books in total including seven from his Blandings series

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Jim Butcher

with eight books in The Dresden Files series

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AC - 6

Agatha Christie

with six books in her Hercule Poirot series

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best fantasyBlood Song

Book One of the Raven’s Shadow Series

by Anthony Ryan

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Best SciFiRed Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown

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best novellaThe SerpentThe Serpent

The Gameshouse I

by Claire North

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best crimeThe Few

A Leone Scamarcio Thriller

by Nadia Dalbuonoheart

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best historicalLamentationLamentation

Book Six of the Matthew Shardlake Series

by C.J. Sansom

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best classicSomething FreshSomething Fresh

Book One of the Blandings Series

by P.G. Wodehouse

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There were so many more amazing books which deserve to be on this list but then it would just be most of 2015’s books!

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful 2016!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Newly Read Authors 2015


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Newly Read Authors 2015 |

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we’re taking a look at some of my favourite newly read authors of 2015. From debut authors published in recent years to firmly established literary masters with a huge repertoire to their name, these are the writers whose work has crept to the top of my reading pile. In no particular order, here are ten of my favourites:

| 1. |

Michael J. Sullivan

with Theft of Swords

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| 2. |

Becky Chambers

with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

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| 3. |

Brent Weeks

with The Way of Shadows

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| 4. |

Pierce Brown

with Red Rising

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| 5. |

Bernard Cornwell

with Azincourt

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| 6. |

Victoria Schwab

with A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious

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| 7. |

Helen Lowe

with The Heir of Night and The Gathering of the Lost

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| 8. |

Anthony Ryan

with Blood Song

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| 9. |

David Gemmell

with Morningstar and Knights of Dark Renown

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| 10. |

Kim Stanley Robinson

with Red Mars

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Who are your favourite newly read authors of 2015? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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The Monthly Round-Up: October 2015


The Monthly Round-Up - OctWelcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| Books Read |

October was one of those months that’s starts off well – in a bookish kind of way – and then real life happens and it gets far too busy to even pick up a book! Hopefully things will be settling down shortly but I’ll try and keep on top of things in the meantime… which would be far easier if I was remotely organised in the first place!

A highlight of this month was attending the Gollancz Book Festival – which I will get round to blogging about shortly – where I bought some awesome sounding books, saw some amazing authors and got many a book signed! My poor October Goals have suffered though which means, except for the one goal I completed, the rest will roll over to November! I am getting very close to completing my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge though so… hurrah! Here is the run-down of my October books:

| 1. |

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

| 2. |

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

| 3. |

Changes by Jim Butcher

| 4. |

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

| 5. |

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

| 6. |

The Few by Nadia Dalbuono


Sci Fi Month 2015


Red Rising

by Pierce Brown


| October Goals |

To read at least two spooky books in time for Halloween

1 of 2  | Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

2 of 2 | Incomplete

Status: Incomplete

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To read at least two books from this autumn’s TBR list

1 of 2 | The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

2 of 2 | Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Status: Completed

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September Roll-over: To finish The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Status: p. 302 of 808 (37%)

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| Goals for 2015 |

Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge: 97/100 Books Read (97%)

Status: +6% during October

Dragons and Jetpacks 2015 Reading Challenge: 41/50 Books Read (82%)

Status: +6% during October


| Reviews Posted |

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Red Rising by Pierce Brown


4 and a half Stars

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks


Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell


The Few by Nadia Dalbuono


                  

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter


| Other Posts From October |

The Monthly Round-Up: September 2015

The Month Ahead: October 2015

Cover Reveal: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

Cover Reveal: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Cover Reveal: The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Tough Travelling: Well Travelled Roads – A (Tough) Traveller’s Guide to the Roads of Middle Earth

Tough Travelling: Creative Cursing

Tough Travelling: The Good Thief

Bookish Beats: Assassin’s Creed III

Bookish Beats: Enigma – The Cross of Changes

Bookish Beats: Audiomachine – Phenomena

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Bad Bookish Habits

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Wishes for the Book Genie

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Homicidal Inanimate Objects

Teaser Tuesdays: October 06 – The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Teaser Tuesdays: October 13 – NOS4R2 by Joe Hill

Teaser Tuesdays: October 20 – Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Teaser Tuesdays: October 27 – Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Tough Travelling: The Good Thief


Tough TravellingJoin me each Thursday for some Tough Travelling with the Tough Guide, hosted by Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, we will set out on a quest to track down the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction.


| The Good Thief |

Sure they may pocket things that don’t belong to them.  And yes, anything that can be wiggled loose isn’t really locked down and may be fair game to them.  And if they put half of their intelligence into legit trades instead of long cons they would probably be pillars of fantasyland’s community.  But damn it, some thieves are still good people.

