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… Classics of 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… Classics of 2015 |

This year i have been determined to read more classics and amongst those dusty tomes I’ve discovered some fantastic literature, many of which are almost poetic in narrative and are often full of understated (if not blatant.. cough… Wodehouse) humour. For this week’s Top Ten, and to avoid any repeats with last week, I’m bringing you my top ten classics of 2015 – and hopefully I’ll unearth many more literary masters in 2016!

| 1. |

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Picadilly Jim

by P.G. Wodehouse

This is the book which started my love affair with Wodehouse. No author has brought tears of laughter to my eyes quite so much as this comedic genius, and with an inordinate number of books to his name, I expect to be crying with laughter for many more years to come!

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| 2. |

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Murder on the Orient Express

by Agatha Christie

I have been an Agatha Christie fan for some time now, dipping into and out of her work ever since I was a child, so it was about time then that I made a concerted effort to make my way through her catalogue in some semblance of order. Murder on the Orient Express most certainly lives up to its reputation as a whodunnit masterpiece and has fuelled my passion for Christie’s crime classics.

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| 3. |

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Sense and Sensibility

by Jane Austen

I had first read Sense and Sensibility as a young girl and, despite my love for both both literary and televised Austen, I hadn’t re-read a number of her novels until this year. Sense and Sensibility is social commentary at its finest, full of wit and humour with a sometimes heartbreaking storyline, which made me fall in love with Austen all over again.

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| 4. |

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Hard Times

by Charles Dickens

I cannot begin to describe how much I love this book. Charles Dickens is a master of the literary charicature and it is done so well in Hard Times. And not only that, we have some of the most beautiful and evocative descriptions of the industrial revolution that I’ve ever come across. A definite highlight in this year’s list of classics.

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| 5. |

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Around the World in Eighty Days

by Jules Verne

I was determined to read more Jules Verne this year but only ended up reading one novel – Around the World in Eighty Days. This delightful adventure, undertaken as a bet and chock full of a multitude of intriguing characters,  has definitely spurred me on to read more of Verne’s work.

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| 6. |

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The Thirty-Nine Steps

by John Buchan

Having never even heard of this novel until this year, The Thirty-Nine Steps took me by complete surprise. Reading just like one of the military escape memoirs I love so much, The Thirty-Nine Steps has me determined to add more John Buchan novels to my 2016 reading list.

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| 7. |

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There

by Lewis Carroll

And no list of classics for me would be complete without the delightful and nonsensical work of Lewis Carroll. This is pure and unadulterated fuel for the imagination, like a fever dream… on acid. And this year’s re-read only re-fuelled my love for this wonderful piece of literature.

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| 8. |

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde remains one of the most well known classic horror stories so it’s unsurprising that this short book, packed full of mystery, shock and suspense, made its way into this week’s Top Ten.

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| 9. |

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Something Fresh

by P.G. Wodehouse

Something Fresh is the first book in the Blandings series which I’ve wholeheartedly devoured in 2015. With the delightfully dotty Lord Emsworth, many an imposter and something of a whodunnit… involving scarabs… this is a fine example of comedic literature which had me reaching for the next book in an instant.


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| 10. |

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The Mystery of the Blue Train

by Agatha Christie

Another Christie classic (and another which involves trains!) tops this week’s list. Full of intriguing (and highly suspicious) characters, exotic jewels and even more exotic locations, this is one of my favourite Christie novels to date.

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Which are your favourite novels of 2015? Do any classics top your list? 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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Tough Travelling: Portals to Another Land


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.


| Portals to Another Land |

Fantasyland often has some unique entry points; not every traveler is born within its boundaries.  It is a regular event for someone from a non-magical place to suddenly find themselves in this world of dragons, magic, and danger.

After quite some time searching, it appeared that most of my favourite portal books were those from childhood. So this week I’ve gathered five of my childhood favourites. These are the stories of portals and time-slips, of nightmarish creatures and dangerous worlds, of brave children and unwitting adults. These are the five I’ve read countless times over the years.

| 1. |

ElidorElidor

by Alan Garner

The four Watson children enter an old and abandoned church in search of a football when one by one, they disappear through a heavy iron-ringed door. A door which leads to the world of Elidor, a dark and dangerous kingdom almost entirely fallen to evil.

| 2. |

AliceAlice’s Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass 

by Lewis Carroll

Alice finds herself on all sorts of adventures after making her way down a rabbit hole and finding herself in Wonderland. It certainly doesn’t stop her from making her way through a looking-glass mirror.

| 3. | LionThe Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

After being evacuated from London, Lucy Pevensie is exploring her adopted home when she finds her way through the back of a wardrobe into the world of Narnia. One by one, the disbelieving Pevensie children follow Lucy through the wardrobe to discover a world frozen in deep winter and ruled by the dark and terrible White Witch.

| 4. |TMGTom’s Midnight Garden

by Philippa Pearce

When Tom Long goes to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen in an upstairs flat of a large house with no garden, he finds himself transported to the past every night when the old grandfather clock strikes 13 and the back door opens onto a magical garden.

| 5. |MoondialMoondial

by Helen Cresswell

After being sent to live with an elderly aunt in the country, Minty finds herself transported to the past every night by a strange moondial in the garden; a past where she must help the ‘lost souls’  of former residents find peace.

What are your favourite portal books? 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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