Fantasyland is filled to the brim with liars and cutthroats, murderers and rogues, but no ne’er-do-well is so beloved as the humble (or not so humble, as the case may be) thief. With a surfeit of thieves *cough* Skyrim *cough* to choose from, here are this week’s five fabulous filchers:

| 1. |

Magician
Jimmy the Hand

The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist

Jimmy the Hand is an exceptional thief whose nimble fingers have picked many an unsuspecting pocket. With a talent for making strange (and distinctly royal) connections, Jimmy is a good egg who is, despite his apparent kleptomania, determined to do the right thing – even if he has to pay the price. In later life he is sure to be known as Jimmy the Foot, for being such a goody two-shoes!

| 2. |

Locke Lamora & Jean Tannen

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch

The infamous Locke Lamora and his loyal sidekick Jean Tannen started off their dastardly (Gentleman) bastardly lives under the watchful eye of Father Chains. Known to have pulled off some of the most audacious cons to be found between the pages of a book, they revel in schemes and plots which earn them wealth, a lack of health and a whole host of trouble. But no one does it quite like The Thorn of Camorr.

| 3. | 

ADSoM

De(Lila)h Bard

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Lila Bard is a cross-dressing, knife-wielding, pick-pocketing ferocious female with piratical aspirations and an appetite for adventure. She’s also the most wanted thief in all of (Grey) London. Fortunately for those her cross her path, Lila is all about making her own choices, and if she chooses to help you that’s damn well what she’s going to do.

| 4. |
Retribution

Darian Frey

Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

Darien Frey is the Captain of the Ketty Jay – pirate, smuggler and thief, womaniser and general rogue; he and his crew make their living smuggling contraband and raiding airships – and there’s nothing quite like an air-heist. Except when it all goes tits up of course. Frey may be somewhat deficient in having ‘a good name’ but he’s sure as hell going to stop it from getting any worse.

| 5. |

riyria

Royce Melborn & Hadrian Blackwater

The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan

Royce Melborn could walk through the shadows and slit your throat whilst Hadrian Blackwater lops off your head with one of his many, many swords; they’re not fussy who they work for and they’re as likely to stab their clients as they are their mark. Luckily for many a poor unsuspecting bastard, Hadrian Blackwater has conscience enough for the both of them, and no matter how much they rail against it, they always do the right thing.

Yes, I know that was seven (safecracking sneak-thieves?) but it’d be cruel to split them up. Like taking candy from a baby or Gandalf from his beard comb.

Who are your favourite thieves in fantasyland? If you would like to join in with Tough Travelling, head on over to the Fantasy Review Barn and sign up!

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Teaser Tuesdays: October 20


Teaser TuesdaysWelcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Expect a new teaser every week!


| Teaser Tuesdays: Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan |

tos


“As they stepped through the doorway, Hadrian heard a sound like singing, a faint mournful song as if a thousand voices joined in a somber dirge. The sad, oppressive music brought to mind the worst memories of his life and filled him with a misery so great it sapped his resolve.”

~ p. 146, Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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The Month Ahead: October 2015


The Month Ahead OctIn The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I am currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! I will also be sharing any news about features or posts on Books by Proxy, and anything in the book world that has me all excited!


| Currently Reading |

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett is still there looking forlorn as it rolls over for yet another month. I’m sorry Mr. Brett! I am genuinely a fan of your work and will extract The Daylight War out from under the dust-sheet as soon as I’ve finished this post! This time it’s in the illustrious company of Red Rising by Pierce Brown which has gotten off to an excellent start. I keep hearing nothing but good about it and expect it to be a thoroughly entertaining read. And then there’s The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch; I’m only two hundred pages in and it’s already mind-blowingly good! I might be taking my time with it but this is one book which deserves my full and undivided attention. Seriously, too good! My teeny tiny pocket (and most importantly travel) sized book is Emma by Jane Austen. This is technically a re-read but it’s been so long since I read it that it might as well be a new one! heart


| Book Haul |

A much smaller haul than last month’s (phew)! I can’t have my TBR pile growing even more wild before I’ve made a dent in it! Ilium by Dan Simmons, Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan and NOS4A2 by Joe Hill are the science fiction, fantasy and horror books of the month for Dragons and Jetpacks. I’ve been meaning to read Theft of Swords (or let’s be honest – any Michael J. Sullivan) for a while now so I didn’t need much prompting to get my hands on this novel. And finally! I purchased the next book in my long list of Jim Butcher reads with Changes, the twelfth book in The Dresden Files – so excited! Last but not least there’s Blood and Beauty: The Borgias by Sarah Dunant, a work of historical fiction based on the lives of the Borgia family. Certainly enough to keep me going!

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| October Goals |

To read at least two spooky books in time for Halloween

Status: 0 of 2 Complete

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To read at least two books from this autumn’s TBR list

Status: 0 of 2 Complete

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September Roll-over: To finish The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Status: p. 286 of 808 (35%)

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Have you picked up any great books lately or read any of those mentioned above? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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